Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Muskie's The Man ~ January 1972

I'm betting that Jim Kukar was editing Miami Magazine by January 1972 and sent me on this shoot. He's the guy that first got me interested in politics when he edited The North Dade Journal, and here we are thirty seven years later and I have a pile of pix on the table next to the front door, and we'll be meeting up for lunch in a day or two so I can give them to him.

Later that year he got me floor passes to both the Republican and Democratic conventions on Miami Beach. I was really immersed in politics that year! I'm not sure exactly where this was although I suspect that it was on Miami Beach. It was dark out on the street so I had a little electronic flash on my Leica, and for a lot of the pix I was shooting I was holding the camera with arms outstretched over my head, trying to shoot over the people in front of me.

I really like the shot where the background lights are all squiggly! I was using a slow shutter speed to pick up a bit of the ambient light, and while the flash stopped the motion of the people I wan't holding the camera very steady so those lights sreaked. The position of everybody's hands also helps makes for a rather dynamic picture.

The young lady was photographed with available light. Strange how hair styles and short dresses back then look just like they do now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The American Society Of Magazine Photographers

As usual that photo of me on the card with the impish grin was a self portrait. There was a certain amount of prestige in being a member of ASMP. You had to have a history of published photos and be sponsored by members. You couldn't just mail in your money and join. They published a magazine, Infinity, and were one of the sponsors of the annual Wilson Hicks Photojournalism Conference at the University of Miami. You'd see the latest work by the world's top journalistic photographers, listen to picture editors discuss trends, look over and handle the newest cameras, perhaps even get some sample rolls of a newly introduced film. You'd meet up with old friends, make new friends. A lot of those people are gone now, a few I'm still friendly with although we rarely see one another.

As the news magazines got replaced by TV news many photographers startedshooting other things. ASMP became The American Society Of Media Photographers, but that common thread was gone. Wilson Hicks, the last picture editor of Life Magazine, put together a good photojuornalism department at the University of Miami, but the market had changed, Wilson passed away, and an era came to an end.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Canoe? What Canoe? I Don't See Any Canoe!

I loved that little 1984 Honda station wagon. It got close to 40 MPG on the highway and it was easier for me to get the canoe on it than the VW Microbus that I bought back in 1972. The canoe had been blue when we boughtit in 1973 for our summer Grand Tour of the American West. About as far as we got was visiting Stephanie's folks in Las Vegas and Dick Kehrwald in Sheridan, Wyoming. We never did get to the Pacific.

The nice thing about a cartop canoe or boat is that it shades the car. It really does make it cooler! There were several reasons for the camo paint job. The blue fiberglass had become badly faded and chalky by 1984, I got a good buy on a bunch of cans of spray paint, and it just looked neat. I could keep the car under a tree, even on the highway!

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The Price Of Silver Copyright Notice

That phone number is long gone but the address still works, although now the post office would prefer that you you use P.O. Box 61-1373, North Miami, FL 33261-1373

Do not use any of my photographs for any reason at all without written permission. I took them, I saved them all these decades, and I own the copyright. The reproduction rights can be very reasonable with permission. Without permision? You'll get to pose for a series of photos that I always wanted to do depicting the way that half starved alligators tear apart their still living prey.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Memorial Day, 1971

This is another one of those circa 1971 photos. The kid is now over forty years old. I have no idea of their names. All I know is that we didn't learn a damn thing over the years. We're still sending troops halfway around the world to get killed fighting other peoples' wars.

The lower photo shows Mayor Bob Hough with City Clerk E. May Avil.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Statue Of A Peccary

The heavy set guy is North Miami Mayor Bob Hough. I don't remember why that statue of a peccary was there, who the other guys are, or why one of them was getting a key to the city. It was 1971 and probably shot with my Minolta Autocord.

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Thank You Flo Tiger!

Some sort of evil critter(s)invaded my computer night before last. Flo managed to get me straightened out and back on line. What I need to do is get some new images scanned, so just hold your horses! Exciting things are in the works.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

City Clerk E. May Avil Being Sworn In, May 1971

E. May Avil was North Miami's city clerk about forever. The city named the public library after her.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's All Smoke And Mirrors

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From Hollywood, CA ~ Cheap Czech Film

Monday, September 21, 2009

Checking Out The New Clothes Dryer

It was the tail end of May, 1971 and Elena would be born June seventh. Here Stephanie is admiring the new clothes line in the back yard. Drying clothes in the breeze and sunshine was considered a good thing back then, no pesky homeowners associations and zoning regulations to keep you from hanging clothes on the line. Disposeable diapers had yet to take over the market. In fact there were diaper services that would pick up your dirty diapers once a week and leave you nice fluffy clean ones!

There were a lot of things different in 1971 compared to today. Now women attempt to quit smoking before getting pregnant, and wouldn't dream of subjecting their children to cigarette smoke. Not then! A week or so until delivery and Stephanie is sitting out in the yard holding a cigarette in her hand.

A few years later, with Jonathan on the way, we got an electric clothes dryer. I'm probably the only one left on any side of the family that still smokes.

This is another one of those shots on 120 roll film with the Minolta Autocord.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tina Prevatt

June 1971

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mayor Bob Hough And The Start Of The Failure Of The Dream Of Pepper Park


Friday, September 18, 2009

The BIG Day

Saturday I get to photograph a WEDDING in Vero Beach.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why I'm Resigning From The North Miami Board Of Adjustment

I've given a lot of thought to my resignation and drank a lot of coffee mulling it over in my mind. Here's my reasoning:

When Councilman Scott Galvin got elected to the North Miami City Council a few years ago he called me up. He wanted to appoint me to the Board of Adjustment. I told him that I'd put in enough years on city advisory boards, how several years before I had to use the excuse that my mom had just passed away and I needed some time, and I resigned from the North Miami Planning Commission. At that time I'd also stepped down from serving on the boards of directors of The Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce, The Mayor's Economic Task Force (I was one of the founding members)and The North Dade YMCA. Life was a constant whirl of membership meetings, board meetings, breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings. At some point you want your life back.

Anyway, Scott and I had been good friends for years and here he was begging me to please serve on the Board of Adjustment. It seemed like he wasn't going to take "NO" for an answer.

I agreed, but no tie and jacket, scruffy didn't-shave-for-five-days (Did I start that style?)and the shoulda-got-a-haircut-last-month look. I started going to Board of Adjustment meetings, getting into discussions with the head of the Planning Department, chatting with the city attorney, and riding all over town checking on the properties that were seeking variances. Now this is a PAID position! For each monthly meeting I get $10, a rate set back about 1960. It didn't cover my gas expense! It took me over a year for the city council to finally "double the salary" to $20 because "there's no money in the budget!"

For many decades the Board of Adjustment was an "advisory" board and the council would still hear the petition and make the final decision. A recent change in state law changed all that. We no longer "advise", we "decide"! I thought that the added responsibility was worth more money. The council thought otherwise. "There's NO MONEY in the budget" I was told.

Of course not! In the past couple of years the council awarded themselves a gold plated health insurance plan FOR LIFE, a generous expense account, and a fantastic pension plan. All this with no money in the budget? And the board members be damned!

And then a few months ago you selfish greedy bastards gave YOURSELVES a ten fold increase in salary with no money in the budget. The water plant is falling apart, the mains are leaking more water than they're delivering, the sewers are in pretty much the same shape, the parks are in deplorable condition, and there is a freeze on hiring and salaries but you self centered ass-holes found the money to increase lining your own pockets by a factor of TEN!

Last night's agenda was full, yet I was really hoping that we'd barely have a quorum. I'd planned on reading this, then perhaps getting up and leaving, all of those variance seekers left standing there with their expensive attorneys. It's enough to make you cry, isn't it?

Put a decent offer on the table and we'll have a starting point for a discussion. Sounds fair to me. It should also be retroactive to the date of your salary increase. Scott, now it seems like I'm the one who is refusing to take "NO" as an answer. Give me a "YES".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Country Club Luxury Of Beautiful Aventura, Florida. Waterfront Living At Its Best!

These days Aventura is an incorporated city pretty much sandwiched between U.S. 1 and the Intracoastal Waterway and south of the Broward County line. The first time I ran into the name Aventura was in the early 1970's when it was the name of a new country club and I was doing the photography for a public relations agency that was representing them.

The golf club was renamed Turnberry Isle, and Aventura was applied to the area as a whole. Condos were built and a very successful large regional mall was constructed there. What nobody seems to remember is the place that was there half a century and more earlier. Even the Florida East Coast Railroad had a station there.

There were a number of roads running east from U.S. 1 through the mangroves towards the Intracoastal Waterway. For the most part they were cinder roads made from crushed and graded cinders, the mineral left over after coal was burned. Plentiful and cheap. There were a number of tourist traps like this museum, along with small motels and restaurants along the highway but back aways were rental apartments, rooming houses and tiny houses. These have long been gone in favor of apartments and commercial development.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Was First To Arrive, Monkette Was Pissed

As a photographer I got in the habit of getting places on time or even a bit early. Monkette didn't want to go to a party at a bayside restaurant where everybody would be drinking. She really can't hold her booze. Later when she looked at the photos she noticed that there was a yellow toy bear on an adjoining table. It isn't very often that she gets to go a party with other toy animals, but she really blew it this time. She'd stayed home.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Flo's Birthday Party

I got one of those fancy email invites to Flo Tiger's birthday bash. Her late husband Spencer had been one of my best and closest friends going back about 35 years. His sister Donna had passed away a few years ago also. Most all of the Tiger clan that I knew so well for so many years is no longer with us. But somehow Spencer had managed to meet and fall in love with this Miami Beach Jewish chick, Flo. They married, and a few years later Spencer was gone too.

I went to the party at this bayside restaurant and met lots of people I'd never met before. The two women with me in the bottom photo, Di and Michelle, were Donna's friends from high school. There were no Miccosukee Indians at the party.

As usual I was using my 15mm Heliar lens on a Bessa L. I also shot a bunch of pictures with Flo's Nikon DSLR. I never once looked at the LCD screen on the back of the camera to check my pictures. I knew they were just fine.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Al Kaplan, A True Visionary Looking Out For North Miami's Future! North Miami's Best Choice For Our Next City Manager.

An email to Councilman Scott Galvin:
Hi Scott,

Things were going along so nicely when I resigned from all of my board positions, and then, good buddy, I let you talk me into taking a seat on the Board of Adjustment. I think that it was 1971 when I first got on the Youth Opportunity Board. Between city advisory boards, from vice chair of the Planning Commission to the Disaster Preparedness Board, and being on the boards of directors of the Mayors Economic Task Force (I was one of the founding members), the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the North Dade YMCA, I must have a cumulative total of about sixty years of civic involvement, based on the years on various advisory boards.

That involved a major rewrite of the city charter. When I asked the city attorney "Why me?" she said "Because you're the only one on the Charter Review Board that understands this shit!" When I handed in my rewrite she said "Oh, I just wanted your opinions and suggestions. I didn't expect you to do the rewrite!" Anyway, we went over it together, cleaned up some language into proper legal terminology, and until the latest rewrite large sections of the charter were my writing. I suppose some still are.

The city could do worse than to hire me.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The TV Repair Shop On West Dixie Highway

Eddie DeKneght owned Delta TV back when TV repair was big business and big console TV sets were fashionable furniture for the livingroom. He was a few years older than I was, old enough to remember living with his mother through WW-II, safe house to safe house, one step ahead of the Nazis.

I'd first met him at one of those Love-Ins at Greynolds Park a few years earlier. It turned out that we lived near one another and became great friends. He actually lived in the back of his shop. He had a Coleman camp stove and an itty-bitty refrigerator, and most of the "office" was filled up with a double bed mattress. This was even more amazing if you consider that Eddie had a full drum set in that little shop!

Eddie was from Holland where smoking pot was legal, and like a lot of guys I've met from there he had a thing for brown skin girls. I don't recall the name of this girl, but things were a lot more friendly and relaxed back in 1972. She was probably more concerned about being seen with rollers in her hair. Eventually Eddie fell in love with another brown skinned beauty, Eva, who had been my daughter Elena's nursery school teacher. They had a cute little girl named Shenequa, and then the three of them moved to Holland. I haven't heard from them since!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Oreos ~ A Poor Substitute For Hydrox

Really! This declaration should require no further clarification. It is what it is.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Working Waterfront ~ The Irene & Hilda

Here's another "scanned from the contact sheet" shot. The scene is commercial fishing boats in my home town of New Bedford,MA. back in 1965. A century earlier square rigged whaling ships off loaded barrels of whale oil at these very same wharves.

The photo reminded me of a current ongoing battle over the Miami River and the waterfront here. The small companies that haul freight to and from the Bahamas and the Carribian islands dock there, as they have for decades. Suddenly developers want to build waterfront high rise condos along the shoreline and construct office towers with waterfront views. Suddenly the land is too valuable for fishing boats.

There's a lot of money at stake, a lot of pressure to change the zoning, and a lot of resistance to the changes. Rich investors versus hard working seamen. Who's going to win? Expect the price of fish to go up. The price of land already has.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bill Metcalf, November 1964

It's photos like this, images that lay hidden in my files for 45 years, that have me shooting once more with size 120 black and white film in a Minolta Autocord or Rolleiflex. The handling is different than with an eye level camera, the whole way of looking at the world is different. It's a slower more contemplative way of working. Of course if you print directly from the negative, which is much larger than a 35mm negative, you can get some fantastic prints, nothing like these scans off the contact sheets.

Bill Metcalf was an artist friend of mine in New Bedford, MA. My bride to be, Stephanie, and I were in town to join my grandmother and my dad for Thanksgivng dinner. I was was also attempting to introduce Stephanie to my circle of New Bedford based friends. Bill was going to the Swain School of Design. He lived in a basement apartment on a hill (one end of the place was really a basement while the downhil side was but two steps down) a few blocks from downtown and a few blocks from the school. Bill always seemed to have friends dropping by. It was a good place for Stephanie to meet some of my friends.

I just about never hear from or about any of the people I hung out with in the sixties. We're dying off.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Councilman Jean Marcellus, The FDLE Investigation And The Seventeen Page Report, The Friendly Fist Of Henrietta Lacey

It appears that while nobody denies that one of Jean Marcellus's PAID campaign workers slugged me, because there was no independent witness to the punch itself. The standards of evidence in a civil case could probably be met but Henrietta Lacey, the bitch who punched me, doesn't appear to have a pot to piss in. Marcellus denies that he is responsible for her actions. If she was a PAID campaign worker why in hell wouldn't the candidate share some responsibility, or just be a mensch and assume the responsibility? Does he have too much to lose?

Ms Lacey, it seems, isn't even a resident of the City of North Miami. Why would she campaign for Marcellus if she's not being paid? Come on Jean, tell us what's really going on. Be honest. God only knows that there are more than enough dishonest political imposters to go around. North Miami doesn't need any!

Jean Marcellus, be a mensch. Be responsible for Lacey's actions. Apologize to me publicly. Reimburse me for my medical bills. Maybe, just maybe, you won't have to kiss your political career bye bye. I'm a Scorpio and we don't give up. You know how to find me. Thanks.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Campaign Slush Fund? Or Salvation For North Miami City Hall?

Monkette is revealing her evil ways, trying to run a stealth political campaign to get me elected to the North Miami City Council, and the election is still twenty months away. She dug out some twenty year old campaign buttons of mine, from the last time I ran. It would have been nice if she'd at least consulted with me first. I know that I've been joking about it, but today there was a comment on thepriceofsilver from somebody who had dug out their old Al Kaplan T-shirt already. Then Monkette reminded me that Bonnie had already said that she'd pay for new T-shirts for my campaign.

It's gotten to the point where folks I don't even know walk up to me with everything to a casual "How's the campaign shaping up?" to a sincere "I'm with you man! Just tell me what you need. Anything I can do to help, just let me know!" And then there's the guy who wants to do all the graphic design work, even create a new type face for the project, no charge.

Well folks, I'd guess that it's way too soon to be able to file the papers to run for the seat or to open a campaign account, but Monkette wants to start compiling a list of folks who want to donate goods or services, or pledges for campaign contributions. "Don't be shy" she said. "Stand up and be counted! And be generous with your contributions!"

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Larry Katz, M.D.

Larry is the dude who tries to keep me healthy. I'm the dude responsible for keeping myself wealthy and wise. One out of two ain't all that bad I suppose. This photo is seven or eight years ago, back when Larry didn't have any more hair than he has now.

He convinced me to sign up with a particular HMO and that has worked out quite well. I'm still not wealthy, but healthy is a satisfying substitute. He said that I'm in good shape and should be around another thirty years at least! You're all invited to my 97th birthday party, November 9, 2039, location to be announced.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Congressman Alcee Hastings' Brunch For Speaker Of The House Tom Foley

(Click on the photo to make it bigger.)

I shot this in May 1994. It was a major coup for Alcee to get the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to show up to speak a this brunch, it being so far from the next election. You can see that from Alcee's grin in every picture. I think he might have been the one to teach Councilman Scott Galvin how to smile. The never ending smile!

Tom Foley is the tall white guy with white hair. Alcee Hastings is wearing a dark suit and a big grin. Considering that the Speaker of the House is second in the line of succession to the president, right after the vice-president, I was surprised at how low key the security was. I don't recall seeing anybody that stood out as a Secret Service agent although I'm sure that several were around. Nobody hasseled me as I moved people around for the obligatory group shots, but we were pressed for time. Tom had a luncheon or such that he had to get to on behalf of another Democratic official on the other side of town. I missed out on the opportunity of getting a photo of me shaking his hand.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Attorney Elena Kaplan, A Real Basket Case!

But she sure was cute. At some point Stephanie decided that letting her nap in the laundry basket made it easier to move her around the house. As long as she had her pacifier she was a good baby.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

I've Gone To The Dogs ~ The Devil Made Me Do It

I really seem to have struck a nerve with the Devil Dog box! I got a mess of emails as well as some comments posted on the blog. My thanks to those of you who took the trouble to do so. Just for you, here's a close-up look at some Devil Dogs.

Yes, I suppose that Drake was probably a New England regional brand at one time, and through merger, buy-out, or licensing agreement Hostess makes them, at least here in the South East. When I first moved to Florida there were no Devil Dogs here, but we probably did have Hostess Twinkies.

Not all the supermarkets seem to carry them and those that do are usually sold out. A couple of days ago I had some LOUD words with the store manager when I gazed at the empty place on the shelf that said Drake's Devil Dogs. It was early morning on day one of a sale where the boxes were only $2.00 each. No Devil Dogs! I asked a stock clerk about them. He said that there were none in the back. I asked for the manager and was told I could go to the office. No way. Let him come to me! He walked up to the front and I could see him talking with the manager, who then signaled me to go to were he was. By now I was no longer pissed. I was livid with rage! I was screaming at him about him being unable to keep trqack of stock on the shelves and that it's been an ongoing problem and that he should be ashamed to even call himself a manager because he wasn't managing anything at all. Finally he decided to walk over to me and I chewed him out some more, but even at maybe five feet away I didn't lower my voice. He offered me a rain check, which I took, and said they'd be in a day or two and I chould check in. Continuing my rage asnd handing him my card I told him that he could call me when they arrived. "We don't do that" he replied. "Well you're damned well going to do it this time!"

I drove to another Publix supermarket. They had plenty of Devil Dogs, as did a another nearby Publix. A friend up in Vero Beach told me that she had no trouble buying some at her local Publix. It sounds like a store manager problem to me. I'm still waiting for his call. I want to use my rain check next week when I run out of stock. Coming in a few days: A picture of a NAKED Devil Dog! No cellophane wrapper. Your computer screen will only be lacking the chocolate aroma of the real thing! I guess I'll have to clean the scanner glass afterwards but just thinking about all of you priceofsilver addicts drooling all over your mice (plural of mouse) in your sweaty palms makes it all worthwhile!

UPDATE! This morning at 9 A.M. I got a call from the manager at Publix. My Devil Dogs are waiting for me! See! The DO do that. Maybe he was afraid that I'd drive up to their headquarters on 183rd St. like Monkette had suggested.

Public notice: If you're planning a jaunt to Miami let me know and I'll make sure to bring a box of Devil Dogs along when we meet up at Starbucks for a coffee. If you're a waitress or such in Las Vegas you'll find it cooler in North Miami in the summertime and my house is within commuting distance of the Indian casinos. (Hint! Hint! You know who you are...LOL)

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Here's another horrible scan off a contact sheet but I like the shot dust spots and all. When Charlie Richter decided to open a high end fly fishing shop in a very blue collar section of North Miami it raised a few eyebrows but for the few years it was there it did quite well. That's where I met Dave. For the few years that I was living with Vivette I had some friends staying at my house. Mostly I just kept my darkroom and one bedroom for me at my house. When Vivete and I had the decisive break-up I moved everything back to my house, the friends bought a small house nearby, and Dave needed a place so he and I became room mates.

In some respects it was a good thing. Dave is hardly a gourmet chef but he does like to cook. Splitting the grocery bill is a lot cheaper than eating out all the time. We'd go fishing together every weekend, that sort of thing. Other than a few fishing buddies and a love of fly fishing we had nothing particular in common. His idea of a mentally stimulating evening was lounging on the sofa staring at the TV. After a year or so he decided that his elderly father needed him living there with him. He moved out. He took his television set with him. I don't miss it.

Judging by the perspective it was probably shot with the 15mm Heliar on my Bessa L.
I like the similarity of the angle of the guy's head on the TV compared to Dave's head and I can visualize Dave's hand in a slightly different position holding a bottle of beer.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Devil Dogs

When I started first grade at Job S. Gidley Grammar School in North Dartmouth, Mass. nobody gave much thought to first graders walking a few blocks unescorted or crossing a steet by themselves. Smith Mills was one of those little groups of stores that would be at a country intersection, a hardware store, a drug store, a package store, a grocery store. Mr. Smith's mill, probably where grain was milled, and the water wheel to power it, were long gone but the dammed up creek and the sluiceway below the dam were still there.

One day after school one of my classmates and I walked up to the little market. I was planning on spending my nickle on a Milky Way but he ordered a Devil Dog and the name alone intrigued me. It was in a glassine bag. The open end looked like it had been cut with pinking shears, and yes, the end was open, not sealed. I decided to try one. The first taste had me addicted. I'm still addicted.

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