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  #241  
Old 01-02-2011, 7:42 PM
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I didn't see the original post.

But this should have a place (stickey'ed)

Unbelive able !
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  #242  
Old 01-02-2011, 8:22 PM
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If there was ever a thread that deserved to be in the CGN's Best Threads this one is it. Truly an awesome and inspiring story.
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  #243  
Old 04-25-2011, 3:08 PM
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Update:

Things move slowly when you're busy with other projects, and I've not had time to devote to Sgt. Bierkle's revolver until recently. I attended SHOT Show 2011, but failed to make contact with either Jim Supica or Phil Schrier of the National Firearms Museum. Nevertheless, I will be attending in 2012 and intend to contact them during the year this year and arrange a meetup. I am long overdue to meet Ruth as well, and hope to rectify that later this summer, perhaps.

I am bringing the Sergeant's revolver with me to Boomershoot 2011, which is less than a week away. It's still snowing up there in North Central Idaho, and while conditions are not expected to be remotely as frigid as north Korea in 1950, seeing the snowcapped hills on the drive up will naturally remind me of the Chosin Few and their hardships and sacrifice.

Happily, it seems the revolver may be used to explode the ceremonial opening fireball at Boomershoot 2012!

I will have the revolver on display at my firing position at Boomershoot (position 73) and attendees are welcome to handle and shoot it. I expect I'll get some nice photos. I'll post more as I have it.

Feeling privileged to be a part of this thread,

--David
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Last edited by Davidwhitewolf; 04-25-2011 at 3:13 PM.. Reason: Fixed link
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  #244  
Old 04-25-2011, 3:15 PM
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David,
Great to hear. Thanks for the update.
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  #245  
Old 04-28-2011, 2:28 AM
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I've met alot of good Marines, while serving with them and otherwise, but I was deeply honored and humbled to meet your father Ruth, It makes alot more sense to me know that both of you came from and Adventist family. I also come from an Adventist background and It just makes sense that he never met a stranger.(you'd understand if you've ever met my mother!) He really was a nice guy with alot to share. I'm Looking forward to the PDF read about his experiences in Korea!(my past favorites were about the China marines) I downloaded and saved them... I spent in Korea in 91' for Operation team spirit! (stationed out of Okinawa) at Marine Expiditionary Camp Pohang Man it gets cold there!!! ;D

B.E.C.

David, Thank you for this thread. Feels neat to be part of it on a deeper level.. SEmper Fi Brother.
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  #246  
Old 04-28-2011, 4:04 AM
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Great thread to read first thing in the AM.


Now back to writing papers...
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  #247  
Old 04-28-2011, 2:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rerussell View Post
WOW -- I didn't expect this much response to my post. And let me make this clear up front -- I don't want the gun back, I'm very happy it's with the OP and that he asked about daddy. My only request would be that a copy of my post(s) be kept with the gun as a tribute and history for my dad.

I found this post/site by googling daddy's name on a whim -- to see if there was anything on him besides his death record. When I open the link for this post and say the gun and read the question about it, it brought a tear to my eye and many happy memories.

Here's a copy of the letter daddy wrote regarding The Rape of Nanking:

RAPE OF NANKING
Editor -- It was with a deep sense of sadness that I read Charles Burress' article (Sunday, July 26) about the rape/ holocaust/massacre of Nanjing from December 1937 through January 1939.
You see, Nanking was the city of my birth, 72 years ago. My parents were Seventh-day Adventist missionaries, and my dad was attending the Nanking University Language School, learning Mandarin, when it was time for my arrival. I was born in the university hospital. Naturally, I would have an interest in the sad events that Mr. Burress writes about.
It is a shame that this atrocity was buried for so long. I am grateful to Iris Chang for bringing this horror to our attention. True, there were those of us who were aware of this crime and spoke out, but we were in the minority. The Japanese government was busy spinmeistering and denying that such a thing as that had happened, or could happen. Sadly, a lot of people believed them, especially the apologists and historical revisionists.
I have in my possession a VHS copy of the film taken by Dr. John Magee, and smuggled out of Nanking by Dr. George Fitch, the YMCA director. It is rather graphic. My dad got a copy of the film and showed it to service clubs, veterans organizations, church groups, and even to Hollywood dignitaries.
Suggested reading: ``Hidden Horrors'' by Yuke Tanaka; ``Blood and Bushido'' by Bernard Edwards; and ``Kempeitai'' by Raymond Lamont-Brown.
What goes around, comes around. Japan's economic woes may be a form of retribution.
ORVILLE A. BIERKLE, Pacheco

I'll look for the information on one of the books he contributed to and for the poem he wrote for the Chosen Few Newsletter -- if you'd be interested.

I also have the copy of daddy's birth record and service papers for Korea -- aside from that, I can think of no other way to prove who I am and that Orville A Bierkle is my father.

Thank you again for asking about him.
I'd say that you've more than proved it!!!!
Thanks for your families contributions to the nation.
Semper Fi
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  #248  
Old 04-28-2011, 3:46 PM
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Probably the best thing I can read before heading off to report to my next unit tomorrow.
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  #249  
Old 04-28-2011, 3:50 PM
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Epic Thread. So glad somebody bumped it (thx Soup Nazi) so I could read it. Subscribed & ready to read the diary.

Anyone else catch the mention of the SKS in the Diary? Thursday Sept. 28th. "Captured a light Russian machine gun, several Russian carbines with bayonets that fold into the handguard at the front of the stock.... the receiver was stamped 1950."

Only 4 pages into the diary & I'm mesmerized.

Last edited by furyous68; 04-28-2011 at 4:00 PM..
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  #250  
Old 04-28-2011, 7:55 PM
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This is an amazing thread. Perhaps one of the best ones I have read on here.
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  #251  
Old 04-28-2011, 8:03 PM
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I had to stick the thread. It is by far the most though provoking thread I have read here. I have met David and can say for sure he is a gentleman and a happy soul. I pray for your endeavors that they come to fruition!
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  #252  
Old 04-29-2011, 8:19 PM
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Wow I never thought I'd be somesmerized by a thread that I would read all 7 pages!!!! This is truly epic and I'm glad to have devoted the one to it. I look forward to reading the diary! Makes me hope one day I will find such a treasure tucked away somewhere. Thanks for the amazing read and can't wait to hear more!!!!
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  #253  
Old 05-05-2011, 10:00 AM
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Okay I have to repeat what others have said, this is an amazing thread and as I am a history buff this just goes right to my hart. I have had the same thing get into my eyes you all have (must be in the air) and had to stop several times to regain composure here at work. I have emailed a link of this to every marine I know an even put it on my facebook page. David and Ruth, you are both amazing people. being a Navy Seabee I have a VERY special place in my hart for all Marines, so know this comes from the hart and watery eyes. Semper Fi Devil Dogs!
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  #254  
Old 05-05-2011, 2:35 PM
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I'm glad this was sticky'd; I would never had seen it otherwise. What a great read.
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  #255  
Old 05-06-2011, 3:10 PM
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Thanks for the sticky, Ivan!

FWIW, I bought one of Ivan's revolvers some years back so I'd have a .22 that looked similar to the 1917. This was way before I saw Sgt. Bierkle's name on the grip. We did the transaction at Diablo Valley Gun Works in Pleasant Hill, same place I purchased the Sergeant's revolver.

Boomershoot was great, and I met a Marine there (hi Tango!) who was one of several folks who were ecstatic to hold and shoot the revolver, having read this thread. He politely mentioned that I might consider the Marines Museum in D.C. as the appropriate repository for the revolver, being that Chosin is sort of the ne plus ultra Marine battle. I will be sure to bring that up with Ruth whenever we do meet, and get her take on it.

What do you folks think? NRA's National Firearms Museum or USMC's National Museum of the Marine Corps?
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Last edited by Davidwhitewolf; 05-06-2011 at 3:16 PM.. Reason: Mentioned DVGW
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  #256  
Old 05-06-2011, 3:37 PM
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Oh, and just to clarify: earlier I'd said I'd donate the revolver to a museum in my will. After I read the diary, that changed. I intend to see all the documents collected and donate the revolver and its provenance to an appropriate museum (with an appropriate display!) within the next few years -- a year or two if possible. I would want to offer to have Ruth and any other family members who wanted to attend to be there when it's donated, of course. This will all take some time to accomplish, but I'm determined to see it done.

Thank you again Sgt. Bierkle!
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Last edited by Davidwhitewolf; 05-06-2011 at 3:45 PM.. Reason: Clarity, always clarity
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  #257  
Old 05-06-2011, 3:58 PM
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can a poll be added to the thread after it's been made? that would make a good poll IMO. that being said I cast my vote to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, I think it will get more of the recognition it deserves in there, it would be a great addition to the museum and one very fine piece of Marine Corps History.

It was carried by a Marine, It should be honored by the Marines. but thats My take
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  #258  
Old 05-06-2011, 4:05 PM
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un...real. amazing story, to say the least.


tagged for future updates
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  #259  
Old 05-06-2011, 4:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidwhitewolf View Post
... What do you folks think? NRA's National Firearms Museum or USMC's National Museum of the Marine Corps?
My vote:
If Ruth wants to accept your return of the gun to her so she can donate it to her museum of choice, do it.

If she refuses it, keep it. Machines were made to be used. Old machines are to be used by those that are respectful of the machine and it's history, AND to be available to those that appreciate it ... in a venue where it can be used as it was intended.
If you have offspring or a trustee that will appreciate it, will it to them upon the condition that it is to be donated upon no one's further appreciation for it.

If the gun was a one-of-a-kind / none left in existence, I would vote to donate it. Museums are to preserve extinct species.

Your place in history only adds, positively, to the gun's provenance.
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  #260  
Old 05-06-2011, 4:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homebrew2 View Post
Machines were made to be used. Old machines are to be used by those that are respectful of the machine and it's history, AND to be available to those that appreciate it ... in a venue where it can be used as it was intended.
You make a very interesting point.
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  #261  
Old 05-06-2011, 4:27 PM
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Amazing story. ...
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  #262  
Old 05-06-2011, 4:30 PM
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I read the entire thread - I was able to keep the tears at bay until I read Ruth's last post about the fishing pole. My father never saw combat in Korea but he served proudly in the Army, married my mother and here I am.

I hope this is ok I took this from one of the .pdf's I think this thread deserves to see the man. He looks so young it breaks my heart to think of all the hardship he endured, for all of us.


Orville A. Bierkle, USMC
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  #263  
Old 05-06-2011, 4:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidwhitewolf View Post
You make a very interesting point.
Another thought: Loan/donate it to HAVA, or another such org. ... Have them document our current heros that shot it, adding, exponentially, to the gun's history. A living history, maybe.

I'm sure you've thought about it, but I'd like to mention that hand loading of cartridges to "cowboy action" loads might help to preserve the machine's youthfulness
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  #264  
Old 05-06-2011, 9:50 PM
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davidwhitewolf, Tango here. Great to meet you there! It's amazing how well the revolver is made. The edges are worn smooth from being relied upon, but the gun still feels solid and has an excellent balance to me. Easy to shoot and I hit the 30 acre field I was pointing at. I even missed your tent flap! For the record, you met 3 Marines there. Myself, my younger brother (tall, red/brown hair, sunglasses), and the guy in cammies who retired after 31 years.

I was entirely stoked to see Sgt. Bierkle's revolver. While most people think of it as an old gun, I see a self defense tool that most likely kept a man alive during some very rough points in our history. Also, I've been following this thread for WELL over a year, now. Just never had anything to say about it. Sgt. Bierkle put that revolver into your possession! Keep charge of it and make him proud until you're relieved of your duty. Your 5th General Order. "To quit my post only when properly relieved."
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  #265  
Old 05-11-2011, 8:53 AM
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what an amazing story! i never check out the C&R forums but i'm sure glad that i did. great read!
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  #266  
Old 05-13-2011, 8:56 AM
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Wow, what a thread. Great stuff all around.

David, keep that revolver out amongst the working firearms. A revolver on display has no value except to look neat. A working revolver in the hands of one of the good guys is priceless and must be used to protect the innocent. I'm sure any Marine would see it that way too.

This story NEEDS to be told to everyone out there. With a family connection and documented history, any news outlet should pick it up.
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  #267  
Old 05-13-2011, 9:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdtx2001 View Post
... This story NEEDS to be told to everyone out there. With a family connection and documented history, any news outlet should pick it up.
I took the liberty to email the link to Tom Gresham. He was very thankful to hear about it. Hopefully he mentions it on Gun Talk.
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  #268  
Old 05-17-2011, 2:00 PM
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I'd only been a CGN member for 20 minutes when I stumbled on this sticky. I spent the next couple hours going through the whole thread! I keep having to get up and explain to my officemates that I have allergies. Must be something in the air. Yeah, that's what it is. Thank you Ruth and David. Thanks SGT Bierkle, Semper Fi.

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Old 05-22-2011, 5:19 PM
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I've seen a lot of highly unlikely and improbably things happen before, but this might take the cake. simply epic.

my hat goes off to Sgt. Bierkle, his daughter and OP. an amazing thread and I'm now going to spend some time reading that diary. Thanks to all of you.

also, this is why old guns are more fun than new guns. you just never know what kind of adventures that gun had in the past.
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  #270  
Old 05-25-2011, 9:39 PM
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This was brought to my attention on RimFireCentral. I subscribed so I could read all the attachments. It's kept me up way past my bedtime, but has been worth every minute spent reading it. Outstanding thread!
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  #271  
Old 05-30-2011, 6:52 PM
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Memorial Day bump for this most awesome of all threads.

In memory of the fallen, and thanks to all who have served.
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  #272  
Old 05-31-2011, 7:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidwhitewolf View Post
Well, this will teach me to not check back on a thread. Here it is Feb 2010 and I'd decided to finally get around to inquiring with the unit historian, so I thought I'd reread the thread -- and I'm just now seeing everything following my last post a year ago after I learned the owner's unit history. To say I'm floored would be an understatement. I am simply astonished that Mr. Bierkle's daughter found my inquiry.

I myself did not serve, so I've considered owning a Marine's revolver an honor and a privilege from the moment I noticed the name and branch stippled on the frame. Ruth, you can't possibly imagine how much more of an honor it is now that I know more about the gun's provenance, your father, and his service and character. I truly cherish this gun and will keep a copy of this thread with it, as well as printing copies of the poems separately and framing them. If by chance you see this thread and you are willing to make copies of any other of the documents you mention, such as his service record, I will frame and keep them with it as well. I was recently at the SHOT Show and ran across a catalog for a company that specializes in shadowboxes to memorialize a veteran's service with appropriate pins, service awards, and the like as well as space for mementos such as the poems you so graciously shared.

Regardless, Ruth, if you ever change your mind about the revolver, or if another member of Mr. Bierkle's family should evince the slightest interest in owning it, I will give it over in a heartbeat. No donations/collections needed -- this thread is its own reward.

Ruth, my email address is davidwhitewolf@yahoo.com. I have family in Concord and Pleasant Hill and am in the area often if you would care to meet.

Best Regards, and many thanks to Calguns, Ruth, and her father for his service --David
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  #273  
Old 07-13-2011, 1:55 AM
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this is by far the best and most interesting post i have read on calguns. it amazing my computer just randomly shot dirt into the air because dam i have something in my eyes. its things like this, hearing the stories of heros and stories from hero's still present that makes me proud to be a United States Marine. Semper Fi, someday i will meet you all in heaven as we guard the streets together with every other United States Marine.
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  #274  
Old 07-14-2011, 12:15 PM
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I just came across this thread. I spent the last hour or so going through the post. All i can say is WOW! This made me feel very warm inside with the values that people still have out there. I think it is very honorable to have a peice of history in your hand, let alone connecting it to someone who was personally impacted by it and knew the person. I commend you for willing to hand it back to the family or even putting it in a place where it could live on!

I tip my hat to you good sir!

Ruth,

I salute your father for his service. And thank you for allowing some insight to your fathers life.

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  #275  
Old 07-14-2011, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by straykiller View Post
this is by far the best and most interesting post i have read on calguns. it amazing my computer just randomly shot dirt into the air because dam i have something in my eyes. its things like this, hearing the stories of heros and stories from hero's still present that makes me proud to be a United States Marine. Semper Fi, someday i will meet you all in heaven as we guard the streets together with every other United States Marine.
You have the same problem with your computer I see!!
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  #276  
Old 07-14-2011, 11:51 PM
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wow... great thread.... Was searching for something and i ran into this one... I forgot what i was searching for but this was def. worth it.
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  #277  
Old 07-15-2011, 6:52 AM
Tythagoras Tythagoras is offline
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Smile Just amazing...

With all the relic firearms from previous wars, it's so rare to find one with any backstory. It's easy to view them as having history, but it's just as easy to forget that there were real people who depended on them, carried them everywhere, and in some cases, died with them.

But this one not only has history, it has a name, a specific person who carried it. And since it was given to him before the war started, was already a prized possession. It's special, to say the least.

I would be torn between a museum where it could be seen by many, and a private collector such as yourself who would love and cherish it. I'd lean toward keeping it, shooting it, cleaning it, and making it a living piece of history again, rather than a static display, largely ignored. Especially if you get to share it with other people. "Hey would you like to take a few shots with a gun that was carried by a marine at the Chosin Reservoir?" I sure would! Can't do that at a museum, unfortunately.

Willing it to a museum would be a good idea, especially if you can't will it to someone who would treasure it as you do.

I think I have something in my eye.
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  #278  
Old 07-15-2011, 6:54 AM
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Holy Cr*p!!

Orville went to school in San Gabriel and Alhambra.

All I can say, is ...WOW.. Just WOW!!!!
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  #279  
Old 07-31-2011, 8:12 AM
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Oh, it's a stickie now
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  #280  
Old 08-07-2011, 8:05 PM
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Best Thread EVER!
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