Looking For Mayberry

oh no….
Farmgirl Diane just let me know that Andy Griffith died this morning. 86 years old.
So sad.
______________________________________________________
“Daylight’s precious when you’re a young’un.”
Andy Taylor, father of Opie, Sheriff of Mayberry.
When you’re an old’un too, if you ask me. Yep, summer’s long hours of light are precious no matter how old you are.
But first of all: thank you, thank you, thank you.

Now, let me tell you what.
Your comments and emails are just the shot in the arm I need. I bet you have no idea what you ALL mean to me. You are so dear and supportive. Thank you! YOU are such an important part of this blogging journey. You remind me of what is important. You show me that there are other ways of looking at things, better ways. You send me to websites and books. You help me be a better person and a better Farmgirl. For every real comment that comes in, I get tons of others that are spam. Like 40-50 a day. So I jump for joy when I see a comment or email from an actual real person, one who doesn’t want me to check out a porn site, or buy a new medication or a brand-name purse. Pa-leese. But then I hear from YOU. I read your words; I savor every single one. Never quick. I take the time to read it slowly, to hear your voice in my head. And I’m always thrilled. Even if you just say hello, or I understand, I’m thrilled beyond measure. Thank you. I just had to say that! I wanted you to know how much you mean to me.
Now, on to the dilemma of the week. My half bath. I need your help! I forgot to show you our little half bath off the “mud room.”

I need ideas! This has got to be  LOW, LOW budget makeover though. Can this room be saved? You know me, I like the flooring. And that green sink and shower. Wasn’t that color called “avocado” in its hey-day? Behind the door is a toilet with a yellow tank and green base. I’m pretty sure that the mismatch was intentional because it matches the floor. And truly. I’d like to retain some of its quirkiness and funkiness, yet make it look WAY better. Is that possible? What are your thoughts?
Okey-dokey. Let’s get to the real subject of this post. Mayberry!
I’m not much of a TV fan. I pretty much gave it up when Seinfeld went off the air. What was left, after all?
Since then, our TV is mainly used to watch sports (by Handsome Hub, not me) and DVDs of old television shows (by my daughter.)
That’s how my daughter became a fan of The Partridge Family…

The Brady Bunch, The Muppet Show, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Monkees.
A while back, my parents gave us some Andy Griffith DVDs. Oh how I love Mayberry. I’ve wanted my daughter to watch them for quite some time now. But no.
My daughter was never interested. “It’s in black and white” she groaned. “And I don’t think this is a kids show…there are no kids in it.” Groan. “There’s Opie,” I’d say, “Opie’s a kid.” “Well, it’s not about him. It’s boring…” Groan. Truth is that it is a bit slower than many television shows. I guess that’s one reason I’ve always liked it.
In fact, as a kid, I think I had a little crush on Andy. Just like I did Dick Van Dyke. And Davey Jones. And Glen Campbell. And well, the big one. The one I’ve mentioned many, many times. My crush on David Cassidy. Huge.

Anyway. This summer we’re having Mornings In Mayberry at the breakfast table. Yes, in violation of my “no technology during meals” rule, my daughter and I are watching one Andy Griffith episode each weekday while we eat breakfast together.
Can I tell you how much I am enjoying this??

(photo from Wikipedia)

I think I told you this story before, back when it happened. Skip ahead if needbe. But a few years ago I was in the paint store. I was making conversation with the fella who was mixing my paint. He was young. We were talking about how the area had been over-developed and I told him I was looking for, “….a place like Mayberry.”
“Where’s that?” he asked me. And then I explained that Mayberry was a fictional city in the old television show Andy Griffith.  “Hmm. Never heard of it.” he said. So I pulled out all the stops and I whistled the theme song.
Still nothing. “When were you born?” I asked him. “1994,” he said. “Well, my truck is older than you.” I told him.
You mean we have a generation of people who don’t know Mayberry?! And Barney Fife? And Opie? And Aunt Bee? And Goober and Gomer Pyle? Otis? Or the musical Darlin Family? Or Ernest T. Bass, that resident wild man? I always enjoyed the episodes with “It’s me, it’s me, it’s Ernest T!”
Here’s a tribute to Ernest T. Bass I found. Awesome-ness!
(Now if you take that link, you’ll see that youtube video has one comment. And that one comment says something like, “I always thought Ernest T. was sexy.” I just wanted to go on record here and say that I did NOT leave that comment. While my crush list was long indeed, Ernest T. Bass was never on it. Ever.)
ANYWAY. This summer I’m making sure my daughter knows about the Andy Griffith show and Mayberry. She still groans on the outside when I turn it on, but I think on the inside she’s liking it. She is getting the charm and quaintness of the show.
 I’m also really enjoying using some of the sayings from the show this summer:
“Ya reckon?”
“I’ll tote it.”
“Well, I’ll be dogged.”
“Just nip it in the bud.”
“This is a fine how-dee-doo.”
And there’s always some bit of wisdom to be found in Mayberry. Like this morning. Andy says, “What’s small potatoes to some folks can be mighty important to others.” Love that. There is usually a moral to the plot in there somewhere. I mean, in thar somewhar. We’ve had more than a few conversations about what she interpreted the meaning of a particular show to be.
Mayberry is eutopia to me, a rural Eden. And the truth is that I’ve been searching for Mayberry for 20 years. I’ve always wanted to live there. I’ve always wanted to live LIKE that.
In my quest for Mayberry, I actually considered Mt. Airy, NC, the home town of Andy Griffith that claims to be the model for Mayberry. Mt. Airy appealed to me, not only because it WAS Mayberry, but also because my mom spent most of her childhood in Mt. Airy. I have family there.
Mt. Airy has fully embraced the Mayberry theme. They have an annual Mayberry Days Festival, where they even crown a Pickle Queen (remember Aunt Bee’s pickles?). http://www.surryarts.org/mayberrydays/index.html.
Mt. Airy built an Andy Griffith museum. http://www.andygriffithmuseum.com/
A few years back, there was a historic house for sale on Main Street in Mt. Airy that I toured many times “virtually.” It is beautiful. I pictured myself in a rocking porch, sweet tea at my side, guitar in my lap, singing “Amazing Grace” with my family. Here’s the house, still for sale. (Course, what I’ve really wanted was a farm just on the outskirts of Mayberry. Not a house on Main Street.)
But Mt. Airy is no Mayberry. How could it be? Mayberry is fictional; Mayberry is TV. Mt. Airy is reality.
My husband finally figured out what I was looking for. He got it right when he said, “It is not really Mayberry, the place, you want” he told me, “It is Mayberry, the lifestyle. And life isn’t like that anymore. You’re looking for 1960s small town America, where kids could ride their bikes to the store, and the Sheriff didn’t wear a gun, and people sat around on the front porch after Sunday dinner.” Life was slower. Life was simpler.
And then I got it! And IT changed my way of thinking completely, “Mayberry is a state of mind.” It’s not a place I can move to.
And that realization made Mayberry easier to find, easier to attain. Those words freed me.
I can have it here, I can have it there, I can have it anywhere. I can have it up, I can have it down, I can have it all around. I can have it with a fox, I can have it in a box.…never mind, you get the idea, Sam I am.
Mayberry means a simpler time, a sweeter place. That’s EXACTLY what I intend to create at our new farm.
But it’s up to us. We must learn to sit on the front porch instead of in front of the computer. Visit with neighbors at the local store instead of working all the time. Fish in the creek. Plant those pumpkins. Slow down. Use and want less. Be more present. Be nicer. Be friendly and neighborly.
That’s what Mayberry means to me.
And you know what else? When I get a mule (and I WILL get a mule!), I’m going to name him Ernest T. Bass. Just for fun. Can’t you just hear me, “Ernest T. Bass! Come and get your supper!”
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Leave a comment 36 Comments

  1. Cathy says:

    The place we live was likened to Mayberry in a newspaper a few years ago. It’s a very small town in northern Missouri and everyone calls each other by name. I love the fact I can call the hardware store, talk to the person that answers, by name, tell him ‘this is Cathy’ and he knows exactly who he’s talking to. We moved here from a much larger place where everyone kept to themselves. We don’t have a lot of modern conveniences, but we have enough and plenty of ‘heart’ to make up for what we think we lack. After all, you don’t need a big city to sit on the porch with a glass of iced tea and wave at your neighbor’s as they drive by. I love Mayberry and also have the first and second seasons of the show! I love the story of Romeo and Juliet Andy tells Opie over the breakfast table! "I’m righcheer!" lol…

  2. Diane Van Horn says:

    Rebekah,
    You are so right, Mayberry is a state of mind. What a wonderful world it would be if we all tried to have more of a Mayberry state of mind! I actually see it happening. There is a movement that is growing across the country. To slow down, live simpler, eat locally and be nicer. I hope it grows and grows, maybe a little homemade compost would help!

    Now, for the little green and yellow bathroom. I think that the old tile and fixtures are quaint. Maybe paint everything else a soft white and use sunflowers as an accent. A pretty eyelet shower curtain and a vase of sunflowers would be cute. If you are going to keep the old floor and fixtures, you might as well show them off!

    I also think the Ernest T. Bass is the perfect name for a mule! You can call him ET for short!

    Now, back to canning! I have a 5 gallon bucket full of carrots calling my name.
    Your Farmgirl Friend,
    Diane (aka) Fiddlehead Farm

  3. Lois Schultz says:

    I will take that home Main street any day….

  4. Janet king says:

    good morning,
    Before I tote water to my square food garden I have a little advice about your 1/2 bath. What about embracing the other popular color of the 70’s -Orange. Make it a memorial to the time period and get a few decor items for the walls. Such as owls , cast aluminum figures and of course anything about the bi-centenial! Shoot just study those Partridge Family shows for hints..

    Best always- janet in Indiana

  5. Tina says:

    When I was in second grade we lived in a place just like that. Bucoda WA. We picked wild black cap berries and got a littler closer to the old mine pits than allowed. Ran all over town by ourselves, and Mom could send us to the store with a note to buy cigarettes for her. Years later I had a crush on David Cassidy myself. Swoon!
    Tina

  6. Alice says:

    I just saw the sad news about Andy Griffith. I am actually glad that I grew up in the 60s… I’m glad I got to watch black & white TV shows and cute cartoons such as Tom & Jerry, Casper, Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear and my beloved Speed Racer and 8th Man, etc. I loved it when TV Land started televising some of those older shows such as Andy Griffith, I Dream of Jeannie, Leave it to Beaver, Gilligan’s Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Monkees, Green Acres, etc. While TV Land has changed its formatting a bit, I now get to watch some of the older shows on MeTV. If nothing else, it helps me to escape to a simpler time for a little while, a time when people were courteous and polite, not selfish, trashy and greedy like the reality TV shows they air today. Alas!
    Alice
    Farmgirl 12

  7. hobbit says:

    Sorry but can’t seem to concentrate on the bathroom. Was watching Matlock when I decided to check my mail and almost lost it when I heard about Andy Griffith.Love that man for a very long time now. Born a farmgirl and,despite my mothers attempts to cityfy me, still dreaming up a farm in my back yard.Your post have made me believe that it’s still possible for some people to attain that goal. State of mind is so right! Often find myself singing "In my mind I’m going to Carolina" Life is good

  8. Cindy says:

    Rebekah

    I can’t tell how much I love this post! I feel the same way. I have longed for Mayberry my whole life. But you’re right, and I’ve known it all along, it’s a state of mind. Yes, there are wonderful places to be found that have that air of Mayberry about them, but it’s what we bring to our daily lives that will determine our sense of community, neighborliness, and simpler times. I love you even more for being a Mayberry girl at heart! I am too, always will be. RIP Andy Griffith, you were such a huge part of my childhood! I had a crush on him, too!

    PS…don’t EVEN get me started on David Cassidy! *Uncle Peter, where are my smelling salts"???

  9. Barb Gordy says:

    I’ve been a fan of The Andy Griffith Show all my life. Well ever since it started anyway, since I’m a bit older than the show. I’ve also been a member of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club" since 1992. It’s absolutely the best show ever made and will never be beaten. If anyone needs to know how to raise their children in this modern world, just see how Andy did it and do the same. You can’t go wrong. I got to meet Don Knotts twice and both times he was wonderfully sweet and kind. The same with Betty Lynn. I never had the opportunity to meet Andy but he always reminded me of my Dad. God bless all those involved with the show who left us all with such wonderful memories.

  10. Lois Schultz says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    TV icon Andy Griffith dies at 86 ·

  11. Adrienne says:

    My 1970 Travco motorhome had avocado green appliances (stove/oven, fridge, sink, counter, table top, plaid seat cushions on the dinette and couch), and as they said in the 70s, "Once you go avocado, you don’t go back." Embrace what you have and add hot pink to accessorize your bath. Orange would also work as would harvest gold (the color of the shag carpet in the RV). Have fun!

  12. Raynita says:

    This was such a lovely read, Rebekah. Thank you. I also live in the Mayberry state of mind (most of the time)….let’s face it 2012 can get to ya sometimes:) How sad to lose Mr. Andy Griffith…what class! His legacy will live on through people like us, isn’t that cool? Of course, so will the need to just touch David Cassidy’s perfectly feathered hair, but that’s another story…lol Okay, if your daughter hasn’t seen the Andy Griffith show where the goat eats the dynamite, then that one will reel her in. My Kamryn will watch that one over and over….can’t you just hear Barney saying, "Kablooie" or "Kablewy" sp? To your little bath now, love it. I’m like you, love the avocado color even the flooring. How about leaving as much of the avocado as possible with everything else clean, bright white? Still quirky color but simple, clean farm housyness. Did I just create a new word? Oh, I just went up and loved on my guy donkeys, Sam and Caspian. I took them watermelon. As much as Sam loves watermelon, he still would rather love on me:) I have a vision of your mule and Ernest T. Bass will be amazing!!! ………..Raynita

  13. MaryFrantic says:

    I just finished a book (on CD) that was so much fun it was hard to shut off. It was Allison Pearson’s new novel (new Feb. 2011), “I Think I Love You.” The story of a slightly mistreated, misunderstood wife with a lifelong obsession of DAVID CASSIDY. It’s so neat that I think you’d eat it up. You can laugh and sigh and cry and actually feel what she and her friends felt as they were growing up loving "him" from afar.

  14. Brisja says:

    Every time we drive through small town America, I feel a longing to have a small house with a front porch and a garden, do some canning, quilt with the neighbors, and recapture the feeling of being in the tiny town in Missouri where my grandmother was raised. I love the idea of a simple life, with people looking out for each other, being a part of the lives of the community as a whole. I know I would quickly miss everything I love about living internationally, the mix of cultures, the opportunity to see and try new things, which is why I love living outside DC.

    A place with more of a small town feel, with close proximity to big city life, is as close as I can get to Mayberry these days. But I am trying to teach my son why we can never lose that small town mentality. We watch the black and white shows, too, with Dennis the Menace being his favorite. I’m glad to hear you are sharing these feelings and ideas of a different way of life with your daughter. I think she will be a better person for it.

  15. Debbie Miller says:

    Simplify….. That is my mantra lately.. Sad to hear Andy Griffith passed away just today.. What a coincidence … I live in fast, crazy Long Beach, Los Angeles, CA. Desperately would love to go somewhere like Corvallis, Oregon….. Thank you for the brief escape…

  16. Pamela deMarrais says:

    Rebekah, you carried me right back to my childhood. I can remember having a few teen magazines with pictures and stories about Davy Jones and David Cassidy. I think that the Andy Griffith show was probably my favorite show of all time, and I loved small town Mayberry. I lived in a community with 2400 people in New Hampshire, and I was the school nurse, so I knew several folks. We all helped each other through our many snowstorms, as well as the everyday storms of life.
    As far as your little 3/4 bath, I agree that it has some charming features that you should play up. I am not a fan of glass shower doors, so I would put up a retro look shower curtain [maybe striped with orange, gold, and avocado], and maybe use a contemporary shade of gold for your walls to keep it simple. Kudos for planning to keep the cost down; that is what farmhouse living means to me. Simple, unsophisticated, homey.

  17. Mary Jane says:

    I’m no decorator so can’t comment on your half bath but love what you wrote about Mayberry.

  18. Rhonda Lane says:

    Hello again & happy summer Rebekah! I had some thoughts regarding your bathroom design. (I just finished re-doing one of my own!)I was thinking that if you have enough showers elsewhere in that house of yours, why not remove the shower in order to allow for a larger vanity/sink area, especially because this is the main focus of your view looking in? You could repurpose an antique piece of furniture by putting a sink into it, hang a beautiful vintage mirror above it and paint it all in varying shades of light pastel colors since it is a small area. This would effectively open up that small area. Removing the shower would possibly give you a little extra space for a cute little storage cabinet? There are also many new vanities on the market now that look vintage as well. Let me know what you think. Take care & good luck!

  19. Judy says:

    It is so funny that I read your blog this morning, because last night my husband and I were just talking about my touchstone (movie not a t.v. show for me) It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. You remember it, they show at Christmas and I know how you love Christmas, it’s the slightly cheesy Frank Capra film about George Bailey who sacrifices his dream of traveling to help save the family business the Building and Loan. He is ultimately shown that although he thinks he has led a dull little life he has meant a lot to the people of Bedford Falls. He finds he has supportive friends, colleagues, a rock solid relationship with his wife Mary, played by the lovely Donna Reed, who all come together to show their love for him by saving him and making him realize that he indeed has a wonderful life. My husband and I have been married for over 22 years now and we are still crazy about each other. Over the years we have made the choice to have a smaller life that makes us happy and thus have developed similar circles of fiercely loyal friends and colleagues that would come out and support our family if we ever needed it. I was reminding my husband that in my previous life (a terrible marriage before I met him) I had told the therapist who was supposed to be helping me through a divorce, that what I wanted was to mean that much to someone where if I were to suddenly disappear, life paths would change course. She told me that didn’t happen and that it was a fairy tale, and I needed to get real. Well I got the last laugh because I do live in the warm and loving but slightly shabby house with the amazing family. I have friends and extended family that I can count on and my George Bailey is also a dreamer, with a good heart who makes a difference in many peoples’ lives on a daily bases and I love him more than anything, I have a wonderful life!!

  20. bonnie ellis says:

    Rebekah: Mayberry did exist and not just a state of mind then. I was only in the south once, but the farm I lived on in southern Iowa had towns around it like that. Just like that! Some still are. I know that I am still like that even though I live in the city in Minneapolis. There are chickens next door softly clucking against the traffic on the road in front. I patiently bake my bread and hang out the wash and enjoy talking with folks. I hope you find the Mayberry you’re looking for.

  21. Terry G says:

    Hi
    Thank you for this- I too have been looking for Mayberry my entire life – my father was from a small town in MS – that very much reminded me of Mayberry -and my dad both in look and action was very similiar to Andy Griffith.

    I will have to follow your advice and make Mayberry a state of mind in my life – in my small corner of the world and hopefully it will slowly spread, would be nice to turn backt time to a simplier, friendlier life.

    RIP – Andy you have made a HUGE impact on so many lives!!

  22. Millicent says:

    Oh, we just love Mayberry. My family has watched those old shows for years. My 23 yr old loves them. We watched a lot of Andy, Lucy and others like them. Good luck on the bath reno. Not sure what I’d do in there. Will put my thinking cap on.

  23. Brenda says:

    I think you are going to be very happy to have that 1/2 bath right by the mud room for those days you have been working hard outside and come in very sweaty and dirty. Can kick your shoes off and jump right in the shower. I would love that. Hubs and I have to track all the way through the house one way or the other when we come in. Get a shaggy throw rug for your bath and make it really 70’s. If you cannot find a shower curtain to match go to the quilt shops an make a patchwork shower curtain out of the greens and oranges that are really popular right now in quilt fabrics. Cannot tell if your shower has a door but if it does just fit a rod over it. I did that in our guest bath. Fluff up what you have! Already left my comment about Andy on the other blog. Have a great 4th! Stay cool! Blessings from Michigan.

  24. Nicole White says:

    Thank you

  25. Nancy Alexander says:

    Thank you….you brought back memories for me…my mom had Alzheimer’s …..I would sit with her in the evenings before I had to put her to bed. It was difficult to find something to watch with her and one night I happened upon Mayberry…I finally found something that sparked an interest in her…..we watched it every night before bed….it was a difficult time in my life, but those times together watching Andy and the gang made it all worthwhile. So, thank you Rebekah. I think I will watch the Andy Griffith show again…it has been awhile.

  26. Stacy says:

    I love your blog and the Mayberry reflection. My daughter watches those Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, and Beverly Hillbilly reruns on DVD constantly. I think that Mayberry to Andy was the place he lived the longest, Manteo, NC. He even fought to keep Food Lion out of it to maintain the small-town feel.

  27. Rebekah, I love the little bath. We just bought an old 77 camper and are restoring it, and I have the exact same floor only in yellow and I love it. I just gave everything a fresh coat of off white paint and then a few accessories with daisies and chickens. I would accentuate the green sink and floor. Now for the sad news about Andy. I felt like I had lost my dad again. I love watching Andy and have watched him all my life. I always felt a connection to that show as I was raised by my dad. I am pretty sure I have seen every episode. It was a simpler life, and I watch while eating my lunch each day. Even my dogs know that when the whistling starts we are fixing to have lunch. lol. I am glad you have found your mayberry and that you are learning to take time to sip tea on the front porch, listen to the birds sing, and breathe in that country air. Take care and Be Blessed. Neta

  28. Patti Alexander says:

    Rebekah, I loved Andy Griffth and actually had tear in my eye reading your post. I was encouraged to learn you read your comments. So many times I think of commenting on a blog post, but always felt that it would not matter, with so many others commenting so I have become a peeper! I did want to tell you I saw an awesome bathroom a while back on the Ralph Lauren website. It was whitewash, with avacado sink and black enamel accents (doorjam, picture frames etc.). I could picture your bathroom as clear as day, as your floor would fit right in. Then you could still accent with orange, pink or yellow flowers etc when seasonal! Have fun in YOUR Mayberry! Hugs.

  29. meredith says:

    What a huge loss. I almost feel as sad over the loss of Andy Griffith as I did when we lost my grandfather- and that was SAD. My daughter is a huge Mayberry fan (guess who she got that from!) and at 13, I think that is pretty special. Thanks Andy! We are going to miss you in a big, big way.

  30. brenda says:

    we all need a little Mayberry . I love watching it. and your articles make my day too. as for your mud room white paint and leave the green for now till you find the right sink and old washstand would be cool.

  31. Denise says:

    I thought at the time how appropriate that you wrote about Mayberry right before Andy died. I loved that show and still do. Glad you are "teaching" your daughter to at least like it! I also loved what you said that your husband helped you to realize, to have a Mayberry frame of mind. I try to do that, I try to make my home to have a Mayberry feel to me, my safe and comfortable place. I now decorate my home with things I enjoy and if it looks weird to someone else well, it just doesn’t matter since I’m the one that lives there! On your half bathroom, I’d just keep it light in there, light colors to go with the avocado color! but just pick up that avocado color with little accents in pictures or a vase of flowers. Have fun with your farm house!

  32. Rene Foust says:

    The Andy Griffith Show was a staple in my house when I was growing up and I feel blessed to have lived during those times; time was slower, simpler and people were much more patient. I think the "Mayberry state of mind" is part of what drove me to by the old farm that I did and gave me the courage to take on such a huge project. Andy Griffith will live on in my mind and every evening when I get back to my old farm after the long commute I will sit and listen to that peaceful whistle in my mind. Thanks Andy!

  33. Ruth says:

    Rebekah, I live across the state line in Va and have been to Mt. Airy numerous times. The local TV station has continously aired Andy Griffith show since it began. Even though we are not big city, life sometimes get fast paced for us and we have to learn to s-l-o-w down and enjoy life.
    At work, we were always saying something from the show and understood that beyond the laughs was some good ole wisdom too. Miss all those characters! They will never be duplicated! Yes, I think "Mayberry" is a state of mind and
    we all would be better off visiting there every once in awhile. God bless!

  34. KatieB says:

    Great article, thanks! Bathroom: White pedestal sink, replace shower partition with glass brick and replace shower door with appropriate style curtain, or remove shower altogether and replace with antique buffet outfitted with sink. Avocado goes well with white and dark bronze fixtures. You can accent with blue. Two-tone toilet? Hmmm.. You may have to be creative and hand paint some designs on it to make it work, or spray the whole thing with Dupont Krylon. It will probably hold up at least for a little while until you decide for sure..

  35. Kara says:

    what wonderful memories this post brings back.

  36. Claire says:

    Everyone likes this blog!Because it so good!

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