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Mrs. Ernie Buck, Marge McCorkindale, Mr. & Mrs. Andy Leishman, Alice & Andy Scott

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Mrs. Ernie Buck, Marge McCorkindale, Mr. & Mrs. Andy Leishman, Alice & Andy Scott
First name Mrs. Ernie
Last name Buck
Community Paris
Marge McCorkindale
First name Marge
Last name McCorkindale
Community Paris
Andy Leishman
First name Andy
Last name Leishman
Community Paris
Alice Scott
First name Alice
Last name Scott
Community Paris
Andy Scott
First name Andy
Last name Scott
Community Paris

Story

This interview has been contributed by the Paris Museum and Historical Society. It was taken in the late 1970s or the 1980s by volunteers from the Paris Public Library.

Interview

Interviewer Tell me about when you were a little girl Marge?

Mrs. McCorkindale Oh my gosh! Horse and buggy days, absolutely.

Mr. Leishman Do you remember when you went to school first day at Keg Lane? I remember. We said, "Here comes the McCrows. And there was Bob and there was you and there was Vivian and Bill. Dorothy was a little wee girl and those hard men taught her to swear something awful.

Mrs. McCorkindale We had an old horse, old Frank, and he'd take the milk to the station every day but Sunday. All we had to do was sit in the seat and he'd go right to the station. That was the Democrat.

Mr. Leishman A Democrat could be converted into about a three seated buggy and there was just one seat in the front but I bet it would hold a dozen milk cans easily. A Democrat had just one horse to draw it.

Mrs. McCorkindale And then there was a carriage type thing with two lights on the side and a seat on the front and then there was a second seat and it still had room behind. It took a team for that.

Mr. Leishman Was that the one with the back seat that facedthe road and the other seat the other way?

Mrs. McCorkindale No, it was two separate seats. You could sit and look straight ahead.

Mrs. Buck Then what was a Pheaton?

Mrs. McCorkindale That was a two seater but it had a rod come up and it had a top.

Mr. Leishman It had leather fenders that come up over the wheels.

Interviewer Have you always lived where you live now Andy?

Mr. Leishman No, I've lived there for 67 years. I was born at Alex Sutherland's farm, in 1910. My father was born in Iowa and they came here in 1903. Grandad, at that time, was in Iowa and they went to the old country and dad took sunstroke. They ran a creamery in the old country for three years and they came back and the Norwegians had moved in in the west around Illinois and Iowa and granddad couldn't take it and he saw our farm advertised in the Family Herald and he came over. There was tornados in the west and storms and he wanted a creek and he wanted to see a railroad and they wanted a good road for transportation and our farm had everything. He came over and he bought it. He was married then and dad would be about seventeen or eighteen then. That was about 1903 and about 1906 Sam Gordan married Barbara, that's the oldest girl and he bought the Sutherland farm for them. Sam Gordon was American and he liked the States better so he only stayed there a year or two. He put dad and my mother up there for a year or two and I was born there in 1910, no 1909. In 1910, we came back to Keg Lane and we have been there ever since. Barbara took the flu in 1918 and that finished her and the kids were just little wee things and Grandma and Grandpa just packed up everything and went over there to stay until they got everything straightened out. In 1919 Grandad sold out to dad and moved to town, next to Charlie Wall's and they bought that house for $3,500. and today I guess you couldn't buy it for $35,000. Grandad died in March 1931 and Grandma died in November 1933.

Mrs. Buck My father met my mother when she came to visit the Mitchell's from Chatham, My ily has always lived here. My Grandma used to say you couldn't see the sun for the pine trees and she told about seeing a bear.

Interviewer I guess it must have been all thick forest around here.

Mrs. Buck Well, that's what she said. She said you couldn't see the sun for the pines. There are not so many pines around now but they have cleared the land now.

Mr. Leishman Our house was built in 1846 according to Marsh Deans and theirs was built in 1841 or 1842. I can remember when all the streets in Paris Junction were dirt streets. Market Street was all dirt. And then one time Milton's Hotel was a very famous place. 'That was next to where Fergie's is now. The Junction was quite a separate place on its own. It was a busy spot at one time.

Mrs. McCorkindale How many hotels were there? Where the laundromat is now there was a hotel.

Mr. Leishman Yes, that was the Bucket of Blood. And the one acroos from Dave Gray's, that was the American Hotel. It was a great big place. Talking about the Bucket of Blood, one time Jim Davidson, who was a cop in Brantford, said that one time there was a guy come up to Paris and they were after this chap and he went into that hotel. So Jim thought he'd wait outside for him because the fellow said he'd be out and Jim was going to take him to jail. Jim said he waited and waited so finally he went into the hotel because the guy claimed he had a room in the hotel and I guess he did because he just went in one door and out the other and kept on going. They never did catch him. Jim said that sharpened the Police Department up. There wasn't very many cops in those days and every now and then they'd send one up from Brantford. John Borthick was a policman in Paris and in the 1930's, he'd patrol the whole town day and night,and now they have about ten. He was on duty all the time but he was never out at night. There was no excitement like there is now. They didn't have much trouble with drunks because they just got drunk and they didn't do any damage. The Junction got the name of being a tough spot at one time. All the bad characters over the 'wrong side of the tracks' but I don't think there was anybody that bad. One good thing was the Sunday School. It was inter-denominational and everybody, didn't matter what denomination you were, went to that Sunday School. That was the little Mission Sunday School. Charlie Wells was a superintendant, George Lee and George Suddon, Dave Patton, Mr. Hillborn and Glen Sibbick were all superintendants. They'd have plays at Christmas time and the men would get involved in it. They were super-duper plays. It didn't matter what religion you were the teachers taught them all. It did a lot of good around there because the Junction wasn't a good place with all the hotels. They had some good teachers too. Maggie Brown and Bessie Brown and all of them were good. It was a real spot.

Interviewer What about Keg Lane School? Community Clubs and things like that?

Mr. Leishman Oh, the Linger Longer started way back. That was the best one. That was the first club before the Community Club started. I'll bet you that started way back in the 1930's.

Mrs. McCorkinda1e Well the war started in '39 and they had a club doing knitting for the war. They knit socks and sweaters and scarves and everything.

Interviewer Well, what about the school itself?

Mr. Leishman It was a one room school and I remember when Lawrence and Ralph and Percy Newstead and Ralph Nichol and all them went. I've never forgotten when those big guys built a great big fort out of snow and they'd take snowballs and soak them in water and use us small for targets. And I'll never forget I got one in the eye one time and I saw stars for about a week. I'll never forget the first day of school. I turned around and fell out of ray seat and the teacher gave me a licking for it. That was Miss Simons and the next one would be Miss Inksater and then Miss Patton after that. Were you there the day we broke the teacher's collar bone? Well, these guys had the east side of the school all flooded with water to make ice to play hockey. The big guys decided they should take her for a sleigh ride on this and they went around the corner - the rest of us were in the school because we knew they were going to dump her. It was planned, not to break her collar bone but to dump her. We were looking out the window and she broke her collar bone. We got a week's holidays. By gee, she was going to sue the Madden 's and the Buck's but that didn't hold. The trustees wouldn't stand for it. They said that she should 've known not to go out there with the kids. I remember one time we wanted a holiday and they were baling hay at Deans' with one of those old wire balers and ,-iel Buck and I we were the firemen and we decided we should have a holiday. IV e were the janitors and the firemen, we had to get the fire going and everything else, in the old stove. So, we got everything going good and we shut the draft off and opened the door and the teacher came and said, "My goodness, we can't have school in here today". You couldn't see across the room for smoke. So we got a day's holiday and we went up to Deans' and sat and watched the boys bale hay all day. She got the trustees down and they cleaned the chimney pipes out and they never found a brick or anything. They couldn't understand why the school smoked but we never did tell them. It was easy, we just opened the door and shut the draft off.

Interviewer When did your mom and dad move down here Andy?

Mr. Scott 1911, I was four years old. They moved up to Gibson's but they have always lived here.

Mr. Leishman One time at the school, in the spring of the year, the old well would get full up with willow roots. The roots would get in the well and it wasn't fit to drink. So, there would be a couple of us dedicated to go up to O'Neail's and get a pail of water. That was the water system. I happened to be ne of the lucky guys. Every time we'd go up there Eleanor would just be opening that oven door with a fresh batch of cookies. Every time! And she said, "I like boys. Would you like some cookies?" Well, boy! They used to have no trouble getting volunteers. We could have made a dozen trips a day for those cookies, but one trip a day was all we were allowed. A pail of water for thirty-seven kids. That was all we had.

Interviewer Speaking of cooking - Tell us about cooking for thrashers and all the people who used to come in from work.

Mrs. Scott There was nothing I loved more that feeding those thrashers and those silo fillers and they were a hungry bunch. The thrashers were not too hard to feed but those silo-fillers were the hungry ones. And that is one thing that Granny Scott told me at different times. She said, "Now Joe said," that was Andy's father, "Feed the thrashers good, they are your neighbors." I knew what it was to bake eight pies at once at home when we used to have company - the Blake family and our own.

Mr. Leishman I'll never forget the time when Barker's were filling silo, Jean was home then. Bucky and I decided we should have an extra pie so we got our dinner and we sneaked out of the house just a little early. And we sneaked a pie and so Peter got the pie and when we got outside the house he didn't know what to do with it. So I said, "Put inside the [front?] of your overalls". And he walked to the barn with this darn pie on edge and the pie leaked and the two of us ate the pie and put the pie plate on the car seat, I guess it was the touring car then. And when you women went to get a pie there was no pie for dinner. Poor old Peter, he was quite a mess with the pie leaking all over his overalls.

Mrs. Scott Boy, it was hard work, but it didn't seem to bother us.

Mr. Leishman Yes, pitching corn with forks. If we had to do it now we wouldn't get the darn things off the ground.

Mr. Scott We used to eat meat and potatoes, vegetables and gravy and fresh bread.

Mrs. Buck When my mother had the thrashers, I remember her giving them fried potatoes for breakfast.

Mrs. Scott They always had potatoes for breakfast and coming from town that was one thing I thought was terrible.

Mr. Scott I remember when they had the old steam engine. I remember we had to be there and steam up and be there for breakfast. We used to have fried eggs and potatoes.

Mrs. Scott There was one lady who used to count the cookies and the potatoes for the men. That doesn't do out in the country.

Mr. Leishman I can remember Frank Churchill saying he was out one morning at five o'ciock getting the old steamer ready and he said, "Well, I saw something this morning. I saw Jack Cunningham and Ernie Buck coming up over the bridge at daylight. They were out all night.".

Mrs. Buck Well he lied!

Mr. Leishman When they came up to do thrashing did they ever tease those guys.

Mrs Buck We had a party that lasted all night once though. The snow storm came up and the Presbyterian Choir and the folks were there dancing. The snow kept coming down and they never got out until morning.

Mr. Leishman That road was a hum-dinger with those old stump fences. It was a corker!

Mrs. Buck I had to go to bed the next day. I couldn't stand it.

Interviewer How different were the winters?

Mr. Lieshman Well there seemed to be more snow but there was more stump fences too. That's what made the snow pile up. There was less snow in the fields but the roads were covered because of the stump fences.

Mrs. Scott There was lots of snow when we got married. There was snow in Sale's field because we had to climb over the fence. We walked from our place up to Ayr, and the road wasn't open for three weeks. They had to shovel it, but now we have those big snow plows. We went to town with a team of horses and a sleigh. I was scared to death. We went to go to the Junction and there was a freight train there and the horses were so scared of it. Andy would hang on to those reins. Oh dear!

Mr. Leishman I'll never forget one time Grandad and I were coming in from town and he had the horse and buggy, and Grandad used to stop in at Milton's occasionally and he'd stopped in this day and he'd had his share. This buggy came over this bridge from the west and for some reason or another the wheels hooked inside one another. Boy, if Grandad didn't tell that guy he shouldn't have been on the road and he had no business running into him. One of our front wheels locked into one of theirs and we were stuck right there.

Mr. Scott I remember another story. I think it was the 28th of February and it was an awful hot day and it came up with a thunder storm and a wind and my aunt from Woodstock was down and it was my Grandmother's birthday, no wait a minute, that was the 6th of February. Anyway it had been Dollar Day in Paris so mother came over here to see Aunt May and Andrew went down to take Aunt May to catch the train at 8 o'clock and it was raining and blowing. As they started down the road, one of the Knills was teaching school over here at the White School, and her boyfriend had come to get her and down here at the willows with the wind going and black as the ace of spades, mother felt the horse pull off the road so she pulled him back. With that, Bang 1 The wheels went inside one another. The couole on the other side of the road, I don't know how their buggy was, but they left our buggy at the side iff the ditch, and the horse came home. Andy brought mother up and when they got down to the station, some kids there said, "Gee your face is a mess!"

Interviewer How often did the Friendship Circle meet?

Mr. Leishman Sosh, I don't know. About every two weeks I think.

Mrs. McCorkindale It must have been every two weeks unless they didn't have anything special on and then I think it was every four weeks.

Mrs. Scott They used to do the sewing. Did you ever see that postage stamp Mrs. Webber made for her Grand daughter? It was beautiful and she made every stitch herself. It was all different colors and it was the most beautiful quilt I've ever seen. Every stitch was perfect with her.

Mr. Leishman Her Grand-daughter would be Lena. Do you remember when Lena had the new out-building built? They were so proud of that they went out to sit and see how nice it was. And Alice Scott was so careless one time that she burned the darn thing down.

Mrs. Scott Yes and I didn't know it for a few days.

Mr. Scott And neither did I because I was sick in bed.

Mrs. Scott We always put the coals outside and I decided I'd put them down the hole this day and I burned it up. There was live coals in it which I didn't expect because we'd left the fire out all night. I've got a piece of poetry that Amy wrote to me. 'Ode to the Smokehouse' .

Mrs. Scott I didn't know it was burned down and Andy went out and he kept saying, 'Well you did it. Well you did it." And I honestly didn't know what he was talking about.

Interviewer Well, how did you not find out that it was burned down for a couple of days?

Mrs. Scott We had the bathroom in then and all we kept it for was to raise ducks. Earl wanted it there to set a hen on duck eggs. It wasn't in use when I burned it down, I was glad to see it burned down because before that I was scared to death because black hornets would chase me out.

Mr. Leishman I'd hate to read the paper or sit and think with hornets around me.

Mrs. Scott This isn't on tape is it? I was on tape once and that was enough.

(MRS. SCOTT - I'M SORRY FOR LEAVING THIS IN BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS SO FUNNY THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO CUT IT OUT)

Mr. Leishman Do you remember when we used to have the School Fair at Barker's and Edie would carry the flag? Well they had a tent there and that's where the School Fair was at Barker's.

Mr. Scott Well the first time they had it in the school yard but that wasn't big enough so they moved it up to Barker's.

Interviewer You mean they had competitions at the fair?

Mr. Scott We had to unharness our horse and put the harness on and hook it up to the buggy and drive around and the first one that got around won.

Interviewer What did the girls do at the fair?

Mrs. McCorkindale We showed flowers and baking.

Mr. Leishman Us kids,we had green mountain potatoes, so many that I think I looked like them. We got these potatoes every year.

Mrs. McCorkindale We were supplied with the seeds. We also made cakes but they didn't bother with any special recipes. We were just told that they had to be chocolate or white.

Mr. Leishman That was quite the event at school. They were a lot of fun and I think that they are still going.

Interviewer The School Fair had changed just like the Paris Fair has changed too.

Mr. Leishman Oh yes. There didn't used to be any of this machinery. We used to sit in the [illegible] building with the wind whistling around. I remember one year they were having a dance and they put wax on the cement floors and when I look back I see how stupid it was, but it worked. And them in '52 they built this new building.

Mrs. McCorkindale Well it used to be on the Fiats there where the arena is but it burned down.

Mr. Leishman No it didn't burn down. That was the old arena and I think that the old fair building is still there somewhere. They moved the fair buildings up and the Town kept that property for the rink. I think the Fair Board used that building for a couple of years.

Mrs. McCorkindale What about the little house down at the Ayr Road corner?

Mr. Leishman The Toll House. The little house was up towards the School line fence and Dad told us, I guess this happened when they were here, this old guy was kind of a mean old codger. He'd nail everybody that was going up the Ayr Road and I don't know whether it was ten cents or something like that to go up the road. One night they said they'd get him and they did, they burned the darn house down, and the guy nearly got burned in it. One of them they blamed was Tony Deans but they never could prove who did it. That was the end of that toll.

Interviewer When would that be?

Mrs. Buck Well, I was just a little wee girl.

Mrs. Scott I think it would be about 1905 or somewhere around there.

Interviewer We should get something on record about why Keg Land is known as Keg Lane.

Mr. Scott Well, I can tell you a story I heard. It would have to be when work was done with pick and shovel and a gang of men were working there and they would put a keg of beer and when they got up that far they'd have that keg of beer. That is why it got Keg Lane.

Mr. Leishman Well I heard another story about a guy named Lane. He lived up there somewhere near these three hotels and he'd be going up the road with a keg of beer over his shoulder, so that's another story. How true it is, I don't know but there must have been something involved there.

Mr. Scott About the toll gate down there, a story Jim used to tell. Aunt Mag was married, she was married across the road here and they had a season's ticket. The farmers had a season's ticket. So, when they got married they had to go down and catch the train why her and her new husband, they drove the one horse and buggy, and Andrew and Jim or somebody took another horse and buggy to bring that horse back. So he drove ud and said to the man in the toll, "These are McClelland's." And the old mart in the booth said, "Yes, but it is not a McClelland driving today I" She had just got married and he said she wasn't a McClelland anymore.

Mr. Leishman I heard dad say he was really a sticker. He nailed everybody. I think it was a dime. Nobody got by him but they really fixed him when they burned the place down.

Mrs. Scott There used to be a blacksmith's shop over here at the corner where you go down to Richwood.

Mr. Scott I can tell you a story about how bad the old roads used to be. We used to sell our cream to Brantford and they'd come up with a truck to get it and there was a great big that used to come, he was kind of a useless guy, and way down just across the road from of your fields down there, there was a regular sink hole down there every spring. This guy got in there with his truck and he? came up and asked for a team to help pull him out. I hitched up ray team, it was the spring of the year, and I had a spring seat up on top of the box and I had to put my feet against the front of the box to brace myself to pull them, and we were going down the road and this wheel dropped into the hole and then he'd make a dash to grab the bow and he'd miss. So when we got down there I unhooked the team and gave him the chain to hook on and he stepped into the mud hole and I thought I was going to have to put the chain on him to pull him out.

Mr. Leishman Oh, the roads around here used to be terrible. Now we squawk if there is a little bump in them.

Mrs. McCorkindale But, there was never any work done in them, was there?

Mr. Leishman I think they jutt used to put a little gravel in them every now and then. I remember one day around Christmas time and Martin Webber was going up to see Ellen and I was behind him and he got stuck in front oft Barren's there and I got past him and I went to get a chain and rope to help pull him out. That was at midnight and it took us a long time to get him out.

Interviewer Tell me about dates then. What did you do?

Mrs. Scott I'll never forget the first time Andy came to take a"e out. He had red mitts on. Hand-made mitts. And he came into the house and of course we had doors this way and that way, and one peeked at him this^afid one peeked at him the other way.

Mr. Scott No, that wasn't the first time I had a date with you. We were practising for Christmas entertainment and the Cochrane's had a party and I took mother down there and Scotty and Peter had to go to her place to practise for Christmas entertainment. And Don and I went to Young People's at the church and then we went back to see Scott and Peter but they weren't through yet. That was the first time I went into her house. Of course I knew Alice from the Mission Sunday School but I didn't know the others. Laura was living there and Kathleen and Agnes and there was all these doors. One of them would peek out this door and another would peek out that door.

Mrs. Scott We wanted to look at the farmer.

Mr. Leishman I'll never forget the night when Bob took Agnes out and a bunch of us got a rooster out of his hen house and put it in the back seat of his oar. Bob didn't know it and when they got into town the rooster thought it was daylight and started to crow. Was Bob ever mad at us guys. They couldn't shut the dash rooster up.

Interviewer What had they been doing until daylight?

Mr. Leishman It was just the street lights but the rooster came from the country and when he saw the street lights he thought it was daylight.

Mr. Leishman We used to have water fights and they were really fun. We would just get a pail of water and go at one another. When they were building the house over here, I think that was in 1924, Sooter was up there and the Bain girls were down at your place and when they went by Mel through a pail of water into their open car. They all about half drowned. So when Sooter came back he was out to get Melvin and they had the old Model 'T' Ford and this was before starters in those days, but there was a choke out in front. Well when he went to take after Mel we pulled that wire out and that stopped the car. He couldn't start it and he went around the house and if he had gotten Mel that night he'd have drowned him. I said, "Mel, I want to talk to you!" Mel said, "I'm here Mr. Sooter." And he had a pail of water. He just got him from head to foot and he took off around and around and around. Then when Sooter gave up trying to catch him he went to start the car it wouldn't start because we'd pulled this wire out of the choke. Then another time we had a water fight at the corner of the Town Line and at midnight Mrs. Tucker came out. She was standing there saying, "What's going on here?" We had her pump just a pumping getting water. I said, "Mrs. Tucker you'd better get into the house and into bed or you are going to get drowned too!" She just shut the door and went back to bed.

Interviewer How about one of you guys explaining what a chivaree is?

Mr. Leishman Well, when young couples get married, they come home and the neighbors gather around and they get pots and pans and make lots of noise and racket and then the groom, he gives, them five dollars or something to get ice cream and we'd all go in and eat it. But now it's all over with.

Mrs. McCorkindale Whose chivaree was it that John Leishman and Bob Buck were riding all over the country side for?

Mr. Leishman His - my brother's. It was John's and Pauline's. That was the best chivaree I was ever at. I'll never forget when my brother got married. We knew they were going to chivaree them so I zipped up to Bucky's and I said,"Do you want to have some fun tonight?" He said he sure did. So I said, "Get your chores done in a hurry and come on with me". They were going to chivaree the boy and I said, "I have a feeling we're going to have some fun!" So Bobby got ready and he got into the car and we came home and I put my car into the sbad. My brother's car was there jnd he had it parked around behind the barn so nobody could get it. So when he went to get his car it was gone - we'd gotten it. He wondered who in the deuce would take his car. So anyway he must have got my car out of the shed and he went to town. Well in came the chivaree gang shortly afterwards and they thought they were after my brother and his wife. Bobby had a big hat on and a scarf and we went through the fields if down the Town Line and they chased us for miles up around Richwood and all over. They'd just about get us cornered and we'd get away. I'd say, "Bucky, you'd better change your hat" and I'd wear the hat for awhile and them they'd think the drivers had changed and they chased us all night and we got away from them. My brother left his car down at your place, Marge. So the next morning my brother went down to get his car and Franny said "Well your brother just made a bunch of darn fools out of us!". Here they were chasing us and thought they were chivareeing my brother and his wife and all that time they were home in bed. One o'clock in the morning we got home. What a night! But they got them later on. They chivareed him later. But the chivarees are over now. They have those what do you call them? Stag parties and they sell tickets. That takes place of the chivarees I guess. We used to have so much fun in those days.

Interviewer Where did you go when you went out for a date?

Mrs. Scott That is a secret!

Mrs. Leishman There was a show in town and we'd go to the Palms afterwards and eat ice-cream afterwards.

Mr. Leishman Today we've got unemployment to no end. I can remember back in the '30's, before dad died and that was in '33 and this was before that, there would be the Moore brothers and the Newsteads and the Raycrafts. We'd come home and be having dinner and we'd be hauling hay and at one o'clock these Raycrafts would be at the railroad crossing asking how the chances were of getting a job and they'd be shut down at the Screen Works at twelve o'clock and at one o'clock looking for work. They'd get it. Spec would be going to Jay Wells' and Ab came to our place for awhile. The Moore's and the Govier's for years pulled our turnips and they'd look for it each year and that was their job. They were just keen in those days to find extra work.

Mr. Scott All we'd get them was a dollar a day!

Mrs. Scott When I first came out here I got thirteen tickets for a dollar for bread. That was forty-two years ago.

Mrs. Buck I can remember getting six for a quarter.

Mrs. Smith And Earl told me that I paid sixty cents a day for him in the hospital and $1.50 for myself and Earl said, "I always told you that you did get a bargain when you got me!"

Mr. Leishman Things have changed, that's for sure! A set of scales cost $30,000. or better now. We got a set from the creamery from about twelve years and they are sixty feet long. We could have bought a fifty foot scale or a sixty foot and we settled for a sixty foot scale for $10,000. But to overhaul it now it would cost $25,000.-$30,000. but they are not going to overhaul them. They are going to pull them out and put in meters. And the new scales are $60,000. for the same scales. Boy, things certainly have changed!

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