Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Remembering the Board Previous Next
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Sixmilejones
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Username: Sixmilejones

Post Number: 5
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 7:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey All,

I was posting on another thread here and it suddenly reminded me of the old Motor Count Board (my word, don't know what else to call it) that used to sit high above Motown counting the cars rolling off the line.

Remember those days anybody? How those numbers would just tally up? When I was a kid I'd look up at the big board towering over us all as we're driving past and it seemed to say, we're big and boss! We're the world's Motor Capital!

Sigh....I think it's still there isn't it that sign? Only now they used it to adverse stuff?

Sucks big time!!

And I'd love to say to Outstaters who visit and don't understand why that bugs me..... Ya know what? That'd be like somebody taking the Arch in St. Louis and turning it into a big yellow McDonald's sign! Or attaching a hawking great big neon "Eat at Joe's" sign across the expanse of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Maybe it ain't the same, but it sure damn is to me!

All the best to y'all,

Jones
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Spacemonkey
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Username: Spacemonkey

Post Number: 604
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 8:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember that sign. I can't seem to remember when it disappeared though.
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Jcole
Member
Username: Jcole

Post Number: 934
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 8:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Was that at the junction of i-94 and I-75?
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Eriedearie
Member
Username: Eriedearie

Post Number: 1609
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 9:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Correct Jcole. That's the one. I loved seeing those numbers rolling. I agree with Sixmilejones - those numbers made me feel that Detroit was #1 and I was part of what all that was happening. I miss that feeling...:-(
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Ed_golick
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Username: Ed_golick

Post Number: 968
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 9:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I liked the other billboard, located at the very top of the I-94 bridge near I-75. The upper right corner of the board (left corner if you were a west sider) had a little mechanism that predicted the weather. A happy-faced sun if it was sunny, dark cloud if it was rainy etc.. Anybody else remember this?
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 2019
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 12:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

GoodyearSign.jpg
wsu/vmc

The sign was built through a two story building, that's why the lower structure of it has such a convoluted shape. My brother used to have a workshop on the second floor of the place, the rest of it used to be a used restaurant equipment dealer.
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Hornwrecker
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Username: Hornwrecker

Post Number: 2020
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 12:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)



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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 1390
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 12:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Weren't there two of those signs in the city? Can't remember where the other one was; maybe I'm just imagining it.
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Eriedearie
Member
Username: Eriedearie

Post Number: 1614
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 1:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ya know Burnsie - I seem to remember there being a second one too. But I can't remember where either.

Great pics Hornwrecker - thanks for posting them.
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Detroitrise
Member
Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 2148
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 5:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The billboard *technically* is still there, it just wasn't until recently when Good Year took down their advertisement.

It was their blimp with an electric clock or calendar.

(Message edited by DetroitRise on May 18, 2008)
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Jrvass
Member
Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 691
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 6:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The other sign was on the Lodge.
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Sean_of_detroit
Member
Username: Sean_of_detroit

Post Number: 371
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2008 - 7:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From glaciers to hunting grounds, to a small fort, to the Paris of the Midwest, to the Motor City. From a underground railroad stop, to Motown, to the detested Murder Capitol, and then back to another music capitol and talent producing mecha. I never got to see the board. I could imagine it though. It must have really been something to actually have gotten to see. A real tribute to how great this city was and still is. I love to read these kinds of stories/posts on here. The history in this city is amazing. What amazes me most though is how young Detroit really is. It's a infant compared to some other cities. Can you imagine the Ren Cen in another 300 years? I wounder if the GAR will still be there then. So many endings leading into new beginnings in such a short time. I wish I could get to see them all.

Did this count all the cars coming off the line in the whole city, or just the ones from one or more specific factories?

All I can say is wow. Life is so exciting when you stop and look at all that we've been through. I can't wait to see what's next for this city. Hopefully it's something good. But it WILL at least be interesting.

I know, yet another strange post. But it is amazing isn't it? I love the stories and posts by some of the older (at least slightly older then me and some other newer members anyway) members around here.
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Sixmilejones
Member
Username: Sixmilejones

Post Number: 8
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey All!

Hornwrecker - thanks so much for the picks! I downloaded and made them into a screensaver! Sigh...so many memories.

And Eriedearie - you're so right! I miss those days too!

Sean_of_Detroit - Wow! Awesome post (not strange at all). It's true, we've been beaten up pretty bad this past two decades. But hell, if any people can take a punch, hit the floor and come back swingin...it's Detroiters!
Wimps we ain't!! Our Goodyears may have skidded, but we're still on the road!!

So three cheers for us with the finest beer on tap!!

Jones
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Jcole
Member
Username: Jcole

Post Number: 959
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 10:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did it count cars or the tires used on the cars?
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Hornist9
Member
Username: Hornist9

Post Number: 127
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow Hornwrecker! You got an old copy of the sign. When we talked yesterday, I was thinking about the sign in the late 70's early 80's with the more modern Goodyear logo. The picture you've posted has got to be from the early 60's. Way to go!

Jcole, It counted Auto production, not just the tires on the cars.

Anyone else remember reading Arthur Hailey's novel "Wheels" where he wrote a line about the Auto Execs betting on where the number would be by the end of the day. Hailey used to do quite a bit of research before he wrote his novels.
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Kevgoblu
Member
Username: Kevgoblu

Post Number: 106
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I also have vivid memories of that board and watching the numbers change as a kid. Usually on the way home from Grandma's.

Sorry for the threadjack, but I miss the scrolling Canadian Club sign too.
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Detroitrise
Member
Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 2154
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 1:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Sorry for the threadjack, but I miss the scrolling Canadian Club sign too."

Was that the sign see from Chene Park? It was in some type of fancy cursive?

If so, I vaguely remember it. :-)

(Message edited by DetroitRise on May 19, 2008)
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Living_in_the_d
Member
Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 224
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 2:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I actually thought about this sign the other day, Small world. And actually, Detroit is one of the oldest cities in the U.S.
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Detroitrise
Member
Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 2156
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 2:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah Living_in_the_d, it just didn't really "boom" until recently (recently as in the early-mid 1900s).
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Sean_of_detroit
Member
Username: Sean_of_detroit

Post Number: 375
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 6:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

:::Post Script Prologue: During Proof reading, I realised this post has no point whatsoever. All apologies. I'm getting over a cold, and I kind of have that medicine head clearing kinda feeling going on. So if you haven't liked my past long posts, please feel free to skip it. No harm, no foul.:::

Living_in_the_d, I know. History is history. Detroit is also kind of old isn't it? Even though it's not my thing, I'm kind of glad so many want to preserve this stuff for the future. It's a great mentality to have from day one, even through the bad times. Time goes by so fast (even to us who live among it). But, compared to some cities in Europe, Asia, and those lost in South America. Detroit is definitely still new to history. And, if we can seriously learn from the mistakes of those other great cities from the sands of time, and if we continue to work at it for long enough, this could very well just be a hiccup for the city, and not suffocation. Only time will tell. But, I personally just have to hard of a time overlooking the work being put in by people here.

Detroit, like many a city before has had some problems recently. And in spite of my ra ra ra Detroit posts, it could still be a failure. But the thing is, is location. The location is great. It's not Pompeii. The obstacles are all civil and are possible to overcome. We have a decent amount of natural resources that we can keep (if we're careful), and have no regular occurring major natural disasters. Even tornadoes seldom hit Detroit based on it's slight rise in elevation over the surrounding areas (Can anyone prove this wrong, I'm not 100% sure?). We are also surrounded by the most abundant supply of fresh water in the world. The original "native Americans" had it right when they picked up and walked across the Bering Strait. You know, those crazy people of the ancients who did the craziest thing imaginable and trek across the brutal tundras of Siberia and other Northern Ice sheets. The people everyone must have thought were incredibly stupid turned out to be incredibly smart didn't they? The rest of us had to either wait until either stupidity or the desire for freedom brought them here. I am a little biased, I admit that. But, am I wrong when I say that this is very possibly one of the best city locations on Earth?

Truly great and properly located cities never die. They just hit speed bumps. Every so often someone tries to topple them, but they are rebuilt. It's not failure until you stop trying. In 2008 we are sitting around here talking about how they could have quit back in 1805. In 2211, they'll be sitting around talking about whatever challenges they face, saying; "they could have given up back in 1967-200and whatever". Detroit's been down and out for about fifty years now. Do you honestly think it will be that much longer until it gets back on it's feet and dusts itself off? I am an optimist, but does that make this view wrong? People will always move around and migrate. But they will come back throughout history to Detroit. It just seems to logical to be wrong. Right now, there are some real racist and idiotic people that make up a decent amount of the population of Detroit. That really is the only problem. Those people aren't going to be around forever. Darwinism implies that if we can stick it out long enough we will end up with a really great city here. It will be a new race... not white, or black, or yellow, or green, or brown. Those will probably all still exist in one way or another, but it will all be irrelevant. I know (or HOPE) that these thoughts are nothing original. If they are, we have much further to travel than I thought. Detroit is still very young in the grand scheme of things. We are doing great here just sticking it out.

I'm not saying anything bad about any of the other great cities of the world. I'm just saying that Detroit is really going to end up being one of the best. At least, it should be. Unless something horrible happens to stop it. I don't see it going down that way. No one wants to destroy Detroit and Michigan, even if they don't like all the people living here. In fact I think it's quite the opposite. Most areas are just envious of us. They want to get all this stuff for themselves without living here, or by convincing us to leave/pushing us out. But honestly, can you imagine a better location to raise a family and plant some roots?

Yeah, I do know we are in some hard times right now, and we have some even harder times ahead of us. Still, take a step back and look at the big picture for a second. We have more benefits than almost anywhere else. The ones who are comparable are just that, comparable. It doesn't get a whole lot better in terms of location. We do have snow though don't we? but is that really that bad? It keeps many of the... lets say "superficials" away. Detroit attracts and produces dreamers. Those people that really care about the things that are important. Unfortunately, we made a mistake with the automobile. We attracted a ton of people who wanted money for nothing. But even that had a silver lining. We were forced to become much more diverse, and still are today. That is a rough and long transition, but isn't really all that horrible. We just have to iron out the lumps, and wrinkles. We will all be fine.

Again, what is wrong with Michigan? Our problems are all people created. Even the war torn Middle East feels for us sometimes. And not to sound arrogant, but we really have earned that position. We've been being the "nice guy" and taking the shit of the world for such a long time. Michigan and Detroit constantly has the the highest charity donations for most major charities (Fox 2 loves to point this out every year around Christmas) for one. And we also have no problem (for the most part) welcoming hard working immigrants here. We don't hide our problems, and are almost always the hard working underdogs of situations. I'm beginning to sound boastful and arrogant. Sorry. But it does kind of seem like we are the arm pit of our country (with our sister and brothers Saginaw, Flint, Pontiac, and others. Not to mention our picked on best friend Windsor). The butt of all jokes, but the world does seem to feel for us just a little. Maybe that's just me being ignorant again, I'm not saying we are better than anyone or anything. Detroit just seems to be like the kid that's forced to tag along with the kewl kids, but always tries to get them to go back and apologize and feels for the victims. If only we could get our own problems under control, then we could begin to start on standing up to the bullies in our "clique". We still have a while before that's possible though. Is this all arrogance? Are we not what I described above? I'm getting over a cold and am just a little hopped up on cough medicine and throat lozenges, so please forgive my rambling...lol. Even the people who are forced to leave right now are still pissed they had to leave.

Sigh, am I only dreaming when I say they'll come back from the desert sprawls, suburban wastelands, mountain villages, hurricane ridden beaches, Earth quake zones, terrorist magnets, and tornado alleys? The economy, job, and mortgage problems are huge. But they are not the end of Detroit. At least here, there are options for crisis refugees. Not every city can say that. Many people and their kids are going to drown. But maybe that's not true. Maybe if we can all hold are heads above water for long enough, then we will be left with something great. We might not see it, and our kids might not even see it. But we are planting the seeds of a paradise in Detroit. And just maybe.... possibly we'll somehow get to come back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Maybe our kids aren't as different from us as we think? Improved carbon copies with a fresh start? Never mind, that's all silly (just imagining, nothing more than that). Maybe there is nothing?! I know and agree there probably isn't anything after this. No fairy tale end for us? But even if that is so, We can at least die knowing that we took a step for someone else. The same steps that people took to give their lives for to give me a great life I feel obligated to take for my grand kid's grand kids.

It's the often forgotten American dream.

I'm gonna' get accused of being having a Pollyanna attitude again. I just know it.

I don't know if I really care though. It's a beautiful day in Detroit, and it's Spring. The sun is shinin' (well it was a second ago), kids are outside playing', the guys are out on the corner joking' and drinking their 40s, the office people are just getting of work about to do there long drives home to the burbs, and it's a great day. And for those of us that disagree, tomorrow will be here in just a few short hours. And then it will be here again a few hours after that, and after that, and after th...

It's the kind of day where Ghetto_Butterfly is probably missing her window. (sorry for the reference, that was just the last topic I read before this one). I bet a ton of you were lucky enough to go stroll along some of the cities streets and parks today. And reminisce about all those days past. Like the board listed above. One more thing though, don't forget to dream about tomorrow when your out today/tonight. This city is going places. It's the Motor City after all!

Back to the stories, anyone have any other good ones that would fit this topic well? How about some more about the board. I never got to see it. Tell us more! Details. Go! :-)

Sorry about the nauseating positiveness (especially to LY, I'm sure he's having a field day with this one), we just got the rest of our inventory in here today, and this week I become an owner of a business and not just someone who is dreaming. It's funny how that works isn't it? yesterday I posted on here how bad of a day I was having. LOL, things always seem to balance out I guess. The world runs in mysterious ways...

As Gannon always says "CHEERS!"

(Message edited by sean_of_detroit on May 19, 2008)
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Sixmilejones
Member
Username: Sixmilejones

Post Number: 9
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 10:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dear Sean,

Hope you're feeling better! :-) I wanted to reply with one other thing about the Board but also wanted to say that yes, you are right, we are a city of dreamers but also we're two other things...a city of innovators and a city of grit-minded souls.

Innovation has been our legacy not only in Henry and Thomas Edison but in people who are maybe not thought of usually as innovators. I would submit Berry Gordy as chief among them. Here is a guy who's told by the status quo that his music will never sell and that his business outline will never fly.

Yeah right. He didn't take that lying down. He simply said in true Motorcity style. "Okay people, you think I can't do it? Watch this!...." The proof of that is of course at hand. I for one can't think of music that better accentuates a summer day than Motown.

As for Henry, I've heard stories that the Little Club refused him entrance because he was just a working class nobody. I've been told he answered that insult by using property facing the Club to place his junk engines on. I.e., "You don't want my membership. Fine. Here's my trash. Enjoy!"

That is the grit of our souls. We are bluecollar tough even in suits. Yes, we are grieving the automobile. And why shouldn't we. I don't think any other city is tied so inexorably to an invention as we are to the car. And besides, cars are a work of art. I risk this by saying that Toyotas might be pretty but they will never have the gut-wrenching soul of a 426 Roadrunner. Better gas mileage sure...but the raw power feeling of such a machine. Nope.

We will take this hard road, face it and come out the other end.

As for the Board, sigh....it is like an old friend lost. How many times did me and my brothers and sisters point to it and say. "Man, we really kick butt don't we?"

Sending an e-bowl of homemade chicken soup for you!

Jones
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Craig
Member
Username: Craig

Post Number: 801
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 10:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"am I only dreaming when I say they'll come back from the desert sprawls, suburban wastelands"

Yes, dreaming.
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Detroitrise
Member
Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 2164
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 6:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And I guess I'm dreaming to think Detroit will once again become the 5th< largest city in the USA. :-)
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Eriedearie
Member
Username: Eriedearie

Post Number: 1648
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 8:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sixmilejones - I love your explanation of Detroiters being "blue collar tough even in suits"!

Sean_of_detroit - I read every word you've posted here.

AND I must say that between the two of you, those are words of a motivational speech about the heart and soul of the people of the great City we know as Detroit. Those are words that really could be a show to be taken on the road! You both know how to turn a phrase, so to speak.

You've both said things here that I've often thought about. Whether I was in a medicinal state of being, or fully conscious and totally aware of my thought processes, I have no idea. But it is what I thought. If you all feel that way, and I feel that way...how many others out there must feel the same way? I bet a bunch of us.

I used to take such delight when driving downtown to my job from the East side. When I drove by The Board with all the cars heading the same way as I was, I thought that each individual in those cars were all a part of making those numbers roll. Now, as I think back, We Really Were Making Those Numbers Roll. All of us together - WOW - WE DID THAT!

Detroit has had its ups and downs. Right now its kinda down because of all the political trash being thrown around and this crazy "non" recession. But the city will come back. We're tough and will prosper once again. Maybe not in the auto industry, but we'll find something, cause that's the way we're built!

Even though I live over the river now - I consider my residence as being part of Metro Detroit. I love being a part of it and wouldn't trade it for anywhere else.

And that my friends is my 2 cents worth! :-)
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Zulu_warrior
Member
Username: Zulu_warrior

Post Number: 3360
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2008 - 9:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The sign was right at the 75 and 94 interchange and it came down in the 90's, probably like 1994-95.

it came down around the same time as he other sign at the Lodge and 94, near the new center area...that one was a scrolling sign that advertised Good year and then other public service announcements.

Gannett Outdoor was the manager of the signs and upgraded them to keep up withth new changes in outdoor advertising
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Hamtragedy
Member
Username: Hamtragedy

Post Number: 150
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2008 - 3:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The one at 75 and 94 came down shortly after Goodyear took it's logo down and Comcast put their logo up. Regular trips thru that interchange revealed fewer and fewer working lights on the sign. I figured that people just started shooting at it once Comcast took it over to show their overall displeasure with Comcast.
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Sixmilejones
Member
Username: Sixmilejones

Post Number: 13
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2008 - 10:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dear Hamtragedy, LOl! Hubby works for Comcast. (Don't tell anyone, they might send someone to kill me) :-)

Eriedearie - Thanks for the kudos! :-)

Much appreciated.

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