Newport Tour Guides & Greeters News #95: History Lectures, Touro Synagogue Tours, Trunk or Treat, & Fortress of Nightmares

Has there ever been a more diverse events offering as we have this weekend!??

Touro Synagogue

Exciting Glamour! ▪ Religious History! ▪ Halloween Fun with Cars! Plus, Scary Stuff!

This week has it all!

▪ Tonight, join Julie Satow, author and journalist, who explores the glamour on the surface and strife behind the scenes of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Tickets: $10 (Members); $15.00 (General Public). She’ll be at Rosecliff for her 6:00 pm presentation.

▪ Then Friday, head over to Salve Regina University to hear writer and humorist, Christopher Buckley. His presentation, “My Old Man and The Sea” is a son’s memoir of sailing adventures with his father, the late William F. Buckley, Jr. Tickets are $35. It will be held at Bazarsky Hall, O’Hare Academic Center at Salve Regina University. 

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▪ You and all Rhode Island residents can get free admission to the Loeb Visitors Center and Touro Synagogue through December 29th.  Check schedule for dates and hours at tourosynagogue.org. 

▪ On Saturday night, grab the kids, get your costume on, and have some fun with the Audrain Auto Museum’s “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event at Fort Adams.  This free event runs from 3-6 pm.

▪ Then at 6 pm, get ready to be scared out of your wits with the Fortress of Nightmares at Fort Adams.  This special Halloween season production is just what you need to finish Halloween in style. Tickets at 888/382-3267; fortressofnightmares.org

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REMIND YOUR GUESTS ABOUT THESE UPCOMING EVENTS

▪ SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 – DAFFODIL BULB DISTRIBUTION — MIDDLETOWN AQUIDNECK GROWERS MARKET

▪ FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1- SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – NEWPORT RESTAURANT WEEK 

▪ THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 – FOOD IN THE AMERICAN GILDED AGE – ROSECLIFF – 6:00 PM

▪ WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 –CENTENNIAL ANNUAL MEETING – SEAMEN’S CHURCH INSTITUTE – 6:00 PM

▪ SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23 – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1, 2020 – CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS

Tickets, fees, and addresses are detailed in the following listings for the above events.

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OPERATING SCHEDULES UPDATE

CORRECTION: Chateau-sur-Mer will close for the season on November 2nd, not November 22nd as posted here last week. I apologize for any inconvenience that may have caused. 

REMINDER: Rosecliff will be closed November 4 – December 7. 

WHITEHORNE HOUSE MUSEUM: 2019 Season Last Day: Sunday, October 27

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK: YOU’RE NEVER FULLY DRESSED WITHOUT A SMILE

These seven words debuted in the 1977 musical “Annie,” penned by lyricist and director, Martin Charnin, with music by famous Broadway composer, Charles Strouse.  The meaning was clear. When you go out, when you first see people, when you are greeting the people who will make your venue hum with success, you’re not ready for success until you smile. 

Your smile says volumes.

It welcomes and warms. 

Together with your eyes, it can be calming.  It can be inspiring.

Your smile is a powerful tool that can be applied to say, “I’m glad you’re here.”

A smile can relax the visitor.

A smile is disarming.  

A smile can be a conversation starter.

Everyone has a smile inside them.

As the face of your place, your smile can be magical, and with that effort alone make all the difference, boosting the quality and memorability of the experience for each guest and visitor.

Smile and smile often.

No matter your morning mood, no matter the weather, and no matter the problems of the world, make an extra effort to offer a sincere smile aimed squarely at the eyes of each one of your arriving guests. 

Charlie Chaplin also knew the power of the smile. 

He wrote a beautiful tune for his 1936 film, “Modern Times,” and named it “Smile.” 

Less than 20 years later, the song got a further boost extolling the power of a smile, when poignant words were added by lyricists John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons in 1954. The first verse (below) magnifies the power we know intuitively that is manifested in the simple human act of smiling.  

“Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fears and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you 

If you just smile.”

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The bottom line for our work is quite clear.

Smile.

You’ll be amazed how it brightens everyone’s day.

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NOTABLE & QUOTABLE

Why Is Historic Preservation Important?

Historic preservation is important to urban planning 

because it represents an effort to conserve old building styles. 

In doing so, it forces planners to identify and work around the protected places.

-Amanda Briney

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JOBS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 

TOUR GUIDES · GREETERS · HARBOR CRUISE GUIDES · SUPPORT STAFF

Get started in this wonderful and growing industry, welcoming some of the millions who come to this island every year. 

If you are persistent, you can still find a wide variety of jobs and volunteer opportunities for tour guides, harbor cruise and sailing guides, sailing crew members, and support staff at the mansions; several of our museums and historic sites have new openings. 

Always review the web sites of the city’s largest organizations – several are listed below – also check out the smaller tour companies and historic sites that might possibly need someone just like you.  Look for increasing job turnover in the market over the next 30 days. If there is a place you want to work, actively pursue possible job openings now.

Scan these current job listings and review the websites of the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.

  • Special Events Attendant. Part-time/Seasonal. The Preservation Society of Newport County seeks a part-time special events staff. Events season roughly matches tourism season (April-October) though events occasionally exceed this range. Work shifts are dependent on event timing and can range from early morning to late night. www.newportmansions.org.
  • Newport Historical Society. This organization offers the largest variety and greatest number of walking tours in the city.  Check in for future openings. Tours offered year-round. Info: newporthistory.org
  • Sightsailing of Newport accepts applications for its jobs year-round. Check their web site for guidance on applying for sailing jobs, front desk staff, and office positions at Sightsailing.com/employment.
  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This is Newport’s largest owner and operator of historic properties offering audio and guided tours.  A variety of guide, greeter, security, and housekeeping positions are available. They recruit year-round.  Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
  • Newport Restoration Society. This leading non-profit operates Prescott Farm (2009 West Main Road, Middletown), Whitehorne House (416 Thames Street, Newport), and Rough Point mansion (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Seasonal. Info: newportrestoration.org

VOLUNTEER TOUR GUIDE OPPORTUNITIES

  • Newport Car Museum’s family of volunteer docents share their passion for and knowledge of cars with interesting visitors from around the world. If interested, call Vincent Moretti at 401/848-CARS (2277)
  • Trinity Church. Volunteer to give tours of this historic church, located on Queen Anne Square, Newport. Info: 401/226-1206; trinitytours100@gmail.com
  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This organization is always looking for volunteers. There are a variety of positions available, including work in the mansions and in the gardens of the Society. They recruit year-round.  Check their web site on a regular basis for current opportunities. www.newportmansions.org.

For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.

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CRUISE SHIP ARRIVALS

The cruise ship season is wrapping up its fall season. More than 80 ships were scheduled this year. Here you can keep abreast of the upcoming arrivals of these sea-going ships and the thousands of visitors they bring to our fair city each week. Here are the upcoming arrivals scheduled for the next few weeks, courtesy of our friends at Discover Newport.

  • Friday, October 25 – Star Pride – Windstar Cruises
  • Saturday, October 26 – Navigator – Regent Cruise Line
  • Sunday, October 27 – Star Pride – Windstar Cruises
  • Tuesday, October 29 – Meraviglia – MSC Cruises
  • Thursday, October 31 – Silver Whisper – Silver Sea Cruises
  • Friday, November 1 – Caribbean Princess – Princess Cruise Lines
  • Sunday, November 10 – Riviera – Oceania 

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FALL SCHEDULE FOR NEWPORT’S BEST BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS!

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR – BUSY FALL SCHEDULE

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is offered four times daily.  Tours are scheduled at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org 

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: NEW FALL SCHEDULE

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, the world-famous 1-hour guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms is better than ever.  Tours are offered daily at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. Info and updates: newportmansions.org

PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES

PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS

If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [Direct from the author or via Amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city.  It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here.  Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the season.  Handbook includes greetings in 18 of the most frequently spoken languages heard in Newport. 

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CONTINUING PROGRAMS & EXHIBITS

NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 3rd – JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: OBSESSION UNTAMED – ROSECLIFF

The newest exhibit at Rosecliff (1902) is titled, John James Audubon: Obsession Untamed. In 1820 Audubon embarked on what would become his life’s work as “portraitist of all the birds of America.”  The assembled collection showcases the naturalist’s relentless pursuit of the birds of America and his singular determination in seeing his beautiful artworks published. The exhibition draws upon the collections of the Preservation Society of Newport County as well as significant loans from private collections and institutions. Highlights include over 20 beautifully framed hand colored double elephant folio-sized aquatints from Birds of America, exquisite ladies’ hats and fans illustrating the early-20th-century craze for feathers that lead to initial conservation efforts, as well as Audubon’s life mask and snuff box. Rosecliff (548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), daily, 9am – 5pm. Exhibit included in Rosecliff ticket. Info: newportmansions.org

NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 17 – HAUNTED BRISTOL WALKING TOURS – NIGHTLY – 8:30 PM

Haunted Bristol walking tours start at 8:30 every night in front of the State and Courthouse, 240 High Street, Bristol, Rhode Island. This is a lantern-led 1-hour tour about the History, Native Indian Fables, Court Trials and Haunted Tales. Led by local historian Joan Quinn. $15/per person. Reservations required: 401/286-1209.

NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER 17 – BEYOND FORTUNE: THE LIFE & LEGACY OF DORIS DUKE

This exhibit at Doris Duke’s amazing seaside mansion, Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) features photographs and historical documents from the extraordinary life of Doris Duke. Open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, except Wednesdays, from 10 am – 7 pm. Closed Mondays. Admission: Adults, $20; Children 12 and under, Free. Info and Tickets: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org

WEDNESDAYS THRU SATURDAYS – NOW THROUGH NOVEMBER- – NEWPORT FOODIES STROLL – 11:30 AM

Newport Foodies Stroll offers a 1.5-mile walking food tour through Lower Thames Street. You will learn about the “City by the Sea”, as well as try the cuisine from five of the best locally owned restaurants. This progressive stroll will last 2.5 – 3 hours. Tours run Wednesday through Saturday beginning at 11:30 A.M. Meet Tom and Sue, your tour guides, in front of the Armory (365 Thames Street, Newport). Reservations highly recommended as these tours fill up quickly. Book your tickets ($63) and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com

NOW THROUGH CHRISTMAS – NEWPORT TOWER MUSEUM – WEEKENDS – 11 AM – 1 PM

The huge “Old Stone Mill” in Touro Park has fascinated people for hundreds of years. This is the oldest structure in Newport. Yet, the mysteries of who built it, why it was built, when it was built, and what it was used, have puzzled scientists, academicians, locals, and tourists for as long as can be remembered here. Now, the mystery has been solved. The answers to all the questions people have been asking about this monument on the green of Touro Park can be found at the Newport Tower Museum (152 Mill Street, Newport). Museum founder and prolific author, Jim Egan, greets guests and shares his unique journey researching and finally discovering who [and why] the Newport Tower, located in Touro Park, was built. A visit to the tower is followed by a tour of his museum. The museum displays and images demonstrate several ideas and principles that will astound and delight. The Newport Tower Museum is a must-see for all tour guides, greeters, and all those who love learning about our history. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Museum founder Egan has written numerous books about his research on the Newport Tower. His most comprehensive book, ELIZABETHAN AMERICA: The John Dee Tower of 1583 (2011), is a tome every history-loving Newport resident and tour guide should read and own. Open weekends 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and by appointment. Info: 401/447-6757; newporttowermuseum.com  

NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 29 – LOEB VISITORS CENTER & TOURO SYNAGOGUE TOURS 

Rhode Island residents: In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Loeb Visitors Center (52 Spring Street, Newport), Rhode Island residents will be allowed free entry to the Loeb Visitors Center and Touro Synagogue during regular tour hours from Sunday, September 29 through Sunday, December 29. Now through November 1: Tours offered Sunday – Friday. Synagogue tours 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. The tour is a half-hour seated presentation in the Synagogue. Tours run every half hour and the last tour of the day begins at 1:30 pm. November 3 – December 29: Sunday Only. Synagogue tours 11:00 am – 1:30 pm. The Loeb Visitors Center opens a half-hour before the start of the first tour and closes a half-hour after the last tour has ended. Info: tours@tourosynagogue.org or call (401) 847-4794 x207

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OCTOBER 2019 TOURS ▪ SPEAKERS ▪ SPECIAL EVENTS

Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, tours, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM 

This walking tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 – THE PLAZA: THE SECRET LIFE OF AMERICA’S MOST FAMOUS HOTEL – ROSECLIFF – 6PM

The second in a series of lectures at Rosecliff continues with Julie Satow, author and journalist, who explores the glamour on the surface and strife behind the scenes of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Her lecture, The Plaza: The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel is based on her book of the same name. Julie Satow is a regular contributor to the New York Times, her work has also appeared on NPR, the New York Post, HuffPost, and elsewhere. Tickets & Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24 NEWPORT RUN & CHUG – 6:30 PM

This is a running group that does a 5K run every week (3.1 miles). Run is led by firefighter Eddie Valen. Meet at the Fastnet Pub (1 Broadway, Newport) at 6:30 pm. Run is followed by a meet-up (and Chug) at the Fastnet Pub. Info: 401/845-9311. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents – pirates, criminals, and more — leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27 – BELCOURT RESTORATION TOUR – BELCOURT OF NEWPORT

Visit amazing Belcourt!  Carolyn Rafaelian, owner of Belcourt of Newport (657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport), is well along in the process of restoring this 1894 Gilded Age mansion to its original glory. Several one-hour Belcourt Restoration Tours will be offered this weekend. This home is truly something special. If you love behind-the-scenes tours, now is the time to check out the restoration-in-progress of this fabled mansion, before the permanent changes and upgrades are completed. Reservations are encouraged. Tours each day at: 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm. Check for current availability. Tickets: Adults: $17.50; Children: $8.00.  Info & Online Ticket Purchase: belcourt.com 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 – NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ILLUSTRATION GUIDED TOUR – 3:00 PM

A beautiful tour of the National Museum of American Illustration (492 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) is offered year-round every Friday to guests at 3 pm. The National Museum of American Illustration (NMAI) is situated in Vernon Court, a Gilded Age mansion (1898). Vernon Court is on the National Register of Historic Places with interiors inspired by the palace at Versailles. The NMAI focuses on original illustration artworks created to be reproduced in books, periodicals, advertising and in other print media. Featured artists include Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, JC Leyendecker, Jessie Willcox Smith, NC Wyeth and 150 others. Free parking for museum visitors is available in the lot located on Victoria Avenue. Tour is included with admission. Info & Tickets: 401/851-8949; americanillustration.org

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 – JOHN J. SLOCUM MEMORIAL LECTURE – SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY – 6:00 PM

The Redwood Library & Athenæum will kick off their first John J. Slocum Jr Memorial Lecture with humorist, Christopher Buckley. His presentation, “My Old Man and The Sea” is a son’s memoir of sailing adventures with the late William F. Buckley, Jr. It will be held at Bazarsky Hall, O’Hare Academic Center at Salve Regina University (Newport). Christopher Buckley is renowned as a novelist, essayist, critic, magazine editor and memoirist. He worked as a merchant seaman and White House speech writer. His awards include the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence. Tickets are $35. Info & Tickets at: 401/847-0292 x115; redwoodlibrary.org/programs. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 & SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 – FORTESS OF NIGHTMARES AT FORT ADAMS – 7:00 – 10:00 PM

This is the last of the three October weekends for this experience. Two options are available, General Admission ($15) and Paranormal 360 ($20; Reservations required). Hosted by Fortress of Nightmares at Fort Adams (90 Fort Adams Drive, Newport, RI). Tickets & Information at: 888/382-3267; fortressofnightmares.org

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 – DAFFODIL BULB DISTRIBUTION – MIDDLETOWN AQUIDNECK GROWERS MARKET

Daffodillion, the Island’s civic beautification campaign, will be providing free daffodil bulbs (while supplies) to island residents and businesses on Saturday at the following location:  The Middletown Aquidneck Growers Market from 9:00 – Noon, Saturday, October 26. Daffodil bulbs come packed two dozen to a bag (retail value of over $15), along with instructions on planting.  Daffodillion’s civic beautification campaign planted its one millionth (!) daffodil this past autumn in front of the Newport City Hall. The Project Director is John Hirschboeck. For more information on Daffodillion, visit Daffodillion.com.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This tour ties together the city’s many exciting periods of its history. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org  

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2019 – TRUNK OR TREAT – FORT ADAMS – 3:00 – 6:00 PM

An Audrain Auto Museum event. Held at Fort Adams from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Info at: audrainautomuseum.org. Info: 401/856-4420. 

MONDAY, OCTOBER 28 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

One of several excellent walking tours of Newport offered by the Newport Historical Society. Riots and rebellions, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s role in the American Revolution. This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org 

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UPCOMING FALL 2019 SPECIAL EVENTS

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10 – NEWPORT RESTAURANT WEEK

Newport Restaurant Week takes place every fall with more than 50 participating restaurants offering extraordinary two-course prix fixe lunches for $20, three-course prix fixe dinners for $35 and a three-course premier prix fixe dinner for $50. List of participating restaurants & Info: discovernewport.org/newport-restaurant-week/

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7 – FOOD IN THE AMERICAN GILDED AGE – ROSECLIFF – 6:00 PM

The final lecture in a 3-part series at Rosecliff presents Dr. Helen Zoe Veit to share her research into how the American dinner table changed during this period through the food contributions of immigrants, the growth of American agriculture, and the improvement of food distribution owing to the railroads. Dr. Veit is the author of Modern Food, Moral Food: Self-Control, Science, and the Rise of Modern American Eating in the Early Twentieth Century. Tickets & Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org 

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – SEAMEN’S CHURCH INSTITUTE – CENTENNIAL ANNUAL MEETING – 6:00 PM

This seminal event will feature guest speaker Ruth Taylor, Executive Director of the Newport Historical Society. Meeting will be held at 6:00 pm, with a reception to follow at 7:00 pm. 

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KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is a writer and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).

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