About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....
 

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Comments On Article: This Fifth Day Of January 1917

1,651 posts (admin)
Fri Jan 05, 24 1:06 PM CST

If you would like to share your comments for article This fifth day of January 1917, this is where to do it! 

Click the Reply To This Topic button below to post yours.

J
46 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 1:58 PM CST

I was delighted to see your new post.

First, that desk makeover is wonderful.  It is lovely!  You two have a skill for beautifying and keeping old things useful. 

Second, my dad was born in 1918.  I'm curious to see what you find out about 1917!

I need to live more simply.  I keep saying that, but I find it hard.  I hope your posts help me move forward in this.  I tend to think back to the time when I was a child (50's, early 60's) as a simple time, but for my dad, that time was full of  exciting new upgrades!  As a school-aged child, his family of nine (often with a relative staying for a while on top of that) managed in a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house.  His scarce clothes hung on a nail or two in the wall.  His underwear and socks were few; the clean ones were folded under his bed pillow during the day and sat on the floor or a chair at night; they didn't own dressers.  Dried food from their garden was stored in winter in large cans under their beds.  He went barefoot for most of the warm weather.  He was sent as a child to help on farms during summers, until he was grown.  For most of those years, he plowed behind a mule.   I can simplify a LOT without having to go nearly that far, and one of my goals this year is to do it.  

I had wondered about the oldest cat.  I'm sorry for that loss, but it's good to know all the animals are cared for lovingly until they pass. 

Thanks for the post, and I look forward to more as you are able. 

A question for you and other readers:  Both of my parents (b. 1918 and 1920) remember that as kids, when there were family gatherings, the adults were seated first and ate first, then the kids were seated to whatever was leftover.  My dad's joke always was that as a kid he thought chickens had nothing except necks and backs, because that was all that was left on the platter.  They agreed with each other when they married that their own kids would get fed with the adults, not after.  Was this adults-first-at-big-meals thing common?  Regional?  Widespread?


A
40 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 2:12 PM CST

Always ecstatic to see a new post of peace!  You're right, the world is ugly.  Going back makes me feel warm and fuzzy. LOL.  Clara still works because she's not meant to do 1001 things. Like now, they make these machines cheap and they want them to do everything under the sun.  Then they do none of them very well.  Simple is so much better.  Looks like the kitties are doing well.  Happy New Year!

G
263 posts (admin)
Fri Jan 05, 24 2:39 PM CST

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE,  Hi Joan S,  I enjoyed reading about your Dad's life, sounds like they grew up working.  About your question, when did the kids get fed?  I did a quick research but seems that it all depended on the size of the family, the age of the children.  I know that when we had family gatherings when I was a child, we normally ate at lower tables, something put together for the children and we ate at the same time but away from the big table.  I think the key here is "family gatherings'.  This would be normally due to a seating issue.  The status or wealth of a family would most likely make a difference too such as was there a nanny or someone to watch over the children. My brother and I would be served a drumstick if it were chicken but my memories are we ate more game than Chicken, such as fish, rabbit, squirrel, quail, such as that since many people hunted long ago.  

We lived in the city when I was a child and my father would still go outside of the city to hunt.  Maybe someone else has a memory or family story to answer this question.  It could have been the way their family did as everyone grew up different. 

G
17 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 2:43 PM CST

So happy to see a post from you again.  You made my day, Donna.  

Three of my grandparents were born in 1917 and one in 1897, so I'm very interested to see what you discover by living "like" 1917.  I look eagerly forward to your next post.

You and Charles remain in my prayers. 

L
3 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 2:51 PM CST

My grandfather was born in 1912, my grandmother 1923.  My grandmother had us sit at a kids table for big holiday gatherings but we sat with the grownups otherwise. 

That writing table fits perfectly.  And I can’t tell at all that the restoration isn’t perfect. 

Looking forward to this series.  The world has a lot to learn from 1917.  Me included. 

G
17 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 3:02 PM CST
Grandma Donna wrote:

GRANDMA DONNA WROTE,  Hi Joan S,  I enjoyed reading about your Dad's life, sounds like they grew up working.  About your question, when did the kids get fed?  I did a quick research but seems that it all depended on the size of the family, the age of the children.  I know that when we had family gatherings when I was a child, we normally ate at lower tables, something put together for the children and we ate at the same time but away from the big table.  I think the key here is "family gatherings'.  This would be normally due to a seating issue.  The status or wealth of a family would most likely make a difference too such as was there a nanny or someone to watch over the children. My brother and I would be served a drumstick if it were chicken but my memories are we ate more game than Chicken, such as fish, rabbit, squirrel, quail, such as that since many people hunted long ago.  

We lived in the city when I was a child and my father would still go outside of the city to hunt.  Maybe someone else has a memory or family story to answer this question.  It could have been the way their family did as everyone grew up different. 

My father used to tell of family get togethers at HIS grandparents' very small, three room house.  They would have not just the smallish dining room table, but would set up planks on saw horses and still have to eat in shifts, as there were 30 plus in the family.  The men would eat first, followed by the kids and then the women.  During my growing up years, it was simply that the adults ate in the dining room and we kids were relegated to the kitchen.  :0)

M
2 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 4:11 PM CST

I’m so excited to read your post! My house was built in 1917 and when my husband and I bought the house 40 years ago, I was told my father used to come here to play when he was a boy in the 1930’s. As soon as we bought our house I felt at home. I agree the world has gone mad, so I am staying in more than ever. I am a homebody so it doesn’t bother me a bit


G
6 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 4:16 PM CST

My husband's family were homesteading farmers and my FIL said the kids had to wait for food until the grown-ups had eaten. I was pretty much horrified by the very thought of this. I understand their reasoning, but they were minus the education concerning children's nutrient needs for proper growth. That fact showed in all the children. Hard work and poverty, certainly, factored into much within farming families. Thank God for them.

In my grandmother's home we all ate together, sitting at the dining room table, with china and proper silverware. She would have been horrified, also, at the thought of children getting the leftover scraps that the adults had not eaten. I, too, think it was related to the social class and occupation of the head of the household. It sounds awful to say "social class," but that was reality in the 1930's, 40's and 50's.

I am looking forward to what you share with us in 2024, Donna. Thank you for all your wonderful posts.

M
6 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 4:27 PM CST

Hi Grandma Donna, such a wonderful post. I love the little desk. It looks wonderful and so do the kitties.

I am looking forward to read about the study. One grandmother was born in 1899 and my other grandmother in 1903, so they were teenagers during that time.

Our country was neutral during WW1. We did have refugees from Belgium.

Warm wishes and a very happy new year from The Netherlands.






K
65 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 4:44 PM CST

Dear Donna. I felt joy at seeing your post and a great way to start real time 2024.

Oh the Mercantile ??. I have a spare pantry so will now store our vegetables in cardboard boxes in there. Brilliant. The supermarkets are so busy and noisy I'm looking for a different way to shop this year.

Didn't the little desk turn out beautifully from all your hard work. I brought a piano stool for $5 that needs to be sanded down and the seat recovered. I have the fabric and will use the original tacks.

Your savings and grocery notebooks are another good idea and using a card for the outside was inspirational. Better than having them just sitting in the drawer.

You said " why are people so awful?" Generations are different. Many are so caught up in the technological lifestyle that what they want becomes their top priority. Checkout operators at the local supermarket said they are abused on a daily basis by customers. I was shocked to think why do people do that???, why do they think it's ok????? 

I look forward to 1917 sharing from you.

God bless you and Charles and you sweet animal family

Karen NZ


W
13 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 5:09 PM CST

Donna, I am always so happy to see a new post from you!  Like some of the other commenter's mentioned, my father was also born in 1918 and my mother in 1925.  They didn't talk much about their early years.  My dad 's father was a barber in a very small town in the sand hills of Nebraska and my mom's dad was a salesman in the big city of Omaha.  

That writing desk is beautiful!  You and Charles do such a good job.  You mentioned what adventures we have coming up in the new year.  For me, it will involve a move.  Early last year I sold my beloved little house in the country in Washington state.  I did not want to sell but circumstances beyond my control forced the issue.  Since then I have been living with my daughter and her family in the suburbs in California.  Not quite my cup of tea!  I am working on getting an apartment in a very small town in the northern part of the state.  My brother and his wife live there too.  This is challenging for me as I have never found a place to live and moved all by myself.  Where I live now all of the stores are big, bigger, biggest!  Big box chain stores.  I want to live in an area of more local, mom and pop type of shopping.  

I'm so glad to see that your fur babies are thriving.  I know that you gave Gabby a good life in her final weeks.  God bless you both; I'm very excited to follow your study this year.

Jackie 

B
33 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 8:40 PM CST

Donna,

            I was so glad to see your post! I think I am not the only one who checks nearly every day to see if you've posted anything.

            You certainly did a fantastic job on the desk! I am sure you will enjoy it for many years.

            Since you are going to be studying 1917, I found a link where you can see many of the magazines from 1917. I think there are some that Charles might enjoy, too. It is all free. I wanted to put the links here in case others don't know about this website.

https://archive.org/details/magazine_rack?query=19...

Here are newspapers from 1917

https://archive.org/details/newspapers?page=3&and%...

Silent films from 1917

https://archive.org/details/silent_films?page=2&an...

Cookbooks from 1917. There are some with very economical recipes. I thought these might be of interest to those who plan to cut back on grocery expenses for 2024

https://archive.org/search?query=cookbook&and%5B%5...

K
65 posts
Fri Jan 05, 24 10:44 PM CST

I was inspired by the savings and grocery notebooks that I took a little notebook that had been given to me 3 years ago and hardly used and ruled it up for my grocery notebook. Thank you Donna for giving us an example 

Karen NZ

Attached Photos

S
92 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 12:39 AM CST

I'm over the modern world too. I've been looking at Tasha Tudor's life and her fierce determination to live life on her terms and in her way. Made me want to start weaving my own cloth! For now, I sit down every weekday afternoon and mend or practice learning hand-sewing stitches. 

I love the savings book idea! I think it would make the saving more real and satisfying than just getting a paper receipt at the bank. 

The desk is just beautiful! Shows how beauty can be brought out of something homely. Our planned project this year is to make an old-fashioned wooden wheelbarrow, and I have a set of worn sheets and found instructions for making rag rugs out of old sheets. I think I'll feel like I'm Tasha Tudor when I make that! 

So glad to see a new post. I hope 1917 has lots of interesting things going on so there will be lots of posts. Happier new year to us all! (2023 was terrible!)

K
65 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 12:45 AM CST
Stephanie G wrote:

I'm over the modern world too. I've been looking at Tasha Tudor's life and her fierce determination to live life on her terms and in her way. Made me want to start weaving my own cloth! For now, I sit down every weekday afternoon and mend or practice learning hand-sewing stitches. 

I love the savings book idea! I think it would make the saving more real and satisfying than just getting a paper receipt at the bank. 

The desk is just beautiful! Shows how beauty can be brought out of something homely. Our planned project this year is to make an old-fashioned wooden wheelbarrow, and I have a set of worn sheets and found instructions for making rag rugs out of old sheets. I think I'll feel like I'm Tasha Tudor when I make that! 

So glad to see a new post. I hope 1917 has lots of interesting things going on so there will be lots of posts. Happier new year to us all! (2023 was terrible!)

Stephanie G.... I love Tasha Tudor. Have a book of hers with beautiful photos in it.

So many of us want simpler,quieter lives. We are blessed to live rurally in a house no one knows is here. The house is over 100 years old. We love it.

K
48 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 4:42 AM CST

So happy to see your new post!! That desk is BEAUTIFUL!!  And Clara sews beautifully!! Old things were definitely made to last. I have a treadle machine too but I cannot get the hang of the treadle at all. My sewing stuff is packed away for now as we will be moving house soon( the landlord is evicting us as he wants to put the rent up higher so am I’m frantically trying to find somewhere to live )

 I love seeing photos of your house. It looks so cozy and peaceful. Nothing like my house at all. Every time I see your photos it makes me want to use tablecloths and have net curtains and napkins. Maybe once we move I can do that. 

S
3 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 7:05 AM CST
Hi Grandma Donna, you inspired me to look for German newspapers from 1917. Thanks for that!
I actually found a newspaper from my hometown with the date February 10, 1917. The front page reports on the First World War.
The newspaper is written in Sütterlin. Sütterlin is the old German script that was learned in schools until 1941. My grandparents still wrote Sütterlin. I picked up the font when I was a teenager and can still read and write it to this day. So I can also read these old magazines from the Internet. (I think I'm a little proud of that. ????)
I wish you many new insights on your journey through time this year.
Greetings from Germany!
Edited Sat Jan 06, 24 7:33 AM by Sibylle M
S
92 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 11:32 AM CST
Karen S wrote:

Stephanie G.... I love Tasha Tudor. Have a book of hers with beautiful photos in it.

So many of us want simpler,quieter lives. We are blessed to live rurally in a house no one knows is here. The house is over 100 years old. We love it.

Karen S It must have enriched your life so much to live in your hidden world. :)

I think what I like most about Tasha is how she lived in the world her way, and didn't apologize for it. It ended up influencing so many people. The world seems to becoming crazier and crazier in many areas, and I think it's good to make a stand and say, "No!" Grandma Donna has been doing it for years and I appreciate that so much about her. 

By the way, Grandma Donna, there's a non-fiction book by Erik Larson called "Dead Wake" about the sinking of the Lusitania. The Lusitania was sunk in 1915, but the book shows how that event, and others, got us involved in WWI. I don't know if you've read it, but it's a good book for the period. 

M
4 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 12:40 PM CST

I find my brain is just sooo tired at this point. I don't know if it is over stimulation from access to so much outside influence, the pace of the world, the underlying anger or a combination. I limit social media to chosen you tube videos and blogs I want, I do not participate in the other types of social media, makes my world a bit smaller in terms of contacts, but I can't imagine how much worse I would feel if I participated!  I have decided to go back to very basic meals as well. I cook all of our meals as we do not eat out (not a brag, but my cooking is better and I control the ingredients)but want to get away from pasta dishes and those just too complicated (to make meals more interesting) I eat very basic and the same things over and over but I was always cooking different meals for my spouse and kids. The from scratch part is already done. I LOVED Tasha Tudor and have her cookbook. She is an inspiration. When you mentioned your treadle machine, a lightbulb went off. I really struggle with sewing on my machine and now I believe it is directly related to an overwhelming amount of choices and buttons and settings on my machine! I get so confused ( I am a new sewer and will mention I have no idea how it all works, I can hand sew decently though) Every time I turn around something is getting twisted, stuck or not working on that machine. Something I need to look in to. Thanks for the great post! And I loved reading everyone's comments! I am sorry about the loss of the kitty, but 18 is impressive! I have two cats (14 and 11) and most days I would rather be with them then most people!  

Edited Sat Jan 06, 24 12:44 PM by Michelle L
K
65 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 12:52 PM CST
Michelle L wrote:

I find my brain is just sooo tired at this point. I don't know if it is over stimulation from access to so much outside influence, the pace of the world, the underlying anger or a combination. I limit social media to chosen you tube videos and blogs I want, I do not participate in the other types of social media, makes my world a bit smaller in terms of contacts, but I can't imagine how much worse I would feel if I participated!  I have decided to go back to very basic meals as well. I cook all of our meals as we do not eat out (not a brag, but my cooking is better and I control the ingredients)but want to get away from pasta dishes and those just too complicated (to make meals more interesting) I eat very basic and the same things over and over but I was always cooking different meals for my spouse and kids. The from scratch part is already done. I LOVED Tasha Tudor and have her cookbook. She is an inspiration. When you mentioned your treadle machine, a lightbulb went off. I really struggle with sewing on my machine and now I believe it is directly related to an overwhelming amount of choices and buttons and settings on my machine! I get so confused ( I am a new sewer and will mention I have no idea how it all works, I can hand sew decently though) Every time I turn around something is getting twisted, stuck or not working on that machine. Something I need to look in to. Thanks for the great post! And I loved reading everyone's comments! I am sorry about the loss of the kitty, but 18 is impressive! I have two cats (14 and 11) and most days I would rather be with them then most people!  

Hi Michelle L

I've gone back to eating simpler for my health.

Last night it was sweet potato,onion, capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms cooked together. Very little salt and lots of pepper. Absolutely delicious.Hubby had sausages with his.

Pasta makes me feel bloated.  I was also bloated after drinking tea especially last thing at night and when I queried about it on Google found out it's caused by caffeine so I gave up tea and only drink water now and my tummy sucked right back down hahaha. A blessing. 

My sewing machine has a dial with lots of stitches. I have never used them. Only use straight stitch and zig zag. Last year I wanted tidier seams so made my clothing using french seams. No zigzag and all seams neat and tidy. YouTube shows you how to do it.


C
6 posts
Sat Jan 06, 24 3:38 PM CST
Helper G wrote:

If you would like to share your comments for article This fifth day of January 1917, this is where to do it! 

Click the Reply To This Topic button below to post yours.

Delighted (as always!) to see your new post. Looking forward to learning more about 1917 as my Dad was born around then and my Mama in1921.I was not sad to see 2023 gone and I have hopes and prayers that this new year wil be better?? One commentor said that her brain is tired and I have to agree with her. What a mess this world is in, including our country, which I love so much. I have given up watching the news except in small doses. Our children, grands, and great- grandchildren and all our sweet fur babies bring us our greatest joy! Let us all pass along kindness to each other each day. Blessings to each of you, Carolyn in Florida

L
41 posts
Mon Jan 08, 24 5:52 PM CST

How fun that you have one (or now two) of those stamps.  I remember using those.

We also try to eat seasonally and/or from what we've preserved during the summer months.  Hope that works out for you.  (My opinion) it's important to support the small independent markets when we can. 

R
6 posts
Tue Jan 09, 24 3:24 PM CST

I always look forward to new posts here too. I have grandparents born in 1906 and 1909, and 1918 and 1921.  I was very young when 3 of them died and did not know them as much as I would have liked. I knew my youngest grandparent the longest. I wish I knew more about the particular family customs (like eating order as mentioned above) but don't know that type of thing. I do know 3 of my grandparent families were deeply affected by the depression, and even before that, were very versed in living frugally. I feel connected to my grandparents and their stories and I think by reading of your 1917 study, I can put myself in that era to know a little more about what it might have been like to live then. 

To Stephanie G, thanks for recommending the book Dead Wake. I found it at a thrift store last year and bought it but have not read it yet. I just may read it soon! 

F
13 posts
Tue Jan 09, 24 6:50 PM CST

Oh GD your post has brought tears to my eyes.
Thank goodness there's at least two other people in this world who see it is all mad and awful and are drawing back.
I see by other comments here there are likely more than just you two over there and us two here in NZ. Phew. 

We also are living just the way we want to as 'old fashionedly' as anything. Don't know about 1917 but we have just bought an old house (1927) with an acre of trees and rubbl garden and are going to hunker down and no mind to anything out there. 
We have had our old cat close to death this last month also but have loved him and provided everything for his comfort and he is doing rather better. He had a grand mal seizure on Christmas night and it was just frightening to be unable to stop it. He really has rallied though so hopefully no more with medication now. 
 We don't use bank books but are close to and we will grow veges again and eat seasonally too. 
Kind wishes over the seas to you. 
Felicity

M
4 posts
Wed Jan 10, 24 2:18 PM CST
Karen S wrote:

Hi Michelle L

I've gone back to eating simpler for my health.

Last night it was sweet potato,onion, capsicum, zucchini, mushrooms cooked together. Very little salt and lots of pepper. Absolutely delicious.Hubby had sausages with his.

Pasta makes me feel bloated.  I was also bloated after drinking tea especially last thing at night and when I queried about it on Google found out it's caused by caffeine so I gave up tea and only drink water now and my tummy sucked right back down hahaha. A blessing. 

My sewing machine has a dial with lots of stitches. I have never used them. Only use straight stitch and zig zag. Last year I wanted tidier seams so made my clothing using french seams. No zigzag and all seams neat and tidy. YouTube shows you how to do it.


Hi Karen!!  When I hit perimenopause years, pasta and baked goods with wheat made my arthritis flare up. I found cutting wheat helps enormously! There is also several foods I had to remove because this transition time (I am 54 on friday!) is changing me a bit!  I eat the same (pretty much exact) foods every day, the ones I found work for me now. I make more elaborate and ever changing meals for my partner and kids. Now that my youngest went to college, it's just my partner and I told him he's going to get boring meals now! I am just finding myself a little overwhelmed by the world and the fast pace collect all you can attitude.  I am on the hunt for a hurricane lamp or two but that is what I am limiting myself to extra purchase items this year. Thanks for the sewing tips! I swear I am going to sit down one day and get a grip on this machine!

M
1 posts
Sun Jan 14, 24 9:27 PM CST

Hi Grandma Donna, a wonderfull blog again. You are so right about the world nowadays. Even at my age (38) I'm tired off it. My husband and I choose to work less this year. The reason is that my husbands older brother is diagnosed with Alzheimers disease last year. He was always working to support his familiy (wife and 8 kids). En now it seems his being is already gone. My husband decided to work 3 days in a week to enjoy life more. The kids, the animals, doing some home renovations by himselve. I work 2 days now and it is a blessing. Whe did quit daycare, we are now able to take care of our kids. There is sadness, but peace in our home. We have cut down all extra expenses en your blog is a great help in living simple, just use the things you have, budgetting, saving and simple meals. Its better and more real than some of the younger bloggers and vloggers about minimalism en and simple living. I sympathize with you in your grief. Greeting from the Netherlands, Marre

T
27 posts
Mon Jan 15, 24 6:30 PM CST

You can buy a Singer zig zag attachment and they will work on a treadle. I have a buttonhole attachment for one of my treadles. Also, some models of machines can be converted to treadles. I have a Singer Fashionmate that could be converted. It's the only electric machine I have because it has the most beautiful stitches. Only does zigzag and straight stitch, but does a satin stitch too.

T
27 posts
Mon Jan 22, 24 5:14 PM CST

For those with problems treadling, here's what you do. It works a bit better if you have one foot towards the front and one edged to the back, rather than your two feet together. I recommend that you unthread the machine and remove the bobbin, then just sit and treadle. It's sort of a heel to toe motion. If you practice like this, you can learn to treadle slowly. Also, don't forget that there are hand cranked machines! They are great fun and some machines can be converted to hand crank. It's a bit tricky to just use one hand to move the fabric, but you can get the hang of it.

A
92 posts
Fri Jan 26, 24 12:01 PM CST

This post sure has me thinking on ages and many other things.  I love the idea of the bank book. I remember my relatives having them and sometimes they would have the store or bank stamp the books for them. I think this just solved my issue of keeping track of items. My current way I found this week isn't working due to many things, but mostly organization and seeing clearly the numbers and dates. I too find that shopping in a supermarket is overwhelming for me due to noise, number of people and such. I have found 2 little mercantile type of stores that I try to shop at the most outside of our farmer and our Amish auction that runs 7 months out of the year. I go to them even if they are a smidge more expensive just to support a much needed business in our little town and especially because both only carry local and organic items which is so hard to find nowadays. 

The furniture is beautiful and you both always do such a nice job on the work. Sorry to hear about Gabby passing. It's always so sad when they go. Our indoor one is going in next week to be tested for diabetes as it looks like he more than likely has it due to drinking a TON of water and putting on weight. He's been borderline for 3 years now.

My grandfather was 22 years old and his wife would be born in 4 years (my grandmother), my great grandfather was 5 years old and his wife was 1 years old, my other great grandmother was 12 years old and my great grandfather was 21 years old.

I just realized that my grandparents were 26 years apart!!! You could never tell they were that far apart in age. He was from Russia and she was from Alabama near GDonna. 

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