Vol. 2 - No. 1-----Aug. 19, 1944-----Editor: Roz Richards
Subscription Price:-----A Letter A Drizzle



That comments appearing in parenthesis throughout The Drizzle are the personal observations of The Drizzler. However, many of the nicknames clothed in parenthesis in a number of the letters reproduced in The Drizzle are the brain children of the individual letter writers.


Ever since the first vanguard of Monticello's many representatives in the armed forces began to move into battle stations along the war fronts in the major theatres of this vast global conflict, the old home town had been unusually fortunate for months in the absence of local names from the casualty lists. In the last three weeks, however, the full impact of war has hit home. Eddie Loeffel was the first casualty, wounded in the right shoulder in the bloody battle of Saipan. Then came word that Emil Weigert suffered a deep flesh wound in the right hip in the fighting in France; S/Sgt. Kenny Holcomb, waist gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber, was reported missing in action over Germany since July 20th, and only a few days later, news arrived that Harry Schuerch had lost his right leg below the knee in the Battle for France. Since the Messenger carries detailed accounts of these casualties, they will not be related here to avoid duplication. Along with everyone else back in the old home town, The Drizzler fervently hopes that Kenny was successful in parachuting to safety and is now a prisoner of war somewhere in Europe and also that Eddie and Emil and Harry are rapidly recovering from their wounds.


If "Bob" Ripley, whose "Believe-It-or Nots" have won him both fame and fortune, ever runs short of material, here's a true incident about a Monticello soldier that he can use without any embellishments. It happened on Biak Island way down in the Southwest Pacific where Lt. "Bob" Amans, veteran of many an island campaign in the area, and his platoon were attacking a bunch of Japs. Suddenly an enemy bullet struck a grenade in the lieutenant's grenade pouch on his cartridge belt. The grenade exploded!! "And," declares Bob, "Believe it or not, I never received a scratch." The Drizzler has heard a lot about the wisdom of "Killing two birds with one stone," but this is one of the relatively few times he has ever heard of anyone slipping out of two mighty tight spots in such rapid succession with one stroke of luck. In other words, the Goddess of Luck made a shield of Bob's grenade to protect him from the Jap bullet and then shielded him again when it exploded! Closing his letter the lieutenant says: "Give my regards to all the boys, and here's hoping The Drizzle will continue to find its way to me because I certainly enjoy it."


So hang on tight because here we go: Pvt. Johnny Zimmerman, who was stationed in North Africa for many months, is now in Italy which he likes much better because there are trees and other green vegetation. . . Sgt. Warren Murphy, the former dispenser of soft drinks and philosophy at J. Pierpont Lobbs' Midway luncheon palace, is still at Camp Barkeley, Texas, where he has been situated for many months. In fact, Murph's been there so long that he thinks he ought to be awarded a medal for fighting the "Battle of Barkeley." He reports having received a letter from Lt. Whitey Hill while that great lover and character builder was still stationed at Camp Hood before being sent east. In it Whitey complained about "being eaten up by chiggers." I wouldn't know, of course, but I imagine that this was the most delicious dessert those chiggers had tasted in a long time. Murph's sister, Pvt. June, of the WACs, is now in England. . . Frederick Voegeli is enjoying the life of a sailor at Great Lakes where he expects to finish his boot training next Tuesday. There is a possibility that he may be held there longer, however. Frederick, who warbles a pretty nifty tune, has demonstrated that he's quite a vocalizer by "making " one of the great Lakes choirs. . . Sgt. "Al" Baehler, who since his graduation from Monticello high and Madison College about sixteen years ago, had been a resident of Rapid City (S.D.) recently tried his luck fishing in the Mediterranean sea, but reports that the results were most unsatisfactory and that he had much better luck pulling 'em out of the old mill pond back home in Monticello. . . Lt. Howie Steinmann, who is serving as a liaison officer, is now believed to be stationed somewhere in the Hawaiian Islands. Before leaving the states a few weeks ago, he was headquartered at Marines Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Calif. His wife, Gladys, has arrived in Monroe from the coast to make her home with her parents for the duration. Howie's address is: USMCR, (032090), Hd. Q. Co., 3 Rd. Bn., 26th Marines (Reinf.), %Fleet Post Office, San Francisco. . . Pfc. Armin Loeffel isn't so keen about Camp Maxey, Texas, where he says it's awfully hot and dry. He's with the combat engineers, and although he likes his work quite well, he still prefers the military police which was his assignment while he was in California. . . Pvt. Karl Freitag is receiving his preliminary infantry training at Camp Blanding, Fla., which isn't just the nicest camp in the country and is known chiefly for its sand and snakes. The closest town from camp is Jacksonville which is 40 miles away. He says he is getting the roughest kind of training imaginable. States Karl: "They really give us a workout on bayonet charging here. We have to run like mad and scream and yell at the top of our voice. The screaming and yelling, of course, is to scare the enemy." "Mutch" Schultz is enjoying the routine at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where his assignments are keeping his time well occupied. He belongs to Co. C, of the 1st Ordnance Tng. Regt., and is nicely advanced in his basic training. . . Out at El Centro (Calif.) Air Station, where Pfc. Joe Gmur is stationed, it gets so hot around noon that they can't touch the airplanes so most of the flying is done either early in the morning or towards evening. Shade is hard to find at the station because it is situated in the desert. Outside of the heat, Joe, who is a former Monticello whisker assassin, likes the camp the best of any he has been at. He inquires about "Professor" Boob Kissling, the well known Camp Pickett (Va.) heart throbber, and wonders if the "prof" still gets that half-inch clip, declaring that the army barbers couldn't have found much hair to cut off of "Kiss" because "I really gave him a short one just before he went in." Joe asks for Eddie Loeffel's address. Here's the last one I have: Pfc. Eddie Loeffel, USMC, Co. I, 3rd Bn., 23rd Marines, 4th Div., %Fleet P. O., San Francisco. . . Pfc. Eddie Zweifel, Co. M, 117 Inf., APO 30, was in England only a few weeks before he was sent on to France where he and a buddy of his have dug a foxhole and are now living and sleeping together in it. For a while, he had been assigned to a different outfit, but now that he's back in Co. M again, he's met some of the friends he knew back in the states. . . From down in the Mediterranean theatre comes word from Lt. Ray Burns, bombardier on a Flying Fortress, that he enjoys hearing about all the boys through The Drizzle. Everything's fine. His brother, Gerald, is in the Admiralty Islands. What's this rumor I've heard about you, Burnsy? Is it true that you signed away your independence to a nice little gal from the east by tripping up to the altar before you left for overseas? I'm listenin' for the answer. . . S/Sgt. Wilbert Marty, the ol' tail gunner, now leading the life o' Reilly at the AAF Base Unit in Miami Beach, Fla., recently had quite a thrill when he had the pleasure of a visit with Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, air ace of the first world war, who happened to be staying in the hotel next to his. Wilbert had another run of good luck when he ran across T/Sgt. Bayless, of Texas, the radio operator on the Flying Fortress-The Duchess-on which the local youth was the tail gunner in 27 successful flights over the European continent. These two crew members made the ocean voyage back to the states together and Wilbert was under the impression Bayless was out in Santa Monica, Calif. . . "Bob" Blumer, the former Fashion Plate of Nickle Plate avenue and more recently known as the Bard of Northern Ireland, is now in the thick of the fighting in France. "So far I've been lucky and hope I can continue that way," says Bob. "I've been through the mill, all right, and it ain't hay. You can believe that." Here's loads 'n' loads of the very best of luck, Bob. . . "Keep The Drizzle coming, Roz, because it really is a great little paper," writes Royal Voegeli, student in the naval air cadet course at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn. There was a bad scare running around the college campus recently to the effect that the enrollment in the navy air corps was about to be slashed in half. Since Royal and some of his pals are in the first training phase of the program, they felt rather certain that they would be the ones to feel the axe, but luckily, it didn't touch them. "Rog" Klassy is studying the same course as Royal, but he's at St. Mary's College, Winona, Minn.


Alas and alack! Just look what we have here! But wait a minute, fellows! We'd better look again to make sure. Yes, by golly, that's right, all right. It's a nice letter-and a nice, long one, too-from Lt. Fritz Steinmann, stationed at the Chicago Quartermasters Depot. After saying some mighty nice things about The Drizzle and The Drizzler, all of which are deeply appreciated, Fritz wields his versatile pen like this:

"As you no doubt know, my primary job is to keep 3600 employees happy by seeing that they get their pay checks promptly. The payroll amounts to 9 million a year, and under war department payroll procedures, I am personally liable for all of it. So perhaps I'll be working my way out of this army for a long time to come. It may not be an exciting job, but it can be interesting, particularly when a third of the employees are colored, un-educated, and quite unable to understand why Uncle Sam takes this and that away from them in retirement and tax deductions.

"Now a bit about the Depot itself. The Quartermaster corps is the largest of the services, furnishing some 70,000 items to supply the needs of the army. QM Depots scattered across the country are the procuring and storing agencies and each one specialized in those items most common to the locale in which it is located.

"The Chicago Depot, in the heart of the nation's bread-basket, is the chief agency for supplying food-stuffs for the armed forces. All army rations have been developed in our laboratories which rank among the best in the country. Research continues constantly and the boys can still hope to get something besides "Spam."

"At the present time our Depot purchases 78% of the food supplies for the army, a portion of that used in the Navy and Marines, and much of the supplies sent abroad for civilian feeding in the re-conquered areas. Our inspectors watch over the manufacture of the foodstuffs and our transportation officers route the supplies to posts, camps, stations, and points of embarkation for shipment overseas. So you can tell the fellows as they sit down to a tasty meal or damn the dehydrated eggs and "bullybeef" (to quote Capt. Steussy way over there in Italy) that back in Chicago, I had a small part in getting their meal to them.

"Hope to be seeing you soon, and in any case, carry on with the swell job you're doing. Sincerely, Fritz."


Lt. Leon H. (Frizzletop) Babler, navigator on a Flying Fortress based in England, breaks his several month's silence with an interesting letter to The Drizzler. Until he fractured an arm in an airplane accident some weeks ago, Leon had 13 missions over Europe to his credit. Undoubtedly he has swelled this number considerably since then. Say's ol' Frizzletop: "Dear Roz: About time, huh? (You took the words right out of my mouth, Leon.) Sorry, but I'll try to do better from now on. As you probably have noticed, my address is the same as Marty's formerly was. Yes, I was transferred to his squadron a few weeks ago-met his navigator and pilot and they were pleased to hear that he had arrived in the states so quickly. By the way, Wilbert, I received your letter from 12 RCD, but didn't answer because I knew you would be leaving soon. Let me know his next address, will you, Roz? (Here it is, Leon: Sovereign Hotel, Room 401, Section C, Dept. 1, 1020th AAF Base Unit, AAFRS No. 2, Miami Beach, Fla. Incidentally, Lieutenant, I'll have the ol' tail gunner on the microphone in a few "minutes") . Sure would like to run into some fellows from home again. Last time I was in London I was glancing through a Red Cross Club signature book and found Paul Voegeli's name in it. Quite a coincidence, I thought. Yesterday, the King and Queen and Doolittle were here. The princess christened one of our new ships and they took a general sight-seeing tour of the base. I could have gotten some nice pictures, but carelessly left my camera in the barracks. Was certainly glad you received a letter from Don Trickle. I had no idea where he was anymore. Keep that Drizzle coming. . . And now The Drizzle switches you down to Miami Beach to hear from Wilbert, who, as you'll all remember, was stationed at the same English base as Leon before completing his missions over Europe and returning home decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters. Okay, Sarge, we're all alistenin': "Still taking it easy down here. Don't know if my orders were jumbled up or what, but if they were, that's all right, too, because I'm having lots of fun. For the benefit of Lt. U. G. (Just-Call-Me-Coach) Hill, I'd like to tell him what a tough day consists of. (What a modest little violet Whitey is, isn't it so, eh, Wilbert? So, he just wanted the boys to call him "coach." How noble and how ducky of the great master mind, whose grand strategy has landed his teams so frequently in the loss column. I really don't mean this, Whitey; I'm just trying to roil you up enough so's you'll be sure to fire at The Drizzler and the rest of the boys in your finest and most welcome style, come the next issue.) Here it is, "coach:" Reveille-any time you feel like getting up. Noon-chow. From 2 to 5 p.m.-movies or an optional deep sea fishing trip, free. Chow. Then the interesting detail of night life-you know-beer, food, and entertainment. Deadline on pass-6 a.m. Lights out-6:05. (I think it's mighty thoughtful of you, Wilbert, not to even mention a word about all those dazzling blondes and brunettes you've undoubtedly been escorting about Miami Beach because, after all, it wouldn't be just right to cause Whitey and Bo Woelffer and Boob Kissling too much misery.) Sure would like to transfer into light bombardment or get into these new P-61 Black Widows. The new A206 is a neat job, too. But once you're in the heavies, you usually stay there. Say, Roz, if you have the July 29th issue of Colliers or can get a copy of it, do so and read the article about the first B-29 raid on Japan. When I see you again, I'll have a story about that article. At present I'm waiting for some word from the Adjutant General in Washington for verification of some things. So keep that issue handy for when I'm home again. All for now. To Eddie and Emil, (Wilbert hadn't yet heard about Kenny and Harry.) I hope your wounds weren't too serious. And don't take up too much of the nurses time, fellows. They've got work to do, too, you know."


When The Drizzler last heard from Pfc. Thomas Runkle, he was still in England which he described as a beautiful country, adding that "the girls aren't so bad, either." . . Before Emil Weigert was wounded by a shell fragment and taken back across the channel to recuperate in an English hospital, where he is now up and walking around again, he had a chance to talk to lots of German prisoners. Emil is a native of Hamburg, Germany, and naturally talks the language fluently. He says most of the prisoners are tired of war-as well they should be after all of the terrible crimes they have committed. Emil regrets that he cannot talk French, declaring that they seem so glad the Allies landed in their country. "They sure are good to us-have had everything from fresh milk to champagne since we landed in France." (Ah, Emil, I'll bet that French champagne has it all over a "nip" of Budweiser or a snort of Kessler's) . . Since Sgt. "Al" Baehler went on this unsuccessful Mediterranean fishing cruise, he has been moved from Sicily into Italy where he has been fortunate enough to see the Ruins of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius--from a distance. "Have been pretty busy and don't have much time to play around. The food is good and lots of it. Finally got a little beer the last few weeks and guess we'll get a bottle a week now and possibly a coke or two. It sure hits the spot and we are fortunate enough to get it cold. What I miss is cold drinking water. Usually it's warm. Things are looking mighty good. Maybe we'll be home before we know it. (Surely hope so, Al.) Keep the Drizzle coming." . . It's been nine months since Gaylord Miller, S 2/c, aboard the U.S.S. Cowpens, has been back to the states. He'd like to be back in "good, old Monticello" again, playing ball with the rest of the fellows. Gaylord asked for Royal Voegeli's address so here it is: Royal Voegeli, As, V-12a, Co. A, Johnson Hall, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn. . . Lt. Dick Schoonover's now back at Fort Monmouth (N.J.) after a leave on which he visited his parents, Sheriff and Mrs. Pat Schoonover, and also dropped in on his friends in the old home town. Dick writes: "I'm still stationed at Fort Monmouth and that's about as much as I can say about my activities. I spend most of my time in a special guarded area inside the Fort, with iron bars on all the windows of the buildings just to be sure it's 'airtight.' It's not that we are important, but some of the equipment we are working with -is! I guess I was the only one of the new bunch of officers that came in that didn't claim the barred windows made them nervous. It reminded me of the Green county jail and four years in and out of there is immunization enough for anyone. Sure hope all the gang will soon be coming home-not needing to bother about reporting back." (Now that you're back in the old groove again, Dick, let's hear from you more often.) . . Eddie Loeffel wasn't the only ex-Monticello boy in on the invasion of Saipan. Hilmer Gordon, Co. E, 105th Inf., APO 37, was there, too. Says Hilmer: "Have been all through the battle for Saipan and it was plenty tough. Things are very quiet now though we still have very little time to ourselves. I'm so tired, I believe I could sleep for a week. I am well and have been all the way through. I have seen a few wild animals on the island so far, but I imagine most of them had been killed in the terrific aerial and naval bombardments which preceded our landing. I have never seen so many flies in all my life as there are here. (Well, Hilmer if you ever played in the outfield up at the high school baseball diamond while Whitey Hill was in the pitcher's box, chasing "flies" would be nothing new to you.) The weather is very changeable here. It rains one minute and the sun beats down fiercely on us the next. Not at all like the good old U. S. A. Received two copies of The Drizzle recently and sure was glad to get them. Will try to write regularly from here on." (That's fine, Hilmer! I'll be looking for your letters.)


The swell news that "Ott" Blum has recovered from his recent siege of illness and has now been back "in circulation" for some time is contained in the following newsy letter from the naval medical corps lieutenant: "Dear Roz: Was very glad to get your fine airmail letter with the last Drizzle. Can say that I had dengue and malaria. I was sick for only a short time and apparently have no after-effects of any kind. At last our outfit has moved up to an advanced area. We have left New Guinea-and I hope I'll never see it again. Am on an island of a couple square miles not so very far from New Guinea and not so very far from the equator, either. It is the nicest spot I've seen out here, but still comes far short of the popular idea of a charming South Sea island. Evenings are surprisingly cool. The sun is certainly blistering, but if you can get in a little shade, the breeze is enough to make it pleasant. The tide runs out about a mile, leaving thousands of nice sea shells on the beach. I believe shell-hunting could be interesting as a hobby. Remember all the animals we studied in zoology? (Yes, I do, Ott. And, incidentally, what do you think about that little line Major "Les" Weissmiller had in his letter to me in the last Drizzle? You know. It went something like this: "So help me, I have never worked so hard in my life." Just a little line, but whatta "line" the Major has. Or do you think we ought to believe him this time. Com'on there, Les, you're not supposed to be reading this.) Well, the sea out here has all of these shells and it's healthy to stay away from many of them. We're close enough to the action to occasionally hear artillery fire, but that's as close to it as I've been. Very best wishes, Ott." . . From down in sunny Camp Stewart, Ga., come these interesting notes to The Drizzler from Cpl. Paulus Roth, who hits the high spots of his observations and experiences in this nimble fashion: "Very warm here and lots of rain. Am blessed I can work in office with about 40 others under electric fans with forced ventilation. Am kept real busy so time moves rapidly. A number of battalions are just starting new "waves" as the 17-week training periods are known here. About 1000 men in a battalion at finish. Service records and details keep the personnel force plenty busy. As for trainees, we are getting them of all ages. Some of the draft boards must not only have scraped the barrel, but also thrown it in, too. Lots of physically limited men in all classes, but some real soldiers in the 18-20-year class. Have been taking heat O.K., but they can give the south back to the Indians." . . "Boy, I sure was glad to see him," writes Alvin (Schmitty) Schmidt, local Marine in the Southwest Pacific area, in telling of his meeting with his old high school pal, Don Pearson, also a Marine, whose whereabouts he learned through The Drizzle. The boys were unaware they were in the same division and stationed in the very same camp. Says Schmitty: "Don sure has changed a lot since the last time I saw him back in '42. I dropped over to see Don one evening and he was just as pleased to see me as I was to see him. We spent most of the evening shooting the breeze about the good old home town and the good old times we used to have back there. (But, Schmitty, after you got through shooting the breeze, what did you do with the "bull?" Didn't you shoot "it", too?) Yes, I guess both Don and I could go for some good old Milwaukee beer and a cheese sandwich, and also a glass of fresh Green county milk. You know, the kind that a guy can't find any other place in this whole wide world. We'll most likely be here for another year or so. In the meantime, we'll have a little excitement all our own with the Japs. Just so it doesn't last too long. Have had some fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit for a change and it made me think of home. This corned beef, hash, and powdered eggs are all right-if you're hungry enough. The drizzle is swell, Roz. You can't realize how we fellows "go" for it. So long!"


"Mel" Marty, now a staff sergeant, who has been right in the thick of the Battle for France ever since D-Day, relates some of his thrilling and harrowing combat experiences in a letter just received by The Drizzler: "Have not yet received the last Drizzle," says Mel, "But am sure looking forward to it. Mail is a great morale builder and when a fellow has to stay in a foxhole in mud and rain for three or four days, it means everything in the world. I have really been in some tight spots, Roz. One day a bunch of us were along a hedge row next to a road when some German 88s opened up. The shells went so close over the top of our heads that we could actually feel the hot air created by them. No kidding, one of the fellow's steel helmet raised right off of his head. And, of course, at night the Jerries usually send over a few planes to bomb and strafe us and we have to sweat them out. I have had only one chance to take a shower since D-Day and am still wearing the same clothes so you can imagine how clean they are. And I have had the opportunity to shave about seven times since then. Of course I have been on the front lines or only a couple miles behind them all the time so you can get an idea of what we've been through. One of the greatest sights I have ever seen, Roz, was on the day those 1800 bombers came over from England and bombed right in front of us, only 200 yards ahead. We were flat on the ground, but we couldn't keep still because the ground actually vibrated so from this terrific bombardment. There were Liberators, Fortresses, A-20s, and B-26s. That was really some sight. When they stopped bombing, we jumped right up and off after the kraut-heads. The air corps is pounding 'em day and night and I'll take my hat off to those "birds" any day. Also to our tank and other armored units. Boy, are we ever glad when we see our tanks roll alongside of us and see our planes roaring overhead. Well, Roz, this will be all for this time. Will send you more sidelights for The Drizzle whenever I get the chance. As ever, Mel. (It's swell to get such a swell letter, Mel. I'll be lookin' for more of' em and the same goes for all of the rest of the fellows.)


To these Drizzle donors: Ray Edwards, Philadelphia; H. C. Roth, Monroe; Peter J. Elmer, Montrose, Calif.; Harvey Milbrandt; Mrs. Euphemia Urben, Madison; Mrs. W. R. Shisler, Gibsonburg, O.; Casper Blum, Mr. and Mrs. Al Knobel, Dr. Babler, Irene Marty, C. M. Stauffer, Dr. Horne, Erwin Kissling, Joe Voegeli, H. Milbrandt, Ed Bontly, Wilbert Christen, Hattie Yaussi; Allie Howard, Belleville; Albert Stoller, Brookline, Mass.; Mrs. J. P. Zweifel, Mrs. Bertha Keller, Mrs. Hazel Kundert, and John C. Elmer.


Shortly before the invasion, Tommy Brusveen was stationed briefly near Cardiff, Wales, near where Sgt. C. J. (Jake the Joker) Dick, is on the staff of the 348th Station Hospital, and he believes he took pictures of the same old castle Carl mentioned in the April issue of The Drizzle. Tommy says he never thought he'd see or do what he saw and did during the invasion. . . Fritz Steinmann expects to be transferred from Chicago shortly. . . Whitey's with an Excess Officer's Co., may be on his way overseas by now. . . Thanks to "Al" Deppeler and Wilbert Marty for shoulder patches. . . Cpl. P. F. Blumer leaves today on return to Chanute Field, Ill., departs end of month for overseas replacement depot near Greensboro, N. C. . . A number of the boys have been home on furlough or leave in the past month. You've either read or'll read about them in the Messenger. . . S/Sgt. Debbie Moritz has been in France ever since the invasion. He's with a radio outfit. His address: Hq. Btry., 230 F. A. Bn., APO 30. . . Bob Blumer's with Co. F, of the 11th Inf. Also with him in France are Johnny Blumer and Lloyd Deppeler, Al's brother. . . Just noticed where I forgot to mention that Tommy never was able to contact Carl when they were in the same general area. . Pvt. Florence Pluss of the WACs, until recently at Camp Augusta, Ga., now has an overseas APO out of San Francisco. . . Say, Wally, how about a letter from you telling of some of the pilots you've tutored who've gone out and made names for themselves by ridding the skylanes of filthy "Germs" and Japs? I'm all set for it so hope you are, too. . . "Boob" Kissling, the former Yale Yodeler, spent four days in Philadelphia recently during the transportation tie-up. Detailed with soldiers from Camp Pickett. No wonder the strike ended in such a hurry. . . A letter just in from Howie Steinmann says he's on a rather beautiful island in the Pacific and parts of it remind him of California. His outfit is living comfortably enough in tents. "The sun shines every day, but we get our "shower" every day also." . . And thus ends this issue of The Drizzle. Until next month, then, the very, very best of luck to each and every one of you!!

 The Monticello Drizzle, created for the Monticello Area Historical Society
by Roger and Madeleine Dooley.
A softcover copy can be purchased by contacting
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