Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 151

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Time: November 19 2003 at 14:09:22
Name: Mike Miller
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Comments: Does anyone know who actually wrote the article in The Oklahoma Monthly? The article was highly critical of just about everyone, including me. If there was a byline, many thought it was bogus.

I recall when it came out, a lot of people suspected it was written by one DDT (AKA Bob Gregory.) Gregory was the only TV personality to escape the barbs.

As promised: The best BBQ joint here is Jerry Neels on Phoenix Ave. Very good chicken fried steak can be found at Calico County off Rogers Ave.

"David Shephard" was intoxicated with the cleverness of his vitriolic prose. Example: of a sportscaster's use of cliche, he wrote, "...he tinkers forever with chance that he might say something that hasn't been said before." Get it, Tinker to Evers to Chance, the famous double-play trio?? He got the pluralization of "ever" and "tinkers" switched, but it would be nit-wit-picking to point that out, I suppose.

Time: November 18 2003 at 21:02:19
Name: John Hillis
Location: Fairfax, Va
Comments: Sorry to hear that Speedy West passed. A whole generation of great talent that came up the hard way--one night stands 800 miles of two-lane blacktop apart--is passing. Maybe it's just because I'm a geezer now, but I find their work more satisfying than all the multi-track overdubbed digital hoo-raw out there now.

Course, the same can be said of TV News, though looking at that Oklahoma Monthly made-up mess, you can't miss the sports jackets a bit. That article arrived before I did in town, but I remember reading it. Cheap shots throughout, a grain of truth every now and then, but mostly mean-spirited about everythng and everybody on TV in the state. But there was lots worse than what we put out in those days, in my sorry old opinion, anyway.

Looking at the e-mail, I wonder if the commercials for Nigeria Tire and Supply Co. say, "Thank you! Here's your 23 million dollars."

Everything Mr. Hillis says about the article is true.

Time: November 18 2003 at 19:02:04
Name: Jon Cummins
Comments: Another local music icon was put to rest today!

Speedy West was resposible for creating some unusual sounds in the early 50s record industry. Many young boys would hear the "full throttle" riffs of Speedy and Jimmy Bryant, and had to try to copy those licks.

Years later the Steel Guitar has become a mainstay in Country music, and I feel Ol' Speedy had a lot to do with that. He was a "gas" to be around, and would keep everyone laughing. I even played my first "paying" gig with him, and he always treated a sideman as an equal. I'll miss him, but I know I was lucky to be one of his friends.

Let this remind all of us to love on our friends, and let them know it, because it could be our last chance to do it.

Time: November 18 2003 at 15:36:43
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: I found out today that the downtown Ike's Chili location has closed, hopefully temporarily, due to the renovation of the Main Mall. Anyone who has been in the vicinity of what used to be Bartlett Square knows that it's all just a big area of dirt now.

I can't get a chili fix at work anymore!

I read in the paper that it is a temporary deal.

Time: November 18 2003 at 14:34:34
Name: Dan
Location: Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa
Comments: I always thought Jerry Adams was a really nice guy...but I never hear of him anymore.

Time: November 18 2003 at 14:23:27
Name: Tammy
Location: Big Cabin (NE of Tulsa)
Comments: This is the coolest site! I am a little young for some of the things on here, but am proud to say I was on Uncle Zeb's Cartoon Camp in about 1977!

One question for anyone who may know...I heard Buddy Fallis was writing (or going to write) a book on Cleo Epps. Anyone know if this is true? Cleo was killed when I was a little tyke, and her body dumped in a septic tank just a few miles from where we lived.

Time: November 18 2003 at 10:37:45
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Jerry Adams is the only person I know of to anchor the main evening newscasts on the 3 major OKC stations. Jack Bowen anchored on the ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates.

After leaving television, Jerry began doing commercials for Jim Glover Dodge in Midwest City. In '96, he was working for a landscaping company.

Time: November 18 2003 at 08:48:36
Name: Kathy Schramm Rapp
Location: Houston Area
Comments: To: Rogan In Monterey - yep (glug, glug!) Fortunately, we're on high ground a bit west of Houston and got minimal flooding, nothing too bad. All of our TV station helicopters showed the absolute worst of it in a few of the flood-prone areas of the city. Everything's drying up today with blue skies and 65 degrees, (whew!!)

Time: November 17 2003 at 19:35:40
Name: Gary Chew
Location: Arnoldstadt, CA
Comments: Seeing those anchor person soda or beer cans really jogs my memory, but probably not enough.

I remember working with Jerry Adams before he moved to OKC and became a famous Channel Four TV news personality. We were DJ's together at KELi. I can't remember exactly what the years were, but he was primarily, like me at the time, a rock jock.

Adams also moved along the edges of the record biz. He wrote a song that became the B-Side of Paul and Paula's hit, "Hey, Hey, Paula." I don't recall what Adams titled his song, though. Maybe someone out there in Cyber Land can remember more about Jerry and his music. It seems that he came to work with us at KELi from KAKC, but I'm not sure of that either.

Ah, the moments just keep on becoming senior.

"Hey, Paula" was credited to Ray Hildebrant (Paul) and the flip side, "Bobby Is The One", to Jill Jackson (Paula). You can see the 45 single at this Russian site. The Paul & Paula story is at ClassicBands.com. I haven't had any luck associating Jerry Adams with other P & P songs yet.

Time: November 17 2003 at 17:39:10
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: "Thank you, here's your change..."..
Comments: I wonder if there is an OTASCO historical group out there. We did not have them in Illinois - a True Value/Ace Hardware/Western Auto area - OTASCO was everywhere South. I think it was my TU friend and long time Tulsan Leslie MacDonald who had a family friend whose Dad spent his life traveling around re-modeling older stores and building out new stores. The son worked in the same trade in the summer for OTASCO.

Find it funny now that WalMart seems to have the same kind of corporate contractors roaming the country retrofiting and building out new stores...

Time: November 17 2003 at 17:23:46
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: The things we see at work and that you don't at home....
Comments: Several of us from the SW are watching the bad bad flooding in Houston off the LIVE CNN backhaul lines of the Katy Freeway and Houston Ave. - seeing copter coverage from CNN NewsSouce members KHOU and KRIV LIVE.

You can tell that it is backhaul because the KHOU reporter is talking to the assignment desk using the b------ word in describing their cheapy 2 way radios. Wouldn't risk that in an on-air situation.

Time: November 17 2003 at 14:58:34
Name: Rogan
Location: Monterey/CA
Comments: To: Mike (Night Owl) Bruchas - that sounds like an interesting oral history project, Mike; I'm interested to learn more about it. I'll be moving to Tulsa in '04 and am developing ideas for a somewhat similar project, though the focus is different. I've been collecting interviews here in California since 1999, some of which are now in a published video. (The bulk of the material collected has yet to be edited)

Those "canned" TV talent promo pics are a riot! What was the promotion? Like a canned food drive? or...?

The picture was from Monthly Oklahoma in support of an over-the-top critique of Tulsa/OKC TV news.

Time: November 17 2003 at 14:17:08
Name: B J Robison
Location: tulsa
Comments: I remember when I was a little boy: listening to Cy Tuma giver of the news and Spanky McFarland had a program after school and showed selected Little Rascal movies, and Spanky's program I'm pretty sure was broadcast from Tulsa.

It was, as the new Spanky's Clubhouse page illustrates.

Time: November 17 2003 at 09:57:38
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Growing up in OKC, I don't remember any OTASCO stores in the city proper (I'm sure there were), but they were in all the small towns. I remember going to one in Muskogee on more than one occasion. I bought my first bike there. OTASCO seemed a "eastern Oklahoma thing" to me growing up. There were no KMart's in OKC either. Only saw those when I headed east.

Weatherpersons at 2...well, the obvious one to mention would be Gary Shore. I think I remember hearing or reading somewhere (perhaps on this site) that he only came to Tulsa due to aircraft trouble and decided to stay. Maybe it's just the cappucino talking. Good to have a weather thread going on a day when Tulsa is under a tornado watch. Yes - in November! It can happen, Tulsa was stuck by a tornado in December of '75.

I only remember Bill Mitchell while growing up and watching ch.5 in OKC. I think I may have met him at the State Fair once. I remember thinking he was really tall.

KWTV at 50...expect to hear alot about the station being the first to have Doppler radar. Gary England went out on a limb to get that in 1981. It was still under government research when he received it. Didn't know how to work it, either. But he learned, and television weather is better for it.

Time: November 17 2003 at 09:22:26
Name: Steve Bagsby
Location: Buying Lawn mower wheels at OTASCO
Comments: In the 60's and early 70's, I remember hearing a guy doing the commercial spots for Safeway and a lot of voice work for KELi. I remember on spot called the "KELi Worship Service" - a quick plug of local churchs. Someone had mentioned Joe Henderson. Was this him?

Time: November 17 2003 at 02:05:50
Name: Dan
Location: Tonkawa
Comments: Well, it's finally happening. KWTV in Oklahoma City is starting their 50th anniversary promotions. Monday through Thursday at 10 they will show old clips, interview former anchors, and basically look back at 50 years of Oklahoma history though their eyes. Anyone know of a special like KOTV had a couple years back?

Photo by Cris Lafferty, from Monthly Oklahoma, 1976, courtesy of Mike Bruchas

Photo by Cris Lafferty from Monthly Oklahoma, 1976, courtesy of Mike Bruchas

Time: November 16 2003 at 22:14:18
Name: Si Hawk
Location: Tulsa
Comments: I remember Dave Jones doing the weather at KTEW. Chuck Adams hired him to work a short time at KCNW and later I assisted getting him on staff at KWEN in '74 or '75.

After he left KWEN I believe he ended up in a very responsible engineering position at Disney World in Orlando. I recall speaking to him while he was there and his offering to give me a behind-the-scenes tour. Unfortunately, when I got out there he was already gone. David was a first rate on-air voice and an outstanding broadcast engineer.

Time: November 16 2003 at 22:08:32
Name: Mike (Night Owl) Bruchas
Location: Late Sunday night in the City...
Comments: Dumb question here. My company does work with PCN - the Pennsylvania Cable Network - on closed captioning WWII shows. They have an ongoing oral history program with all PA WWII veterans and some of their spouses and kids (now all adults). They produce 90min. or 2 hour blocks of simple interviews with these folks. Some are boring, some are fascinating but it documents so much of the then young men/women going off tho war. A couple shows had 1 guy/gal carry the whole 90min. - some are 6-7 folks talking. Some have scads of stills, even some 16mm film of what they participated in - which are B roll on this series when they have it. One of my most memorable shows had a WWII parachutist who still could wear the same size jumpsuit that he had 50 years ago - he or his wife had moved all insignia/medals to replica that he wore in the taping. They rank from grunts to generals - all came from PA.

Is any group or TV station or cable outlet in OK doing a project of this breadth? We are presuming that some of this will end up on DVD in libraries in PA some time in the future.

Time: November 16 2003 at 17:34:50
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Working CBS football feeds to the Mideast on a Sunday - wishing I was on the George Michael NBC Rodeo coverage today instead....
Comments: I think Bill Mitchell did the TV studio spots for OTASCO either before or after his gig as KTEW weatherman.

Man - I think 2 had more weathermen than any station in town. I love the irony that now Dave Jones - a former 2 weather talent - is VP of Engineering at The Weather Channel in Atlanta!

So who can list all the weather guys/gals at 2 over the years? I know George Hummingbird, Dave Jones - but whom else since the KTEW days???

Time: November 16 2003 at 13:34:45
Name: Dave Harmon
Location: Where the smoke has cleared
Comments: Just reading the "Other kiddie shows" page and saw the bit where George Reeves visited the Kids Korral show.

Several years ago, I remembered Reeves visiting Barnard Elementary school and the memory was so hazy that I thought it might not have happened at all. I called a Tulsa friend who was there at the time and he remembered Reeves' visit to Barnard.

I don't know but I'll bet that his visit to the schools and the show was during the same trip to Tulsa. This must have been about 51' or 52'. Not sure of the year.

Anyone else remember seeing Reeves? If so, what year was that?

George Reeves' "Superman" is the first show I can remember watching (although my parents tell me I liked "Pinky Lee", too.)

I often wore a Superman cape made by my mom from a bed sheet, with an "S" sewn onto it.

Here are a couple more photos from George Reeves' visit on KOTV's site.

Added your comments to the Other kiddie shows page.

Superman Vol. 1

Time: November 16 2003 at 11:00:54
Name: Kent McCann
Comments: Who was on Channel 6 with a show called Zeta on Satellite 6? The show was on right after school in the mid 50's

It was a cartoon show and had a wheel that, when it spun, it almost looked like colors. WOW the 50's was a long time ago!

Please send any information you have about the show.

Thanks, enjoy the site.

The spinning wheel must have been the "Zetascope". Zeta On Satellite Six (plus Uncle Hiram) is now a separate page, linked from the top of the Other Kiddie Shows page. Check back on it a little later today; I'm adding some material from past Guestbooks.

Time: November 16 2003 at 10:16:18
Name: Si Hawk
Location: Tulsa
Comments: I don't really recall Bill Mitchell doing OTASCO spots, but if I'm correct I do remember him doing weather for KTEW back around 1970. Anyone else remember that?

Time: November 16 2003 at 01:18:15
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
Comments: I think the Bleu Grotto is now a parking lot. It turned back into a cafe at some point but it seems like TJC or TCC flattened every building south of the main campus to the expressway. Played in a punk group called Dog Food at the Grotto back in the day. Main stays there were Los Reactors, the Insects, NOTA, the Zebra Makers, the Flying Dots and even Grammy winners Brave Combo.

Time: November 15 2003 at 23:57:02
Name: Rogan
Location: Monterey/CA
Comments: I'm happy to see a nice Otasco thread here; I never realised that Otasco had stores outside of Oklahoma. As far as Hamp Baker goes, I think he was a highway commissioner. I too remember seeing car or truck hoods with his "Hamp Baker says..." slogan on them. New question: Whatever happened to the old Blue Grotto club that was in downtown Tulsa? I saw some local punk show there in the early 80's.

Time: November 15 2003 at 23:30:42
Name: Chris Starr
Location: Mannford
Comments: Speaking of OTASCO, I was watching the Burt Reynolds movie WHITE LIGHTNING tonight. In a brief shot, which I believe was filmed in Arkansas, you can see the old style "Oklahoma Tire &...." sign during a downtown shot. I believe the film was shot in 1972.

Time: November 15 2003 at 16:28:54
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Monitoring network lines - now also TV Azteca network feed from Mexico - BTW ch. 25 in OKC was or is owned by Pappas Telecasting - the American partner of TV Azteca initially...
Comments: Don't forget - current "seasoned" reporter Bill Mitchell at KTUL WAS the OTASCO MAN on TV only a few times in the early '70's!

I still remember some PI tag announcement done out of state that aired on KTUL way back when - they called it, "Oh-TAH-sko". Tuma was asked to re-cut it by OTASCO I recall....

Time: November 15 2003 at 14:06:48
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
Comments: Dick Schmitz can be heard saying his famous 'Thank you, here's your change' from the old Otasco spots on my 1st Tulsa Project CD. Look for other Otasco-related ads and jingles coming soon on the next Tulsa Project Vol. 7...out by this Xmas I hope. Dick was very kind in allowing me access to the Irving Productions archive in putting these CDs together. He also provided some 'Ugh, U-Need-Um tires' stuff that came out on the 1st CD also...and look for a complete radio spot with Jim Wheaton on upcoming Tulsa Project CDs. Plug off.

Time: November 15 2003 at 10:00:56
Name: Si Hawk
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Regarding the OTASCO memories, I believe I recall that Joe Henderson (former GM of KELi) and Dick Schmitz (of KAKC and Irving Productions) were the great personalities of the OTASCO spots. Both guys are true icons of Tulsa Radio/TV!

Time: November 15 2003 at 06:32:50
Name: Alex
Location: Kansas City
Comments: To completely change the subject, does anyone recall the old car hoods nailed to trees all over northeastern Ok. with the message "Hamp Baker says drive with care"? Or is the Ovaltine kicking in? Didn't Hamp Baker get into politics?

...Okay, I just did a search on Hamp and found several entries. I'll do my homework next time.

Time: November 14 2003 at 14:00:17
Name: Jerry Roberson
Location: Charlotte, NC
Comments: While we are on the OTASCO subject, it is amazing to see expanse of their former territory. I was recently visiting a friend in Aiken, SC. While strolling their quaint downtown, we walked into an old True Value (?) store on their main street. As we exited the store, I noticed an "OTASCO" welcome mat (1980's logo) outside the door. This Tulsa boy couldn't resist inquiring about it. As it turns out, that store had been an OTASCO for many years and the manager to whom I spoke had visited Tulsa many times for training. Small world.

Time: November 13 2003 at 14:12:07
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin
Comments: Speaking of OTASCO, I still have a reel-to-reel tape of a commercial for them in May, 1951. It was still called Oklahoma Tire and Supply Store then.

I assume they changed to OTASCO when they expanded outside of state borders. When did this happen?

Oklahoma Tire and Supply (OTASCO), courtesy of Lee Thomas Reeder
Oklahoma Tire and Supply (OTASCO), courtesy of Lee Thomas Reeder

OTASCO Christmas jingle Here is the OTASCO Christmas jingle,
courtesy of Joe Riddle and Wayne McCombs!

Time: November 12 2003 at 00:22:49
Name: Rogan
Location: Monterey/CA
Comments: Otasco; I was sad to hear of their demise. They were a great alternative store...and "Big Bill & OomAhGog"? I always thought it was like "oom uh gah", but I was a kid then; any "Big Bill & Robot friend" videos out there? Mebbe somethin' Mazeppa and his posse could cook up?

I seem to remember that alternate pronunciation, too. I'll bet it came from a mix-up with the town of Oologah, Will Rogers' birthplace.

I don't know of any existing video from the show; Jack Frank of the Tulsa Historical Society might know, or Alan Lambert of KRSC.

Speaking of Jack Frank, his Tulsa videos are now available from Steve's Sundry, Books & Magazines.

Time: November 11 2003 at 05:59:57
Name: Webmaster
Location: Tulsa
Comments: I just discovered yet another site similar to TTM: Chicago Television (the other one I know of is L.A.'s Local Legends). Our friend Jim Ruddle is mentioned as half of the first "news team" newscast in Chicago, the Park-Ruddle News.

Time: November 10 2003 at 22:23:11
Name: Rick Brashear
Location: Tulsa
Comments: In the 1950s KVOO TV picture section, there is a dog puppet holding a card that says, "OTASCO". The puppet's name was Parcel Post (sic). It was a kiddie show, I believe Big Bill & Oom-a-gog, which I was on sometime around 1960.

That's the same year I was on the show! Added your comments to the linked page.

Time: November 10 2003 at 16:20:43
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Not eating enough GOOOOOD chili...
Comments: To Jimmy Reid - Tulsa STILL has so many good ole restaurants and the folks are lucky!

Charlotte, NC had maybe 4 05 joints like Ike's. Downtown DC is losing so many M-F neighborhood joints to higher rents, Starbucks and clones, and GYMS sadly. I still need to go to Ben's Chili Bowl at 14th and U - which is Bill Cosby's favorite joint (okay he IS on a new diet...) and a DC cop/newsie/everyman joint....

Time: November 10 2003 at 08:29:07
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa, OK
Comments: I also got a chance to check out the new and improved Cain's this weekend at the Nickel Creek show (an EXCELLENT acoustic band). We were up close to the stage, so I didn't really notice an acoustics problem.

It was my first visit to the Cain's, so I really have nothing to compare it to. The legend of the bouncing floor certainly proved to be true, as I felt it was going to cave in at any moment.

Time: November 09 2003 at 21:22:08
Name: David Bagsby
Location: Lawrence KS
Comments: A bit late with this one but was in town for the Leon Russell show at the new, improved Cain's. Added nice huge bathrooms but the acoustics are still as bad as they ever were. A 'Live' room as they say in the Industry. Maybe they can spend some money on fixing that. Leon was great despite that however. Did the Tulsa paper review the show?

Time: November 09 2003 at 21:16:41
Name: Jim Reid
Location: Dallas
Comments: I was in Tulsa this weekend and made the rounds of my favorite eating places. Lunch Saturday at Ike's Chili was great. Does everyone's hometown have as many great places, or is Tulsa just that wonderful a place?

I sure do miss Martin's Bar-B-Q though. That was wonderful stuff!

Time: November 08 2003 at 15:39:00
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Doing Egyptian TV feeds on a beautiful day
Comments: For you NPR fans - Anne Garrels has a new book out on her war broadcasts in Iraq. She stayed on thru the battles in Baghdad.

It's called "Naked in Baghdad" - buy it on the TTM Amazon link or look for it in your local library. A short book but a good read. I am sure that she was heard quite a bit on KWGS...read why she WAS "..naked in Baghdad" for some radio feeds...

Time: November 07 2003 at 08:05:17
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Speaking of pro football, what about the Oklahoma Outlaws of the short-lived United States Football League?

I was a youngster living in OKC in the early 80's, and was excited when I heard that Oklahoma would be getting a USFL expasion team for the '84 season. Then my hopes were dashed when I learned they would be playing in Tulsa, NOT at Owen Field in Norman as I had hoped.

I vaguely remember watching some games on TV (ESPN and ABC had the rights), but I especially remember a game the Outlaws played against the Houston Gamblers. It was a matchup of two good quarterbacks, Doug Williams and Jim Kelly. Williams went on to be the first African-American QB to win a Super Bowl, and anyone who knows anything about football should know Jim Kelly.

But, it was a cold and rainy March day at Skelly Stadium, so it was mainly a defensive standoff. I think the Outlaws won by 3 in a low-scoring game.

Weren't the Outlaws' offices located at Holland Hall or some other local school?

Time: November 06 2003 at 19:26:40
Name: msbv2
Location: On the other side of Arkansas (in a cold rain)
Comments: Hi guys! Getting lots of great information from this site! Thanks for answering my questions!

Speaking of pro(?) football teams, anybody remember the ill-fated Tulsa Mustangs? (late '70's or early '80's). I'm thinking they were a WFL team. I saw them a few times at Skelly Stadium during their brief existence.

I don't recall a roach problem in Tulsa, but I met a few Oklahoma spiders so big that you could almost hear their spider foot steps! Yuck! Mostly those gray fiddle-back things.

Also lots of very loud locusts (which got a lot louder after my brother set 17 of those critters loose in my room), and one year around '75 there were tons of little green caterpillars everywhere.

Speaking of loud noises, what stands out in my mind most is the occasional call of the yellow-throated Thunderbolt...
Is Tulsa still using those sirens, or has the city upgraded the tornado warning system yet?
In this part of the country, those big yellow horns are being phased out a few at a time. Kind of the end of an era, I guess. When I was a kid, (after June 8 of '74, anyway) they were installing them. Now they're apparently becoming outdated.


Time: November 06 2003 at 15:10:38
Name: Webmaster
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Speaking of radio (as we have been in recent Guestbooks), here is quite a story:

NPR Given Record Donation; McDonald's Heiress Leaves $200 Million

I imagine the good folks over at KWGS are pretty happy about that.

Time: November 06 2003 at 10:16:03
Name: Lee Woodward
Location: Same E Same
Comments: To answer George Tomek's query in Guestbook 150...

Howard Whitely is very much around town and pretty much unchanged.

John Thomas passed away but I believe Marge is still living in Tulsa. I believe there's a picture of Marge and myself hosting "Dance Party" somewhere on this site (not yet...webmaster). Marge was a model early on in her career and looked it.

And George was correct in that Dale Hart jump started many a career at KOTV and in all fairness, may have diverted a few!

Time: November 05 2003 at 15:02:31
Name: Webmaster
Location: Tulsa
Comments: We were just discussing...bugs?! (not the bunny)...also, Tulsan and football great Don Chandler, and Tulsa as a past training site for pro football teams.

Lee Woodward told us of the passing of former KOTV Program Manager Dale Hart. OKC and Tulsa newsman George Tomek wrote in. Former Tulsa World entertainment columnist Chuck Wheat was located. Halloween in 1940 Tulsa was remembered by Frank Morrow.

All this and much more in just-archived Guestbook 150.

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