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Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker

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Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« on: February 10, 2014, 02:31:28 PM »
 

52plusjoker

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What do you want to find out about an old vintage card or deck? Whatever your question, this is the place to find the answers to what’s puzzling you. We have lined up several of the vintage/antique collectors from 52 Plus Joker to specifically respond to your questions about items that you’ve seen, have heard about or have stashed away in your collections.

We learned about older playing cards by talking to people who knew more than us. In our case we were lucky - we found a couple of local collectors who knew a lot more than we did. They could often answer us easily, and if they didn’t know, could point us in the right direction. They also suggested books we should have and convinced us that research was an integral part of collecting. Slowly our knowledge grew. Eventually the point came when we were being asked more than we were asking! This is true for many members of 52 Plus joker and in this instant communication age makes the availability of expert information for you close at hand and easy to obtain.

We look forward to your specific questions. We, and other members of 52+J, will monitor this post daily and try to ensure we get the right expert to the card table to take our best shot at your answer.

Judy & Tom Dawson
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 02:40:30 PM by 52plusjoker »
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 10:45:58 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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Question for you, Tom: if you see a USPCC "tax stamp" that says "1 Deck" on it as opposed to a certain amount (3 cents, 5 cents, etc) is that definitely a sign that it's a reproduction?
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 07:17:29 AM »
 

52plusjoker

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Question for you, Tom: if you see a USPCC "tax stamp" that says "1 Deck" on it as opposed to a certain amount (3 cents, 5 cents, etc) is that definitely a sign that it's a reproduction?
Three points here - the US government stopped putting amounts on the stamps around 1940 so they could increase tax without 'it being noticed
- from then until 1965 the stamps said "one pack"
- I've never seen "one deck" so if i saw one I'd assume a repro from Asia or somewhere
Hope this helps
Tom Dawson
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 10:15:28 AM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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Question for you, Tom: if you see a USPCC "tax stamp" that says "1 Deck" on it as opposed to a certain amount (3 cents, 5 cents, etc) is that definitely a sign that it's a reproduction?
Three points here - the US government stopped putting amounts on the stamps around 1940 so they could increase tax without 'it being noticed
- from then until 1965 the stamps said "one pack"
- I've never seen "one deck" so if i saw one I'd assume a repro from Asia or somewhere
Hope this helps
That's probably exactly what it says, I'm looking at a picture and all I can make out is the big numeral "1" and the "xxCK" underneath and it does have the Internal Revenue semi-circular banner beneath it abbreviated. The seal is 'bent' over the edge of the deck top and the first two letters are out of focus.  I do remember the AoS has a "T1234" (don't remember digits) code, so that would indicate 1954 because as you noted there were no tax stamps used after 1965 and T is 1914/34/54/74/94 (and I would suppose 2014 although it's not in the cheat sheet on Lee's site).  1954 is a good year for me to collect!  ;^)
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 12:45:35 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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Question for you, Tom: if you see a USPCC "tax stamp" that says "1 Deck" on it as opposed to a certain amount (3 cents, 5 cents, etc) is that definitely a sign that it's a reproduction?
Three points here - the US government stopped putting amounts on the stamps around 1940 so they could increase tax without 'it being noticed
- from then until 1965 the stamps said "one pack"
- I've never seen "one deck" so if i saw one I'd assume a repro from Asia or somewhere
Hope this helps
That's probably exactly what it says, I'm looking at a picture and all I can make out is the big numeral "1" and the "xxCK" underneath and it does have the Internal Revenue semi-circular banner beneath it abbreviated. The seal is 'bent' over the edge of the deck top and the first two letters are out of focus.  I do remember the AoS has a "T1234" (don't remember digits) code, so that would indicate 1954 because as you noted there were no tax stamps used after 1965 and T is 1914/34/54/74/94 (and I would suppose 2014 although it's not in the cheat sheet on Lee's site).  1954 is a good year for me to collect!  ;^)

Sounds on the money to me.  We're probably only now starting to see decks manufactured in January making it into stores, so the new letter code should reveal itself soon.  They've been changing things around lately in terms of letter sequence and letters used so one can't make assumptions.

In recent years, the letter code has also become less necessary since they started prefixing it with a four digit code - the first two digits are the week of the year it was printed, the last two digits are the last two digits of the year it was printed.  I have no idea when they started this practice, but it's recent - and welcomed!  It allows for much more precise dating of a deck.  If forced to guess, I'd say it started with the new print shop in Erlanger - but it's strictly a guess.  The only problem with the codes, at least for the modern custom collector, is that most custom decks don't have the codes on them unless it was a deck designed by USPC for their own distribution channels rather than a contract job for a client.
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 11:21:26 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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Sounds reasonable, Don, but I know I've seen plenty of Erlanger decks that don't have a 4-digit number before the AoS code.  I'm thinking more recent, but no doubt if you can tell which week of the year it was made it definitely narrows it down even more.  That coding system is pretty common, though most (overseas) seem to make it YYWW instead of WWYY, had been used on computer chips and similar for decades, actually.  If you've seen the inside of a computer you've seen them stamped on anything we used to call "solid state" which is basically everything these days but hard drive reading arms.  9401 being the first week of January '94 for example.

I found this little jewel on ebay and swooped it last night, wondered if Tom might could ID it.  Pretty obvious it's an Aristocrat pair, but beyond that without opening it I'm not going to be able to tell much.  I'll post some pix and see what you think. (and yes, Tom - I know you're in Florida right now, so take your time - absolutely no hurry, just curious - as always!)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 11:56:31 PM by Mike Ratledge »
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 03:29:29 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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That's a cool-looking two-deck set!  Nice find.

The four digits preceding the letter in the AoS code have only recently been implemented as an indicator of year and week of manufacture.  Older decks do have in many cases numbers that precede the letter, but it was some internal tracking system USPC was using and didn't represent anything else.  It wouldn't surprise me to learn the practice of four-digit dating is less than a decade old, perhaps even much less.

I've been inside computers on many an occasion.  By trade, my dad was an electrician, but by training, he was a full-blown electrical engineer minus the college degree and knew his way around circuit boards.  We built a science fair project together in the late-1970s - a digital clock that used the cycles in alternating current as the timing device of the clock itself, making it accurate to +/- 1 second/50,000 years, albeit far too expensive to ever see commercial production...
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 03:32:40 AM by Don Boyer »
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 10:51:50 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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Question for you, Tom: if you see a USPCC "tax stamp" that says "1 Deck" on it as opposed to a certain amount (3 cents, 5 cents, etc) is that definitely a sign that it's a reproduction?
Three points here - the US government stopped putting amounts on the stamps around 1940 so they could increase tax without 'it being noticed
- from then until 1965 the stamps said "one pack"
- I've never seen "one deck" so if i saw one I'd assume a repro from Asia or somewhere
Hope this helps
That's probably exactly what it says, I'm looking at a picture and all I can make out is the big numeral "1" and the "xxCK" underneath and it does have the Internal Revenue semi-circular banner beneath it abbreviated. The seal is 'bent' over the edge of the deck top and the first two letters are out of focus.  I do remember the AoS has a "T1234" (don't remember digits) code, so that would indicate 1954 because as you noted there were no tax stamps used after 1965 and T is 1914/34/54/74/94 (and I would suppose 2014 although it's not in the cheat sheet on Lee's site).  1954 is a good year for me to collect!  ;^)
Now you've caught me talking to myself.  Not really, I just didn't think modifying the OP would make sense in this case, since it's UP yonder somewhere.

Anyway, got those cards I was thinking about, Steamboat 999's in sealed pack and one unsealed identical.  AoS is "T" code, but the Joker is the generic PC one, vice the original currently politically incorrect version.  I'm assuming that since it does have a tax stamp, it has to be 1954 as I surmised before I had it in-hand.

Now I get to wondering, when did they switch out the collectible card for the generic "2nd Joker" with a star in each corner?
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 07:11:36 AM »
 

52plusjoker

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Will chip in tomorrow with some thoughts.
Tom Dawson
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2014, 05:04:14 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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While I'm on the thought process about vintage decks, I have a couple of older Russell Blue Ribbon #323 decks in 'raw' condition and noticed when I was looking at my Hochman's that I don't see the matching 929 Pinochle deck listed.  It's relatively common as I recall.  Am I missing something, or just an oversight?  Somebody in the family sent me 5 or 6 of those about two years ago and I never really got very deep into them simply because they're just in tolerable condition, nowhere near what I would pay for or seek out.  They are all opened so I will find them and do a little spelunking to insure that I didn't miss anything on my side, but as I noted I didn't really get into them too much, just filed them away.  Are "Red" Ribbon versions on this as common as the blue ones?  As I recall I have at least one red of each, also.  Again, very common deck that I can remember seeing around my grandfather's house when I was a kid, so likely worth about $5 if I taped a Lincoln on the back of the tuck.
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2014, 05:21:39 PM »
 

52plusjoker

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Hi Mike
Post a pix or two. Many brands of the various companies had smaller related issues like Pinochle, Seconds, For Export, etc. These often got a related brand #. Hope this helps a little. By the way there are surely many other variations we didn't/don't know about to common brands. In many cases they are not, in my view, important enough to list.
Thanks for your interest and questions.
Tom
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 06:36:37 PM »
 

athomas16

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Here is something I've been meaning to ask about.  Playing cards for Dominos.  Copyright 1908 by USPCC.  Two decks of double 9's in a leather case. I tried to picture a representative sample, it's just likea set of Dominos, but in playing card format...

Not much artwork as there are no court cards.  I tried to do some Internet research but never hit on the right keywords to yield much.  So, how often do you see something like this?  Any thoughts about the back?

Frankly, any information at all would be appreciated.
 

Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2014, 07:49:02 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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Hi Mike
Post a pix or two. Many brands of the various companies had smaller related issues like Pinochle, Seconds, For Export, etc. These often got a related brand #. Hope this helps a little. By the way there are surely many other variations we didn't/don't know about to common brands. In many cases they are not, in my view, important enough to list.
Thanks for your interest and questions.
Tom
OK, I'll de-flate my estimate and say with a $5 bill attached, it's now worth $4.99  ;D

Likely precisely the case, Tom!  As I recall they are all sitting inside the ziplock bag that they were sent in, but I'll ferret them out and see if they are even worthy of a pix or three.  They're just the typical old Russell Blue Ribbon decks, nothing fancy, certainly nothing special - just remember two were 929's vice 323's.  Almost certain they are the variety that's worthy of a $20 if they're mint per Hochman's addendum & pricing guide 2004 / 2nd edition, and they aren't even close...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 07:50:23 PM by Mike Ratledge »
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2014, 01:09:49 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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Here is something I've been meaning to ask about.  Playing cards for Dominos.  Copyright 1908 by USPCC.  Two decks of double 9's in a leather case. I tried to picture a representative sample, it's just likea set of Dominos, but in playing card format...

Not much artwork as there are no court cards.  I tried to do some Internet research but never hit on the right keywords to yield much.  So, how often do you see something like this?  Any thoughts about the back?

Frankly, any information at all would be appreciated.

The only information I can give you would be that the design was revived by USPC last year as a bridge-sized Bicycle deck in a single color, black, with a similar though not identical back design.

http://www.bicyclecards.com/products/playing-card/bicycle-double-nine-domino-deck

It's been updated a little, with a three-dimensional effect for the spots, but the typeface for the indices looks the same or close to it.

I do have an interesting question of my own, though - at what point did playing card sizes become standardized, and at what point were narrow (bridge-sized) and miniature playing cards developed?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 01:15:15 AM by Don Boyer »
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2014, 07:41:13 AM »
 

52plusjoker

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Here is something I've been meaning to ask about.  Playing cards for Dominos.  Copyright 1908 by USPCC.  Two decks of double 9's in a leather case. I tried to picture a representative sample, it's just likea set of Dominos, but in playing card format...

Not much artwork as there are no court cards.  I tried to do some Internet research but never hit on the right keywords to yield much.  So, how often do you see something like this?  Any thoughts about the back?

Frankly, any information at all would be appreciated.
These little sets are neat. They are not uncommon and are quite collectible by pc and games collectors. Haven't seen a set for a couple of years. Being USPC they just used a standard card back design of the time. They also put out a neat Poker Dice deck a little earlier which is hard to find. You should also know that the Fireside Game Co, which became the Cincinnati Game Co. and made a series of card games, many of which are very attractive, was also a USPC company.
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2014, 07:50:58 AM »
 

52plusjoker

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Quote
The only information I can give you would be that the design was revived by USPC last year as a bridge-sized Bicycle deck in a single color, black, with a similar though not identical back design.

http://www.bicyclecards.com/products/playing-card/bicycle-double-nine-domino-deck

It's been updated a little, with a three-dimensional effect for the spots, but the typeface for the indices looks the same or close to it.

I do have an interesting question of my own, though - at what point did playing card sizes become standardized, and at what point were narrow (bridge-sized) and miniature playing cards developed?
Complicated question about standard sizes. Quick answer is dependent on countries. In America, early cards were about the size of their English counterparts, similar to what we today call wide or Poker size. In the 1880's National PCC and USPC and NYCC developed narrower [by 1/4 inch] cards advertised for Whist where 13 cards needed to spread out in a dainty female hand. These sizes remain the standard of today. Miniature or Patience [Solitaire] cards go way back into the early years of European manufacture. There are really no standards there - for example USPC over the years had at least five sizes of smaller decks ranging from Fauntleroy to Bicycle Junior
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2014, 08:03:25 AM »
 

HeartQ

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Here is something I've been meaning to ask about.  Playing cards for Dominos.  Copyright 1908 by USPCC.  Two decks of double 9's in a leather case. I tried to picture a representative sample, it's just likea set of Dominos, but in playing card format...

Not much artwork as there are no court cards.  I tried to do some Internet research but never hit on the right keywords to yield much.  So, how often do you see something like this?  Any thoughts about the back?

Frankly, any information at all would be appreciated.
Here is something I've been meaning to ask about.  Playing cards for Dominos.  Copyright 1908 by USPCC.  Two decks of double 9's in a leather case. I tried to picture a representative sample, it's just likea set of Dominos, but in playing card format...

Not much artwork as there are no court cards.  I tried to do some Internet research but never hit on the right keywords to yield much.  So, how often do you see something like this?  Any thoughts about the back?

Frankly, any information at all would be appreciated.

Hi Adam
Very nice set but probably not in the original case (yours looks like a nice old one, possibly period to the cards).

If memory serves me, USPC made two small domino sets; the first, the size of regular dominos, the second slightly larger. Both types came in a burgundy colored slipcase and both had red and white speckled backs. However your cards could possibly have been packaged in a tuckcase. 

I do not recall seeing many of these over the years, we did own one set once but not in its original box. 

Nice find - rare?  Maybe!!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 08:33:28 AM by HeartQ »
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2014, 11:23:42 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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I never did post those Russell Blue Ribbon decks:
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2014, 05:52:29 PM »
 

52plusjoker

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What is the name of the back on the 929's - I like it!
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2014, 06:43:58 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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What is the name of the back on the 929's - I like it!
The 929 (Pinochle) decks are Rosette and Fillegree designs.

The two 323 (poker)  decks are both Urn back - red & blue.

These are the ones that I remember my granddad having when I was a kid...
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2014, 03:50:23 AM »
 

DarkDerp

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Did someone say something about computer boxes and circuit boards?.... No?  I'll just mosey on then. You nerds keep up the good work.  :bosswalk:
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2014, 04:59:43 PM »
 

CordedTires

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Anybody familiar with this? It's my only older deck, maybe from a family trip to Europe in the 60s or early 70s. The tuck box says "Made in Belgium" and "The Royal Pavilion at Brighton" and nothing else. The kings are all gouty and the queens have a (much milder) Hotcakes flavor, the courts are kind of cute. The deck is small (bridge size? I really don't know).

I've had it forever (long before the collecting mania hit) and while it's probably not very interesting to you august personages I've finally gotten my nerve up to ask about it.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 05:42:12 PM by CordedTires »
 

Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2014, 05:26:39 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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Anybody familiar with this? It's my only older deck, maybe from a family trip to Europe in the 60s or early 70s. The tuck box says "Made in Belgium" and "The Royal Pavilion at Brighton" and nothing else. The kings are all gouty and the queens have a (much milder) Hotcakes flavor, the courts are kind of cute. The deck is small (bridge size? I really don't know).

I've had it forever (long before the collecting mania hit) and while it's probably not very interesting to you august personages I've finally gotten my nerve up to ask about it.
Belgian? Odd, it's sold in Britain, Brighton is a suburb of London. If it is Belgian it could be Bierman or Cartimumdi or others depending on the age, but it appears to be a 60's style deck. Probably made in Tiernhout (not certain of spelling) where the World Playing Cards Museum is located.

It would be better if we could see more of the tuck case, maybe other side or edges? Any more clues on those? It doesn't appear to be a typical Waddington or de la Rue deck, those are British. Strange one, but them again unusual decks are usually more collectible.
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Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2014, 05:48:15 PM »
 

CordedTires

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Thanks, Mike! Guesses welcome. I've added a couple shots of the tuck, the other edges are just the red design. At a guess, these may have been bought in a Marks & Spencer in London in 1967 or 68. Or maybe handed out on an airline en route (??) As you can see it's been pretty much beat up.....It _does_ seem odd, the lack of info on the tuck. The AofS is very plain.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 05:48:56 PM by CordedTires »
 

Re: Ask the Experts at 52 Plus Joker
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2014, 06:00:43 PM »
 

Mike Ratledge

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Well, I take back my assertion that the rest of the tuck would help. It is a generic "White Box" design, maybe due to the bawdy content? Unfortunately I have no further clues. Interesting, though!

There were 4 makers in Tiernhout at one point, but names escape me beyond the two already stated.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 06:01:38 PM by Mike Ratledge »
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