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Chris Crawford I am pleased to announced a long time member has agreed to help and mentor others in photographic technique. As he has long done so, perhaps this forum is a bit overdue. Christopher Crawford has been a professional artist and photographer for 20 years, most of that time spent documenting life in northern Indiana with his photographs and the stories that he writes to accompany them. In addition, Chris also creates tutorials where he teaches photography techniques, film processing, digital editing, film scanning, and printing. Ask Chris your technical questions, or to critique your photos. You can see more of his tutorials at http://crawfordphotoschool.com

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Old 09-26-2018   #2321
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Milan Township #6 Schoolhouse is located on the corner of Doty Road and Brush College Road in rural northeast Allen County, Indiana. The one-room brick school was built in 1902 and closed in 1923.

Most of these schoolhouses in Allen County have the date inscribed on a gable stone set high in the front facade of the building. This one is unique in that the date is on the keystone in the arch over the doors.
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Old 09-28-2018   #2322
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Maples United Methodist Church is located on Church Street in the tiny town of Maples, Indiana. This side of the building was in shade on a sunny day; the sunlight coming through the windows on the other side of the church made one of the windows glow with light.

The town of Maples, located in southeast Allen County, only has six streets! The town has a grain elevator, a bar, and this church.
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Old 09-28-2018   #2323
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Love this last photo Chris, very effective. And love your Maples Inn photo, great B&W!
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Old 09-28-2018   #2324
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Love this last photo Chris, very effective. And love your Maples Inn photo, great B&W!
robert

Thanks, Robert.

The photo of Maples Inn was from my first visit to Maples; I didn't make it back to the town until yesterday. I looked at the photo of the bar when writing the story for the church photo and realized it had been 5 years since I had been there last! Time flies.
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Old 10-01-2018   #2325
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This tire swing hangs from a tree next to a soybean field on State Road 37, just north of Bruick Road, in rural northeast Allen County, Indiana.

The tire is cut to look like a horse.

I photographed it on a morning at the end of August.
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Old 10-01-2018   #2326
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It is a shame to see Sears in this condition. My family shopped there all the time when I was young. I still have some Sears Craftsman tools that my father bought for me when I was younger, and he still has some he bought in the 1970s. They were great tools, but sears moved production to China several years ago and we quit buying.
As a tool afficionado, I can't tell you how disappointing it was when Craftsman tools stopped being Craftsman tools. The change was dramatic. Now, I'm not trying to deride China, but the Chinese made tools starting in the late 70's, and definitely during the 80's, were quite poor. Those made during the 90's and 00's were not worth owning at all. (again, this is not exactly a fault of China, but rather of poor manufacturing that happened to be easy to do in China during these years). Around this time (late 80s to present) I stopped buying "new" tools entirely. I have new Craftsman tools (given to me) that failed on first use, and I have tools made over 100 years ago that continue to function as well as the day they were made. Today, most of my tools are 50 to 150 years old. These are "working tools" that are used for their intended function. I don't abuse my tools and take care of them (as taught by my dad). So, they continue to take care of me.

I don't like to tell too many people, but buying old tools is a better value than new. I don't tell people because then they go out and snap up all the old tools before I can. My best tools came from yard/barn sales. Of course, you need to have a good eye to know when a tool has been "used up" and beyond its useful life. But it can also be surprising (and satisfying) when I restore a tool that would have been dismissed for "dead" into a beautiful (I find tools beautiful) fully functional work of art.


I nearly cried when this happened. 1930's Stanley 720 chisel (1/4-inch) snapped while trimming a mortise...

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Old 10-03-2018   #2327
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The Church at Garrett is a nondenominational church located in the old Keyser Township #5 Schoolhouse on the corner of County Road 54 and Randolph Street (State Road 327) in the small town of Garrett, Indiana.

This is the front of the old schoolhouse, which was built in 1914. The church's sanctuary is located in an addition to the building built in the 1940s (on the left side of the old school, when looking at the front of the building). They're building a very large addition to the back of the building now.

The original schoolhouse is unique in that it has a basement; most of them I have seen in Indiana do not.
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Old 10-04-2018   #2328
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The Silver Screen Cinema is on Randolph Street (State Road 327) in the small town of Garrett, Indiana. It was built in 1939 as the Gala, and was later renamed the Silver Screen. It closed in 2014 because the owners couldn't afford to convert it to digital projection.

Small, locally-owned theaters like the Silver Screen held on longer in small towns than they did in the larger cities, where giant multiplex theaters drove the little ones out of business years ago.

The company that owns the Silver Screen also owns the Strand Theatre in Kendallville and the Auburn-Garrett Drive-In, both of which were still open when I made this photograph in September, 2018.
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Old 10-06-2018   #2329
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The front of the retail showroom at Waynedale Plumbing Supply. The new faucet display is on the left. Wayne brand well pumps and sump pumps are on display under the window.

Because the building doesn't have air conditioning, the front door is left open during the summer.

Waynedale Plumbing is on Lower Huntington Road in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The store was built in 1946, and has been owned by Virgil Hoke since 1950, when he and his now-deceased older brother bought it. Very little has changed there in the intervening decades!

There is a "For Sale" sign in the window. Virgil, who is now 84 years old, is trying to sell the store so that he can retire.
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Old 10-06-2018   #2330
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Great pic showing still bright colours along with the decay. Bittersweet.

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There is a "For Sale" sign in the window. Virgil, who is now 84 years old, is trying to sell the store so that he can retire.
Retire at 84? I don't know him but I'm sure he deserves it. Wow.

Your documentation of 'Fort Wayne' really is something that has historical context. There is such a profound feeling to this, exacerbated by the purposeful lack of people. I'd get this together somehow and submit it to the Library of Congress.
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Old 10-06-2018   #2331
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Great pic showing still bright colours along with the decay. Bittersweet.
Thanks. The theater is a neat old building. Its too bad it couldn't stay open. A modern multiplex theater opened in Auburn, a town a couple miles east of Garrett, and that killed the Silver Screen in Garrett.

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Retire at 84? I don't know him but I'm sure he deserves it. Wow.

I really never expected old Virgil to retire. He is the kind of guy who hates having nothing to do, and he never married or had kids, so he has no grandchildren to spend time with. He's having back problems and is in a lot of pain, that's why he is finally retiring. If his health had held out, he'd keep working.


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Your documentation of 'Fort Wayne' really is something that has historical context. There is such a profound feeling to this, exacerbated by the purposeful lack of people. I'd get this together somehow and submit it to the Library of Congress.


Thanks; I'd love to see them go to a museum, but I can't afford to donate them now. Selling prints is my main income source since my stroke, and I'm barely surviving. After I die I may donate my work to a museum if someone wants it, but for now I have to keep it.
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Old 10-07-2018   #2332
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Yesterday evening, we had a heavy, but brief, rainstorm. When the rain stopped a rainbow appeared.
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Old 10-08-2018   #2333
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I'm still working on my backlog of old work. This is the first of six abstract images that I made of the sky in Churubusco, Indiana back in June, 2017.
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Old 10-08-2018   #2334
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This is the second of six abstract images that I made of the sky in Churubusco, Indiana back in June, 2017.
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Old 10-09-2018   #2335
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Another abstract photograph of the sky that I made in June, 2017.
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Old 10-10-2018   #2336
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An American flag hangs in the window next to the entrance to Hoosier Barber Shop on Randolph Street (State Road 327) in the small town of Garrett, Indiana.

Randolph Street is Garrett's "Main Street."
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Old 10-13-2018   #2337
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Last of the abstract sky photographs that I made back in June, 2017.
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Old 10-15-2018   #2338
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This is one of several small sunflowers growing next to the Big Eyed Fish restaurant on the corner of Wells Street and Fourth Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

A fat fuzzy bumblebee is gathering pollen on the flower.

I shot it while testing a new lens I just got, the Olympus 60mm f2.8 Macro for Micro Four Thirds.
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Old 10-16-2018   #2339
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Wells Street Coin Laundry is most likely the smallest in Fort Wayne, Indiana It only has a few machines built into one wall inside. The little storefront on Wells Street, next to Fort Wayne Guitar Exchange, is rather spartan looking; though part of the brick facade is adorned with limestone.
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Old 10-17-2018   #2340
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This old red barn sits behind a farmhouse on Saint Joe Road, just south of the small town of Leo-Cedarville, in rural Allen County, Indiana.

An American flag hangs over the doors on the side of the barn.

I photographed it, and the farmhouse, last week. I'll post the photo of the house soon.
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Old 10-18-2018   #2341
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The now-closed Charitos Mexican Buffet was located in one of the old brick storefront buildings that line both sides of Wayne Street in the small town of Waterloo, Indiana. Wayne Street is Waterloo's "Main Street."

The restaurant's name is still visible on the painted-over sign on the front of the building.

I photographed it this morning.
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Old 10-19-2018   #2342
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The Library in the little village of Corunna, Indiana. The town of 250 residents isn't big enough for a regular public library, so they have a "Little Free Library" hanging on the front of the Town Hall building on Bridge Street (State Road 327), which is the town's "Main Street."

Little Free Libraries are small boxes containing books that anyone can take to read. People can also leave books in them for others to take. Most of them are built by individuals and businesses on their properties, but some are found at government buildings, such as fire stations and town halls.
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Old 10-20-2018   #2343
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The town hall in the little village of Corunna, Indiana. The building sits behind a bridge that carries State Road 327 over a railroad track that runs through the town.

Several other buildings in Corunna sit behind the approaches to the bridge, which seems to have been built with no consideration for the town's layout or history.

I photographed this building the first time back in 2009. The only thing that has changed in the nine years since is that the building now has a "Little Free Library" hanging on the front. I made this photograph last week.
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Old 10-20-2018   #2344
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Put succinctly, your work is brilliant. A stunning collection of life in America, presented clearly and simply, truly beautiful.

Bravo,

Mark
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Old 10-20-2018   #2345
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Put succinctly, your work is brilliant. A stunning collection of life in America, presented clearly and simply, truly beautiful.

Bravo,

Mark



Thanks, Mark. This is a project that I have worked on for 20 years now!
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Old 10-22-2018   #2346
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A "Mike Pence For President" sign in front of a house on Crescent Avenue, just north of State Boulevard, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The owner told me that he hates Trump and wishes that Pence was president. He said that he would have even preferred Hillary Clinton over Trump. He said he knows Pence personally and thinks he is a good man. Pence is the former Governor of Indiana.

The sign surprised me because Pence is President Trump's vice-president, and so far as I know he and Trump will be running for re-election in 2020. The sign's owner said that there are people making the Pence signs and selling them online to people like him who wish that Trump would go away and let Pence take over.
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Old 10-23-2018   #2347
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This farmhouse is on Saint Joe Road, just south of the small town of Leo-Cedarville, in rural Allen County, Indiana. It is in front of the red barn with the American flag that I posted here last week.

The wooden cross in front of the house says "Jesus Is Lord." The sign next to the cross says "Proud To Be An American." A small wooden sign on the house, next to the front door, says "Land Of The Free."
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Old 10-23-2018   #2348
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This cast iron water meter box is set into a sidewalk on Marion Street, next to the police station, in the small town of Waterloo, Indiana.

The water meter cover says that it was made by the Ford Meter Box Company in Wabash, another small town in northern Indiana.
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Old 10-23-2018   #2349
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Chris: Love the Stoner's Funstore a while back. Are you still using the Mamiya 6? And are you developing your own color film? Just curious. I've given the latter a shot with a Jobo and find it's drawing me more to color than I expected. Looks from this site as if the same has captivated you as well. VERY nice color. Good rock solid shots. Tripod?

THanks for sharing
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Old 10-23-2018   #2350
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Chris: Love the Stoner's Funstore a while back. Are you still using the Mamiya 6? And are you developing your own color film? Just curious. I've given the latter a shot with a Jobo and find it's drawing me more to color than I expected. Looks from this site as if the same has captivated you as well. VERY nice color. Good rock solid shots. Tripod?

THanks for sharing



I don't have the Mamiya 6 anymore. I have been shooting all digital lately. I've been in bad health all of my life, but the last few years, things have taken a downturn. I suffered a stroke in 2013, and earlier this year I nearly died from an antibiotic-resistant lung infection.

I don't feel well enough anymore to stand in my damp basement to develop film on a regular basis like I used to. My lungs were damaged from the infection, and in cold, damp environments, I have trouble breathing.

The stroke left the right side of my body weakened, and if I stand long periods, I sometimes lose balance and fall.

The photo of Stoners was shot with a Canon 5DmkII and Canon 24-105mm F4L-IS lens. I handheld it, but shot several and picked the sharp one. I sold all of my Canon gear earlier this year and bought a Micro Four Thirds system.

The canon was just too heavy for me to carry. I like to have a camera on me at all times, and the weight of the Canon and its lenses was causing me back and leg pain. I am also shaky because of the stroke, and even with the IS lens, I was having problems holding the heavy fullframe Canon.

The Olympus Pen-F I bought is so light, I can handhold it at pretty long shutter speeds with no blurring. I carry the body, a 12-40mm f2.8 Olympus lens and 7-14mm f2.8 Olympus lens, and a Sekonic L-758DR light meter in a Think Tank bag and it weighs MUCH less than my Canon system did.

The Pen-F is what I have used for all of my work since March. I absolutely love it!
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Old 10-23-2018   #2351
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I knew you would love the M4/3 system. Its quite capable, and even more so in your hands!
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Old 10-24-2018   #2352
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A faded Confederate flag hangs on the side of an old house on Wayne Street, next to the new Town Hall building, in the small town of Waterloo, Indiana.

I photographed it yesterday morning.
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Old 10-25-2018   #2353
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This is the front window of Baker Insurance Agency, located in one of the old storefronts on the east side of Wayne Street, in the small town of Waterloo, Indiana. Wayne Street is Waterloo's "Main Street."

The two styrofoam heads in the window caught my attention. That's not something you expect to see in an insurance agent's window! The owner told me that the heads originally had 'speech bubble' signs above them, showing them talking about insurance; but the signs fell down and he never replaced them.
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Old 10-26-2018   #2354
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These buildings are on the east side of Wayne Street, between Marion Street and Van Vleek Street, in the small town of Waterloo, Indiana. Wayne Street is Waterloo's "Main Street."

The "Town Hall" building on the left is actually the former Waterloo Town Hall; they recently moved the town's government to a newer building a couple blocks south of the old one. The vacant storefront next to the old town hall used to be a restaurant called Charitos Mexican Buffet. The green storefront on the right edge of the photograph is Baker Insurance.
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Old 10-26-2018   #2355
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Chris,

Do you ever shoot in Columbus, IN? I know that it's a ways from Ft Wayne and may fall outside of the scope of this project. I was through there last summer and was really taken with the architecture there. Unfortunately, it was so miserably hot that I didn't shoot as much as I would have otherwise. I'm considering a short return trip in a more moderate season. I'm not as talented a shooter as you and I was pleased with some of my shots. You could really go wild there.

I've got to say though, that Im really liking this series as it stretches out.

Chip
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Old 10-26-2018   #2356
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Chris,

Do you ever shoot in Columbus, IN? I know that it's a ways from Ft Wayne and may fall outside of the scope of this project. I was through there last summer and was really taken with the architecture there. Unfortunately, it was so miserably hot that I didn't shoot as much as I would have otherwise. I'm considering a short return trip in a more moderate season. I'm not as talented a shooter as you and I was pleased with some of my shots. You could really go wild there.

I've got to say though, that Im really liking this series as it stretches out.

Chip



Chip,

I haven't made it to Columbus yet. I've concentrated mainly on northeast Indiana because I haven't had the money to travel far from home in several years. Things have been hard the last few years. I had a stroke in 2013 and lost my job as a high school teacher, so I'm having to live off sales of my photos and donations I get for my online tutorials while putting my son through college.

I'd like to do some work in southern Indiana someday. Aside from the cost of the trips down there, its hard for me to drive for hours at a time because of my health problems.
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Old 10-27-2018   #2357
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A great feature on RFF, are your photos of Fort Wayne.
I think you should be proud struggling but succeeding in making great images, plus all those details about a place few of us would/could ever go..
Your choice of going smaller in format very sensible.
I had a heart attack almost 10 years ago and carrying my pro rig was impossible!
I had a few months before tried digital in form of Pentax Optio with small images BUT perfectly usable for internet use for certain clients..
I have never bothered with Large Supersized DSLR and lenses..
I love film, but for travel, its my "Toy" cameras..
Thank you once more for your images and history.
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Old 10-27-2018   #2358
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Warm-A-Heart Community Outreach is a Christian charity and food bank on the west side of Wayne Street, between Marion Street and Van Vleek Street, in the small town of Waterloo, Indiana.

There is a box mounted on the front of the building where people in need can take food and others can donate. The sign on the box says it is a "Blessing Box."
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Old 10-30-2018   #2359
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Six years ago I relocated to a small college town in western Georgia and have been documenting one area, Adamson Square, mainly looking for people/street shots with the background of the old buildings. What I have failed to do is interact enough with the workers/owners of the businesses in that area. Your thread is inspiring me to slow down a little bit more and commit to talking with the people that are there every day. Thanks for this thread!!
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Old 10-30-2018   #2360
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Sorry for second posting!
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Last edited by seagrove : 10-30-2018 at 05:37. Reason: error in getting message posted
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