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Quartzsite, Arizona

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Hi, everyone,

It's been a day of unique challenges; however today's online edition of Desert Messenger is now online at 

The hosting company is having technical difficulties, and not able to send out the emails to the subscribers, so here's an alternative link: 

Desert Messenger - March 20, 2024 (

Remember to check out Desert Messenger News Page on Facebook for the latest updates. 

Click here: Facebook

You can reach me via email at, or 

Phone/Text 928-916-4235.

Peace, Love, Joy ~Rain

Hope you all are enjoying a wonderful and beautiful Spring Day! 

Also I recently started a new blog called Quartzsite Today. 
Check it out at Quartzsite TODAY!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Quartzsite, AZ - Desert Messenger is once again proud to coordinate with Quartzsite Chamber & Tourism and the Town of Quartzsite in publishing the 2021-22 Quartzsite Visitor Guide & Business Directory.

With the acclaimed success of 2021 Oscar's Best Picture #NOMADLAND, it's going to be a great winter season! Since the Visitor Guides were not printed last year due to COVID, everyone will surely want a copy of this year's Visitor Guide. Be sure to reserve your ad space now!

• The Visitor Guide will debut at the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Annual Conference in August 2021 and will be distributed to many Chambers around the state.

• The Official Guide is widely distributed with 25,000 copies for excellent circulation PLUS the Guide is available online at

• Advertising is a real bargain! You can’t beat the cost per thousand! Don’t miss this opportunity!

• A great selection of full color Ad Sizes offers something for every advertising budget.

• In addition to promoting your business, your advertising dollars will help to promote #Quartzsite as a tourism destination.

• The Visitor Guide is distributed to your target audience. Your message is getting into the hands of those who request information on Quartzsite, specifically through the Quartzsite Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, Quartzsite Town Hall.

• The entire E-Edition will be posted to multiple high traffic websites & Social Media, including TOWN OF QUARTZSITE, DESERT MESSENGER, QUARTZSITE CHAMBER & TOURISM, etc.

Email Rain at to reserve your space today!
DEADLINE is JULY 23rd, 2021. Or call 928-916-4235.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020


La Paz County Unofficial General Election Results 

November 3, 2020 As of 10:30 p.m. 


(Late Earlies and Provisional Ballots still need to be counted)

Registered voters: 10,909

Ballots cast 6,722

Voter turnout 61.62%


District 1 Supervisor

David Plunkett, (R):  1,426; 74.90 %

D.L. Wilson, write-in:   137; 7.20 %

Other write-ins:  341; 14.76 %

District 2 Supervisor

Duce Minor (R): 2,344; 98.03 %

Write-ins: 47; 1.97%

District 3 Supervisor

Holly Irwin (R):  1,301; 97%

Write-ins 32; 2.40%

County Sheriff

William Ponce, (R):  4,454; 68.70%

Felipe Rodriguez (D): 1,180; 18.20%

Mike Roth (I): 822; 12.68%

Write-Ins 27; 27; 0.42%

County Recorder

Richard Garcia, (R):  4,388; 68.22%

Mesena Tunnell-Gilbert, (D): 2,033; 31.61% 

Write-Ins: 11; 0.17%

Town of Quartzsite Council Member

Karey Amon:  421; 49.47%

Dennis Vosper: 411; 48.30%

Write-Ins: 19; 2.23%

Board Member, Quartzsite School District (2 seats)

Michael Clowser White 461; 24.38%

Kathy Thevenin: 546; 28.87%

Kelly Simpson: 772; 40.82%

Pamela Keelin, Write-In:  23; 1.22%

Other write-ins: 89; 4.71%

Monday, June 24, 2019

Remembering Paul Winer, Quartzsite's Naked Bookseller

Paul Winer, December 9, 1943 - May 7, 2019

Memorial for Paul Winer will be held 

1:00 pm SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24th, 2019 

at Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA)

Published in Desert Messenger, May 15, 2019

By Mark Goldberg
   In coming to Quartzsite as a visitor, I had stopped in and browsed at Reader’s Oasis Books on several occasions over the years.  In 2007, we moved to Quartzsite, and I went to the store to find some books on Quartzsite history.  I introduced myself to Paul Winer, and we struck up a conversation. My first impression (visual) was that he reminded me of the mummified “Tollund Man” I had seen in Denmark who was found in a peat bog, tanned and “preserved.”  He had a wealth of information in his eclectic store; and, he was a wealth of local information.  We struck up a conversation and became great friends over time.  I attended many of his concerts and worked with him on banners, graphics and other projects.  I was always amazed at his good health.  Over the last year, Paul reluctantly made his first visit to a hospital in his entire life.  It has been a downhill slide from there with health complications and red tape.  Paul was not able to overcome the barrage of health issues which befell him and we have lost a community icon.

The Early Days
  Paul Winer was born on December 9, 1943, to Jack and Celia Winer.  His small stature, shyness, “lack of hunk appeal,” and being Jewish made him somewhat of a loner.  He graduated from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont; and was the Poet in Residence at Mark Hopkins College in Brattleboro, Vermont.  He taught poetics and writing and was one of the youngest members of the Vermont Poetry Society.  Paul owned and operated an 1875-style store, the “Vermont Stovepipe Press” where he published works of poetry, books, and more.
 “When I was eleven-years old [1954], I saw Fats Domino [in Lynn, Massachusetts] in one of his legendary one-night stands.  I decided then, that’s what I wanted to be – a piano thumper.”

The Birth of Sweet Pie
   Paul was a self-taught musician.  He wrote most of the music and lyrics he performed with titles like, “Hello Celia,” “Bulldog Boogie,” “Nothing Nowhere Blues,” and, “Please Remember Your Love For Me.” Paul’s first musical/theatrical performance was in a small bar in Vermont, where he convinced the owner to rent him a piano and let him perform.  He wore a long tunic and started playing the piano.  Mid-performance, he threw off the tunic and started playing naked.  The owner got mad, threw him out, and shot at him.  Paul called the police and they suggested that he leave town within 24 hours.  He left town.
   This was the start of Paul’s boogie-woogie and blues cabaret show, and career as “Sweet Pie.”  The name was derived from, “Sweet: 1.- pleasure to the taste; 2. Pleasure to the mind or feelings; agreeable, gratifying.”  “Pie: a dessert.”  He played to over 1.5 million people throughout the east coast and Canada in the early days.  Being the first male stripper to publicly perform, he met with much resistance regarding obscenity and local blue laws.  Over the years, Paul was the subject of 68 lawsuits and a Federal precedent-setting case.  He won all of the cases.  The Federal court case was Winer v Vermont. It was about freedom of speech.  In Paul’s words, “My case opened up the male exotic industry…I was the first.”  “I never decided to be a nudist.”  “My skin is hypersensitive, and I hate the feeling of clothing rubbing on my body.”
   “Nudist is what people chose to call me.  It wasn’t a choice; it was who I was…” “Naked is just the way I’m dressed.”

Joanne & Celia
  Joanne was reeling from a past divorce, and her girlfriends decided to take her to a strip show on her birthday to lift her spirits.  They went to the Sweet Pie show in Canada.  Following the show, Paul joined the girls at their table and was smitten with Joanne.  He sat on her lap and had a conversation.  Joann later says that she looked past what he did for a living, and was impressed with his eloquence, poetry, and that he was a college graduate.  They were married in 1984, and toured together in a 24-foot travel trailer.  Joanne did not have success in getting pregnant, and had given up when they were “surprised” with the birth of their daughter, Celia on March 28, 1986. 
  Celia was born after only 23 ½ weeks, weighing only 1.25 pounds and 12” long.  She was Canada’s smallest surviving baby in both birth weight and gestation. Celia grew, slowly, into a fine young girl, a straight-A student. She was artistic, and toured with the family.  She was interested in everything; particularly animals and the environment.  Celia was susceptible to colds and was getting to be of school age.  Paul said, “I didn’t want my daughter growing up in a trailer behind hotels and next to dumpsters.” 
   Paul gave up performing to find a location with Joanne, suitable to Celia’s health conditions and providing school opportunities.  They ended up in Quartzsite in 1991.  With $35 dollars in their pocket and a small trailer, they started by learning “swapping” at The Main Event in a 10’ x 20’ tent, selling t-shirts, cards for truckers and RVers, and selling two boxes of Danielle Steele books given to him by his mother.  It was a whole new learning experience in the school of hard knocks.  Over a few years, they gained experience in bartering and selling books. Also, Paul’s mother and father would glean yard sales in the Phoenix Area and bring them boxes of books.  After several ramshackle sites on Main Street, Horizon Community Bank offered them their first loan in Quartzsite, to construct a bookstore, Reader’s Oasis Books at 690 E. Main Street.
  Although active at school and in the community, Celia passed away suddenly on October 25, 1994 from a viral heart infection.  Paul and Joanne were devastated, but decided, “The town was so good to us; we stayed, because this is where people knew her.”
   In October, 1995, Joanne and Paul received the blessings of the Town of Quartzsite and the Bureau of Land Management to construct Celia’s Rainbow Garden in Town Park off Plymouth Road, north of Town Hall, to commemorate Celia and her love of nature.

The Rebirth of the Blues
  Having stopped performing in order to provide a home for Celia; Paul’s music career “slept.”  Paul focused his attention to family and the bookstore.  He was able to be comfortable in the bookstore saying, “The bookstore shelters a lifestyle.  I can’t live in most places on an everyday basis.” 
  Paul’s life changed dramatically on August 10, 2010.  Paul received a telephone call from a group which was staging a Salisbury Beach Reunion, his old stomping grounds in Massachusetts.  They said they wanted him to perform his Sweet Pie Show, and they would provide airfare, hotel, transportation, and a piano if he would attend.  Paul jumped at the opportunity - his dream of becoming a Fats Domino had always been present.  Paul spent weeks re-learning all of his songs and practicing on the piano; his music having been mostly dormant for the past 20+ years.  He boarded the airplane to the reunion…his first airplane ride.  At the venue, he was greeted by hundreds of fans.  The theme from Rocky, was playing as he entered to a 15-minute standing ovation.  Paul said, “I was flying – never had my ‘self’ been so ‘rekindled.’  Paul’s musical career was reborn.
  Upon returning to Quartzsite, Paul made big plans for performances, local and back east.  After another jaunt back east, Paul decided that his home in Quartzsite was his best venue.  On October 23, 2010, Paul was asked to perform at the “Nostalgics Car Club” special dinner and entertainment in Quechan Park, Blythe, CA.  It was his first major local performance. He was joined by washtub bass player Ralph Martin, who played most concerts with Paul as his sidekick and accompanist.
   Many local performances followed over the next 10 years, punctuated by Annual Fundraising Shows at the Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA) where Paul typically played to sold-out crowds of his loyal fans.  There were two particularly memorable shows at the QIA.  The first was on January 12, 2011; “An Evening with Paul Winer and His Friends.”  After his success back east, Paul assembled a group of his musical friends including: Ralph Martin, Jerry Mullins of “Barefoot and Boots,” and Sonja and Norm in a new group, “Skyhawk.” Paul and his friends played to an appreciative, sellout crowd of 760 people (admission was a $5 donation.) Anker Rasmussen, of QIA, noted, “The evening was the most successful single-evening musical event in the history of the QIA!” 
  At Paul’s request, I picked up Paul’s parents Jack and Celia in Phoenix, and brought them to the show.  Paul and his father were estranged due to Paul’s lifestyle, for over thirty years. His father didn’t mind that he performed naked, or played ribald songs…as an act; but that, he should have a “normal lifestyle” after performing.  They had somewhat reconciled following Celia’s passing; however, his father and mother had never seen Paul perform until that evening.  Paul sang a special song to his father called, “I Love My Dad.”  There wasn’t a “dry eye in the house.”  It was a great evening for all. 
  The second memorable show was Paul’s last performance at QIA on February 16, 2019.  Paul was in ill health, and made a superhuman effort to perform his songs and cajole with the audience.  It was evident that he was in poor health; yet, his loyal fans were excited to see him perform, and rallied him to continue.

   Paul and Joanne have spent their entire time living in Quartzsite promoting the Town of Quartzsite, the Bookstore, Paul’s career, and Celia’s Rainbow Garden.  People and media have come from all over the world to see, interview, or film “the Naked Bookstore Guy.”  There are news articles and references about Paul and Reader’s Oasis Bookstore in hundreds of publications, television, novels, movies, DVDs, CDs, books, YouTube Videos (professional and amateur), Social Media and more.  Joanne has volunteered thousands of hours at the Quartzsite Business Chamber of Commerce, the Quartzsite Community Thrift Store. She has consistently published articles on Paul and has been promoting the Town of Quartzsite in local and regional newspapers, Visitor Guides, and lots more.  They both have spent countless hours selflessly donating their time and talents to raise funds for a wide variety of community causes.  Most people have no idea that the team of Paul and Joanne have always been Quartzsite’s most consistent and effective promoters, pro bono.
  Paul said in many interviews, “I wanted to be Fats Domino when I was a kid.  I lived my dream as Sweet Pie for 25 years, and I’m going to live the rest of the dream – and that is to continue it for a lifetime until I die doin’ it on stage.”

Paul Winer, 1943-2019

[Editor’s Note: A memorial is being planned for 1:00 pm SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24th, 2019. A fundraiser has been set up at
A Memorial CD of the Paul’s final concert at QIA is now available for purchase at Reader's Oasis Bookstore. Folks are also encouraged to join the new Facebook Group called “Paul Winer Memorial.” Feel free to share your photos, memories, and ideas for a memorial project honoring the legacy of Paul Winer.]

Monday, January 7, 2019

BLM KIOSK at La Posa North LTVA


Government Shutdown Day 17:
By Shanana Rain Golden-Bear
  Quartzsite, AZ - Quartzsite is open for business, Shows are open, and deals are everywhere in town! But there’s been much speculation and rumors about the government shutdown and the impact to Quartzsite’s LTVA campgrounds. The La Posa LTVA Kiosk buildings are closed, so there is no one there to register new campers. There are NO ROAD CLOSURES at the BLM LTVAs. The roads in and out are open to traffic, even though BLM is "officially closed." The BLM law enforcement Rangers continue their patrols in the area.

The government issued a partial shutdown on December 22, 2018. The BLM has approximately 9,260 employees and furloughed approximately 6,930 employees. According to BLM Contingency Plan published on their website: “Public lands will, in most cases, remain accessible to the public but most services will not be available during a shutdown. Some areas are accessible, however access may change without notice, and there may be no BLM-provided services.”
The BLM operates four Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA) just south of Quartzsite, which are officially shut down. Campers who arrived and purchased their permits prior to the shutdown may continue to use them.   A furloughed volunteer told Desert Messenger that they have direct contact for the BLM Rangers if any issues arise, and Quartzsite Police operate in a supportive role as during the January 2018 government shutdown.
As of January 7th, the water and dump stations are still open in La Posa South. Trash bins fill up quickly everywhere so campers are encouraged to take trash to the Quartzsite Transfer Station for free!  The station is open Sunday thru Wednesday 7:30am to 2:30pm. Please cover your load. For more info call the Main landfill 928-916-1253 or Main office at 928-854-9152.  The transfer station is located north of Town, just off Hwy. 95, near the Sewer Treatment Plant. There are several businesses in town that offer water, dump and propane for sale. 
   The BLM is encouraging campers to use the 14-day free camping areas around Quartzsite until the government shutdown is over. There are no designated campsites and you may camp anywhere within the boundary of the site. There are no facilities at the site. There are no fees for camping. The length of stay is limited to 14 days in a 28 day period. 
• PLOMOSA ROAD:  Off 95 north of Quartzsite on north and south sides of Plomosa Road.
• HI JOLLY/MM112:  About 3 miles north of Quartzsite on US Hwy 95. 
• DOME ROCK MOUNTAIN:  West from Quartzsite about 6 miles.
• SCADDAN WASH: About 3.5 miles east of Quartzsite. 
• ROAD RUNNER:  On the west side of US 95, about 5 miles south of Quartzsite.

BLM stated on their website, “During a shutdown, we will not monitor or update social media or web information.  For more information, see” 

Under "campgrounds" in the BLM Shutdown Contingency plan, the BLM states, "Visitors may remain at these sites at their sole risk." There is no language regarding citing campers without a permit and Desert Messenger has no knowledge of any camper being cited as of 1-07-19. 

Here's a Great Video by RVerTV from Day 9 out in the LTVA :

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Buck Connors Western Days Nov. 9-11, 2018

Time to Get your Yee Haw on!

Quartzsite Plans Buck Connors Western Days Festival 

Veterans Day Weekend!

Buck Connors Western Days festival comes to 
Quartzsite, Arizona  ~ November 9, 10, 11, 2018. 
FREE Admission! FREE Parking!

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: (subject to change)


 8:30am...........................Quartzsite Pioneer Tour
 High Noon.....................OHV Cattle Drive Parade 
 Noon-6pm......................Vendor Row & Delicious Food
 Noon-6pm......................Chamber Saloon Beer Garden
 2pm-dusk.......................UTV Challenge
 6pm................................Buck Connors Outdoor Movies


Dr. Buck Montgomery is bringing his WILD WEST SHOW to Quartzsite! Get ready for the Wild West Time of your life, as you enjoy Wild West Stunt Shows, featuring Real Hollywood Stuntmen, World Champion Trick Roper and Gun Spinner Will Roberts, Old West Magic by Mysterioso,  Nationally Known Cowboy Historian, Lee Anderson and his Wonder Horse Concho and more! 
Special Celebrity Appearance by Award Winning Actor/Author Michael Dante, too!

 8am...............................5K Run, Walk, Rock & Roll Register @ 7am
 9am-3pm.......................Branding Iron Art Gallery & Show
 9am-3pm.......................Show off Your Horse Power Car Show
 9am-5pm.......................Live Music & Entertainment
 9am-6pm......................Vendor Row & Delicious Food
 10am-5pm....................Dr. Buck’s WILD WEST SHOW!
 9am-5pm......................Special Celebrity Guest! Award Winning Actor/Author Michael Dante
 11am-2pm....................Cowboy Chili Cook Off
 Noon-6pm....................Chamber Saloon Beer Garden
 10am-4pm....................L’il Buckaroos Corral & Petting Zoo
 10am-4pm....................Gold Panning
 6pm...............................BBQ Dinner at Quartzsite Improvement Assoc. (QIA)
 7pm...............................Dr. Buck’s Wild West STAGE SHOW at QIA


 10am............................Cowboy Church
 11am...........................Veterans Day Ceremony
 10am-2pm...................Vendor Row & Delicious Food

Organizers are now accepting Vendor Applications for the three day festival to be held at Quartzsite Town Park. 10x10 booth $45. 10x20 $75. Food Vendors & Park & Sell Booth 20x40, $100. (Booth fee includes Town of Quartzsite Special Events Vendor Permit) If you, or someone you know, is interested in being a vendor at this exciting event on November 9, 10, and 11, 2018, please download the application online at
You can also pick up a Vendor App at Quartzsite Town Hall Monday thru Friday, 8am-5pm. Or at the Chamber: Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 10am-2pm.

For more information contact Town Hall at 928-927-4333 x5.
Visit for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2017

What you need to know about coyotes

People who live in or visit Arizona can expect to see many species of wildlife. More and more often though, wild animals are venturing into areas where people live. Sometimes the wildlife becomes a problem, either by hammering on the side of the house, digging a den under the front porch, or eating all of your brand new landscaping plants. You can usually enjoy wildlife watching from a distance, but sometimes wildlife encounters involve conflict.

It is generally not normal for coyotes to attack or pursue humans; it is a learned
response to human feeding
or indifference.

Are Coyotes Dangerous?
On rare occasions, human-fed coyotes have bitten people. Although naturally curious, coyotes are usually timid animals that run away if challenged. Coyotes can be a risk to people once they become comfortable around humans, usually as a result of feeding or indifference. When this occurs, coyotes lose their natural fear and learn to see humans, their yards and their pets as food sources and safe havens. You must aggressively discourage coyotes from feeling comfortable around you and your family by never intentionally feeding coyotes, eliminating attractants (food sources, including pet food) from your yard, using aggressive gestures toward coyotes when you see them, and encouraging your neighbors to do the same.

Coyotes are wild canines that are clever and opportunistic. They are well adapted to living in cities, suburbs, rural towns and agricultural areas. When developments are built in their habitat, coyotes are not permanently displaced. Some move on to other areas, but many simply adjust to their new environment. Coyotes can be seen at golf courses, parks, preserves and in many neighborhoods — maybe even yours!

Coyote Traits and Behaviors
• Coyotes live throughout Arizona and in every state except Hawaii. Their range has expanded with the human removal of their predators, such as the wolf. • They weigh 15-30 pounds. Females are slightly smaller than males. • Coyotes eat whatever is available, including seeds, dates and other fruit, dead animals, rodents, rabbits, garbage, pet food, house cats and small dogs. • They breed every year. They have two to 12 pups per litter, with an average of six. Pups are raised in a den. • Coyotes may be seen in groups, called packs, or alone. • Removing coyotes from one area generally results in other coyotes moving in from surrounding areas and breeding faster.

What Should I Do If a Coyote Approaches Me?
Remember, the human is dominant and must act that way. Here are some things to remember: • Never approach a coyote. • Show you are dominant by keeping eye contact with the animal. • Yell or make loud noises with whistles, blare music, or bang on pots and pans. • Encourage coyotes to leave by spraying with a hose, throwing sticks or rocks near them, or shaking a can filled with pennies or pebbles. • Don’t stimulate a coyote’s chase instinct by running. • Pick up small pets. • Protect small children so they won’t panic and run.

How Can I Keep My Pet Safe?
Pets most likely to be endangered by coyotes are typically off-leash or smaller than 25 pounds. Coyotes have taken cats and small dogs in the vicinity of their owners and occasionally right off the leash. Coyotes have also been reported to attack larger dogs when the coyotes are in groups, or after one or two have lured a dog away from its owner.

Here are suggestions for keeping your dog or cat safe:
• Supervise small pets at all times when outside. • Allow pets off-leash only in enclosed areas. If your dog is off-leash, be sure it has immediate recall response to prevent conflicts with coyotes and other wildlife. • Take steps to keep coyotes out of your yard • If you see a coyote when walking your dog, let the coyote know you are there. Either gather your dog in your arms or keep it as close to you as possible, while also using some of the deterrents described above. Move toward an area of human activity. • Keep cats indoors or in a secure outdoor enclosure to protect them from coyotes, other wildlife (owls, hawks, etc.) and also from cars, domestic dogs and disease

 How Can I Discourage Coyotes from Entering My Backyard?
If there is a regular coyote food source in one yard on your block, then coyotes will be active throughout the neighborhood. All potential food sources must be removed to keep the coyotes from becoming dangerously comfortable around humans. An indifferent attitude toward a coyote in your yard has the same effect as feeding it. If a coyote is in your yard, you need to make the animal aware it is not welcome. Here are some things you can do: • Do not feed wildlife. • Store garbage inside or in wildlife-proof containers. • Place trash containers outside at the last possible time on day of pickup. • Feed pets inside or remove uneaten pet food between feedings. • Keep pets indoors or on a leash. When outside, keep pets in a secure enclosure with a roof or supervise at all times. • Supervise small children. • Trim back plants and bushes around the house to prevent hiding or resting places. • Install outdoor lighting. • Reduce a coyote’s ability to get over a fence or wall by building it at least 6 feet tall, burying the bottom a few inches underground, and installing barbed wire, electric wire, or a pipe that spins around a wire on the top.

You can also make a “coyote shaker,” which is a soft drink can filled with washers, pebbles or pennies, wrapped in foil and taped closed. Shake the can to scare away coyotes. The combination of the light reflecting on the foil, the noise and the aggressive gesture of shaking it provides several deterrents. • Spray coyotes with water from a garden hose or large squirt gun filled with diluted ammonia (10% ammonia and 90% water).

What About Rabies? Coyotes can be rabid. However, the Arizona Department of Health Service’s records show an extremely low occurrence of rabid coyotes in the state.

For more information on living with urban wildlife, see the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Living with Wildlife webpage at or call the Department at: Flagstaff (928) 774-5045 Pinetop (928) 367-4281 Kingman (928) 692-7700 Tucson (520) 628-5376 Mesa (480) 981-9400 Yuma (928) 342-0091 Phoenix (602) 942-3000


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