September 15, 2001

In this issue of the Bugle . . .
honoring our treasurer emeritus, a school calendar (Click to view. Return with Back button.), report on recent crimes, Brookdale history, and more!

President's Report

Welcome back to the routines of fall . . .
Since the Annual Meeting on May 23, the Executive Committee has been at work on several different kinds of issues. In keeping with the sentiment of the community as expressed at the annual meeting, we have begun to focus on traffic and other safety issues (just in the nick of time given the Crime Report). One step is to alert you to the hazards caused by unpruned shrubs and trees (see story.)

Both Chevy Chase Village and Green Acres/Glen Cove are having hearings to establish parking permit areas on some of their streets. In anticipation of outsiders parking on our streets during the day, Brookdale got the County's permission to do this more than two years ago. If you feel that daytime parking is a problem on your block, it is a simple matter to determine whether two-thirds of the residents on your block can agree to obtain parking permit restrictions. Your vice president and area liaison representative can help you establish this.

The association tries to support financially and in other ways community activities initiated by residents. This summer we supported the 4th of July Parade and this fall we are supporting the Merivale Block Party and the Halloween Party.

With the installation of a new slide in Brookdale Park in August, the County has completed the major work we requested. We should receive shortly for residents' review the County's suggested plan for a turnaround on Park Place.

We have good news on the Community Center on the Hecht's site (now called Wisconsin Place). After leading a delegation to speak with Howard Denis, our County Councilman, and writing to Greg Bayor, head of the Recreation Department, we have assurances from both that the Recreation Department, subject to County financial support, will negotiate any size changes needed and run the center, which will be under the contract of the Planning Board.

To keep all our activities and this newsletter going we need volunteers on a one-time basis and for bigger jobs. Won't you please volunteer to help?
- Gwen Lewis

Introducing Your Officers

At the May 23rd Brookdale Annual Meeting, officers were elected. Shortly thereafter, Pat Logsdon resigned as treasurer. The executive committee appointed Regina Crosson as treasurer. The following is a short description of the current officers.

Gwen Lewis, president
, has lived on Cortland Road with her husband David Montgomery since December 1993. She is a sociologist who retired three years ago. Her last position was director of Higher Education Programs at USDA. Gwen studies photography and spends copious time on volunteer activities.

Mike Makuch enters his fourth year as vice president of Brookdale North. Mike is an attorney with Smith, Gambrell, & Russell, LLP, an intellectual property practice, where he specializes in electronics and electro-optics. Mike and his wife Ann Warner live on Merivale Road with their daughters Nancy and Elizabeth.

Barbara Ingersoll, vice president of Brookdale South, has resided on Park Avenue with her husband Tom since 1982. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children with attention problems (ADHD) and mood/anxiety disorders.

Lisa Hochheiser, vice president of Wohlshire, has lived on Merivale Road with her husband Joe since 1985. She has three sons, Jesse, Ethan, and Cody and is a clinical psychologist in private practice.

Diane Shea has served as vice president of Orchardale since the spring of 1999. She is director of Natural Resources Group at the National Governors' Association. She has lived on Baltimore Avenue since 1996.

Hal Wolman, secretary, has lived on Westport with his wife Dianne since the summer of 1996. He is director of public policy and professor of political science at George Washington University.

Regina Reed Crosson, treasurer, has lived on Westport Road with her husband Dennis and boys Drew and Reed since July 2000. She is a full-time mother and a part-time consultant to the mortgage banking industry.

Andy Colyer, treasurer emeritus, served as treasurer of Brookdale for at least 20 years. (See following story.) Andy and his wife Mary have lived on River Road since 1968.

Sissy Rothwell, chair of the Finance Committee, is a longtime resident of Westport Road. She and her husband Frank (see story), raised their three children in Brookdale. She has served in a number of roles in the association over the years.

The End of an Era:
Andy Colyer Retires

Don Junior

At its annual May meeting, the Brookdale Citizens' Association honored Andy Colyer upon his retirement as the Association's treasurer. Andy's service for twenty years provided a unique example of stability. In presenting him with a certificate of appreciation, Gwen Lewis noted that no one can say how many other officers worked with Andy over the years. Andy has been named treasurer emeritus.

Andy and his wife, Mary Ambrose, are Atlantans by birth and Washingtonians by fate. Andy, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, retired from the U.S. Army in 1974. Commissioned in 1940, he served initially as an infantry officer but served his career in the Medical Services Corps on assignments in the Persian Gulf command, Europe, and the Office of the Army Surgeon General in Washington. Col. Colyer was appointed to the Army Command and General Staff School in 1949.

He and Mary joined the Brookdale Citizens' Association shortly after they moved here in 1968. Like fellow members of Brookdale's old guard, Andy recalls when Mazza Gallerie was a gas station and Friendship Circle' was a trolley stop. We are grateful to Andy for his twenty years as treasurer and wish him and Mary all the best for the future.

compiled by Hal Wolman

Newcomers: We welcome the following neighbors who have arrived in
Brookdale recently:

lrene Recio. . . . . . . . . . . . .5309 Baltimore
Shaazka Beyerle & Kanthan Shankar. . 5014 Westport
Linda Hallman and Michael Freeman 
  and their sons Steven (19), Ric (15) 
  and Adrian (4 mos) . . . . . . . . . 4504 Dalton
Diane Reiff Mayer & Peter Mayer. . . 4602 Harrison 
Gorman and Susan King and their children 
  Ingrid (10) and August (6) . . . . . 4510 Dalton 
Raymond and Deanna Foster  and 
  their daughter Heather (4) . . . . 4501 Cortland
Lois Ehle  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4815 River

Births:  Congratulations to Laura and Rik Leishman of 5308
Sherrill on the birth of their son, Dylan George Leishman, on
July 13 . . . and to Lolly Jewett and Abner Oakes of Dover Court
on the birth of their son, Charles Jewett Oakes, on April 26.

Marriage: Diane Reiff & Peter Mayer, new residents on Harrison
Street, were married on May 12.  Congratulations and welcome to
Peter and Diane! 

If you are a newcomer, we hope you have already received a warm
welcome. We would like to publicize your presence and other
transitions in the Bugle. Please send them to Hal Wolman,
secretary. If you don't have
a copy of the Brookdale Directory, contact your area liaison
representative. Please contact Gia Regan (4723 River Road) with additions or updates
to the directory: names, phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail

Brookdale Home Sales
Kathleen McElroy
As of August 23, there was one new home sale listing: 
4625 River Road, listed for $395,000

Four houses are under contract:
     4701 River (listed at $485,000)      $444,900
     4612 Harrison (listed at $475,000)   $524,500
     4706 Overbrook  . .                  $495,000
They sold in 44, 5, and 3 days respectively.

The following houses were under contract during the 
first quarter of the year and have settled
     4504 Dalton      listed and sold for $750,000
     5315 Baltimore (listed at $569,500)  $605,000
     4622 River      (listed at $525,000) $480,000
                         with $22,500 in credits to seller

The following houses, which were under contract at the 
end of last year, settled this year:
     5307 Willard (listed at $229,000). . . $353,000
     4629 River (listed at $439,000)  . . . $429,000
     4603 Merivale (reduced $469,500). . . .$465,000
     5204 Western (listed at $425,000) . . .$475,714
     5204 Keokuk listed at $525,000

 They sold in 2, 32, 102, 4, and 4 days respectively.
Kathleen McElroy is a resident of Brookdale and a real estate
agent who provides this information as a service to Brookdale.

Some of Brookdale's Past, Campbell Graeub

Shortly after we moved into our home in 1962, neighbors who knew that we had been looking for a house to buy in Brookdale, greeted us with "we are glad you got in." We felt as if we had been admitted to an exclusive country club. Little did we know that in some ways Brookdale was a little club with its own unwritten subculture rules. We soon found out that the homes were to be kept painted white, the boulders lining the front lawns were to be not just the ordinary type, quartz was preferred, and clothes lines in the back yard were frowned upon.

In 1962 we were among the "new generation" that had arrived in Brookdale. Most of our neighbors were original owners of the homes that were built from 1938 into the early 1940s by the Cooper Lightboum firm. They were praised as outstanding builders; not a single complaint was heard (how times have changed). Cooper Lightboum built 150 Brookdale homes. It is believed that the two first homes built were at 4612 Harrison Street and 4606 Merivale Road. By coincidence these are the only remaining homes still occupied by original family members.

In the 1940's, Brookdale was on the fringes of Washington's urbanized area. Where GEICO now stands there was a big hill that had to be leveled. It took away the kids' favorite sledding site. GEICO's parking lot (on the east side of Cortland Road) had been a large victory garden during WWII.

Cooper Lightboum built more than homes. Decades before home builders employed urban designers, Cooper Lightboum placed much emphasis on creating a cohesive community. There was no clear cutting, instead trees were kept wherever possible. As late as the early 1970's many Brookdale yards still had the apple trees left over from the orchards that were part of the farm land (hence the name Orchardale). Homes were arranged to provide maximum privacy, staggered where possible so that front doors would not be exactly opposite each other. Each home had a screened porch, where most families spent their summer evenings before the arrival of air-conditioning. Porches were located on the back front and sides, in ways to avoid being next to a neighbor's porch. Amazingly, of the 150 homes that were built no two are alike. Even those with inverse floor plans have many details that cannot be found in others.

As president of the Brookdale Citizens' Assn. in the mid 1960's, I had occasion to obtain the old association files. I learned that there truly was a club-like community spirit among the early "settlers" of Brookdale, evidenced by notices of black-tie association Christmas parties at the Kenwood Country Club. The files also revealed Brookdale's early troubles with GEICO. A 1957 letter from GEICO to the president of the Association assured that GEICO would not provide access to its property from any of our neighborhood streets, but limit entrances to Western and Willard Avenues.

A 1966 Brookdale newsletter reported that mail would be collected at 8:30 a.m., 1:45 and 5:45 p.m., with a late 8:30 p.m. pick up at the Western and River Road mail box. More importantly, Brookdale became very involved in 1966 and again the early 70's when massive developments were being proposed in the Friendship Heights area. These will be described in a future Bugle.

Wohlshire in 1962,
Frank Rothwell

In December 1962 when we moved to 5019 Westport there were some homes just built on Merivale and a few being built on Westport. There were vacant lots on both sides of the house we bought and River Road had just been widened from two to four lanes. Because at least three of the original owners in the 5000 block of Westport were doctors, some called it "pill hill." The lots on River Road were the last to be built on. That land looked like an abandoned farm and included an old well that had to be filled in.

Wohlfarth Development Corporation was run by Jay Wohlfarth who decided to name his subdivision using the first syllable of his surname and the upscale English "shire." Jay was a handsome, meticulous young man with strong likes and dislikes. Because he disliked real estate agents, Jay attempted to sell all of the houses himself.

Wohlfarth Development Corporation had a Quonset hut building on River Road behind our house where they advertised to commuters "if you lived here you would be home now." Houses in Wohlshire were built with the finest building materials available slate roofs, plaster walls, papered bathrooms, etc. Some of the homes were custom-built, but most, including ours, were not. Originally, there were no backyard fences as there was a covenant against them. However, by 1964 people started to put up fences, and no one wanted to enforce the covenant.

When houses were near completion, Jay called on the new house owners to go over the punch list around 10:00 a.m. after the man of the house had gone to work. He has a reputation for only selling homes to couples which included attractive women. I was the only one of our set who was able to get him to reduce his asking price. He often walked away those who tried to bargain with his prices even if it meant that some new homes remained unsold for longer than would be expected.

The original owners in Wohlshire socialized with each other. The one thing we had in common was experience in dealing with Jay which was enough to keep the conversation going all evening. If you are interested in hearing more on Jay Wohlfarth and Wohlshire, please call us at 301.986.1095.

Announcements & News
        July 4th Parade Attracts Record Crowds, Ron Tripp

Additional photos appear in the original Bugle.
While it may not be as large as the celebration along the Mall downtown, Brookdale had its own Independence Day Parade this summer to the delight of the children of our community, as well as their parents, and many of the neighbors along the parade route. An estimated one hundred young people participated in this year's parade, the second of what the kids surely hope will continue as an annual event. The hundred kids were joined by at least as many parents and other strolling adults, creating a crowd even greater than last year's assemblage.

The parade consisted of our young people on bicycles and tricycles, in wagons and on scooters, decorated in red, white, and blue for the holiday. They followed behind a long red fire truck as it snaked along our narrow streets. After drinks, pastries, and other treats in the park, the kids started their journey by heading up Dalton Road to Sherrill Avenue, then over to Merivale. Climbing up the hill on Merivale, the parade continued to Andover Road, over to Dalton, and followed Dalton back to the Park. The crew of the Bethesda Fire Department provided the long ladder truck that led the parade.

For the second year in a row, Ellie Shorb did a wonderful job organizing the parade. Not only does she have the right contacts at the fire department, she arranged for the sun to be shining brightly for the duration of the parade on what was otherwise a very rainy Fourth of July.

What To Do If You're Bored On A Rainy Afternoon, Katie Yochum, age 8

1. Read a good book and make yourself a spunky bookmark.
2. Draw a picture. If you can't decide what to draw, draw the first thing that comes to mind.
3. Try to build a one-piece-of-paper structure that will hold books.
4. Play hide-and-seek with yourself! Take an object, hide it, do something until you forget where you hid it, then find it.
5. Put your bathing suit on underneath a slicker and rain boots, go outside, and jump in puddles!
6. First pick a long word or a phrase (for example, BORING RAINY DAY)..then try to find as many words as you can out of those letters. Have fun!
7. Make up a new smoothie recipe.
8. Make yourself a snack. If you're tired, ice cream will wake you up.
9. Try blowing bubbles. Mix detergent and water for the bubble mix. Then try bending a pipe cleaner into different closed shapes and start blowing!
10. Try to write your own article for the Brookdale Bugle!
. . . and remember, whatever you do, have fun!

Update on Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
, Nancy Wolfe

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, along with all Montgomery County schools, opened September 4 with 1,375 enrolled. For the third year in a row, students will be attending school, not in its traditional location on East-West Highway in Bethesda, but in Northwood High School on University Boulevard in Silver Spring, a "holding school" for schools undergoing renovation. The $42 million modernization of B-CC was originally scheduled to be completed this fall, but numerous construction problems precluded that from happening, despite the county's contribution of an additional $1 million towards building costs.

The new date for beginning classes in the new location is now Jan. 4, 2002, with staff, parents, and students pitching in to help with the move. This will be the first time a High School in Montgomery county has made a major move in the middle of the school year. The new school, which will contain state of the art technology, will also incorporate two of the original buildings dating from 1926 and 1934. Students and staff will be delighted to be back, at long last, in their new "old" school.

Other activities at B-CC for the 2001-2002 school year include the expansion of the "Ninth Grade Academy" to include special English classes for students needing extra support in reading and writing; implementation of a new computer-based Algebra program, as well as further additions to the "Academy" that will begin after the move. The Academy concept was created to provide freshmen with innovative academic programs such as the interdisciplinary English/Government classes initiated last year. This course was designed to show students the links between the studies of government and literature and to help them view these subjects from a broader perspective and encourage critical thinking. The academy concept also aims to help prepare middle school students with the skills they will need to succeed in High School.

In addition, B-CC will have double blocks of algebra for students needing extra help; will provide additional support for students taking advanced-level classes; and will continue the after-school tutoring program. The school will join others in the B-CC "cluster" ( that is, the group of elementary schools plus Westland Middle school whose students will be attending B-CC) to focus on "writing to inform" in every subject during this school year.

If anyone is interested in ordering merchandise via the internet, log on to and choose from over 300 merchants. Through Schoolpop, up to 20 percent of each purchase is rebated to the school at no cost to you or the school.

B-CC's website:
Website for county schools:

Halloween Party
The annual Halloween Party
will take place
Saturday, October 27,
from noon to 2 pm
in Brookdale Park

All are urged to come, in costume if possible. Games and goody bags are provided for children. Hot dogs, burgers, and snacks are available for everyone. Volunteers are needed. Please call Kiyoshi Nakasaka at 301-718-7399 to volunteer.

Crime Alert

Burglaries in Brookdale
: Between August 22 and 24 two burglaries occurred in Brookdale, one on Baltimore and one on Saratoga. One house was occupied at the time and the burglar was scared off by the resident hitting an alarm. The other house was unoccupied. The police advise us to (1) lock all windows and doors, (2) engage your security system if you have one, (3) get signs claiming you have one, if you don't, (4) leave on porch lights at night to make entry more difficult, (5) have neighbors on the alert when you are away. We know that, in one case, the burglar is a professional who came by vehicle, broke and entered very late at night (4 a.m.), parked at the end of Sherrill, and is capable of squeezing through a very small space.

Attempted Rape: On August 23 at 8:30 p.m., there was an attempted rape at 4800 Western Ave. The attacker was described by the police as a black male, 5'10" tall, muscular build, wearing green shorts and a khaki shirt. He approached the victim from behind and forced her to the ground. She sprayed him with pepper spray and got away. Because the attempt was in the open and it was raining at the time, the police consider this a bizarre, isolated incident.

Assault: One resident has been receiving letters of a bizarre nature and "gifts" of junk left at her door from an apparently deranged man. If you see someone hanging around with no apparent business who fits the following description, please call the police at 911: middle-aged, African-American man, about 5'7" with a large belly, wearing a hat or a red bandanna on his head. He calls himself "Ronnie" in the letters.

Police Response: The police have stepped up late night patrols in our area to combat these incidents. If you notice anything out of the ordinary or hear unexplained sounds at night, call 911 for emergencies and 301.279.8000 for non-emergencies (please update this number in your directory).

The police offer a home security survey to help you determine and correct points of possible entry for burglars. If interested, please call Officer Dana Matthis at 301.657.0119.

Poolside Report,
Catherine Jones

This swimming pool information comes to you a little late in the summer, BUT, it does provide information on two indoor pools for and it helps newcomers (like myself) know that they can apply to the private swim clubs at any time of year, not just during the summer season.

Little Falls Swim Club
5001 Little Falls Drive, Bethesda
Mailing Address: PO Box 5579, Washington, DC 20016
Membership Contact: Kate Sieber 301.320.7519
Facilities include: a 6-lane 25 meter pool with a 12-foot diving well of 10 meters square; a baby pool; 3 tennis courts; and surrounding grounds with picnic tables. The pool season runs from Memorial weekend through the weekend after Labor Day. Tennis courts are available year round.

Applications for membership may be obtained through written request to the PO address or by calling the Membership Contact. There is a $25 application fee. Admission to LFSC is by family group and works on a point system, which is outlined in their by-laws posted on the bulletin board at the pool. The associate-membership fee is $500, and upon the availability of a full-membership, there is a $100 joining fee as well as the payment of the rest of the $1,000 bond ($500). In 2001 the annual dues are $300 for associate and full members. All charges are subject to change. Currently, the waiting period for associate membership is 5 to 6 years.

Palisades Swim Club
6918 Seven Locks Road, Cabin John, MD 20818
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 636, Glen Echo, MD 20812
Membership Hotline: 301.229.8020
Pool Desk: 301.229.9879
This facility includes a 6-lane, 25-meter pool with diving well, a 1,925 sq. ft. . training pool, a baby pool, 4 tennis courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Pools are open from Memorial Day to 2 weekends after Labor Day. Tennis courts are open year-round.
Membership applications can be picked up at the pool, or you can simply write your name, spouse's name, address, home and work numbers and enclose a check for $20.00 and send it to the P.O. box address above.

Palisades Swim Club has both individual and family memberships. Both types of membership proceed from temporary to bonded, as openings occur.
Currently there is a two- to three-year wait for temporary membership. The bond is now set at $980; there is no initiation fee. The 2001 dues for temporary membership are: family $400 and single $250. Dues for bonded members are: family $300 and single $200. These charges are subject to change.

Outdoor Public Pool: Bethesda Pool
Little Falls Parkway and Hillandale Road
Facilities include a 6-lane, 50-meter long course z-shaped pool with a 25-meter course into the diving well; 1- and 3-meter diving boards, a junior pool, tot pool, bath house, snack service, and lawn areas.

County resident fees are: Minors (under 18 yrs) and senior citizens $3.50, adults $5.00. Fees reduced for weekday early bird swim (8:30-9:50 am) and twilight swim (after 5:30 pm). 12-punch cards and summer pool passes available at reductions.

Indoor Public Pool: Montgomery Aquatic Center

5900 Executive Blvd, N. Bethesda (nr. White Flint metro)
This facility offers an indoor, Olympic-sized pool. Half of the pool is used for lap lanes (4 6 feet deep) and the other half offers diving (8 18 feet). There is a baby pool, a large slide, several heights of diving boards, whirlpool baths, saunas in the restrooms, and a complete weight room.

All children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult in the pool. No child care services available. Swimming lessons and water aerobic classes are available. Fees for County residents:
Minors & senior citizens $3.75, adults $4.75. 12-punch cards provide reductions.

9401 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814
Call to request their brochure for a listing of the services they offer and membership fees. Their facilities include two indoor pools, one outdoor pool and one outdoor baby pool. They offer an extensive year-round swimming lesson program for all ages from infants to seniors. Inquire about their babysitting services for children two months and older.

Neighborhood Menace,
Fiona Carson

Upon seeing the title of this piece, my husband assumed it would be autobiographical. (Very funny, David!). It isn't. Nor is it about burglars, dangerous drivers, rodents, or GEICO. This beef is about the trees and shrubs on our residential lots which obstruct the view of pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike, presenting a potentially fatal hazard.

My life having been threatened by several species, and my neck pulled out of shape by all the craning involved in negotiating one corner in particular, I decided to find out just how widespread is this menace in our area. The answer? "Very." On many corner lots, shrubs are growing too close to the street, causing an immediate danger. Equally as hazardous are the lower branches of large trees, reaching into mid-street, causing traffic to pass by on the wrong side to avoid them.

There would seem to be a couple of solutions to make our streets safer. The first would be to have sidewalks built. Our lots would be smaller and there would be more shoveling and less mowing. The second solution would be to prune the lower branches of obstructing trees and remove shrubs growing too close to corners. It's not often that amputation and sudden death could be considered better alternatives, but in this case they may be so.

Using common sense would probably be the best way to a solution. The height of a UPS van or school bus is approximately 12 feet, which would be a sensible guideline to use for branch removal. If you notice that the shrubs on your corner lot are blocking the view, then it is time for them to go!
I'm climbing off the soapbox now to check on my own green matter so that I can submit this article with a clear conscience.

Classified Ads
The classified section of the Brookdale Bugle is provided as a service to Brookdale residents, who may place ads at no charge. A fee of $15 will be charged for ads placed by non-residents and all ads are subject to approval by the Brookdale Citizens' Association Executive Committee.

Brookdale Centenarian, Janet Timbie

The oldest resident of Brookdale, who also has lived in the neighborhood longer than anyone else, will celebrate her 100th birthday on October 20, 2001. Marion Taft (Mrs. Walter J. Taft) has lived at 4606 Merivale Road since 1938 and has seen many changes in the neighborhood and in the Friendship Heights area as a whole.

Mrs. Taft's house was the first one built on Merivale Road., but she has often remarked that she was not at all nervous about being alone in the early days in that solitary house! The neighborhood gradually filled in. Mrs. Taft knew the builder and states that he planned to extend home construction farther toward Wisconsin Avenue but died before the plan could be carried out.

Mrs. Taft grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and worked in the office of a local company after leaving school. She lived in New York for a time after her marriage. Walter Taft's work as a journalist brought them to Washington, DC, where he wrote for a railroad publication. Their daughter, Mary Ellen Taft Whitcomb, was born after they moved to Brookdale and attended Westbrook School for a short time in its early days. Mrs. Whitcomb has three sons and has recently retired from a career as counselor and retreat director at Gonzaga High School. Mrs. Taft enjoys visits from her three grandsons and several great-grandchildren, who live in the area.

Mrs. Taft was active as a volunteer for various groups. A long-time member of Little Flower Church, she helped out at Little Flower School in different ways. She also volunteered with the Grey Ladies and the Red Cross.

Marion Taft mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to many in Brookdale is a witness to the entire history of Brookdale. All the current residents offer best wishes on her 100th birthday!

Brookdale Area Liaison Representatives (Click to view. Return with Back button.)

The Brookdale Bugle is a publication of the Brookdale Community Association.

   Editor   . . . . . . .Gwen Lewis
   Layout  . . . . . . .Gia Regan
   Distribution . . . .Mike & Pearl Becnel

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