Cass Preservation Effort Gathers Steam By David Vago workmanship and prevention. has gotten a lot done. Eighty-two For years, lack of funds, Dave Caplinger has served as structures have new roofs. Caplinger personnel, and critical skills led to superintendent since 2003. “Cass is credits the State Historic Preservation deterioration of historic structures in far better cared for than any other Ofﬁce for permitting 3-tab tar shingles the town of Cass, but recent as a fast, inexpensive, and changes in the Cass Scenic reliable way to protect the Railroad State Park personnel buildings. Gutters are reducing and funding have altered water damage. the town’s direction. More Sixteen buildings have attention is being paid than received major structural ever before to preserving the or foundation repairs, 53 lumber-company town. have been painted, and 24 In 2002, the state’s houses have received interior Parks & Recreation Section renovations. Eight porches began reorganizing the park and a garage have been to provide two assistant reconstructed. Eight new rental superintendents and other houses are available, with two staff. One assistant now runs Freshly-refurbished Company Store at Cass more available as volunteer the railroad, while the other dormitories, and another for oversees the town. A carpenter was company town,” he said. “We’re headquarters. also hired for the ﬁrst time. The preserving something unique.” The result draws comments from result is a better-organized approach Within the conﬁnes of state rules CASS continued on page 2 to maintenance that emphasizes limiting project costs, the park Keith-Albee Hosts Premier Event The setting for PAWV’s ﬁrst ever Awards Banquet is is the former director of the National Trust for Historic reason enough to attend the gala event. Even without Preservation’s National Main Street Center. During good food, good friends and a fabulous speaker, her tenure there, the Main Street program was widely Huntington’s historic Keith-Albee Theatre is absolutely recognized as one of the most successful economic magniﬁcent. development programs in the country, expanding to a But Preservation Alliance has plans for the September nationwide network of almost 2,000 towns and cities. 23rd event which include not only a tour of the iconic At the CLUE Group, Smith helps civic leaders and theatre, but also a reception and dinner followed BANQUET continued on page 2 onally by a well-crafted program featuring a nationally recognized expert on commercial district revitalization and development. Vice President Jeremy Morris suggested that PAWV alternate awards banquets with conferences starting with 2009. “The Awards Banquet gives PAWV the opportunity to recognize outstanding preservation projects in West Virginia and honor the groups or individuals who champion them,” Morris said. “The banquet will also give PAWV a chance to Volume XVI showcase the state’s historic venues and present programs of interest to Number 2 our membership.” Morris said the next Fall 2009 PAWV conference will be held in 2010. PAWV will present Kennedy Smith as the 2009 banquet speaker. The co- founder of the Community Land Use and Economics (CLUE) Group, Smith CASS continued from page 1 for their dedication and accomplishments.” company houses into overnight lodging. repeat visitors. Dave Field started coming in First incorporated in 1902, Cass supported Through the 1980s and 90s Cass’s 1958, and now brings his son, daughter, and the rail-logging operations of the West Virginia condition remained tenuous. Its population grandchildren. “Excepting East Cass, it hasn’t Pulp and Paper Company. The town featured dwindled, ending its incorporation in 1985, changed much in 40 years,” said Field, though houses, a store, meat market, churches, the same year that disastrous ﬂoods wreaked he notes, “It’s in better shape than it was 40 a hotel, hospital, and a school. Eventually, havoc statewide. Some houses became rental years ago. The cabin this year was really nice.” declining timber quality, changing timber cottages, but many deteriorated. A few were needs, and truck competition slowed the lost to ﬁre and rot. Currently, a contractor is renovating a operation. Logging ﬁnally stopped in 1960. People from the park, the MSR&LHA, PAWV, former company vice president’s home. A Save America’s Treasures and local government formed a committee grant for nearly $700,000 will allow for town preservation in 2001. They raised the building to open for tours. $14,000 toward preservation work, mostly on Eventually the park hopes for the doctor’s house. enough funding to operate it as a In 2004, part of the schoolhouse—long in bed-and-breakfast. “It would be need of critical roof repairs—collapsed under great if we could attract retreats wet snow. Further collapses prompted a series and meetings,” said Caplinger, of controlled demolitions. In 2008, the last of who estimates the work would cost the remaining wooden structures was removed. $800,000. Caplinger said, “Had [maintenance] kept Caplinger is motivated by the pace, the schoolhouse would love that so many show for Cass. be a centerpiece of the town … Members of the “Mountain State [but] money was short and here Railroad and Logging Historical At right is some of the work required the priority for a long time was Association” put in record hours to produce the sparkling street scene to keep the trains running at all on restoration and interpretive along the road at Cass, above. costs.” projects. Others help clean the park Like previous superintendents The town and administrators, Caplinger in springtime. Some staff has worked here for stayed privately- faces challenges. Among them is decades. The park enjoys a good relationship owned, housing a the process of competing against with the local volunteer ﬁre department, dwindling number all the other historic state parks for money to Masonic Lodge, and small businesses. of tenants. Other company towns were sold off fund preservation work. “West Virginia is fortunate to have the piecemeal, then quickly altered or torn down. strong leadership demonstrated here,” For the foreseeable future, Cass will Cass stayed intact. Still, its owners were soon said Preservation Alliance of West Virginia continue to rely on the work of staff and ready to drop the burden. The state recognized Executive Director Karen Carper. “PAWV volunteers, and continued support from the its historic value as the most intact early 20th- commends the park personnel and volunteers state. Caplinger said, “Cass is doing better century company town in the United States, than it has for quite some time. It shows every and purchased it in 1978. It became part of the indication that it will be here for a long, long Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, established time to come.” in the early 1960s to haul tourists up Back Allegheny Mountain with gear-driven steam The former executive director of Preservation Alliance, Vago is the exhibits coordinator for Historic Beverly. locomotives. Staff soon began converting old BANQUET continued from page 1 developers craft dynamic retail development strategies, cultivate locally owned businesses, strengthen community development programs and policies, and improve main street revitalization efforts. She has served as a consultant to towns and cities in all 50 U.S. states and several foreign countries as well as organizations ranging from the United Nations Education, Scientiﬁc and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to the US Army. A popular speaker on historic preservation and other community development issues, Smith will discuss the value of historic preservation and performance venues as a downtown revitalization tool. The Keith-Albee opened on May 8, 1928. The theatre was constructed by the talented architect Thomas W. Lamb. At that time, it was second in size in the United States only to the Roxy Theatre in New York City. At ﬁrst, the theatre offered vaudeville acts with local performers A.B. and S.J. Hyman. With the decline of vaudeville, the Keith-Albee began to run movies in the 1930s. By the 1970s The Keith-Albee Theatre in 1954 Page 2 Volume XVI Issue 2 The Old Riverside School A movement is afoot in Elkins to save and the outstanding educational standards The group has partnered with professors preserve the only school built to serve African- and traditions of excellence in both sports from Davis and Elkins College and other American children in the region. Supporters and academia at Riverside School were non-proﬁts and local businesses to initiate an hope the old Riverside School will become abandoned. The school was closed and the academic and community outreach program an African-American Archive, Museum, and students transferred to the Heritage Center. newly integrated schools of The Riverside School revitalization project is Randolph County . Since supported by Mountain Partners in Community that time the old brick school Development and other area non-proﬁts and building overlooking the businesses. “This is an opportunity for citizens, organizations, and institutes Riverside School in a recent photo (below). alike to help secure a place in the future At right are some of the generations of for the African-American past that has Elkins schoolchildren who went there. played a vital role in the development of this region,” said MPCD AmeriCorps VISTA member Alice Sabatino. “The based on Appalachian and Allegheny regional building is in desperate need of African-American literature, culture and history. stabilization and renovation.” The Riverside School Association and Built in 1906 to serve the African- MPCD held the ﬁrst annual Riverside Blues American community, Riverside Fest July 18, 2009, on River St. in Elkins. All School opened its doors to students, proceeds from the event will be used for the often distant kin, from neighboring stabilization and renovation of the old school. counties which did not provide public Other fundraising events are planned as the education for African-American group works to list the property on the National students. By law, these counties Register of Historic Places and secure major were required to provide funding to restoration grants. Randolph County for the education of Supporters hope the Riverside School will non-resident students who lived with relatives Tygart River has stood as a quiet memorial to rise up from its humble beginnings and again or as boarders in local homes. the opportunities offered and shared within its become a valuable and cherished community Riverside families worked to ensure their walls. resource which celebrates the legacy of children’s education, pushing the local school Today only a few graduates of the Riverside African-American contributions in rural West board to expand the eight-year school, ﬁrst School reside in Elkins, but in February 2009 Virginia. Eunice B. Cobb, Riverside alumni and adding ninth and tenth grades, and within a few the Riverside Alumni were able to purchase former faculty member said, “I give Riverside years, a full, certiﬁed high school curriculum. the school on a deed of trust with money credit for everything. I’m proud of Riverside An athletic program also ﬂourished with the raised by the Future Business Leaders of School, because those are my roots and I’m encouragement and dedication of faculty and America. Supporters including MPCD and proud of my roots.” parents. Youth Empowered Solutions have joined the For more information or to contribute to the Riverside After school desegregation in 1954, Riverside School Association on the project. School Association. go to Randolphcountyyouth.org grand movie houses were being torn down to make way for larger cinemas. The Hyman family converted the grand Keith-Albee into three separate theatres. On January 22, 2006, the Keith-Albee closed its doors as an active movie theater. Since 2006, contractors and volunteers have worked to repair years of wear and tear and to restore portions of the theatre to their original form. The partitions installed to create the movie theatres have been removed, reducing the three rooms to the original one. The theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Huntington Downtown Historical District in 1986, and is currently being restored as a performing arts center. The Awards Banquet event will begin with a tour of the Keith-Albee at 3 p.m. A 5 p.m. reception will follow the tour and dinner will begin at 6 p.m. After a brief annual meeting, awards will be presented at 7 p.m. The program will conclude with Smith’s presentation. The enclosed ﬂier provides registration information. “Steamboat Around The Bend” was released in 1935 Volume XVI Issue 2 Page 3 The Battle of Blair Mountain: We By C. Belmont Keeney On August 7, 1921, just one week after Sid Hatﬁeld had been murdered on the steps of the McDowell County Courthouse, Frank Keeney, the president of the UMWA District 17, gave a stirring speech to thousands of miners on the capitol grounds in Charleston. He told the crowd that there was no justice in West Virginia and declared, “The only way you can get your rights is with a high powered riﬂe!” He then told the miners to go home and await the call to march. And march they did. Over 10,000 miners carved a path of rebellion from Charleston to the doorstep of Logan County. We all know what happened next. Mine guards and miners fought it out until federal troops intervened. Over 500 “rednecks” were charged with treason, murder, and As Miners line up for rations issued by the union during the long strike preceding this issue goes the battle. The situation deteriorated when food supplies began to give out. to press, the status of Blair conspiracy to commit murder. The state used coal company Mountain remains uncertain. Opponents lawyers in the prosecution, and our own governor testiﬁed of the National Register listing petitioned against the miners. Among those charged, of course, the Keeper of the National Register of Historic were the leaders of the movement: Frank Keeney, Fred Places to delist the battleﬁeld, citing errors in Mooney, and Bill Blizzard. the number of property owners opposed to the Frank Keeney was my great-grandfather. I learned listing. The keeper announced a thirty day comment about the Mine Wars and the Battle of Blair Mountain period after that request. The Alliance then requested at family cookouts and around my grandparents’ ﬁreplace. My family has a long history in these mountains—I was proudly told. The Keeneys settled in the Greenbrier Valley in 1751 and even have a few rapids on the New River bearing the family name. However, in the decades after Blair Mountain, you did not want to walk into Charleston with the last name Keeney. The name meant treason. For many a 45-day extension to the comment period in which to years, restaurants refused to serve Frank Keeney, further research the issue. That work is ongoing. For the but in the working class pubs he never had to buy a time being, Blair Mountain is listed on the National drink. Unfortunately, I never learned about any of this Register of Historic Places. Even if it is ultimately in school. In fact, my eighth grade West Virginia history removed, the mountain has been declared eligible for teacher had never even heard of Frank Keeney. As a the register, and that designation invokes the same teenager, I was left to wonder if anybody remembered protections that a register listing will bring. or even cared what had happened in the coal ﬁelds of The PAWV Blair Mountain Task Force is southern West Virginia. working tirelessly to keep this important Blair Mountain’s listing on the National Register of Historic historic resource on the National Places gave us another means of remembering and we now Register of Historic Places. know that some people care. Remembrance without action is pointless and we are indebted to those who have worked to preserve this historic landmark. Blair Mountain reminds us of Page 4 Volume XVI Issue 2 e Are Still Fighting! who we are as West Virginians. I believe Frank Keeney summed it up well when he said, “I am a native West Virginian and there are others like me in the mines here. We don’t propose to get out of the way when a lot of capitalists from New York and London come down and tell us to get off the earth. They played that game on the American Indian. They gave him the end of a log to sit on and then pushed him off that. We don’t propose to be pushed off.” Blair Mountain reminds us of a time when West Virginians refused to be pushed off the log. Blair Mountain also reminds us that the ﬁght is not over. In a speech to a crowd of striking miners, Keeney reassured them that the cause for which they suffered was not in vain. “One day An aerial view of Blair Mountain shows the rugged setting of the fighting. there will be no more tent colonies, no more gunmen, because right now you people are going through what you are.” He was right. Today, there are no more tent colonies, and the mine guards are now found only in books or pieces of ﬁction. But the absence of these things does not signify that the conﬂict over coal, Artifacts found on Blair Mountain in people, and more recent times include jaw harps, a whistle, assorted rifle and pistol A modern highway marker sketches the history of the conflict. history in West cartridges, and other small objects. The armistice at Blair Mountain merely delayed eventual union organizing. Virginia has ended. A friend of mine once asked me in a joking manner, “You think if Frank Keeney were alive today that he’d have a Friends of Coal bumper sticker?” I responded that Frank Keeney was no Friend of Coal, but he was a friend of coal miners. There is a big difference. If we are to be friends of the miners who stormed Blair Mountain so many years ago, we must keep working to list it on the National Register of Historic Places. If we give up on this ﬁght, then we give up on the ideals of the Redneck Army of 1921. If Frank Keeney were alive today, I believe he would still be ﬁghting. C. Belmont Keeney is the author of “Rank and File Rednecks: Radicalism and Union Leadership in the West Virginia Mine Wars” and “A Republican for Labor: T. C. Townsend and the Miners turn in their weapons in an agreement reached only after Army West Virginia Labor Movement, 1921-1932.” and Air Corps forces actively intervened in the confrontation. Volume XVI Issue 2 Page 5 Kit Houses: A Farewell To Interest is Building Martha... Rosemary Thornton, foremost authority on kit houses, will visit It is with gratitude and no small measure of Lewisburg in September. Sponsored by the City of Lewisburg Historic sadness that Preservation Alliance bids a fond Landmarks Commission, Thornton will assist the commissioners in their farewell to Martha Ballman. efforts to identify kit houses. Ballman has served as coordinator of Thornton has written two popular books on kit houses, Finding the PAWV’s West Virginia Cultural Heritage Houses That Sears Built: a Guide to the 60 Most Popular Designs, and Development Program since 2006. Funded by Ballman The Houses That Sears Built; Everything You Ever Wanted to Know a generous grant from the Claude Worthington About Sears Catalog Homes. She has conducted workshops in over Benedum Foundation, her position ends at the end of the grant period 200 communities and has made presentations at many national historic on December 31st of this year. preservation conferences. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with Martha these Commonly known as Sears Houses, kit houses were manufactured past three years,” said PAWV Executive Director Karen Carper. “Martha and sold by several companies, including Sears Roebuck & Co. and has brought exceptional spirit and dedication to this program, and we Montgomery Ward. Sears houses were sold from 1908-1940, but other are going to miss her.” producers continued to sell kit houses until the early 1980s. A Sears Ballman’s contributions are many. During her tenure with the house consisted of 30,000 parts and came with a 75-page instruction program, she has worked to support heritage tourism business book Kit houses were commonly delivered by railway boxcars, and the development in communities and among individual artists and houses are typically found in railroad towns. producers, partnered with the West Virginia State Historic Preservation While Lewisburg is not a railroad town, it is located near the main Ofﬁce and the Division of Tourism on development of thematic trails, line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. A rail line was completed in and facilitated communication between members of PAWV’s Cultural 1905 to connect Lewisburg with the main line in Ronceverte. Until its Heritage Development Advisory Panel. The panel’s objective—to help discontinuation in 1931, the Lewisburg and Ronceverte Railway may prevent duplication of efforts and maximize the impact of projects and have been used to bring kit houses to Lewisburg. use of resources—was also Ballman’s strength. “Martha is an incredible Following three days of visiting homes in Lewisburg, Thornton networker. She used her communication skills to the advantage of will present her ﬁndings and an entertaining history of kit houses everyone involved,” said Carper. on September 24 at 7 pm at the Greenbrier County Public Library. Preservation Alliance appreciates the quality of Ballman’s contribution For additional information, readers may contact Kathy Hoke at the to the West Virginia Cultural Heritage Development program and Lewisburg City Hall at (304) 645-2080 or Skip Deegans at (304) 645- wishes her well in her future endeavors. 1566 or (304) 646-8475. Lynn Stasick: In The Field For PAWV Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is pleased to welcome Lynn Stasick of Morgantown as the organization’s ﬁrst full- time ﬁeld representative. Stasick Stasick will deliver services supporting preservation and rehabilitation of historic properties on PAWV’s Endangered Properties List. Services will include on-site assistance such as help with needs assessment, redevelopment and sustainability plans as well as identifying funding sources and assisting with grant- writing for preservation projects. PAWV Executive Director Karen Carper said this is a very positive step for the organization and the state. “Preservation Alliance is so excited to bring someone with Lynn’s qualiﬁcations to help meet preservation needs in our communities,” she said. “This is a ﬁrst for PAWV and West Virginia.” A native of Bergen County, New Jersey, Stasick has lived in West Virginia since 1973. He operated a contracting business out of Morgantown for nearly twenty years before enrolling as a freshman at West Virginia University in the fall of 1998. Among other work, his Page 6 Volume XVI Issue 2 9 PAWV Ofﬁcers 2009 Fall 2009 Robert Conte PRESIDENT — Union Join, Renew Or Jeremy Morris Contribute TODAY! VICE PRESIDENT — Wheeling Phyllis Baxter TREASURER — Elkins Christy Bailey SECRETARY — Beckley Board Members Carol Appenzellar – Martinsburgrg Henry Battle – Charleston Ted Boggess – Princeton Liza Caldwell – Huntington Terri Cutright – Morgantown Mike Gioulis – Sutton Cris Green – Clarksburg e Elizabeth Hulett – Hedgesville Paul Lindquist – Lewisburg Michael Mills – Morgantown Barbara Rasmussen – Morgantown wn Annual Memberships: Susie Salisbury – Charleston Individual – $25 Duke Talbott – Elkins Family – $40 Professional – $50 Ex Ofﬁcio Benefactor – $100 Bob Beanblossom — WVDNR R Susan Pierce — WV SHPO Call 304-345-6005 for credit card payment, or to learn about Monica Miller — Main Street WV other ways you can contribute. Nell Ziehl — NTHP Staff Karen Carper – Executive Director New VISTA Martha Ballman – WVCHD Program Coordinator Connie McColley – MI/GI WV Program Specialist Provides Expert Lynn Stasick – Field Representative Assistance Yosif Simiryan – AmeriCorps VISTA AmeriCorps VISTA member Yosif Simiryan joined PAWV Aug. 31 and will business was involved in restoration, stabilization, and maintenance remain for a one-year term of service. projects at historic properties as well as retroﬁtting buildings for During that time he will work to improve handicapped accessibility post 1991. Simiryan organizational outreach with an updated Chosen as a West Virginia University Ronald E. McNair Post- database and online communication system, including a new online Baccalaureate Scholar in 2001, Stasick completed a master’s degree version of Preservation News. He will also apply his technical skills to in public history and received a state certiﬁcate in cultural resource increase efﬁciency at the PAWV ofﬁce. management in 2006. Both programs required considerable ﬁeld Born in Moldova in the former Soviet Union, Simiryan immigrated work. Hired by the McNair Scholars Program later that year as a Ph.D. with his family to the United States as a refugee in pursuit of freedom graduate assistant, Stasick has successfully completed the necessary of speech and religious expression. He earned a Masters degree in doctoral course work in Appalachian studies at WVU and has begun Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from Novosibirsk University, reading for the comprehensive examinations. Siberia and has worked as a computer programmer, data-base Stasick’s position with PAWV is funded in part by a $75,000 National architect, web designer and software engineer. Trust for Historic Preservation Partners in the Field challenge grant. The Simiryan became a United States citizen in 1999. Having arrived NTHP funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar by PAWV donors. in America with only $150 in his pocket, he is grateful for the many PAWV’s 2009 Endangered Properties include Hinton’s McCreery opportunities and successes he and his family discovered in their new Hotel, the Capitol Theatre of Wheeling, First Ward School of Elkins, country. Becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA member offered him a chance Wyco Church near Mullens, the Tyler County Home in Sistersville, to give back to national and local community efforts. Simiryan comes to Mannington’s Bowers House, the Glenville Bridge and the Waldo Hotel PAWV following two years of service at Charleston’s Step by Step. of Clarksburg. A resident of Charleston’s East End where he lives with his wife, Nominations to the 2010 Endangered Properties List will be accepted Tovli, Simiryan said he looks forward to assisting Preservation Alliance in November. For more information, visit www.pawv.org/endanger.htm. of West Virginia with current and future projects. Volume XVI Issue 2 Page 7 Preservation Alliance On The Web: www.pawv.org Preservation Trades Workshops - Back Cover • Staff Changes At PAWV - Pages 6 & 7 • Lewisburg Workshop: Kit Homes - Page 6 • Blair Mountain Matters - Page 4 • Elkins’ Riverside School - Page 3 • Cass Preservation Achievements - Page 1 • PAWV Annual Meeting/Awards Banquet - Page 1 • FALL 2009: In This Issue... 25301 Email: email@example.com CHARLESTON, WV Phone: 304–345–6005 PERMIT # 994 Charleston, WV 25333–3371 U.S. POSTAGE PAID Return Service Requested PO Box 3371 ORGANIZATION OF WEST VIRGINIA, INC. NONPROFIT PRESERVATION ALLIANCE “Hands On” Historic Preservation: Preservation Trades Workshops Will Offer Theory AND Practice PAWV will offer workshops in the coming help participants understand many aspects of registrations may also be made by phone at months on various historic preservation masonry. 304-345-6005. techniques. Supported by a grant from the In the afternoon session, students will have The McCreery Hotel was placed on PAWV’s West Virginia State Historic a chance to try the various Endangered Properties List in January 2009. Preservation Ofﬁce, a fall techniques under the PAWV Field Representative Lynn Stasick will workshop will provide instruction supervision of experienced help evaluate preservation needs and provide in brick re-pointing. masons. Handouts from technical assistance at all listed endangered Held at the McCreery the morning session will properties. Masonry work is among the many Hotel in Hinton, the Sept. 26 help everyone review needs identiﬁed at the McCreery. workshop will give participants and apply what they have Future workshops will offer demonstrations an introduction to masonry learned. These materials and instruction in historic window restoration, restoration and preservation with can also be used as plastering, millwork or painting. The 2010 both classroom and hands-on a reference for future workshop schedule will be posted at www. instruction. preservation work. pawv.org as available. For more information, The workshop will begin with The $35 registration visit the website or call the PAWV ofﬁce at a 9 a.m. session introducing fee includes both morning 304-345-6005. students to masonry tools, and afternoon sessions, PAWV’s Preservation Trades Workshops are funded in part by the WV Division materials and resources handouts and lunch. To of Culture and History and the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reﬂect the views or including preservation briefs register, print and send policies of the Department of the Interior. Regulations of the U.S. Department offered online by the National Hands-On at PAWV’s previous the completed online of the Interior strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination in departmental Federally masonry workshop in 2006 Assisted programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap. Park Service. A discussion of form with your payment to Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any mortar analysis such as color, PAWV. The form is located program, activity, or facility operated by a recipient of Federal assistance should write to: Director, Equal Opportunity Program, U.S. Department of the texture, permeability and other factors will at www.pawv.org/update.htm. Credit card Interior, National Park Service, P.O. Box 37127, Washington, D.C. 20013-7127.
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