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12 Fox Beer Co. in Dripping Springs

November/December 2020

Since 1990 people | places music | events parks | wildlife shopping lodging dining & more

Share the Joy!

Is more than just a restaurant. more thanfor just a restaurant. HCS is a Is destination fun. A place with great HCS is a destination for fun. A place with great Service. Texas comfort food, award-winning Margaritas & Friendly Texas comfort food, award-winning Margaritas & Friendly Service. Share The Joy and we’ll share back. Share The Joy1 and share back. November thruwe’ll December 31 November 1 thru December 31 Purchased. Receive a FREE $10 Gift Card** for Every $50 Receive a FREE $10 Gift Card for Every $50 Purchased. *Redeemable from January 1 thru February 28, 2021 *Redeemable from January 1 thru February 28, 2021

Hays City Store • 8989 FM 150 W • Driftwood • 512.722.3905 Hays City Store • 8989 FM 150 W • Driftwood • 512.722.3905

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512-858-7935 • 512-894-0285 • 100 Commons Rd, #1 • Dripping Springs, TX 78620 November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   3


Texas Hill Country Locator Map

Š 2020 by TD Austin Lane, Inc.

INDEX Austin J5 Bandera B10 Bergheim D9 Bertram I2 Blanco F6 Boerne D9 Buchanan Dam F2 Buda J7 Bulverde G10

Burnet G2 Camp Verde B8 Canyon Lake G9 Castroville C12 Center Point B8 Clear Springs H11 Comfort C8 Concan A11 Driftwood H7 Dripping Springs H6 Fischer G8

Fredericksburg C5 Georgetown K2 Granite Shoals G2 Gruene H10 Hancock G8 Helotes G6 Henly G6 Highland Lakes F2/3 Hondo B13 Hunt A7 Hye E6

Ingram B7 Johnson City F5 Kendalia F8 Kerrville B7 Kingsland F2 Kyle I8 Lampasas G1 Leakey A9 Llano D2 Liberty Hill I12 Luckenbach D6

Luling K10 Marble Falls G3 Martindale J9 Mason B2 Medina A9 New Braunfels H10 Oak Hill I6 Oatmeal H2 Pipe Creek C10 Round Rock K3 San Antonio F12

San Marcos I9 Sattler H9 Seguin I11 Sisterdale D8 Spring Branch F9 Startzville G9 Stonewall D6 Utopia A10 Vanderpool A9 Wimberley H8

To advertise, call Julie 512-484-9716 or email Hill Country SUN   4 November/December 2020

Well, hello! It is so great to be back. These past nine months, well…we all know. Come on 2021, we’re ready for you! This is the first publication of the Hill Country SUN since February. We have truly missed getting to brag on our amazing and beautiful Hill Country and sharing things with you. Hopefully, you have had some time to find things you enjoy, and maybe this issue of the Hill Country SUN will give you some ideas of holiday events and other places that you can venture out to the next couple of months. We have to support our local folks. They are the heart and soul of the Hill Country and what makes it so special and unique. Leakey will host a beautiful display of lights starting Thanksgiving night and running through mid-January, along with Christmas on the Square with Santa, arts and crafts and food booths (and more) the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Comfort’s annual Christmas celebration — with live music, a petting zoo, shopping, and of course the famous fireworks show— is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as well. While in Comfort, be sure to stop in to Hill Country Distillers for some tastings and gifts to take home. On that same Saturday, Hunt hosts the 4th annual Windmill Lighting and inaugural chili cook-off, which sounds like a good time in that lil’ town. Check out our calendar for more fun events. And don’t forget all of the amazing shops like Rainbird Gallery in Blanco for beautiful rustic furniture and décor to get ready for the holidays. Or Cranberries Antiques in Blanco, as well, where you could spend an entire day finding all kinds of fun treasures. The Helotes Gallery will not disappoint with all of the local talent. New Canaan Farms just outside of Dripping Springs is the perfect gift with their delicious jams, jellies and salsas. Everyone will love you for those yummies! Wimberley Glass Works and The Wild West Store are two more one-of-a-kind places that are a must see while in Wimberley. And 12 Fox Beer Co. in Dripping Springs is a great place to get out and do the social distance thing with friends and family in the Great Outdoors. So many more places to discover in this issue of the SUN. Please check them out. Shop, dine and stay local. Let them know they are appreciated and needed, and let’s all get ready for a fantastic, healthy and productive 2021! Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Monday -Friday 8 am - 6 pm • Saturday 8 am - 10 am Sunday 5 pm - 6 pm (Courtesy Pick Up)

(512) 894-0003

19101 Ranch to Market Rd 150 • Driftwood, TX 78619

— Julie

Volume 29, Number 7 ISSN: 1524-2315.

Entire contents © Copyright 2020 by TD Austin Lane, Inc.

Julie Spell Harrington

Publisher/Ad Sales 512-484-9716 •

Melissa Maxwell Ball

Editor/Design 512-569-8212 •

Ernie Altgelt Writer

Gerry Burns


ART GLASS Gifts & Jewelry Glassware Vase & Sculpture Lamps & Lighting

Distribution COVER PHOTO 12 Fox Beer Co. See story, page 10. Photos courtesy 12 Fox Brewing Co. •

SEE LIVE GLASSBLOWING DEMOS 6469 RANCH ROAD 12, SAN MARCOS WGW.COM 512-393-3316 November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   5

Jobell Cáfe & Bistro BY ERNIE ALTGELT


David & Jessenia Bober visit with their guests at Jobell Cafe & Bistro.

he year 2020 has certainly been a doozy. Social distancing, closed businesses, stuck at home – boo! But, as things continue to improve (hallelujah), more and more of what we’ve missed from our pre-Corona existence are starting to return and, for most of us, it’s about time! Really, we’re all ready for a little normalcy. How about a night out? Well, one of the most enjoyable things for those of us blessed with being in Wimberley has always been visiting one of our most unique and popular local restaurants – the Jobell Café and Bistro. Since opening six years ago (for lunch and dinner), this somewhat eclectic eatery, where big city flavors happily combine with small town tastes, has been wowing natives and tourists alike with its gourmet sophistication that’s never, ever, served up with any of the unwanted pretense – just great food. And, now that it’s okay to dine-in again, area folks can’t seem to get enough of the place. Um, um, good! Launched in 2014 by an intrepid, married couple seeking solace from urban congestion (namely New York), Jobell represents a long, jointly-held dream brought finally to fruition. Founders Jessenia and David Bober first met in Manhattan where he worked as a remodeling contractor and she (originally from Dallas), as an aspiring actress. Neither had any direct restaurant management and/ or development experience but both had been raised in households where “food was never taken for granted.” David’s mother was a respected writer of culinary history. Jess’s family represents a bi-cultural collaboration – Chinese and Cuban – where experimentation and blending promoted some very interesting, melded flavors. Together, these admitted “foodies” thought that with hard work coupled with their individually-acquired/refined palates, establishing a successful, world-class restaurant in nurturing, downhome Wimberley was definitely doable. And, in hindsight, boy were they right. Jobell (named for their two children, Josh and Isabella) is housed in totally revamped digs situated just outside of the town proper on a park-like acre of land filled with enchanting trees and a bubbling water feature that seem to beckon to visitors to just “come on in and have a seat.” See JOBELL CÁFE & BISTRO, Page 8

Hill Country SUN   6 November/December 2020


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333 Wayside Drive, Wimberley, TX • 512-847-2517 • November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   7

JOBELL CÁFE & BISTRO, from Page 6 Everything inside is planned to enhance the dining experience throughout its intimate, inviting, art-filled spaces. And, for those wishing a little fresh air, the equally comfy outdoor deck is the place to be. In or out, diners won’t feel crowded (social distancing is still the rule) and the atmosphere is always calm and relaxing allowing for an undistracted focus on the food and beverages, which is how it should be. And, how about that food? Well for starters, many opt for Jobell’s exceptional Littleneck Clams and Mussels Provencal? Or maybe, some crispy Thai Chili Brussels sprouts. Does that give you an idea? Follow the openers with generous entrees that include a buttery Chilean Sea Bass in a lemon and cream sauce, a seriously seared smoked duck breast in an orange reduction, a very vegetarian option of a half acorn squash stuffed with ancient grains and topped with melted ricotta cheese and lastly for traditionalists, a perfectly-grilled 12 ounce Niman Ranch prime ribeye. Yum! Delicious soups, salads and desserts abound as well. And, since this is a bistro, great wines and beer are offered in plenty too. Freshness is paramount and, the majority of the edibles are locally sourced. Everything is made on site “from scratch” and is affordably priced. When considered, it really is the perfect recipe of melding hearty Hill Country appetites with a little New York internationalism and, based on the repeat business enjoyed, it’s a hit. Are Jess and David a little proud of what they’ve accomplished over the past six years? You betcha. As David states, “Even when the pandemic caused us to temporarily close our dining rooms, we kept things going and our spirits (and skills) up by offering take-out and even providing delivery. While difficult at times, we never stopped being true to ourselves or our vision for ‘Jobell,’ thanks to the unflagging loyalty of our employees and especially, our patrons.” So hungry reader, if you’re already in Wimberley or, planning a visit soon, make sure Jobell Cafe & Bistro is on your “must-experience” list. It may surprise but definitely won’t disappoint! Photos courtesy Jobell Cáfe & Bistro. Jobell Cáfe & Bistro is located at 16920 Ranch Road 12 in Wimberley. For more information, visit the website at or call 512847-5700. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 am to 2 pm and dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed Mondays). Brunch is served on Sundays. CDC recommendations are followed.

Don’t miss 3rd Annual Leakey Festivity of Lights, plus Christmas on the Square

LEAKEY H Don’t miss Christmas on the Square, presented by the Frio Canyon Chamber of Commerce November 28 from 9 am to 5 pm on the Courthouse Square. You can enjoy photos with Santa, a cookie contest, arts and crafts booths, food booths and lots of family fun! The Leakey Festivity of Lights (beginning Thanksgiving evening) honors citizens who have labored to make the community great! Contributions are needed to pay labor expenses and donations sought in honor or memory of Real County law enforcement officers, community and emergency volunteers, employees and coworkers and committed elected officials. For more information about Christmas on the Square, visit Donations to Leakey Festivity of Lights may be made payable to Downtown Leakey, Inc., Post Office Box 402, Leakey, Texas, 78873. You can find information about both events on Facebook.

Changing Smiles, Changing Lives Heather H. Bobb, DDS, FICOI 331 Sportsplex Drive, Suite B Dripping Springs, Texas 78620

512-858-7200 •

November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   9


hat do you get when you take two young, beer drinking, all-American GI’s. station them in the heart of Germany and expose them to a myriad of traditional old-world brews? Well, fast-forward 20 years and you get two Veteran family men with culturally sophisticated palettes brewing European craft beer right here in Dripping Springs, Texas. For those who enjoy unearthing niche Texas treasures, taking the back roads to this place is certainly worth the trip. In 18 short months, 12 Fox Beer Co. has become a local award-winning brewery, taproom and biergarten located in the Hill Country. Army recruits, Joe Hogge and Aaron Luelling, met in 1994, when each were going through basic training at Fort Sill to become combat engineers - a military occupation specialty (MOS) known as 12 Foxtrot. This MOS initially sent the two to Fort Hood, then later to Bamberg, Germany. One single and one married, Joe and Aaron spent weekends soaking in the suds and traveling village to village experiencing all the regional profiles of traditional bier. Years later, after each had left the service (Aaron ending up in Las Vegas and Joe returning to Central Texas) both retained their love of European Old-World brews. Always chasing the perfect beer and never being truly satisfied is the common thread that eventually reconnected the GI’s. For Aaron, just purchasing a tasty German or Belgium bier wasn’t enough. While working as a degreed CPA, he also became an accomplished, self-taught home brewer gaining recognition among other like-minded, area consumers. And, when Joe (a born entrepreneur) heard about his newly found avocation (and tasted samples), an idea formed that ultimately resulted in the creation of today’s renown 12 Fox Beer Co. After a brief logistics discussion in a far-away Nevada hotel room, a “meeting of the beer bellies” culminated with a hand shake and a “prost!” after agreeing that Aaron and family would head to Dripping See 12 FOX BEER CO., Page 11

Hill Country SUN   10 November/December 2020

12 FOX BEER CO., from Page 10 Springs, while Joe and his wife, Stacey, would start laying the foundation to build a brewery. Joe and Stacey are not new to building or running businesses, they’ve been entrepreneurs in Dripping Springs since 2001. Understanding the local market and what will draw people to the middle of nowhere was a big advantage and impacted the overall design of the entire property. On Memorial Day 2019, the low key, vet-owned – family friendly brewery pulled back the sliding walls and invited their followers to come out to experience a little bit of Europe - Hill Country Style. Seasonal offerings are always available giving patrons plenty to choose from with an extensive selection ranging from a light and crisp Polish Czech Pilsner to a dark and malty German Dunkel as well as every kind of European brew in between. Before paying a visit, check out 12 Fox’s Website for a run-down of their current selections available through one of the 12 taps or canned for home enjoyment. If beer isn’t your thing- they also offer wonderful local wines, cider and mead on tap. For those seeking a place to kick back and relax for a few hours, 12 Fox Beer has really carved out a destination location to meet up and enjoy a family friendly spot with over 100 picnic tables, live music Thursday – Sunday and rotating food trucks every single week. The biergarten atmosphere is full of trees with fire-pits, yard games, natural landscaping and festoon lights that make it feel like home. Kids are welcome to run and play in the spacious playground area while mom and dad relax. The entire venue is excellent for group bookings including birthdays, rehearsal dinners, fundraisers and corporate events. Photos courtesy 12 Fox Beer Co.

12 Fox Beer Co. is located just west of Dripping Springs at 4700 West Fitzhugh Road. 512-626-4458. For more information including hours of operation, visit the website at, or call 512-626-4458.

Christmas in Comfort November 28

COMFORT H One of the area’s most popular holiday events, Christmas in Comfort will draw visitors to the Hill Country for holiday shopping and family fun at the end of November, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, on November 28. The event, which started with a handful of local residents manning a few booths in the historic district, now offers a full day of holiday activities from 10 am to 9 pm. Visit Santa in Santa Land from 11 am to 3 pm, shop the more than 125 art and craft vendors and enjoy the food court from 10 am to 8 pm. There’ll be live music and a petting zoo, and the evening will culminate with an 8 pm fireworks show. For more information about Christmas in Comfort, visit the website at

TAPROOM & BIERGARTEN! European inspired craft beers

Rotating weekly Food Trucks Live music Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays Veteran owned and operated

(512) 626-4458 • 4700 W. Fitzhugh Rd. in Dripping Springs, Texas 78620 November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   11

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512-360-7062 Hill Country SUN   12 November/December 2020

H Fence Building H and Repair H Driveways H H Rock Work H H Deck Building H and Repair H Garage Clean Out H 512-296-6066 EW WEhbE

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800-727-5267 November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   13

A Hill Country art collective BY ERNIE ALTGELT


ust like a fine painting, to achieve complete success an art gallery must ultimately strike a delicate balance between creativity, technique and visceral appeal. In actuality, both are merely the sum of these parts and, when well executed, bring delight and satisfy the senses. But, if either is lacking in its construction, something less than desirable may be the result that can only disappoint. However, when everything does beautifully meld, oh my, what a visual and emotional experience! And, such is The Helotes Gallery. An extraordinary (but unpretentious) combination of talent, diversity and industry savvy, this new and exciting Hill Country collective truly captivates as it fulfills its role in showcasing exceptional art (and often the artists as well) to those who know the value of the same. Overflowing with a constantly evolving and alluring inventory of mixed media, each visit promises to uplift but never underwhelm. Founded in 2019 and currently operated by a well-matched fivesome, The Helotes Gallery, charmingly located in its namesake hamlet’s historic “Old Town,” represents the equally held dream of establishing a center where artists, patrons and even the greater Helotes community could all benefit from its existence. And, to that end, the gallery has succeeded admirably. The ownership, an effective combination of three working artists, Donald Darst, Noma Freeman and Kimberly Verity, and two tech- and business-oriented professionals, Matthew Manter and Susan Darst, together bring an expertise in display and variety as multiple works of primarily Texas artisans alluringly hang with the conclusive intention of finding new homes. And, to that end, the Helotes Gallery has been a hit for all involved – painters, sculptors, fabricators and, of course, the buying public.

Hill Country SUN   14 November/December 2020

Housed in a charming old grocery store building constructed a century ago, the gallery currently boasts a generous 2,000 square-feet of remodeled “showroom” that includes several mini-galleries plus an additional 500-square-feet for administration and educational uses. The entire layout is designed to perfectly highlight the works that dramatically adorn almost all of the available wall and floor space allowing visitors to, as Donald, relates, “Visually take in a great deal upon entering.” And, after the pleasure of the initial, optical encounter, he smilingly adds, “A more extended tour will almost certainly ensue.” Donald and/or other knowledgeable See HELOTES GALLERY, Page 15

In the Cactus by Karen Smith-Mangold.


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Mike and Ike by Patty Dunbar. gallery operatives are always on duty to assist, explain and direct. Often, one of the many “hanging artists” will be on hand as well. And regarding the participating artists (again, some local, all Texan), remarkably, there are more than 60 generally on display at any one time. Each was well vetted by the visually creative side of the ownership team, Donald, Noma and Kimberly, to ensure that a high level of excellence is always maintained. With an eye to quality, much of the work is traditional in nature but, as they insist, “We’re very willing to do some experimentation and work with emerging artists as well.” Whatever, the result is an exciting mixture of, as Noma attests, “almost everything and, ev-

28 years in business


Rain Bird Gallery Gardens - Market - Restaurant - Vineyard

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103 Main Street • Blanco, Texas A “CAN’T MISS SHOPPING EXPERIENCE” November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   15


Donald Darst, one of the co-owners of Helotes Gallery, a new and exciting Hill Country collective showcasing exceptional art. Photo by Ernie Altgelt. eryone seems to like it that way.” So, just what can you expect at the Helotes Gallery. Regarding medium, oils, watercolors, acrylics, bronze and steel, even found objects all contribute to the creative offerings. And likewise, the subject matter astounds in large and small format that reflects an extraordinary range from exacting photo-realism to impressionistic abstractions with so very, very much in between. Really, as Kimberly avows, “With such a mixed inventory, there’s definitely something for everyone and, that was our plan from day one for the gallery.” Landscapes, wildlife, Western/Texan themes, pure color statements, all rendered, delicately or intensely, on canvas and paper or, in sculpture and in other 3-dimentional modes, comprise the beauty of what’s involved and thankfully, as Donald insists, “It’s all for sale.” And, that’s what a commercial gallery is for! Add to that primary function the fact that classes open to the public are offered at times and the package really is complete for a well-rounded art house. Things get particularly fun when a “showing” or other special function is scheduled. If you’re into art, these colorful events are definitely not to be missed! Yep, this remarkable gallery is well worth a stop when visiting the township so, stop on “buy” this captivating Hill Country collective. Are you getting the picture now?

Buckaroo Girl by Norman Engel. Hill Country SUN   16 November/December 2020

The Helotes Gallery is at 14391 Old Bandera Road in Helotes, open Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. For more information (including scheduled events), call 210-3709204 or visit the website at:

Hill Country Calendar

Please call in advance or check websites to be sure events are running as scheduled. WEDNESDAYS - SUNDAYS HUNT: The Market at Bridget’s Basket. THURSDAYS - SUNDAYS WIMBERLEY: Live Glassblowing at Wimberley Glassworks. Come watch artisans create! Stadium viewing. 10 am to 5 pm. NOVEMBER 1 - AUGUST 8, 2021 AUSTIN: “Lady Bird: Beyond the Wildflowers.” New exhibition celebrates the life and legacy of former first lady of the United States, with never-before-seen memorabilia, letters, and photos. lbjlibrary. org. NOVEMBER 5 – DECEMBER 18 KERRVILLE: Texas Furniture Makers Show. Kerr Arts and Cultural Center.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from the



10 am - 8 pm



Masks are to be worn. Hand sanitizer available Have fun, be safe! Sponsored by the Comfort, Texas Chamber of Commerce


welcome to the Hill Country River Region

Frio Canyon Chamber presents

Your Guide to Barksdale, Concan, Camp Wood, Leakey, Rio Frio, Rocksprings, Utopia, Uvalde & Vanderpool

Dining, Shopping, Events, Activities, Lodging | More published by the Hill Country SUN

Pictures with Santa, Cookie Contest, Arts & Crafts Booths, Food Booths, and Lots of Family Fun!

CALL NOW TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE IN THE 2021 ISSUE! 512-484-9716 • November/December 2020 Hill Country SUN   17

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Hill Country SUN   18 November/December 2020

NOVEMBER 12-15 FREDERICKSBURG: 23rd annual Texas All-Star Big Band Bash. Hill Top Café. NOVEMBER 16-17, 21-22 GRUENE: Old Gruene Market Days. 10 am to 5 pm. Gruene Historic District. NOVEMBER 17 COMFORT: Girls’ Night Out. Shop owners offer new items for Christmas shopping, along with tasty treats and drinks from store to store. NOVEMBER 20-22, 27-29 FREDERICKSBURG: Trade Days. Shop the more than 400 vendors in seven barns, find acres of antiques, cool beverages at the biergarten and live music. NOVEMBER 25 - MID-JANUARY 2020 LEAKEY: Festivity of Lights. Starts Thanksgiving night. Find them on Facebook. NOVEMBER 27-29 JOHNSON CITY: Lights Spectacular Market Days. Right in time for the holidays, find local vendors selling handmade original items. Courthouse Square. johnsoncitytexas. info. NOVEMBER 27 – DECEMBER 31 LLANO: Starry Starry Nights Lighted Christmas Park. Stroll along Llano River as displays light up Badu Park. NOVEMBER 27 – JANUARY 3, 2021 FREDERICKSBURG: Eisbahn Outdoor Ice Skating. Don’t miss this annual seasonal outdoor ice skating rink opens this year to benefit The Heritage School, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Club of Fredericksburg. Marktplatz. NOVEMBER 28 HUNT: 4th Annual Windmill Lighting and Inaugural Chili Cookoff. 5:30 pm to 8 pm. LEAKEY: Christmas on the Square. 9 am to 5 pm. DECEMBER 5 WIMBERLEY: Market Days. 475+ booths of treasures, tree-shaded paths, live music, barbecue. Lions Market Day Field. www. DECEMBER 5-6 GRUENE: Old Gruene Market Days. Nearly 100 vendors offer uniquely crafted items and Texas foods. 10 am to 5 pm. Gruene Historic District. DECEMBER 12 DRIPPING SPRINGS: The 12 Fox Day of Christmas. Family friendly Holiday event during the day, with Santa in attendance. After 6 pm, enjoy a 21 years and up Mr. & Mrs. Claus Costume Party with live music. DECEMBER 26-27 WIMBERLEY: Slightly iRRegulars Glass Art Special at Wimberley Glassworks. Annual special on all seconds art glass, prototypes and extras. Find your perfect imperfection at a bargain! Join us from 10-5pm, or visit us online. DECEMBER 31 DRIPPING SPRINGS: Roaring Out of ’20 Great Gatsby-themed New Years Eve Party with back to back live music, fireworks at midnight and more.

Profile for Julie Harrington

Hill Country Sun, November/December 2020  

Interesting people, places and things to do and see in the beautiful Texas Hill Country! Since 1990...

Hill Country Sun, November/December 2020  

Interesting people, places and things to do and see in the beautiful Texas Hill Country! Since 1990...


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