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Back in 2003 I was preparing to perform my Dad's memoir of life at Bethlehem Steel here in Bethlehem PA. (see my previous diaries for some excerpts) I came in contact with some former steelworkers who had formed an organization to record and preserve the stories of the workers, called The Steelworkers Archives. They agreed to be the non-profit umbrella organziation for the project so I could get a lower rate to rent a local theatre. I paid all the production costs myself. I wanted to repay them for their support and I wanted to support what they were trying to do. They had a web site, which was pretty basic, so I volunteered to build them a new one. On the site was this list of the workers who had died at The Steel.

As I scrolled down it, slowly and not without some shock, I observed what appeared to be a very graphic story of the past century of the status and quality of life of the American Worker. Watch as in pre-union days the number of killed workers skyrockets during WWI. Watch it shrink dramatically when the Depression hits and after the Union was recognized. Watch it shrink to minimal levels during the boom years of the 50s and 60s. Watch it end when the Steel shuts down.

Keep in mind that the list only includes the men and women who died in the plant on the job. In one plant. In one town. For one company. It does not include the 1000s more who succumbed to disease and crippling accidents or other causes directly or indirectly related to employment at The Steel.

Back in the 1800’s Bethlehem Steel was started by the Germans and for the first twenty or thirty years they held all the jobs. Then they started to hire the Irish and gave them all the lousy jobs, like the coke works and shovelin’ scale, stuff like that. Another thirty years or so and the Irish move up and start hirin’ the Slovaks, Hungarians, and Polacks to do all the dirty work. Funny thing they called ’em all Hunkies, didn’t matter if they was Polacks, Slovaks, Ukrainians or whatever, they was still Hunkies, unless they was Italian—then they was Dagos or Wops.

Killed ’em off like flies, too. Didn’t give a damn, what’s another Hunkie? Then during the First World War they started hirin’ the Mexicans ’cause they thought they could stand the heat better. So they all got sent to the coke works. The Irish, they became the foremen. That’s why even today, no matter what shop you go into there’s some Irish foreman tellin’ everybody what to do.

When the Union come in they put a stop to all that. I mean they couldn’t keep you down just ’cause you was a Hunkie or a Dago. Lucky for me and you, Janos, we had the Union, I don’t think I could a stood it the way it was in the old days.

from The 28 Inch Mill by Robert D. Frantz (my father)

Over 650 people perished making steel in Bethlehem since 1905. The Steelworkers Archives exists so that they and their contribution to their families, their communities and their country will not be forgotten.

reprinted from http://www.steelworkersarchives.com

1905
  Billiard George
 Kosct John
 Lawrence Samuel
 Rezmer Matyas
 Smith William
 Trazaska John
1906
  Ballrak  Mike
 Balshi  John
 Broschel Joseph
 Donosecs Joseph
 Eichelberger Alvin
 Jones  Charles
 Kranesz  Alex
 Laderer  Louis
 Reese  William
 Repunyk  Louis
 Seifert  William
 Smith  Greeley
 Stern  Frank
 Strawn  Elmer
 Szebasi  Joseph
 Tar  John
 Traupman  Imre
 Waghl  John
1907  
  Andrlyeck  Yanos
 Auer,Sr.  Michael
 Dorney  William
 Ellicott John
 Eltringham John
 Erdei Gabor
 Fisher  Frank
 Gross  Weston
 Holoda  Anton
 Kalloman Farentz  
 Kanton  Layos
 Mandli  Joseph
 Marsh  H.  
 Mikus  Carl
 Nagy  Joseph
 Novak Frank
 Nuss  Rudolph
 Parol  Martin
 Parry  John
 Peffer  Edgar
 Ruth  John
 Traynor  Thomas
 Wachter  William
 Wolf,Jr  Stephen
 Yonmans  M.  
1908
  Boehm  George
 Bolig  William
 Donsetz  Charles
 Evangelista  Lewis
 Fisher Anton
 Heffelfinger  Victor
 Jones William
 Krancyecs John
 Perleburg  Herman
 Reger  Charles
 Simonka  John
 Smith  Oliver
 Sziveisal Mike
 Wick  Oliver
1909
  Coster Peter
 Cott  Fred
 Cser  Joseph
 Free  Joseph
 Freyling  Elmer
 Green  William
 Gross Henry
 Huber  Robert
 Kellner  Chespot
 Knopf  Eli
 Kratzer  Frank
 Lynn  Karl
 Makos  Frank
 McHugh Patrick
 Molnar  Joseph
 Namet  Mike
 Ressel  Rudolph
 Shiffert  Elwood
 Simon  Joseph
 Szalir  Ivan
 Vladmar  Adian
1910
  Bobics  James
 Gretza  Samuel
 Haczlewicz Ladeslain
 Johnson  James
 Kail  Christian
 Keleman  John
 Krause  John
 Kruger Harvey
 Lazar Stephen
 Nagy  Alex
 Nolan  William
 Radvanska John
 Stein  Arthur
 Szikwicz Stephen
 Welsh  William
1911
  Acker  William
 Diehl John
 Donyon  Jacob
 Dugan Michael
 Geavino George
 Heim  Ambrose
 Holitz  Frank
 Horwath  Joe
 Karandemis Manoly
 Knadler  Milton
 Krengel  Joseph
 Linnert Andrew
 Mesrierics  Mike
 Nyitray Mike
 Schiell Adam
 Simonchek John
1912
  Bohar Steve
 Chandler Lucivus
 Christ Thomas
 Dellet Louis
 Filuta Michael
 Hilflicker Milton
 Horwath  Steve
 Kane  Michael
 Kasper Mackcsy
 Korpics  Joseph
 Lebar Istavn
 Lucas Edward
 Markowski Alex
 Namet Charles
 Patrigon Ratz
 Skarlock  Steve
 Stefanek  Jacob
 Thomas Martin
 Unknown
 Unknown  
 Wineburg  Adolph
 Yohe  Alex
1913
  Barney  George
 Bartholomew Pierce
 Benewald Rudolph
 Buryts  John
 Buss  Oscar
 Jacoby  James
 Kerner  Lewis
 Kish  John
 Luzu  Sandor
 Martin  Jacob
 McCarron  John
 Octavianna John
 Polanecs Steve
 Smith W.  
 Soader  Frank
 Sobosky  John
 Taunini  Gregori
 Walsh  Phillip
 Zamidics  George
 Zeigler  Joseph
1914
  Barbaric Frank
 Bolchar Joseph
 Kucera John
 Mankos  Michael
 Muschlitz  Harvey
 Promok  Harry
 Saldana Manuel T.
 Scullion  William
 Shenk  Harry
 Traylor Stephen
1915
  Adams  Philip
 Amorsky  Ignatz
 Chirstine  Sam
 Csaszar  Adam
 Fillip  Johan
 Gonick  Mike
 Horwath John
 Kallas  Steve
 Morgan  Joseph
 Nemecz  Frank
 Radosowitch  Frank
 Ragonisky  George
 Rishell  Phillip
 Seiner William
 Shikora Andrew
 Smith  William
 Spangler John
 Stout Paul
 Takas Frank
 Toth Joseph
 Vinsor Harry
 Vosos Alex
 Wean Joseph
 Wright John
 Yelles  Steward
1916
  Apostalidis Petrus
 Cascar Frank
 Christ Alexander
 Collins  James
 Cyaigus Steve
 Domball Jacob
 Ecker Andrew
 Eckert Leonard
 Franko  George
 Galatoulas Nick
 Gebhart  Clarence
 Georgine Michael
 Johnson  John
 Kerschner John
 McNite  Michael
 O'Donnell  Joseph
 Pavolik  Charles
 Pierce  Byron
 Protos Cost
 Rohn William
 Sarnisky Joseph
 Screen John
 Shelly Howard
 Sliva  Andy
 Tarollie  Joseph
 Tokas  Mike
 Walput Jacob
 Wassarhelyi John
1917
  Ackerman Harry
 Anderson Carl
 Antralia  Niklis
 Bieber  B.
 Brazda  Jacob
 Burns  Peter
 Buss  Roland
 Cacagerinos  Argorinos
 Dozer Steve
 Eckert Wilson
 Ferencz Anderko
 Ferriera  Dominges
 Fitzgibbons  William
 Fravitis George
 Guntek  Frank
 Hillegas  Robert
 Hoffman Frank
 Horwath Frank
 Huff  J.  
 Jacobson Theodore
 Jelko  Frank
 Kayitch  Thomas
 Kostar  George
 Krentza  Frank
 Laux John
 Levantis Dimitri
 Lipich Joseph
 Luzo Charles
 Mandy  Philip
 Murray  James
 Nemeth  Julian
 Pappas Charles
 Paules Clarence
 Petikos  Lambros
 Petzhold  Theodore
 Pois  Manuel
 Polittie  Achille
 Radish  Joe
 Romig Oliver
 Savich  John
 Shanick  Frank
 Skrigar Martin
 Stovinitis  Costas
 Vargo  Peter
 VonStorch Fred
 Walborn  H.
 Williams S.  
 Zamodice  Mike
 Zerebak  George
 Zizak  Michael
1918
  Bacak  Steve
 Bader  Oliver
 Baltaser  Mena
 Bonder Mike
 Costa  Louis
 Csandle  Joe
 Demko Waskol/Wasil
 Dilabo  Anton
 Eardley  Thomas
 Faber  J.
 Ferrina James
 Ferrina  James
 Fulmer  Edgar
 Giles  Jenkin
 Gongarran  Lancher
 Howell Frank
 Hudak  Andrew
 Issac  M.
 Keehler Frank
 Keiper Irvin
 Kissel  Joseph
 Korsimiv  Eskra
 Kuschner George
 Laslo Peter
 Marino  Lugi
 Miskovich Paul
 Moyer  Theodore
 Muschlitz Steward
 Orban  John
 Otto  Wallace
 Palinsky  Frank
 Palmer  Henry
 Papas John
 Perez  Vincent
 Salz  Sigmund
 Sanchez  Joseph
 Sanez  Benifice
 Shapiro Nathan
 Smulnok  Alex
 Taylor  Daisy
 Travis  George
 Varas  John
 Vegi  John
 Villar Eugar
 Vrabel  Mike
 Weiss  Edwin
 Zuvik  Max
1919
  Correll John
 Franseca  Francis
 Garstar Gus
 Gazda  Janos
 Gilroy  Hugh
 Johnson  Robert
 Kelly  William
 Kindig  Charles
 Kovacs Adam
 Kressler William
 Newhart  Howard
 Nonnenmacher Charles  
 Novitsky  Alex
 Peffer  Floyd
 Roush  Harry
 Smith  John
 Smith  John
 Stegura  John
 Szaller Kalman
 Takacs  Mike
 Verstaic Villk
 Woodring  George
1920
  Collins  William
 Dominges  Bispo
 Edwards  Hugh
 Erdos  John
 Erios  Steve
 Horwath  Frank
 Jones  Benjamin
 Lopez  Michael
 Nagy  Charles
 Sandor Frank
 Smith  Charles
 Zilco  Joseph
1921
  Dougherty  Harry
 Graner Michael
 Huhn Joseph
 Kila  John
 Moroske  Andrew
 Sopko  Joesph
 Steward  Peter
1922
  Garay Andrew
 Groff George
 Karba  Garlo
 Neese Peter
 Pinter Charles
 Shaffer Harry
 Singley Anthony
 Skerlak  Stephen
 Timko  Mike
 Vargo  Joe
1923
  Campbell Clark
 Castillo  Anastacio
 Cope  Clayton
 Diacium  Alex
 Dobyan Steve
 Farkas  Stephen
 Heygi  Peter
 Kaufman Frank
 Modcick Andy
 Molnar Layos
 Seila  Charles
 Simon Paul
 Warobec  Peter
1924
  Altemose  Charles
 Bauder  Stanley
 Berish  Paul
 Bossert  Robert
 Calaskis  George
 Gardner Walter
 Gilmore  John
 Hascicz Steve
 Herzeg  George
 Jacqua.  Muskoritz
 Krosec Charles
 Moyer Warren
 Rohrbach Erwin
 Schlosser Joesph
 Surovi  John
 Vollath  Charles
 Yanik  George
1925
  DelGrosso  Daniel
 Neuda  Edmund
 Petrocsics  Ivan
 Reisinger Edmund
 Strahlo Merritt
 Traupman  John
 Vargas  Juan
1926
  Ackerman  Alex
 Falich Martin
 Gerstenberg  Charles
 Groscost Daniel
 Kedulka  Jan
 Kozol  Mike
 Kratzer James
 Medve Peter
 Mlinko  Daniel
 Ponocs  Michael
 Preletz Otto
 Rodgers  William
 Zatorski John
 Zulli  Valentino
1927
  Dolan  George  
 Fluck  Jackson  
 Gerry  Joseph  
 Gyemesak  Paul  
 Kovacs  Imre  
 Lambert, Jr.  Frederick  
 Nagy  Frank  
 Perleburg  William  
 Ricler  Edward  
 Simores  Anthony  
 Stancich  John  
 Svelte  Mike  
 Toggart  Anthony  
1928
  Angerman  John  
 Apple  Milton  
 Beltran  Mateo  
 Contreraz  Martin  
 Jacobs  Ellwood  
 Rippert  Louis  
 Smith  George  
 Strausburg  Labold  
 Yesick  Basil  
1929
  Coral  Cirilo  
 Kelly  Michael  
 Knechel  John  
 Koach  John  
 Mills  Harvey  
 Potok  Joseph  
 Sheehan  Michael  
 Yambor  George  
 Yurich  Frank  
1930
  Brader  William  
 Kach  Joseph  
 Lorince  John  
 Macek  Tom  
 Siegfried  Forrest  
 Sinko  Frank  
 Trimple  Kalman  
1931
  Beres  Steve  
 Gery  Calvin  
 Schanta  John  
 Zollo  Guiseppe  
1932
  Weninger  Anton  
1933
  Wambold  John  
1934  
  Cassano  Charles  
 Dech  Warren  
 Hafner  Joe  
 Kincade  Sylvester  
 Palinkas  Louis  
 Perkins  Harry  
 Rohal  Michael  
 Trauger  Harry  
1935
  Laky  Ignatz  
 Mazur  Frank  
 Miller  Frank  
 Miller  John  
 Mocidlowski  Alex  
 Rush  William  
 Stahler  Robert  
1936
  Beahm  William  
 Cvammen  Otto  
 DeLong  Samuel  
 DiCarlo  Carlo  
 Hudak  George  
 Hudock  Andrew  
 Tully  Robert  
1937
  Alli  Sifat  
 Bankowski  Frank  
 Dieter  Albert  
 Miller  Charles  
 Paulauskas  Joseph  
 Spirk  Frank  
 Stein  Floyd  
 Turloscy  John  
 Viczena  Paul  
 Warnke  Gordon  
1938
  Juhasz  Mike  
 Julio  Manuel  
 Sweeney  Gilbert  
1939
  Ambrus  Alex  
 Gubich  Joseph  
 Houck  William  
 Koder  Preston  
 Lopez  Richard  
 Schrantz  Albert  
 Schwartz  John  
1940
  Beckage  Peter  
 Becker  John  
 Fistner  Frank  
 1941
  Bove  James  
 Callahan  John  
 Farkas  Stephen  
 Graser  Arthur  
 Jacob  Edwin  
 Kardos  Joseph  
 Kovjanovic  Joseph  
 Mayer  Andrew  
 Ramer  David  
1942
  DeBernardo  Michael  
 Handelong  Phillip  
 Hess  Harry  
 Keene, Jr.  Charles  
 Kropf  Edwin  
 Kundrick  Paul  
 Lichtenwalner  Arnold  
 Mertz  Harold  
 Petrallo  Frank  
 Rex  Clayton  
 Smith  Elmer  
 Soos  Joseph  
 Stapinski  Anthony  
 Werkheiser  Charles  
 Zonce  George  
1943
  Bolecz  Joseph  
 Gariti  Giacoma  
 Halleman  Joseph  
 Hrichak  John  
 Reinhard  John  
 Schwab  Joseph  
1944
  Barics  Anton  
 Buskirk  Norman  
 Carrer  Fred  
 DiMonte  Frank  
 Heckman  Robert  
 Holvey  David  
 McCarty  Joseph  
 Meixell  Howard  
 Pavrlchak  Harry  
 Pierson  Robert  
 Snyder  Harry  
 Trinkle  Ludwig  
1945
  Beitel  Thomas  
 Conka  Charles  
 Green  Edward  
 Gribben  William  
 Horwath  Joseph  
 Kleckner  Paul  
 Knappenberger  Arthur  
 Kunkle  Clarence  
 McGoldrich  Joseph  
 Rasely  Edward  
 Ryan  William  
 Schweder  George  
 Snyder  Harold  
 Straka  Michael  
 Szuter  John  
 Wolf  Donald  
1946
  Aranyos  John  
 Bedics  Louis  
 Erdell  Francis  
 Palencar  Victor  
 Smith  Milton  
1947
  Schwartz  Valentine  
 Swyrlyrcus  Max  
1948
  Gilbert  Martin  
 Illes  Stephen  
 Kistulentz  John  
 Knecht  Argustus  
 Lukasevich  Veloda  
 Pletchan  Walter  
 Schlegel  Frank  
 Schultz  Fred  
 Vince  Frank  
1949
  Ackerman  Archibald  
 Schlier  Clayton  
 Zamiskie  Michael  
1951
  Heckman  John  
 Rayda  Stephen  
 Strawn  Arthur  
1952
  Skolinsky  Frank  
1953
  Madl  Joseph  
 Nester  Norman  
1954
  Clewell  John  
1955
  Johnson  Harry  
 Swirsky  Simon  
1956
  Bartholomew  James  
 Heintzelman  Harold  
1957
  Dancho  Joseph  
1958
  Nykas  David  
 Valent  Joseph  
1959
  Yaich  Oliver  
1960
  Smith  Russell  
 Tutolo  Michael  
1962
  Lewis  Adrian  
1963
  Rominski  Alexander  
1964
  Koch  Robert  
1965
  Frable  Kenneth  
 Hrenda  Steven  
 Kuhns  Kenneth  
 Mushlitz  Forrest  
 Potteiger, Sr.  Theodore  
 Ripkey  Russell  
1966
  Petko  John  
 Stout  Walter  
1967
  Davis  Thomas  
 Usiak  John  
1968
  Wilhelm  William  
1969
  Hontz  Robert  
 Neiberger  Joseph  
1970
  Demjan  Nicholas  
 Shane  William  
1972  
  Clay, Jr.  Willard  
1973  
  Kimak  Robert  
 Millheim  Richard  
 Seifert  Donald  
1974
  Householder  Warren  
1975
  Sajt  Joseph  
1979
  Frisch, Jr.  Joseph  
 Snyder  Walter  
1980  
  Duffield  Harry  
 Ferretti  Joseph  
1981  
  Baatz  Richard  
 Fronheiser  Robert  
 Pearl  Michael  
 Preisler  Herbert  
 Schleifer  Robert  
1982
  Howard, Sr.  Edward  
 Parham  Lee  
 Seyfried  Raymond  
1984
  Ardelean  Joseph  
 Atherholt  Larry  
 Radeline  Barry  
1985
  Stocker, Jr.  George  
1987
  Vogel  Earl  
1988
  DeLuise  David  
1991
  Hahn, Jr.  Floyd  
1992
  Rogaski  Thomas  
1994
  Kwasnoski  Daniel  
 Miller  Raynor  
1995
  Ryan  Michael  
1996
  Kilyk  Joseph
Rest In Peace

Originally posted to srfRantz on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:59 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and WE NEVER FORGET.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

    by srfRantz on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:59:42 PM PST

  •  Since the days of Reagan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, srfRantz, Tinfoil Hat

    the GOP has worked tirelessly to cut the budget of OSHA, make sure corporations aren't held really accountable for deaths and injuries (they pay a small fine out of their profits at most), and made sure OSHA inspections are rare events.  And that's on top of trying to gut the few remaining worker safety requirements.

    When the Sensata plant closed down, the first thing Bain Capitol did was to remove ALL of the safety gear from the factory equipment that was being shipped to China.  No laws in China regarding worker safety or health which adds to the burgening profits of industrialists.

    Republished to In Support of Labor and Unions.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:22:17 PM PST

  •  I've worked both union and non-union (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, srfRantz, Tinfoil Hat

    If workers call in OSHA complaints, most of the time the boss knows who it is.  Like the time I complained about the fumes from  truck #17, well, I was the truck #17 driver.  Bosses get real angry about OSHA complaints.

    If you're non-union, you're getting fired on some pretext (took a minute too long at breaktime) if you filed OSHA complaints.

    If you're in a union, you laugh in your boss's face and tell him he shoulda got the damn problem fixed when you bitched about it two weeks ago.

    Sure, some employers care about worker safety.  But many care less about their workers than they do about their machinery.  Workers have always needed unions for the protection to complain about safety problems.

    •  Exactly, when the seat belt was broke on my (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      srfRantz, Tinfoil Hat

      assigned scraper, I refused to run on the edge of the stock pile, which meant that about once and hour, the dozer had to come over and straighten out the top of the stockpile.

      The foreman yelled and hollered at me to no avail. & the dozer op basically told him to STFU.

      Why could we do that? because we were union. On my break I called the Union Rep & he came out and raised hell.

      The Union pulled me off the job and refused to send out another op until problem fixed. Union sent me elsewhere, better company.

      Sure you can call OSHA if you don't have a union, but the boss will know who made the call. They can always come up with a reason to fire you.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

      by JayRaye on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:39:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When we think of steel and everything (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srfRantz

    built with steel, we should remember the price that was paid to bring us the steel.

    Plz, also remember the iron miners and I am thinking esp of the Masabi Range Miners. Also dangerous work.

    tip rec repub to

    WE NEVER FORGET

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Dec: Life so cheap; property so sacred.

    by JayRaye on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:29:02 PM PST

  •  so many many stories (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Tinfoil Hat

    you live in a town like this, its part of the history, the lore, its almost in your blood.

    every family has their story of someone they lost or who was injured and couldn't work. before the union, you lost a hand or a leg, or your eyes, you were shit out of luck. so was your family.

    a while back, before I came home and did my Dad's play, he'd shown my tape of the California production to a local theatre group. they didn't show any interest, which hurt him a lot, but they did go ahead and create a Steel festival with an original musical based on Prometheus which they commissoned and produced that got written up in American Theatre. all of which pissed me off for a variety of reasons. anyhow, one good thing they did was bring a really great world famous professional storyteller to town who interviewed people and collected their stories and put together something of his own. and although that was basically re-doing what my Dad already had done with his memoir of the stories of the guys he'd worked with, can't have too many stories saved.

    So finally the guy came back to town a couple years ago and reprised it. I went and saw it and I met him. It was great and so was he. I will try to find his site and link to his DVD of the steel story.

    btw, my DVD (and various reviews of the play) is on www.the28inchmill.com and on a new site with more documentary video of steelworkers stories by the guy, Bruce Ward, who founded the Steelworkers Archives at http://www.ourbethlehemsteel.com
    Bruce is a dear friend of mine now, and helping him get that site online is what prompted me going back and thinking about how to get these stories out there. I'm on here all the time...sooo I thought l'd give it a shot.

    thanks everyone for the support and recs.

    no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

    by srfRantz on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:01:22 PM PST

    •  Jay O'Callahan - Pouring the Sun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye

      here's the link
      https://www.ocallahan.com/...

      Jay is a terrific story teller and a really nice guy. Highly recommend this piece for anyone interested in the immigrant worker story generally and Bethlehem steel worker history specifically.

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:16:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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