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arlo

MEMORIES, FUNNY STORIES, PICS: Mariann Kramer

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Mariann, I'm pissed off that you're gone and I'm so sad I won't see your smiling, glittered-up face again in this life, but I'm grateful that God blessed me with knowing you. Hopefully you didn't get a contact drunk from how many times I toasted you on Sunday. But then again, fuck, you're in the sky now, no rules up there. You'll be very missed by many. Go big, God speed, love you always.
-Kimberly Griffin

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One of the gals took the wrong slot on the jump and it almost didn't make.



That was me! I watched that video Sunday night. That was the first time I met Mariann. What a woman! She was beautiful, inside and out.


--
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. -Oliver Wendel Holmes

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Damn. This one is hard to take. I'm so out of the skydiving scene anymore that even though I live in Colorado, I only heard about this from a an out of town friend and I was in disbelief there for a couple of days wondering how this could possibly be true.

I first met Mariann at the Synchronicity tryouts in the fall of 2002 in Orlando. We were all out for Sushi one night after many hours in the wind tunnel when Mariann told me she was a swooper. I didn't know any women who swooped at the time and I told her right then that she was my new hero. I thought that was pretty amazing.

Since neither of us made it on Synchronicity, I was looking for a team and heard that her team had 3 and needed a 4th so I begged her to let me be a part of it.

On our second jump of our first training camp in Eloy, Mariann blew out her knee on landing. We managed to convince her to stand down for the rest of the day, you know maybe to ice her knee, give it a rest, but that certainly didn't last for the rest of the camp. So in typical Mariann form, she insisted that she could jump even though she couldn't walk. To accomplish this, Lou and Sean carried her to the plane and loaded her up. She hopped on one leg to sit down, hopped on one leg to get in the door, give the count and skydive her ass off.

As everyone knows, she had that fighting spirit and a silly little knee injury wasn't going to keep her from jumping :)
Needless to say, Mariann finished that first camp unable to walk......She's a lot tougher than me and I did indeed admire that in her for sure.

I will miss you my friend. See you on the flip side.

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US Nationals, Chicago, 2002. My teamates and I were competing in 10 way and ended up in the aircraft with a team of folks I did not know. They seemed friendly enough though, we boarded and climbed for altittude but held up at about 5k and we were told that there was some kind of hold, so we circled for awhile.

After about 15 minutes the natives started getting restless, then this purple headed girl jumps up and goes up to the cockpit, sits in the co-pilot seat and proceeds to entertain us all with her versions of Eminem rap on the PA system to big applause at the end.

February 2003 Eloy, AZ.

I think this is the camp after, that Fraschc decribed in her post. The Rave cameraflyer had to leave and I was asked to shoot for the day for them, and on the first jump of the day I F'd up and ended up making big dents in the landing area, as I was laying there waiting for the ambulance to come, packer Ray and Mariann, some German guy and Pat Patton were helping to get my rig off of me and a very overbearing DZ staffer came out and proceeded to try to kick Mariann off the landing area, notice I said "try". Mariann proceeded to tell this a**h**e that she had emergency medical experience (kind of like that), he spun around and left. Even in a lot of pain, all I could do was laugh.

Thanks for everything Mariann, see ya later.


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Funeral services will be held at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in McKinney on Friday at 10 am. The funeral will be followed by a procession to her final resting place.

110 St. Gabriel Way, McKinney, TX (972) 542-7170
http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?addr=110+St.+Gabriel+Way&csz=mckinney%2C+tx&country=us&new=1&name=&qty=

Visitation will be between 2 and 4 pm on Thursday at the Jackson Turrientine funeral home.

Highway 75 and Exit 38 - Ridgeview Dr. (972) 562-2601

http://www.turrentinejacksonmorrow.com/media/funeral_homes_map.gif

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I first met Mariann at Skydive Dallas about 6 or 7 years ago. I was still young in the sport with about 300 jumps and she was quite pregnant. I remember being in awe that she was still jumping while pregnant. Of course I could not say no to jumping with her and we (Mariann, Garrett and others) made quite a few jumps together.
Over the years I was pivileged to get to know such a unique and fascinating person. She was vibrant, always smiling, always joking, living life to the fullest, shiny, badass skydiver and swooper. I can honestly say that I have never met someone so determined and hard core yet still so lovable and down to earth. The more I learned about her the more impressed I became. From her initial difficulties in becoming a skydiver to jumping with injuries that would make most people throw in the towel, she never let anything beat her or get her down. Losing her brings me sadness, but knowing her has been a gift. I'll always remember. Peace, love and blue skies forever.

For those who can attend, services are listed below.

Thursday, July 27th, 2006
Jackson Turrentine Morrow Ridgeview Memorial Park and Funeral Homes On the SW corner of 121 and 75.
(972) 542-2601
Hwy 75 at Exit 38
McKinney, Tx 75069

2 PM to 4 PM - Visitation

7 PM to 9 PM - Prayer Vigil



Friday, July 28th, 2006
St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church
110 Saint Gabriel Way
Mckinney, TX 75071
(214) 129-9180

10 AM – Service

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o my dearest sweetest bestest.....sis
i can't imagine my life without mariann & i don't want to.

who else will drive me around in her bad ride after being stuck in knee high mud while trying to get from the DZ to the barn in time for sunset so that she has enough time to run the horses real quick. after taking a "short cut" down the back road after weeks of rain plowing the infinity through 3feet of mud seemed like it would work..we never got too stuck but we did listen to all that mud fall and fling out from under the car for weeks afterward

then there was that time she was in mornng rush hour going to airport to get out of town for a training camp when she starts to think that she can "just take this dirt road real quick" only to find herself stuck and stranded down this dirt road stuck in the mud of course, in dallas it rains from sept-may (sometimes) so she calls me to freak out while waiting for the tow truck needless to say when the tow truck arrives the road is such a wash they cannot drive down the road for they will get stuck. So she has to bribe these guys to take her to the airport but the best part of this story HA HA
is.... imagine mariann stuck her bad ride in the mud cant get a tow in the rain carrying her bags gear whatever down the road to the tow truck ha haha 2x she has to make the trip because she has her big ass suitcase 2 rigs blah blah HA HA HA and the tow truck guys are in AWE of course because they can't help notice how incredible this chick is.
HA HA she left her car there for days....when they went back for it the mud had dried and it was a real *!@%# to get it out.

what about the time she talked her confusion team into landing at the end of the sdd runway to invite the neighbors to a bbq. we stole the dz long spot truck/cart the guys land
the walk up to the door wait for waht seems like forever they answer she talks to them blah blah they come back over to the cart and the cart will not start....'just push it, pop the clutch' everybody has their own opinion we are pushing it it's not starting trying trying finally the neighbors come out mabe they think they can help 'no no' she insists 'we can handle this we are trained professionals' HA HA the funniest part the whole damn thing is on video. she had this whole big plan to meet the neighbors confusion can bond with the locals we'll make it a documentary it will be great...stuck way out
the end of the field with the guys the truck the video and THE PLANE ON FINAL i don't remember who pulled her out of the driver seat but the cart started right up and we all laughed in her video face all the way to the hanger.

then there was the time i was pulled over for speeding in her car and then arrested because i was conceling her loaded handgun in her glove box that was the week she bacame a AFF instructor..months later i watched her get up on a witness stand in my defense infront of judge and jury they found me not guilty of unlawful carrying if a conceled firearm.................................. >>>>i love you steve you saved my ass

we have wanted to quit smoking for years but continue to smoke everyday. just the last time we saw each other it was in perris we were bummng a smoke YES we got one but we needed a light ..got into a long conversation with these guys he had quit blah blah we found a light smoked the cigarette and then got on the plane. and there was these same guys the one says "did you find a light?" she's like yeah yeah we smoked it and i don't know what he said but i hear her say "no dude no really here smell my fingers see SEE WE SMOKED IT" thisguy was beside himself "i never had a girl tell me to smell he fingers" so we let him lead us tracking.

we would go out covered in glitter
and we would cover everyone else in glitter
i'ts pretty funny to see big macho guys covered in glitter and wearing girls clothes dancing around ...but that's the impact she had on people she had so much fun that everyone wanted to try it. the glitter the clothes the music the energy
she was truly an inspiration to us all.

we always teased each other "who needs psyco-therapy we just counsel each other"

i spoke with mariann on a daily basis 3, 4 , 6 times a day.we were so close that my dear sweet boyfriend thought we were having an affair...please no speculation you all know us very well. that's just a testimony to how close we are.

i know on a very deep level just how remarkable she is and how the world will never again feel the same as it did 4 days ago..... i feel a though i lost my sister. it hurts so that it feels as though she were my own flesh and blood.

and as for the rest of the world i am so sorry for your loss i offer you all my deepest condolences

i have a ton of photos but i don't know how to put them on this dz.com i will be arriving in dallas in less that 24 hours please feel free to email me or whatever

with a heavey heart i wish you all much love and many happy memories of my sister....you know who she is

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jenn...:( she WAS your sister...you don't need to be blood relatives for that. i'll be in dallas tonight at 7pm. get my number from sara....
with love,
a


edited to add a couple of pics from jftc this past year... (thanks bekie)

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Hi Richard,

I am one of Mariann's horsey students. We are all just devasted. We were wondering if you knew when & where the memorial service was going to be held? I had heard a rumor about it being on Thursday the 27th. There are a number of her horsey friends and students that really want to be there to honor our favorite instructor who gave us so much!

Thanks, Beth

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My dear friend. You are so missed. I can't believe it's true. We learned to skydive together. We grew up together in the sport. I'm putting together some awesome video of one of the most beautiful people I knew. I always had so much respect for you. Swooping 2-way with you was my competition highlight. I have so many great memories with you. Freeflying, swooping, competing, partying and just being friends, far too many to go into detail. I deffinitely feel richer having known you. you have a way of enriching everyone's life you touch. Thank you for being.
Thank you to all of our friends who called. My heart goes out to all of you. We never want to get that call. Think of our friend often. Celebrate her life. I haven't been able to read all that was written on this post and don't know if anyone has organized anything, but I will be organizing a memorial tracking dive at sunset this Saturday. Please do the same at your local DZ. I'll be thinking of all of you.
Stay strong!
Raymond

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Richard -

Thanks for all the info on Mariann. I am one of her "horse" friends and I know that many of you skydivers didn't experience that part of her life too much as her time turned from the horses and became so dedicated to skydiving.

What I can tell you is that she made a huge impact on many of us who had very difficult horses to ride and who would otherwise be turned away by many trianers who found our challenges too difficult to deal with. But not Mariann. She hung in there and made the best out of not only us, but our horses. And what fun we all had at our horse shows. Many late nights drinking wine, telling stories and just being silly. So many memories that will never go away.

I own the barn where Mariann was teaching for quite some time. We are still there. And, strangely enough, I found a halter from her horse "Swoop" with his name on it. I have hung it up along with a saddle pad that I gave her for that horse in my barn as my little memorial to her.

May God rest your soul, Mar - you will be truly missed, but your spirit will forever linger on with so many of us.

See ya when I get there.

P.S. - Hope you have seen Zach, Squirty
Quote

and my Mom - please let them know I'm O.K.

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i first met mariann when i was at skydive dallas for about 2 months in the summer time of 2001. i went there not knowing a soul and she was this amazing person who instantly made me feel so welcome, showing me around, introducing me to so many incredible people (who i wouldn't know today if it hadn't been for her!!), making me feel like one of the crowd.

what a dynamic woman! i remember seeing her walking around the dz, i was trying to figure out what sort of jumping she was into-in the matter of one day i watched her strut by doing rw, student jumps, freefly and swooping...she was flawless in everything, a real role model for the person i wanted to be, in skydiving and as a human being. i could only hope to be so well rounded and amazing like her-she was just contagious.

after i left dallas and continued on my journeys, i saw mariann all over the place-chicago, perris, new england, nj, fl....she always was so energetic and beautiful and sparkly, and had so many nice things to say (and she had the greatest voice) and such great hugs to give. we 'ripped it up' on several dance floors and always had a blast being 'shiny' (arlo, that is just the best way to say it!!) when we saw each other.

i will miss our occasional meetings and catch up sessions, smoking in the girls room, dancing, cheering, smiling and loving....the world is a mcuh esser place with out this beautiful incredible talented woman. she touched so many people, and her light will burn bright in each soul she touched.

my thoughts and energy are with all of mariann's friends and families, immediate and extended, but especially those at sdd and in the swooping community, where our friendship first sparked and grew.

i love you mariann! until we see each other again,
erin

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Wow, I was thinking of my trip to the Chicago Nationals on a 16way team with Mariann as a memory; however, I totally forgot about her rapping Eminem on a 10way speed load! I was on that load, NICE, thanks!

January, 2002, I came to visit my father in Oklahoma, and we cruised down to SDD to make some jumps. Dad was already on Dallas Confusion 16way team, and was trying to get me on it knowing that I was interested. Unfortunately, I had appx. 300 jumps, and didn't know anyone. So my dad talked to the team captains (Mariann and Rick) and got them to do a 4way--Dad, the two of them, and me... Previously, I would guess I had only done about 10 point 4ways (randoms), but I will never forget my first jump with Mariann, it was a block move and two randoms, we did over 20 points, it was by far the best jump I had ever had! From there on, I thought Mariann was this super-hot skygod!

So that jump earned me a slot on the team, we had a great time as a team, Mariann always acting as a mentor to me. It always seemed as if she went the extra step to help my flying on a personal level. As I was learning to swoop on my super-fast Spectre 150, she was coaching me, telling me pointers, etc.!

The most important part... Mariann was my FIRST kiss-pass! It was on a 16way team jump that went to shit, she looked over at me and gave me my first.. When we watched the video as a team, she said she couldn't help it because I was in my slot, doing my job!

And goddam she was tough, remember when she hurt her knee in AZ, and continued team training all weekend... She would just swoop in, and slide on her ass... She came back to Dallas, and continued to fun jump like that... She had her special shorts she would put over her leg-straps, so she wouldn't tear them up!!

I've attached an old picture of Mariann wearing her first rig/favorite rig, I believe she named it Cream Puff? hehe, a few of us did a high pull with Mariann on sunset load a week and a half ago, and I asked her about her glittered rig. She said it was still sitting in her closet, she just couldn't sell it!

The other picture is a Texas State Record, which still stands, she is on the bottom left of the formation, on a whacker, on the outside of the whacker.

Your enthusiasm will be missed Mariann! My best wishes to everyone that had Mariann in their lives.

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My daughter, Corinne, and I met Mariann in 1992 while looking at horses she had trained. There began a friendship with Mariann as our trainer, older sister, and best friend which lasted until Corinne left for college and we all went our separate ways.

She taught Corinne how to ride as well as train her horses helping her qualify and attend the most prestigious equestrian events for juniors in the nation. We traveled and competed together starting in Oklahoma, through Kentucky and up to the United States Equestrian Facility in Gladstone New Jersey. Mariann knew what it took to win and what the judges were looking for and she very well knew how to train a horse to perform at it's top level. We had an immense journey with Mariann and will treasure that time with her forever. There was no gossiping at our barn, only good times, laughter and hard work.

Mariann was also a star in the arena as well as in the air. She never lost her temper and only showed great respect to the judges while performing. And of course, she was always in the "ribbons." Even when she was partying and up to 4 in the morning she would be in top form at 6 in the arena schooling her clients' horses. Then she would ride her horse down to the bottom of a 5 foot oxer with nerves of steel. What an athlete!! Her love for horses and showing were contagious to all of us and we became immediately involved and committed to the sport due to her expertise, playfulness and energy she exhibited every day of her life. One of her sayings was " Get the job done" even if you were having a difficult ride over a course she would always instill...get the job done, finish the course! I feel that attitude taught my daughter to never give up and always strive forward!

My favorite pass time is watching Corinne ride and I see Mariann all through her. Her style and grace is Mariann. She even has Mariann's signature elbow that sticks out on occasion. Corinne is now an instructor and trainer at Park Lane Equestrian Center and listening to her give a lesson, I hear the same phrases and tone of voice Mariann would use during a lesson and it makes me smile. And, oh by the way, she still has the last horse Mariann wanted her to purchase, Nelson. She truly followed in her mentors path and exhibits the energy and love for the sport as did Mariann, her teacher, older sister and our best friend. She was a wonderful person, loved by all and we will truly miss her. We love you Mariann!!

Paula Frederick

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My daughter, Corinne, and I met Mariann in 1992 while looking at horses she had trained. There began a friendship with Mariann as our trainer, older sister, and best friend which lasted until Corinne left for college and we all went our separate ways.

She taught Corinne how to ride as well as train her horses helping her qualify and attend the most prestigious equestrian events for juniors in the nation. We traveled and competed together starting in Oklahoma, through Kentucky and up to the United States Equestrian Facility in Gladstone New Jersey. Mariann knew what it took to win and what the judges were looking for and she very well knew how to train a horse to perform at it's top level. We had an immense journey with Mariann and will treasure that time with her forever. There was no gossiping at our barn, only good times, laughter and hard work.

Mariann was also a star in the arena as well as in the air. She never lost her temper and only showed great respect to the judges while performing. And of course, she was always in the "ribbons." Even when she was partying and up to 4 in the morning she would be in top form at 6 in the arena schooling her clients' horses. Then she would ride her horse down to the bottom of a 5 foot oxer with nerves of steel. What an athlete!! Her love for horses and showing were contagious to all of us and we became immediately involved and committed to the sport due to her expertise, playfulness and energy she exhibited every day of her life. One of her sayings was " Get the job done" even if you were having a difficult ride over a course she would always instill...get the job done, finish the course! I feel that attitude taught my daughter to never give up and always strive forward!

My favorite pass time is watching Corinne ride and I see Mariann all through her. Her style and grace is Mariann. She even has Mariann's signature elbow that sticks out on occasion. Corinne is now an instructor and trainer at Park Lane Equestrian Center and listening to her give a lesson, I hear the same phrases and tone of voice Mariann would use during a lesson and it makes me smile. And, oh by the way, she still has the last horse Mariann wanted her to purchase, Nelson. She truly followed in her mentors path and exhibits the energy and love for the sport as did Mariann, her teacher, older sister and our best friend. She was a wonderful person, loved by all and we will truly miss her. We love you Mariann!!

Paula Frederick



Paula - I am so glad to hear from you and hear about Corinne and Nelson! I have wondered for years what they both were doing! I will never forget Nelson - the best dang jumper in the world. He could fly over those jumps.

My favorite memory was a horse show in Las Colinas - the first jump was a single rail - Nelson hit the rail and Corinne started flying through the rest of the jump course as she knew that was not the end and there was a good chance she could be in the jump off. Corinne had nerves of steel wh ich obviously she got from training with Mariann.

I also remember poor Nelson being drug tested at the horse shows. Nobody could believe how spectacular he was yet he proved it over and over again.

Bailey - well he was my dream horse. A jet black gelding that was absolutely gorgeous. I wish you could have seen Gwendalyn, the mare that Mariann found for me - a true black with a white star on her forehead. I do have her foal now. Gwendalyn passed on when my foal was only 2 months old. My filly is black with a white snip which I named Jasmine but I call her Jazzy for short because she is full of piss and vinegar.

When we met, I was riding Cheers and Tego as I didn't have a horse of my own and a husband that did not support my passion.

I wish so much I could be at Mariann's memorial service but it is impossible right now for me to fly back to Texas.

I will be there in the fall and would love to see both of you and of course Nelson! Do you still have Bailey?

Email me your phone number mgoldi13@aol.com so we can get in touch when I come back to Dallas for a visit.

Melissa aka Jasmine

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The Ladies of Skydive Dallas have been getting together for "Chicks Night" now for several years. Over the years there's been some great times had.

Last night several of them got together at the house to celebrate Mariannn, share some stories, watch some funny video... "partake" a little. :)
I know Mar was smiling down on them all, and enjoying the party!

Here's a couple of the pic's!

Donnie

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I have really loved reading all these wonderful stories about Mariann.

I am another horsey person who has experienced Mariann's “glitter”, both figuratively and literally. And I am a better person for have being a part of it.

Mariann made such an impact to so many people in all walks of life. I have known her since 1995. And I knew from the moment we met that she would change my life, but I had no idea how much or in how many dimensions. She always was the life of the party and a true friend.

Here is a picture of Marainn soaring over a jump that exceeded 5 feet in height and was almost as wide. I know you can’t really compare a 5 ft. 5 inch jump to her accomplishments in sky diving. But I thought this is a good picture of Mariann and it exemplifies the drive, commitment, and dedication she gave to anything that she set her mind to.

She took me and my “scrappy racehorse reject” to the heights of equestrian accomplishments. She competed with him in the Grand Prix circuit and trained me to compete in the amateur owner jumpers. An accomplishment I don’t think even the best of trainers could have done because of the challenges of this horse. But Mariann never gave up on us.

Mar – thanks for all the great memories and making me the best rider I could be!

mary clark

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Here it is. The day we get to say goodbye to our good, good friend. I don't really know how to feel. I know that Mariann would want all of to celebrate her life and our memories with her.

This morning, as I was bringing the horses in and feeding, the sky was spectacular. It looked like a mountain and in the middle of it was this beacon of light shining through. All I could think of that it was Mariann looking down upon all of us. I did take a picture of it and will hang it up in my new house.

She is still with us and will always be. And in your honor Mar, I will continue to go to Starbucks every single day of my life :)

Love Ya -

Judy Kresich

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Thank you, everyone, for sharing your memories and private thoughts.

Every post I read causes sparks to run through me - Mariann is still very much with us. Now she can keep us "getting the job done" simultaneously!

Love and condolences to you all.

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I don't even know the first time I met her.

I do remember one time seeing her, and hanging out with her. Then the next day I wondered where the hell did all this glitter get on my clothes:o

I am trying to get back intown to attend the services, but don't think I will be able to make it.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I am absolutely dumbstruck and nauseous from the news......

Have a lot of fond memories from Mariann from Dallas, Houston and wherever else we skydived (TSL, state record attempts nationals etc).
Always a blast of fresh air and always friendly.

She had the kindest eyes Ive seen in my life.

Mariann, may you enjoy your eternal skydive...

You will be sorely missed....
Say "hi" to Carter
...............................................
...........................
..............
....
.

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I did not know Mariann well, but can attest to her friendliness and energy....I did my first bunch of jumps at Dallas with her back in January and she made me feel incredibly welcome. She seemed genuinely excited about jumping with me even though we'd just met.

Since then, it seemed like she was always smiling whenever I saw her, even when she was packing in the summer heat.

Hugs to everyone at the DZ who knew her well.

--Heather

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