Re: The Lonesome Crowded Southwest

1

Thanks, Stanley. It's been a good trip so far, and there will be many updates to come.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-19-09 11:56 PM
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I'm weak with envy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:01 AM
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I, for one, am fully envious. I have a vague goal of, at some point, visiting every national park in the country.

Amen. I personally, have been wanting to hike the Rocky Mtn. Trail, starting in the south near the Mexican border in the early spring, and hopefully maybe, getting to the Canadian border fast enough to turn around and hike back. Seems unlikely, but it could happen!

max
['Walkabout.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:02 AM
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I can't believe he didn't take a picture of the pie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:14 AM
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So the people left, but there's still pie? Creepy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:16 AM
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There was nothing particularly distinctive about the pie. You've seen pie, right?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:16 AM
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There are people there to, like, serve the pie and stuff.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:17 AM
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I haven't seen that pie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:18 AM
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9

And, in response to this, I know just the corner to stand on.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:18 AM
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I was strawberry rhubarb. Does that help?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:18 AM
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It was, that is.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:19 AM
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I still haven't seen it, if that's what you mean.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:21 AM
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9: And will you stand on it? Inquiring minds want to know.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:22 AM
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9: As does JP.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:24 AM
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13: I will.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:24 AM
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But are there four women who want to own you, two who want to stone you, and one who claims to be your friend? That would make a better story.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:27 AM
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It would indeed. Alas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:29 AM
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I'm strawberry rhubarb!


Posted by: Spartacus | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:33 AM
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Mm, how fun. I have done multiple variations on that trip (starting from the Central Coast and heading east before looping back) and had a wonderful time on all of them. There's just so much to see.

On a very rushed Southwest trip that was part of a larger cross-country trip, we had the day of four national parks. Woke up in Mesa Verde, drove to Arches and did a very short hike, drove to Bryce for a sunset stroll, and ended up in Zion to sleep. I feel like the four corners states are the only place that that is possible (the area is just so dense with national parks, monuments, etc) without crazy driving, though I could be wrong. You could also probably fit more in, or do four in different combinations. This is only recommended if you're already familiar with the parks, of course. I'd much prefer to take a week for each one!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:37 AM
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There are other parts of the country that have similar concentrations of national parks, but I suspect they aren't all as individually spectacular.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:42 AM
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And while I don't consider 500 miles in a day to be "crazy driving," I think many people would.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:42 AM
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500 miles in a day isn't that much, really. Unless you're on the east coast, where people drive little toy cars made of vegetables that only go backwards.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:46 AM
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People on the east coast are the ones I'm thinking of.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 12:47 AM
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Hmm. Why can't I think of a place with similar concentrations? California, you could pick up a few. I suppose you could do Joshua Tree, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite. Anyway.

And no, 500 miles a day is not crazy driving, unless you're trying to actually do something in the daylight hours besides drive, in which case it's a bit difficult.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 7:28 AM
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I love the parks in that part of the country. Especially Zion. Have a nice trip, teo!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 7:40 AM
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16,17: But most importantly, teo -- are you already standing on the ground?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 8:06 AM
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Not that many people even in New Mexico know about Pie Town, but it's a fascinating place: sort of an odd, very isolated quasi-ghost town with an economy based on pie.

Wow. I now have my first clear stop-point for my family's future cross-country jaunt. I should come up with some way to track such things.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 8:55 AM
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27: Be sure not to miss the world's largest ball of string, JRoth.

26: Take it easy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:03 AM
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28: Oops, I meant second largest.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:05 AM
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Oh, and my dad did some driving in the SW a couple years ago, and he, too, stood on that corner.

As some of you may be aware, they've put up a statue of someone standing there. I don't think there's a statue of a girl my lord in a flatbed Ford, although it would be fun to have a statue out there in a driving lane.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:09 AM
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One of the things I used to have to do for friends in Samoa was help them out with lyrics of American songs. I made a coworker sad by replacing his much more surreally evocative version of the song "a girl my lord on a blackbird thorn" with the real lyrics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:12 AM
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Don Henley must die.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:12 AM
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28.1: I haven't really discussed with AB the official R-B attitude towards roadside kitsch. I know that, as a preservationist*, she has a fundamental interest in it, but I don't know if we'll actually be stopping at many such places. I'll note that, in 9 years, I can't think of any East Coast kitsch we've stopped to see. OTOH, we have a fridge magnet of Good Good the Elephant.

* A mutual friend/colleague of ours worked on the restoration of this.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:12 AM
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31: I did a lot of such translating too in, um, you know, that country I used to live in.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:14 AM
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Shit. This.

Also, I realize that we stopped at the Ship of the Alleghenies before it tragically burned. God, taht place was awesome.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:15 AM
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Anyone ever been through Pigeon Forge, TN?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:15 AM
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33.2: This thread had to be restored already?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:16 AM
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37: Yes. It's historic.

And beautiful.

I can't imagine why you'd even need to ask.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:18 AM
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26: Hmmm, no one noticed that I was mixing up Eagles songs.

"a girl my lord on a blackbird thorn"

that is nice!

I once had a favorite Dylan lyric, "I once knew a woman that looked like you/ She wanted a home and not just a hat"

And then I found out that it's supposed to be "a whole man and not just a half".

My lyric is just so much better.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:18 AM
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28: Oops, I meant second largest.

Is this a slam on a certain pecan?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:22 AM
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Gatlinburg -> Pigeon Forge demonstrates how much more efficient and thorough our modern economy has enabled us to be in thoroughly degrading an otherwise beautiful place.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:22 AM
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The project* that launched my solo career was actually a piece of public art/roadside kitsch on the Lincoln Highway, just a couple dozen miles from the aforementioned sites. God, it would've been so great, but my partner - the ironworking company that was to have built it - crapped out on me big-time**, plus the property owner ended up being an asshole anyway.

Sigh.

* Warning: Big PDF file. Also, uh, discretion error.

** If you want me to badmouth them to you, just ask!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:23 AM
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26: Hmmm, no one noticed that I was mixing up Eagles songs.

I noticed, but was embarrassed that I knew that and so stayed silent.

40: It's STILL only the 2nd largest? That committee to restore Heebietown to its rightful pecaniary glory needs to get on the stick.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:28 AM
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44

I thought it had to be abandoned when it was proven that the car was pointed towards Mecca.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:28 AM
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My lyric is just so much better.

True, plus apparently Dylan is/was a nut for hats. James Coburn was on Letterman once talking about making "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" with Dylan, and how it drove the movie folks nuts, because Dylan kept changing hats between scenes, screwing up the continuity. "He liked to wear a lot of hats."

Maybe if you sent him your lyrics, he'd switch to singing it your way.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:29 AM
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44: Nice.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:30 AM
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I've been through Pigeon Forge on the way to Nashville, and to the park therein.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:30 AM
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Gatlinburg -> Pigeon Forge demonstrates how much more efficient and thorough our modern economy has enabled us to be in thoroughly degrading an otherwise beautiful place.

I was there with Bad Old GF. I'd kind of like to take AB there, because it's interesting, and that part of the Smokies is so great, but I also feel a bit like, "Seen it once...".


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:31 AM
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47: I remember passing through there sometime in the early 80's and being amazed, even at my young age, at how much tourist crap they had crammed in there. Including a live dolphin show. In Tennesee.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:32 AM
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There was a great deal of tourist crap. We managed to skip the secondary tourist crap and focus on the main attraction, as it were. This must have been the late 80s.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:37 AM
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50: Dollywood! Woohoo!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:39 AM
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I noticed, but was embarrassed that I knew that and so stayed silent.

Cool! I smoked you out! (trying to cover up your Eagles expertise by threatening Don Henley! Shame!)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:43 AM
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||

The lead singer for Bell X-1 sounds quite a bit like Ray Davies.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:44 AM
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42: That is so crazy! I love it!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:49 AM
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42: That is so crazy! I love it!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:49 AM
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Maybe if you sent him your lyrics, he'd switch to singing it your way.,/i>

Really??? You think he might???

But the problem is that "hat" doesn't rhyme with "laugh", and I get the feeling that Bob is kind of a stickler about that kind of thing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:52 AM
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Shit, that wasn't Bell X-1. I misheard the radio announcer. Bell X-1 is in the future, and an interesting-sounding band with a lead singer like Ray Davies is in the past, a lost mystery to me.

42: That is so crazy! I love it!

Thanks!

42: That is so crazy! I love it!

No, really, you're too kind.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:58 AM
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Cool! I smoked you out! (trying to cover up your Eagles expertise

My expertise is not focussed at all on the Eagles. I just for some reason easily pick up and remember the lyrics to any song I hear more than about twice or so.

by threatening Don Henley! Shame!)

Well something must be done to prevent him from getting back together with Glenn Frey!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:58 AM
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Ah! Sam Roberts!

Thanks, Internet.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 9:59 AM
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Quite all right, my good man. Quite all right.


Posted by: Internet | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:00 AM
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If you go to the Southwest looking for kitsch, JRoth, be sure to keep an eye out for the jackalope.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:15 AM
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Who's badmouthing the Aquarium of The Smokies?

JRoth, I can't open the PDF on this computer, but it sounds like a Large Hadron-Hippie Collider would be just the thing for that stretch of highway.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:21 AM
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As a kid I assumed the line about "a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford" was implying that the girl was his lord, like he would do whatever she asked or something.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:22 AM
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I would think that he would.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:23 AM
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63: Likewise, I assumed the singer was addressing someone who had wheels (noisy ones, apparently) instead of feet.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:24 AM
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JRoth, I can't open the PDF on this computer

The central part of the installation was to have been* an 83 Lincoln (get it?) lifted up on posts, as if it were becoming airborne.

God, it would've been so great.

* Sigh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:25 AM
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65: A song addressed to one of these people could be pretty touching.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:30 AM
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When I drove from Chicago to Seattle to Palo Alto I was coerced into stopping at Wall Drug. BORING. And the Corn Palace. BORING.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:37 AM
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68: Ben, you forgot to close your tag.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:40 AM
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68: ME TOO.

BORING. BORING. BORING.

(But the jackalope, that's not boring!)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:41 AM
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Wall Drug sucks, but the Corn Palace is awesome, you philistines. Minarets! Moorish domes! Murals made of corn!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:50 AM
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71: I think by virtue of being in South Dakota, all of those things are canceled out and it remains boring.

Then again, I only saw it at the tail end of an 800 mile slog. It could be that I was just tired.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:56 AM
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I too might not have been in the best of states (ha) to witness its glory.

We also stopped in Yellowstone, which was not boring, even though I was ill, and just outside (before) Yellowstone for no reason other than to clamber up a rockface, which was also not boring.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 10:58 AM
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Ooh, I went to Yellowstone too on that trip. That was fantastic, definitely not boring. And we stayed in Cody, on the eve of their big rodeo, which was also not boring. The drive out of Yellowstone to Cody remains one of my favorites; we did it at sunset and all was glorious and beautiful and I dreamed about owning a piece of land there and never leaving. Needless to say, this did not happen in Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the Corn Palace.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 11:01 AM
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75

Badlands NP is also in South Dakota, and it too is awesome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 11:03 AM
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75: Good point. We stopped there too. This was the trip of stopping, apparently.

Also, Spam museum in Minnesota? Surprisingly cool. Particularly the Monty Python exhibit.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 11:05 AM
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Confession. I had only ever associated that song with Jackson Browne. Shows you how much attention I pay to things that I don't pay attention to.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 1:57 PM
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77: Haven't we previously identified the phenomenon of the "confession" that is really a claim of superiority?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 3:21 PM
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Ah, right:

Shorter 77: I don't even own an Eagles.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 3:22 PM
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Haven't we previously identified the phenomenon of the "confession" that is really a claim of superiority?

I confess that in high school I read Seven Pillars of Wisdom because I thought the title was cool.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 3:28 PM
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I confess that, under a different name, I wrote The Seven Pillars of Wisdom because there was nothing worth watching on cable.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 3:38 PM
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They've just re-released it with a new title: The Seven Pillars of Highly Wise People.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 3:39 PM
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My editor took out the initial The, but I prefer my phrasing.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-20-09 3:39 PM
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