Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

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DHort
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Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:08 pm

No, my name isn't Frodo and I do not have a Fellowship of the Ring to help me on my journey. I did meet Dallas Landers and that was all the help I needed. Didn't see any Orc's either.

Tuesday, September 3, I began my journey to The Henry Ford for the Old Car Festival. Why did I not take a trailer? To prove that a model T can still make a journey and maybe meet Dean or Steve on the way. It was all worth it. What a great trip. If your car can make 100 miles, it can make 1000 miles.

The day started out lovely. Cool and with lots of sunshine. I left Menomonee Falls, a northwest suburb of Milwaukee, and headed straight south. The road lead to Hwy 45 which goes all the way to New Orleans, so I figured I had the correct road. The next county down I saw a display of gas dispensers, but since my tank was full, I felt no need to stop.
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I drove through the Lake Countys of northern Illinois. Nice country roads with not a lot of traffic.
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I thought I might catch a glimpse of the Willits Tower or the John Hancock tower, but I was too far west. All I began to see was more and more
traffic as I headed south. I left 45 to take hwy 83 and rejoin 45 later. That was a mistake. 45 became more of an expressway with 3 lanes going
65mph, so I got off. Driving through the south side of Chicago, a man in blue decided to follow me. He turned on his red and blue lights, so I had
to pull off on to a side street.
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I pulled out my drivers license and knew that I had not exceeded the speed limit, so what did he want. He proceeded to ask me if I have a
license plate for my vehicle and I told him it was in the trunk. As he was looking for the trunk, I retrieved my plates and insurance info from
under the back seat. That is the trunk, isn't it? After looking over my paperwork he proceeded to tell me that I need to display current plates
on the vehicle. I informed him that I have historical plates and according to Wisconsin law I just have to have the plates in the car.
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Doesn't matter that they are hidden by the spare and the tail light. He proceeded to tell me that I was now driving in Illinois and had to
follow Illinois laws. That Illinois requires me to show current plates. That also I should be aware of the laws in any state that I am driving through.
I have learned to keep my mouth shut. I could have switched the plates. He looked at the back of the car and stated that he did not see any
place for me to attach the plates, so he would let me go. I thanked him and procedded on my way.


Topic author
DHort
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:20 pm

Eventually proceeded on my way and headed south for the Lincoln Highway. For a time I was on the historic Dixie Highway, left it, and found it again. I was looking for food and gas. When I finally was far enough south to hit the Lincoln Highway, I was on the corner I was looking for. I pulled into a
parking lot, spoke with a few people that asked about the car and took some pictures.
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Chicago Heights was an important stop on the Lincoln Highway probably because this was the crossing with the Dixie Highway all the way to New Orleans. You see Lincoln's profile on one side of the disc in the fountain. Cool.
From here I proceeded east towards Detroit. My goal was to reach the Indiana Sand Dunes park where I could camp for the night. The neighborhood here was not where you would want to stay, but I did pass the Ford Plant where they make Explorer automobiles. I have one parked back home in the driveway. Parts of the highway were 55mph and I tooled along at 30mph. I have no problem going 30 in a 55 zone. If the shoulder was asphalt, I would move over and drive on the shoulder. IF not, you would just have to pass me when you had the chance. Soon I was in Indiana.
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Rob » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:24 pm

You’ve had a lot of great Model T adventures this year Dave. Congratulations and here’s to many more T adventures in the future.


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:33 pm

I made it to the Sand Dune park that night. Of course, by the time I got there it appeared the park was closed. At least the information center was, and I ran over the curb at a high rate of speed because I could not see it in the dark. The cleaning crew showed up and allowed me to use the bathroom. We finally figured out where the entrance to the park was, and I headed north. But what was that strong rubber, burning smell? What did i do to the car driving over the curb? Went back to the info center and checked over the car. Looked OK.

The damn smell must have been the freeway close to the info center. Whoa - my trip wasn't over.

I drove into the park, got my pass, and proceeded to my camp site. As I pulled in, the rains came. Quick. Put up the top and get the tent up. I wanted to go straight to bed, but was cold so I took a hot shower before I crawled into my sleeping bag. Good Night.

In the morning the sun was out so I went to play in the sand.
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You can just make out Chicago above the sign that says rip currents. I grew up on Lake Michigan so this is all familiar to me, and yet I still went too
close to the waves and got my shoes all wet. Oh well. When you play in the lake you get wet. Time to head east.

Somewhere along the way I drove through some woods. It can be so peaceful there in a T.


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:47 pm

Now on to South Bend to see the Studebaker Museum. But before I got there, I heard this tink, tink, tink. What could that be. I walked around the car and looked to see if anything was loose, but I missed it. A little farther on and as I crossed a bridge it became a TINK TINK TINK. Not good. Pulled into a gas station and found my muffler had broken loose and was bouncing off the axle housings. I was directed to a Tractor Supply store down the road. All they had was a large hose clamp and a pipe clamp. Tried it, but it did not work. Drove onward to an Autozone and found a part, but it needed to be bent 90 degrees. They did not have the tools. Walk down to the muffler shop 4 blocks and ask the mechanic if he could bend it for me. He had to get permission from the lady at the counter. REALLY? That did not work. Got another muffler hanger, and that would work for a while.
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An elderly gentleman stopped to talk. We talked about the car, his kids, and his business. He was 70 years old and still working since he did not receive much from Social Security. I finally asked him if he wanted a ride. The 4 year old in him could not believe it. I drove a couple blocks down and back. The smile was from ear to ear. What a thrill that man had that day. He could not wait to tell his brother. Model T's can be a thrill for the driver and the rider. After 2 plus hours, off I go again to the Studebaker Museum.
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Next thought. Do I have time to spare to still make the Duesenberg Museum in Auburn. Hit the road again, and head east. Driving down 120 is sortof a long and winding road....


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:02 pm

I made it almost to Sturgis Michigan. It was getting dark and cold and I wanted a place to sleep. Luckily I found a hotel on line to head for. Along the way I went through a lot of Amish Country. Horses and more horses at every house. Horse drawn wagons coming and going.
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That night I received a message from Dallas Landers that I could stop at his house and we could work on the muffler. I did not know if he was early to bed and early to rise so I called him the next morning. He said I am less than 10 miles down the road. Meet me at my house about 9. So I did. i removed the spare tire, we removed the exhaust system, and Dallas went to work. He removed the sharp hanger and we were able to raise the pipe a bit higher, so I was less fearful of it being so close to the fuel line. Dallas has a nice shop to work in and a lot of surprises in the other barn that someday he hopes to resurrect. He just finished his truck and it is gorgeous. A lot of work was needed to get it right.
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Once we finally had all that done, we went to lunch. Dallas was laughing that he will probably get 3-4 texts from neighbors that day that saw a Model T in town. He knows everyone in town of course. I told him I probably needed to get gas, so I drove north and made it a block and ran out of gas. Of course the gas station was 2 blocks away. Got out my red gas tank, and added two gallons to the tank. Then drove to the gas station and filled up. This is all part of the experience of travelling in a T.

After a long drive I made it to the Henry Ford. There were 2 trailers in the parking lot and no one else. Where was everyone? Doesn't anyone come early and just put up camp? Now what do I do? I had no hotel plans for the night. Can I put up the tent and camp here in the parking lot? Finally my saviors arrive. Scott and Tammie Coloski showed up in their RV. We visited for a long time. No one else showed up, and they offered to let me sleep in the RV with them. Thank you. Thank you. Security came by twice. Police came by. We were allowed to stay.


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by KevinH » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:26 pm

Dave,
Great story so far. Waiting for the rest ;)

Kevin


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:27 pm

Friday I am free. Scott, Tammie, and I go to breakfast, but Scott is not feeling too well. I leave them for the day and head to Piquette. I have not been here since 2011. I need to see the experimental room and Henry's office. So I figure out how to get there and head west. The days starts out sunny and warm. Ha Ha. I get to the Piquette plant and see a lot of cars that I just saw on the New London to New Brighton car run. All pre-T's. It was like they parked here after the run. I will let others show you pictures of the cars here. I just took a few. The first one is one of the experimental engines where Henry and crew found a way to make a head for an engine instead of casting the blocks as two cylinders that had to be drilled out.
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The experimental room.
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Of course, while I am inside the rain decides to come down. I ran outside an put my top up even though the car was already wet.
While, it won't kill me. Just a bit of water, but a nuisance.

A lineup of cars inside the plant.
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Henrys office
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And when I leave, who is sitting outside, but Steve Jelf. I haven't seen Steve since last year when his car broke down in Wisconsin as he was heading for the Iola car show. It was great to see him again. He was having issues with his car running smooth.
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Then I headed back to the Henry Ford area for dinner, and later drive south by the airport for my hotel for the night.


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:51 pm

I will leave it to others to tell you about the Old Car Festival. I will just tell you about my horror stories at the hotel.

Since I was driving across country I needed a less expensive hotel to reserve in the event I never made it. I had 2 rooms down by the airport where there are lots of places and not so expensive. Only a 10 mile drive which is not far in a Model T. No one warned me how bad the roads were in Michigan. Bumpity bump bump bump.

The first hotel was down by the airport next to an industrial park. Not much traffic and off to the side where a Model T is not too conspicuous. I checked it out with google maps. I get my key and go to the third floor at the end of the hall. Key does not work. Haul the suitcase back to the desk. Get another key. That key does not work. Go back. Two more keys that do not work. I insisted on a new room. The car is parked in the back. Go downstairs to unload. Key does not work on the outside door. Walk all the way around to get in the front. I am TIRED. Had a nice visit from some people in the parking lot, but was a bit concerned about the man talking to himself and digging through the trash. The hotel was packed because their was a Michigan football game the next day. Sleep was good until about 5AM. They must have changed the flight path overnite, so all the planes were coming in over the hotel the next day. Even though I had paid for 2 nites, I was not coming back. Gotta find something closer to the Henry Ford. This was a Comfort Inn - usually not too bad.

Next night I am going to stay at Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, by the mall. Definitely a better brand of hotel. HA HA HA
Very very unique experience. Bruce Klepinger was kind enough to drive me to the hotel so I did not have to Uber. This hotel is a residential hotel. Numerous buildings with 4 apartments each. Not bad, right? I got my room key and was directed to my building. My room was as far away from the desk as you can get on the dark side of the property. It was the handicapped room, which is no big deal. No linens. I did not want to walk back, so I called it a night. Half an hour later, security pounds on the door and opens it as far as was allowed. Security informs me that no one stays in this room. It is not safe. Kids climb over the fence and break into this room all the time. Really nice big guy. He walks me back to the desk and I get another room. Again, no linens and tables are shoved up against the windows to hold drapes against windows so you cannot see in. There is a bar across the patio door. Despite this I slept OK. Next morning I go to breakfast at 7. No food there. Lady tells me 'It's coming down'. Kitchen must be upstairs. Eventually there was eggs, sausage, etc., so I did get to eat. An hour later when I left there still was no coffee or hot water. Oooooohhhh

IT IS ALL PART OF THE EXPERIENCE REMEMBER!

Off to the OCF.


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:54 pm

Henry Ford photos:
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:55 pm

More photos
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:56 pm

Couple more
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:23 pm

The final chapter is not so exciting.

Sunday after the Old Car Festival is over I plan on driving to a camp site west of Ann Arbor. It is only 60 miles away so no problem in a T.

I say goodbye to everyone and hope to see you next year. The plan is to head west on hwy 153 which I thought took me to Ann Arbor. It sort of does. 153 heads straight west so I am going along pretty well. The roads not bad and the traffic is light. However, 153 turns into hwy 14. Highway 14 is basically the interstate. I am driving 30mph in my little 1920 Touring, the speed limit is 70mph, and everyone else is going about 80. At least there was a shoulder so I could drive on that. How the hell am I going to get off this road. About 8 miles later I see there is an exit . Perfect. Oh crap. It is a left turn exit. I had to swing across three lanes of traffic, but I did it!

Now I go slowly through Ann Arbor and down the country roads to my campsite. No problem. It is dark as usual , so you set up by the light of your headlights. Weather report is good. There is hot water so I can take a shower in the morning. 3AM - the rains come again. Quick, get out and cover the ten with the rain cover. Crawl back in to the sleeping bag a bit wetter than you were when you came out, even though the bag is wet and so is the floor of the tent. You will get a hot shower in the morning. As you pack your tent in the morning to head to the ferry you realize that someone had a dog and that dog left a pile next to your tent. Now one of your shoes has dog doo doo all over the bottom. Get in the car and head for the d__n ferry.

It was a long drive, but the sun was out as I worked my way across western Michigan. Drove through lots of small towns and waved at a lot of people. Good trip but missed the ferry by 45 minutes. OK, find a hotel. Baymont Inn - one of the nicest places I have ever stayed in. The guy behind the desk asked what I needed and took care of it. Hotel is hidden away. Car is in back. Monday night is free dinner - cooked by one of the employees. Chicken and noodles and it was very good. Then the HOT TUB. Ohhh, does that feel good.

Next morning a lite drizzle. Ate breakfast, and the rain comes. Put up the top in the rain. Now I am soaked and the car is wet. Drive to the ferry is about 8 miles in the rain. Remember, it is the experience!!!!

I was able to get to the ferry with time to spare. Left the car out in the rain and came inside to wait. Good thing I had a dry towel in the car to wipe off my seat. The 6 people on motorcycles did not have that luxury. They even gave us free dramamine so we would not get sick. I think everyone enjoyed watching me drive the Model T on to the ferry. They parked me in the middle of the deck, and gave me some chocks to make sure it was safe. It was a unique experience to ride a hydroplane type ferry to Milwaukee. It still rocked side to side a bit, but not a bad ride. Funny watching people trying to walk around the inside. The ferry must go about 45mph because we crossed the lake in about 2 hours. Milwaukee rose out of the fog, and I was almost home. It must be interesting to see cars come off a ferry and all of a sudden this little Model T with its top up comes puttering down the gangplank. 15 miles to go. I am watching the dark clouds as I drive home. Made it. Put the car in the garage, get the mail, and the rain starts. HA I beat you this time.
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Home at last. Lots of great memories not only of the trip, but of all the wonderful people at the OCF. Tammie and Scott. Bruce, Barb, Ted, Nash, Jeff, and Doug. Rob, Julie, John, Mike, Joan, Jeff, Rick, etc. Thank you.

Hope to see you all next year.

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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Oldav8tor » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:31 pm

Nice read, I appreciate you sharing your adventure with us and apologize for anything that was less than perfect during your stay in Michigan. Without going into detail, if you want to know Michigan you've got to get out of the Metro area. Also, as someone who turned 70 less than two weeks ago, I object somewhat to the term "elderly" when applied to my age group. Septuagenarian is OK - man of great wisdom and life experience sounds good... you get the drift. Hey, if we're still moving and still driving, we deserve some respect. :D

BTW - it was nice meeting you at the OCF.
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Jeff Perkins » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:55 pm

Great read Dave! You and Steve J. Are the epitome of troupers, facing each challenge and keeping your humor. BTW the top prop knobs are on the way, one for a spare.
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Dallas Landers » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:17 pm

Great play by play Dave. I enjoyed your travel tale very much. Glad you are home safe with only minor trouble. The experience! See you next year.

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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DLodge » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:51 pm

Superb story, with the sole exception of "An elderly gentleman stopped to talk. We talked about the car, his kids, and his business. He was 70 years old..." Excuse me? "Elderly gentleman"? "70 years old"? Just you wait, Dave! :D


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by KeithG » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:28 pm

This is a very nice narrative, Dave. I'm sure you will never forget this trip!!! We trailer our T to the OCF and only had a bit of moisture on Saturday evening just as the gaslight parade was starting - not bad at all.

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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:28 pm

Bumpity bump bump bump.

No. Bumpity! bump!!! bump!!! bump!!!
After all, it is Michigan. :D
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Atomic Amish » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:15 am

Great read, and sorry your stay was less than stellar. It's usually not so bad around here. Usually. ;)

It was also nice to meet you in person.

We've done the Badger, as my brother lives in Sheboygan and it ports in Manitowoc. The first ride, well, it was a Duesy. Fourteen foot plus waves... but smooth as glass on the return trip.

Thanks for the read- it was enjoyable.
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Original Smith » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:00 am

Thanks for the story. I'd like to drive coast to coast someday on the Lincoln Highway. I wonder if that will ever happen?


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:47 am

I would also love to do the Yellowstone trail, but you cannot do it in a T. The speed limit on the Lincoln was 55 and I was going 30. IF there was asphalt shoulder in decent condition I rode on the shoulder. IF not, I was on the road and there was at times a long line of cars behind me. I would not go coast to coast on a 55mph highway unless I was driving a T that could go at least 50. Dave Coleman did it in Nathan Edwards speedster 'Something Special'.
something special.jpg
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by SurfCityGene » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:40 am

WOW Great Story and Pictures!! Thanks
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by wayne sheldon » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:01 am

Wonderful stories! Definitely a fun read! I do hope to get to do such things again some day before too long.
One detail I noticed in one of your pictures. Where you are looking through the rain spotted windshield. It appears your 1920 has even folding hinges like a '15/'16/early '17 should have?

Thank you for the enjoyable look at your trip! And the photos of the OCF were excellent.


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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:38 am

I purchased the car in Duluth. My guess is it was built in Minneapolis and that was the windshield they had on hand. Gives the car character

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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Duey_C » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:39 pm

Funny how it works, you have a car assembled in Minneapolis and I have one assembled in Milwaukee. :)
Thank you for showing us your trip Dave!
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by DHort » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:34 am

here it is

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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:40 am

I knew you'd find it.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Milwaukee to Detroit and back again in a Model T

Post by John Warren » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:56 pm

Thanks David, Loved reading it. Be safe!
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