In My Ohio

On Lily and Her Silencer

Darren C. Demaree

Our grandmothers are asking for guns with silencers on them now.
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On Pie

Darren C. Demaree

If I am to be splayed
or tumbled
in front of my dears,
may it be known
that I have no fear
to sleep on the floor
with such crusts
entangled in my beard.
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On the Adoration Poems

Darren C. Demaree

These poems are for strangers, for artists, for writers, and for people I am thankful for.
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On the Music from My College Days

Darren C. Demaree

One thing is for sure; listening to this music while I write this project was a good idea, as I continue to have an almost visceral reaction to some of these songs.
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On What is Left for Apathy

Darren C. Demaree

Now is the time to speak up. If you don’t know what you believe, then figure it out. If you’re somewhere in the middle with your beliefs, then tell people where your lines in the sand are. More...

On Burying Your Heroes

Darren C. Demaree

Hemingway once wrote, “If he wrote it, he could get rid of it. He had gotten rid of many things that way.” That sort of catharsis is real, I hope, but more than that I hope I am able to find a new place to appreciate great works. If the behavior disclaimer follows them I want to read that, as well. More...

On Belle's First Day of Kindergarten

Darren C. Demaree

I am happy that she’s happy. She is having a blast, and that warms my heart.
 
I miss her though. More...

On the Mythology of Saltwater in a Man's Beard

Darren C. Demaree

Most importantly my vacation beard functions like blinders on a racehorse. More...

On the Writing of The Pony Governor

Darren C. Demaree

​There is a righteous, dynamic, and hilarious tradition of political poetry in our country. We are an ornery people by nature. This book, “The Pony Governor”, is me at my orneriest. More...

On the Archetypes of Youth Soccer

Darren C. Demaree

My daughter, Isabelle, plays for the Wildcats, and the Wildcats are back on the field. More...

On Turning Thirty-Four

Darren C. Demaree

As I approach that level of permanent adulthood, I am still left with some questions that were never answered in my more youthful times. I feel compelled to ask them now before it’s too late, and I am eventually found out to be less than.

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On Every Animal My Son Becomes

Darren C. Demaree

My son is a lion. He is also a hippopotamus, a crocodile, a dog, and a shark. Each animal has a sound, a walk, and even a dance. There are times when he will be an animal for thirty minutes at a time, and until he declares himself a “boy” again. We behave accordingly.

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On Being a Father During Winter Times

Darren C. Demaree

Whenever we go out for a while, we are all rewarded with cups of hot chocolate. It’s the best, and as the adult I am entitled to the most marshmallows in my cup.

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On the Bullets Fired in Paris

Darren C. Demaree

Those twelve people that died in that office should be remembered for their talent, their bravery, and ultimately for what they gave their lives for. They died because they lived to punish those that impugned the ecstatic.

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On Emily's Present

Darren C. Demaree

This year I know what Emily really wants... It’s a little bit of a reach to turn that into a gift, but I’d be foolish not to try.

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On the Drastic Consequences of Misinterpreting the Rights of Human Beings

Darren C. Demaree

The best we can do in a case of a murder is to name the criminal and to do so loudly. To not even find the crime involved in this incident was terrible.

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On the Very Poor Writing of Ohio's Democratic Party

Darren C. Demaree

There were many flaws in our 2014 plan, but all of them began with the writing.

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On the Impending Goodbyes

Darren C. Demaree

You don’t have to die well if you’ve lived well enough.

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On the Stone, the Blood, and the Garden (Today’s NFL Narrative)

Darren C. Demaree

The mechanics of a world, any world, are too complex for witnesses to create a complete and valid story to accompany it.  You have to live in that world for a little while, before you understand which animals and plants are dangerous, which are useless, and which of them have grown to hold any value at all.

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On My Expectations for The First Half of Football Season

Darren C. Demaree

Football season doesn’t sneak up on anybody, because football season in the bully of all seasons.

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On John Kasich, Commencement Speaker

Darren C. Demaree

Kasich walked in just as it was time for the directors and faculty to enter the auditorium, he milled about silently until it was our turn to enter in front of the soon-to-be graduates, and he sat down, not on stage with the other leaders of the school, but with his aids in a seat in the corner of the room.

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On Lebron James, No Matter What

Darren C. Demaree

No matter what happens, I hope the rest of you remember the long-view of this man’s contribution to our home. It’s his home, too, and I hope you remember that most of all.

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On Nick Swisher, Action-Hero Against All Odds

Darren C. Demaree

Nick Swisher is John McClane from the Die Hard movies. He really is. It doesn’t matter what he’s done for the first two hours of the game, how injured he is, how confusing his smile looks since he’s been getting his ass kicked by every henchman/pitcher for the whole of that story/game, he still manages to ensure that we live happily ever after. More...

On Big Words In Small Rooms

Darren C. Demaree

It really doesn’t matter who you are and what you do, because if you can’t make a small room you are a part of something big enough to feel like freedom, then your path will end with the distinct pressures of loss and anxiety closing in around you. More...

On the Twenty-Two Possibilities of Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Brown

Darren C. Demaree

I really don’t know where we are all headed with Johnny Manziel as a member of the Cleveland Browns. I absolutely love imagining just what might happen if he spends the better part of a decade in Ohio. Here’s hoping he is at the very least Johnny Good.

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On Donut Day and the Process of this Column

Darren C. Demaree

I make some coffee and watch his smiles and clapping turn into a scene from Jurassic Park.

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On Us (Poetry and Ohio)

Darren C. Demaree

I would like to extend myself to you. Young poet, old poet, prisoner poet, unsure poet, loud person, if you are from Ohio or living in Ohio, or feel the warmth of Ohio around your shoulders from a different land, please get in contact with me (darren@altohio.com). Let’s talk poetry.

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On Watermelon

Darren C. Demaree

Try punching a whole in the side of the watermelon, when your hand returns it could return with the beating heart of the fruit. Gallagher it. Find a hammer and smash it. Whatever fruit remains is the fruit you were meant to eat. Do you own a sword?

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On A Summer's Outline

Darren C. Demaree

The key to execution is planning. Whether you’re a marine, a love-struck boyfriend getting ready to propose, a football coach, a gardening maven, a teacher on break, getting married in a month, or simply preparing to go to Chipotle anywhere near the noon hour, you must have a plan of attack.

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On the Ballet Class

Darren C. Demaree

It was as if I had become an honorary citizen of my daughter’s most active daydream.

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On Fireworks and Charity

Darren C. Demaree

As long as the flash bangs near where you live aren’t quickly followed by the crying of a local youth, your mind should feel free to be lazy down the river of good, positive thoughts.

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On 9-Words Preparation

Darren C. Demaree

Witness the calisthenics of my preparation…

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On the Limitless Hope of Spring Training

Darren C. Demaree

It’s enough distance from the reality of 162 games that we have room to dream of anything and everything. Most of life isn’t like that. Most of life is abbreviated and shortsighted. Spring Training allows you the dalliances of the what-ifs and that can be endless, because what if this is the year?

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On Jimmy Haslam as a Valentine

Darren C. Demaree

He spent the last year mistreating me, lying to me, and in the end removing every thread of belief I had in him. He still had my heart, the Browns, in his over-active hands, so what was I to do? Walk away?

I couldn’t do it. This love is forever.

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On an Adoration of Strangers

Darren C. Demaree

Your nature affects mine as much as mine affects yours. I will do my best to aid you in your best, even if all I can give you is a slight motion, is my own effort on display, for you.

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On Lebron James, 2012 NBA Champion

Darren C. Demaree

Last night, amidst the anger, the truly bitter vitriol that for some Cleveland fans will never disappear, I began to feel happy for him. I began to feel happy that he had gotten what he had always wanted so badly.

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On the Moments After the Apex of the Farmer's Market

Darren C. Demaree

Go early, leave early, and by all means protect what is yours.

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On the Murder of a Student

Darren C. Demaree

Last Saturday, a little after three in the morning somebody tried to start a fire in the chest cavity of Ste‘Vaun Jessie.

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On Poetry at the Burlesque House

Darren C. Demaree

A good poetry reading attempts to accomplish the same thing a good burlesque show does.

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On the Charming Specter of the Bluebird

Darren C. Demaree

I want to do my part to nod back to the visiting birds that have recently arrived. If that can involve a few verses about an excellent burp, then more power and exuberance to us all, and the next gurgle of self can be followed by laughter.

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On Mothers

Darren C. Demaree

You showed me the ocean, both so I could love the ocean and so I could fight it.

You have been equal parts whirlwind and gentle breeze.

You have shown actual strength. You have been a mother.

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On William Elliot Whitmore As Prenatal Care

Darren C. Demaree

Around three years ago I went to The Basement to see one of my favorites, William Elliot Whitmore, live for the first time. I was to interview the Iowan before the show, and because I had to be down there so early, the only photographer I could roust up was my very pregnant wife, Emily.

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On Your Spring Allowances

Darren C. Demaree

Get naked. Get drunk. Eat great food. Touch the nerve endings of the world again, and be prepared to get touched back.

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On the Passing of Henry Hook

Darren C. Demaree

Well, I got to meet Henry, and that experience was poetry enough, but not nearly enough of Henry.

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Cold Days

Darren C. Demaree

In Ohio the cold is never a cage. Honestly, it’s a kiss that reminds us there will be real warmth to follow.

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On Water Slide Thinking

Darren C. Demaree

Ruse accomplished, my friends and I split from my wife and child, as they headed to the toddler's pool, and we started what was an afternoon of riding down every slide they had.

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Darren C. Demaree

On Trending

Darren C. Demaree

I really hope you’re feeling as wonderfully full as I am right now. I hope you find a few moments to revel in this thick moment. After that, I can wait to join you on the field of empathy and good work. 

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On the Importance of Shark Socks

Darren C. Demaree

There just might be something to the idea that clothes can enhance your mood, and by enhancing your mood it just might create an environment where you can do extraordinary things.

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On Leaving the River to Pursue the Thunderhead

Darren C. Demaree

​I’ll give my heart and my things to my family, and the rest of what I have will be a damn ornery time spent sticking my arms past the lightning of the world. I wish I knew what that meant, but I was wet for so long that some of these things I’m still figuring out.

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On What to Do When Your Son Says A Painting Looks Like His Penis

Darren C. Demaree

His penis has become an enigma and a point of interest in his life. Now, he considers it to be akin to a work of art. That will keep me laughing for decades.

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On My Adult Days

Darren C. Demaree

On Tuesday, I woke up around 6:30am (5 of out 10 on the adult scale), got my son some apple juice (7/10), fed the dogs (4/10), and proceeded to make breakfast for the entire family (8/10).

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On Isabelle's Seven Steps Before Flight

Darren C. Demaree

​Just in case she maybe, might need her father I jump in the pool and swim to the deep end where the she has already begun to mount the ladder. When I reach the spot where I can catch her if she needs me to, she is already waving me out of her way.

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On Our Reactions to Each Bad Scene

Darren C. Demaree

This week, though nothing was working smoothly, there were a lot of big moments handled well.

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On the 404

Darren C. Demaree

...For the four hundred and four children that have been killed or injured by guns thus far in 2015.

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On What the Ocean Told Me

Darren C. Demaree

The ocean never tells you anything, but it gives you an infinite amount of room to fill.

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On Finding Positives in My Son's Streaking Habits

Darren C. Demaree

I respect his love of being naked. I’m thirty-four and it’s been at least a decade since I’ve done any real naked running. That sort of thing can get a man arrested, and since my previous attempts went unnoticed in my misspent youth, I fear the karma of trying it again at this point. More...

On What Lebron Needs to Hear

Darren C. Demaree

You are Lebron James, and you can do this. You are Lebron fucking James, and you can do this. When you defy gravity or hit a step-back three, I yell, “Because he’s Lebron James!” 

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On Finding Michael Bourn

Darren C. Demaree

The reality of Michael Bourn as a Cleveland Baseballer has been crushing. He has never been healthy or anything close to productive. His fantastic defense has gone from Gold-Glove level, to average, to below-average, and now he’s flailing around out there.

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On John Oswalt

Darren C. Demaree

You see, I am John Oswalt’s orneriest of friends, and though I will always try my best to aid him directly in his pursuits, I must step around his rule for next weekend and say a few words. 

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On the Ideal Punishment for Deflategate

Darren C. Demaree

I think Tom Brady sort of cheated, but he lied about it. He was adamant that he had no idea why those footballs were deflated to his exact specifications. He was cocky and shitty about the whole thing, and those lies allowed him to play in and win the Super Bowl. So, let the league get creative with their punishment.

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On the Next Riot Town

Darren C. Demaree

I don’t know which town is the next riot town, it might be mine, it might be yours, but there are more riots coming. Let’s keep talking. Let’s keep writing. We will find the right words, eventually.

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On Where I Would Go In Many Drafts

Darren C. Demaree

​My name is never called, even though I did fill out the paperwork to be included in the 2000 NBA draft, but my role as the third-string point guard on the Mount Vernon High School freshman team impressed nobody. Professional sports were never a real opportunity for me, but other than that of a wartime scenario, I’ve always dreamed of being drafted.

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On Ohio's Children and Poetry

Darren C. Demaree

I’ll talk to anyone any time about poetry. I thought I would be filling a need if I spent some of that time in Ohio’s elementary schools, and the teachers and students do appear to appreciate my time, but they don’t need me. How tremendous is that?

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On What It Is About Baseball

Darren C. Demaree

​That field is so large and open; it almost looks like there is still room for me out there. There isn’t, but I twitch a little bit on a really good fastball. I remember how much it hurt, tore through your skin to dive on Astroturf, what it felt like to catch two games in a day, and that doesn’t appear to be fading away with time.

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On Ohio House Bill 125

Darren C. Demaree

​When you are elected to any government position, on any level, your first job is to behave in the best interests of the people. You cannot swear to only protect one gender, or one race, or one religion, or even one particular lifestyle just because that is your particular ethos. You must empathize with those that elected you, regardless of your beliefs.

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On Kevin Love's (Not So) Big Night

Darren C. Demaree

Last night was Kyrie Irving’s night. He’s the front page right now, and he gave us an all-time great game against an all-time great opponent. Let’s celebrate that right up until the next game is played. The second story is that Kevin Love is officially a side note.

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On What Happens When the Weathermen Smile

Darren C. Demaree

For the last three months he has been a sad bastard that has warned us about icy conditions and wind-chill that want to take your nose as a trophy, but now he sports the look of a boxer that knows the other guy is going to take a dive.

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On What Happened When the Cold Wouldn't Leave

Darren C. Demaree

Eventually, we will all move freely again, we will unite as a family and we will emerge from the house as a family. I believe that a steady sun will heal us all.

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On Truck Day

Darren C. Demaree

No matter the year, this could be our year, and that is not a question of belief, that is the hum of a machine that knows no other process. Oh, just wait until the pitchers and catchers report, and we can get some actual baseballs being thrown around. I will be walking on my toes again, and I will be a full inch taller than I was in January.

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On Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel

Darren C. Demaree

Substance abuse is a terribly lonely burden, and if the Browns and the NFL turn their backs on these men now a majority of their support systems and their egos will be damaged beyond repair.

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On 2015: The Year of The One or The Other

Darren C. Demaree

The middle ground is a lonely, lonely place, and 2015, apparently, is the year it becomes a minefield.

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On Leaving College Early

Darren C. Demaree

If I had written a bestselling book at twenty, would I have bothered to finish my undergraduate degree?

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On Gender and Abuse in 2014 and 2015

Darren C. Demaree

As a gender we had been exposed as passive accomplices, sheltered busybodies, or participants in what had been three millennia of persecution of women and transgender people.  

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On 2015 and the Loss of Fear

Darren C. Demaree

Next year I’m going to turn thirty-four; that’s old enough to carry real weight in the world, and still young enough to be daring with that weight when the opportunity presents itself.

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On Those Holiday Birthdays

Darren C. Demaree

There can never be enough celebration for these awesome people.

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On the One Gift You Actually Need

Darren C. Demaree

My advice is to give the gifts, of course, be generous and celebrate each other, but the only gift you will actually need is one hour of time to think.

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On A Good Fire, 1990’s Baseball Players, and A Competitive Sexy Time

Darren C. Demaree

Let’s say you don’t remember a single player from fifteen to twenty years ago, but you still want to have an adventurous and hilarious night of sexy time. Don’t make this weird, but I can help.

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On Leaves and Their Napoleonic Tendencies

Darren C. Demaree

​We are outnumbered again, but why do they always show up right before winter?

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On the Costume of Every Team

Darren C. Demaree

Our assumptions are supercharged when it comes to our fandom, and this creates a season-long crisis of what are teams actually are.

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On My Daughter's Secret Soccer Game Plan

Darren C. Demaree

I know my daughter pretty well, and though she isn’t the devastating force her little brother is, I know she is always planning something.

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On the Two Years of Temporary Champions

Darren C. Demaree

This was the first time I had looked beyond myself for poetry, and it took two years of new effort to make it happen.  Here are the re-worked notes I took on the process of research, of writing, of submission, and finally of the production of the book.

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On Justin Townes Earle In Concert and What That Means

Darren C. Demaree

I like the idea of waiting another four years to see Earle perform again. He’ll have put out a few new albums, and I imagine I will be unrecognizable again.

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On the Princess Birthday Party

Darren C. Demaree

Dénouement primed, the sugar and the afternoon begin to wane, and the territorial nature of the supreme beings of the party has taken over.

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On Flowers in August

Darren C. Demaree

We want to peak, and to do that we need only exist within the flowers that surround Ohio.

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On The Nineteen Things That Happen When I Walk Past Another Person

Darren C. Demaree
5.) I drag my hand through my beard to negate any ornery angles the wind has given it.
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17.) I straighten my beard again.

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On Sharing The Tangerine

Darren C. Demaree

Summer can be overwhelming.

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