Diary Of A Season 2020

Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Fri May 08, 2020 11:25 am

When You Make Mistakes God Comes To The Rescue For All Us
We all make mistakes, some worse than others, some with little consequences, others with severe consequences. Sometimes we don't even notice depression.
I often would wake up and say to myself "what's wrong"? Then proceed to go over the list of things I had on my plate that were bothering me. I would find one that had a red light flashing and would immediately fix it.....if I could. That's easy really but that isn't serious depression, that's normal concerns that affect how we operate from day to day. Serious depression is something we can't isolate, and worse, can't fix.
When efforts are made to fix what's wrong, most times it gets worse, and if we are suffering from any other psychological disorder, it may be impossible without medical intervention.
I have lost 2 beautiful friends I loved, both who gave their lives to Christ. They struggled so much with anxiety, depression and were unable to forgive themselves, feeling there was no way they could get back to where they were before, to have a second chance of correcting what was, or what went wrong. The only good news for my two friends is that Jesus promised He would never forsake them. They loved and studied Jesus and knew He was the truth, the only way to Heaven. In spite of that, they couldn't forgive themselves.
I went through that a few times in my life but was blessed to come out of it.
Keeping busy let me forget about it, but depression was always there. From 1988 till 2013 I was strong and could defeat temptation and not fall for deceiving lies. But I fell. I lost what was most important to me.
I was very close to God, always prayed even during this time, but struggled to forgive myself. I couldn't, because I let God down, I was filled with guilt. Jesus had set me free in 1988. The truth about Him was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit who opened my eyes about Jesus, about who He was. I never dreamed I would fall again.
One day in 2013 I was backing out of my driveway when I looked to the side of the house and saw Buttons looking out the window. She was wondering where I was going. I got out of the truck, went back inside and took her with me. That was God's first help for me, but I didn't know it.
2014 was my deepest valley, I was in my darkest hours, but even in that dark place God had never forsaken me. I had cried a million tears from 2013 till then, I raced constantly trying to out run depression but it always came back to me and I was getting too weak to fight it. One night I felt like ending it but didn't, I was so blessed that not only were Angels around me, and my dear Savior Jesus, but also my little friend Buttons. Instead of fulfilling the pressure from demons God pulled me through that dark hour, all I could do was cry and promise I would never go there again.
Over the next few years I struggled but not to the depth I did, but still had serious issues with guilt and regret. Buttons and I were alone from May 2015. She now was with me 24 hours a day and still is. I didn't go anywhere at first but I was content to be with her and not go out. Prior to that I would go play darts to keep busy and she would stay at home with my family. Now that we were alone, I could never leave her, she would be too upset, so if someone wanted to see me or have me visit, Buttons was coming and all my friends were so gracious and loved her as well.
I did start playing darts one night a week in 2016 but had close friends watch her for the 5 hours I was gone. So in 168 hours a week, we were still together 163, and she came to all the races with us. We raced 32 times in 2015.
Over the next few years I got mentally stronger in our new place. By mid 2015 I had a minus credit rating, but in just 2 short years my credit was A+.
I still had bursts of regret and anger with myself but not near as severe as 2014. The problem with that anger was it prevented me from ever being happy, I wasn't, I still refused to forgive me. I beat myself constantly, very hard at times calling myself a loser and POS. For some reason I felt I had to self punish myself. God didn't punish me, He could see my broken heart and repenting spirit and kept comforting me in spite of my attacks on myself, which He did not approve of, but His grace was abundant.
Finally in 2018 after unloading on me like I was some kind of evil terrorist I broke down again, only this time I begged God to forgive me and allow me to have joy again. He already had forgiven me, I never needed to bash myself like I was. That moment I was finally free and have been ever since.
When Jesus was asked "what is the greatest commandment He replied in Mathew 22:35-40 "love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments". There was the answer, I had part of it right because I loved God and my, family friends and neighbors....but......I didn't love myself. I started to do much better when that finally sunk in.
Naturally I give God all the glory for not only my salvation through Jesus but also for restoring me, for giving me a loving kind family, for sending so many great friends my way.
I also thank God for Buttons, she has been such a blessing to me.
Here are some photos of Buttons and I. God used her to keep me strong through all of this:
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I posted all these pictures, there are hundreds more, but to show that this little creation of God has been such a huge support for me.
I registered her as a support dog in 2019, but I'm not sure if it was for her or me. The category was Separation Anxiety. Since then I can take her anywhere I want and that's perfect.
In conclusion, I am thankful for what Jesus has done in my life. I was made new in 1988, I was restored in 2018 and I look forward to all the things God has set out for me. I want to encourage all my friends and family that depression is real but it can be defeated. Just like our sins on the cross Jesus defeated everything that can hurt us and most of all He paid our membership into Heaven, so trust and believe in Him.
God bless you all.

Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Wed May 13, 2020 11:51 am

Okay, so truth is I do miss racing, but with the weather so up and down I haven't had time to be 100% ready. My crew can't come over and we still have some things to do, finish the car, clean and load the trailer, get spare rims and a set of practice tires.
So I did get a chance to get out and see the birth place where my Grand parents raised Dad, his brother Carl, Aunt Irene and Aunt Doris.
There is a camp on the site now owned by another relative, who I haven't met yet, but will soon.
Here are some pictures of Pleasant Hills, Buttons and I had a great time with Bill Elliott, an incredible musician, trucker and tour guide.
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This water is fresh right from the river and people fill up water jugs daily.
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Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:15 pm

Iracing.......Does Promote Sponsors

With no races or show opportunities right now I thought I would give Iracing a shot. I had a wheel and pedals (Logitech) from years ago and thought I would join the Iracing net work and promote my sponsors through races done by the Maritime Pro Stock Tour. These races were streamed live by Tim Terry Motorsports, Joe Chisholm *Race Time Radio and Mike James promoter of Eastbound Speedway.
The first race had the following stats
* 3500 different IP addresses on throughout the show
* 66,000 total minutes viewed
* 350 IP addresses on a one time, that could mean several people watching at one time.
Overall it was a great success.

I am new at this, and though I put in over 2000 laps on the first show, I was still quite a ways off from the young guns who have some wild set ups, manufactured race seat platforms, updated pedals and steering wheels and 3 screens.
Naturally I had to settle for a desk, the 12 year old equipment and one screen, though it was a 33".
We got a ton of exposure in that race, about my career, my long relationship with Quaker State and the appearance of our race car.

The second race was this past Tuesday night. It was at South Boston Speedway. Once again I put well over 1500 laps on this short tight perfect oval. Top lap times were in the 14:2's, so it was very much a short but quick speedway. Flamboro Speedways fast lap times are in the 15:0's, so South Boston was such a quick fast little track.
But the final day and likely my 1400th lap I got to a 14:495......yup I was excited but it was still over 2 tenths off most of the field. The 200 lapper didn't fair too good for us but we didn't give up although there was a ton of damage throughout the night.

Here are a few photos....not very good but here they are :roll:
Race 1
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This picture was during practice, the car isn't lettered here.
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Race 2
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More updates to come, thanks for visiting our site.

Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:57 pm

First race of 2020 finally here. So how do I feel? Excited no doubt, but somewhat apprehensive, and why is that?
Here's some of it.
1) I have zero time in the car....not even moved the car since I got it. :roll:
2) I don't know this track. I raced River Glade in 1984 but never Petty....I can't wait. :D
3) I don't know the competition, there characteristics, how they race etc. :o

What to do?
I am heading to Petty International Raceway on Friday and plan to put a bunch of laps on the car. I have a new set of tires and plan to get to know both the car and the track.

Then Saturday will be show time and depending how I feel after practice Friday will depend how I race on Saturday after practicing again with some of the Pro Stock racers.

My next report will have all the information from the race.

Good things

1) I get to extend my streak, stuck now at 841 consecutive nights...8-)
2) I get to promote our sponsors and that is so good .................. 8-)
3) I get to add another race track on my resume....#44............... :mrgreen:

Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:01 pm

July 4th.............Petty International Raceway

Race #1
"First race of 2020"

Pro Stock Late Models
* 18 cars
* Johnathan Hicken wins
* We struggle over heating
* Radio reception bad
* Time Trials....14:15
* Fast Time......13:7
* We finish 14th
* 555 gears


Results

Heat.........8th
Feature.....16th

Winnings
$400

Repairs
Fan.....Routine

Crew
Bob Landry, Jeff DeCoste, Tyler Hallahan, Kerry Fry, Chris White, Shannon Riley....Buttons :mrgreen:

Conclusion
We finally got out first race in July 4th at Petty International Speedway. I had never raced there before and by coincidence it was the 43rd track I had raced in a stock car....how cool is that. :mrgreen:
Covid 19 has had a terrible impact on racing everywhere in 2020. Our borders were closed between provinces making it impossible to get many of the scheduled Maritime Pro Stock Tour races in. Up until this weekend we had lost all MPST races in May, June and July. However, Petty International Raceway, located in New Brunswick was under less restrictions than PEI and Nova Scotia, so the promoter decided to host an Invitational 150 lap race. He messaged me to ask if I would go and I said yes....but we had to first fix a fuel leak and were waiting for parts. We got the parts, fixed the fuel cell and left home Friday around noon.
We got word that some had gone through the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with a 45 minute wait. That wasn't a big deal really, but once we got there it turned into an insane deal. We were locked in bumper to bumper traffic for just under 3 hours. I have never in my life been stuck in traffic that long.

We were stopped so long at one time, one of our crew members, Bob Landry had a flat on the left rear of his car and we had time to change it. Bob pulled up on the shoulder, we Tyler Hallahan grabbed the gun, I got the jack and we managed to change the tire before the traffic moved. That was fun :lol:

A good friend, who has been encouraging me for a few years, Dan McGrath from New Brunswick, offered us to stay at his place Friday night instead of driving back home. I was originally going to leave the trailer at the track and head back home, but his offer was fantastic and we took it. He was also going to fix Bob's flat tire and dismount my 4 tires I had brought to put new tires on once at the track. That all changed once we got trapped on the slow moving, slow crawling 104.

Dan messaged me around 3:45 asking where I was. I told him "near exit 3 for Amherst". We were still an hour from the border based on the long slow even stopped traffic. He said "take exit 3 right now, follow it to highway 366 turn left, head to highway 970, turn left and you will find another border crossing spot". So immediately I pulled to the shoulder, because we were only 150 yards from the exit. We got off and went into the gas station, walked Buttons, got coffee and headed to where he told us. We were in there about 20 minutes. When I got back in the truck I looked to where we were, and I could see Cole Butchers hauler still in the same exact spot it was when we pulled off.
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We followed Dan's route and 25 minutes later we were in New Brunswick. We didn't even stop at the small single lane border crossing, they waved us through. Once In New Brunswick we stopped and got the gas cans filled, as well as the truck, then headed to the track. With all the stops we made pulling off highway 104, we still beat Cole and his team by 2 minutes....that would be the only time I'd beat him :lol:

Once at the track the crew went to work preparing our pit area and getting the car ready for hot laps.
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After a short 6 or 7 lap test I came in the pits. We talked a little about the car, then went about a few more times.
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The crew were happy and Bob said "that car is going to be fast".
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Race Day
We got to the track early enough to be organized, get the proper tires set up. I wanted one more practice on the tires we used from Friday.

We had turned a 14:08 Friday, our fastest time, but other teams were doing that on 200 lap tires, so I knew I had to stick to the game plan of making this a learning experience for me and our crew. I needed to learn the car and track, and the crew needed to learn the changes and they did excellent.

The format was a practice to determine lap times. Then a heat race to qualify starting spot for the feature.

We qualified 2nd last in time trials, putting us last in our heat. We had severe issues with the radios in this race, so frustrating. We finished last getting some fast laps.

In the feature we started 2nd last. Our car was good at the beginning though I was reluctant to be aggressive, wanted more to get the feel of the car and see what it did racing it for many laps.
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I was able to run outside for the first few laps. Our radios were so bad, so much static. We tried everything but to no avail. The static in the feature was similar to plugging a guitar in an amp and getting loud feedback, I was so stressed I wanted to shut my radio off….but I could hear words every once in a while.

Anyway I was outside chasing the 16th and 15th place cars. I got up beside 16th and drove hard into turn one almost catching 15th. As we came off four the car beside me got under the car in front putting us 3 wide off turn four. I had to back out or get into the cement, I made the good choice.

A few laps later coming off the same turn I spun out. It was a quick wild spin, I couldn’t hold the car.
The yellow came out and I headed to the pits, requiring my crew to check the rear stagger. While they were doing that we got a call from Shannon that speedy dry was being put on the track, someone dropped oil, meaning our car didn’t spin on its own.

I returned to the track, radio’s just blaring. The next 30 laps were terrible, could hear nothing but static.
I listened desperately and could hear something like “leaders were coming”. I dropped low as they passed, then more and more cars taking advantage of me slowing down too much. That’s what 4 or 5 tenths will do to you on a short track. In 30 laps you are going to be lapped if you’re at the back and not moving. :roll:
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A few laps later my engine temp gauge started flashing. That’s when I pulled off for good. The boys found a broken wire to the electric fan. By now we were down 6 or 7 laps, so I decided to park it for this weekend.
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Overall it wasn’t a bad outing. We all learned a lot about the car and each other. I am very happy with our crew and though I wasn’t happy with my performance, there was enough justifiable reasons why we struggled.

The bottom line is we left the track with the car in good shape to learn more the next time out.

Congrats to Johnathan Hickens for taking the win. Cole Butcher finished 3rd

Our next race will be July 11th at Speedway 660. It’s a long drive. We’re hoping for great weather.

Thank you Lord for a great weekend and for my crew who were excellent, and Buttons who was so happy to leave and when we got home she went wild running around….so happy to be back home :lol:

Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:47 am

Hurricane Fay or whatever she was ruined us going to Speedway 660 last weekend. That track is about 4 hours away, not including what delay we might have at the border. I wanted to go and told the owners I would be going but that's a long expensive trip without getting rained out and needing hotel rooms. Our team collectively agreed not to go to this race but hopefully will go next time.
I wanted to use my tires from the Petty feature but was told no because I should have left them with the track when I left. I never thought to leave tires with Petty to race at 660, but that's what was suggested. Regardless, we called the track and told them we wouldn't be coming because of the weather, not because I had to buy 4 new tires.

Every race we do now will cost us $1500 to $1700 per show. It pays $3000 to win, $400 to start, likely from 10th back. Racing is tough now with lost sponsors due to Covid, but we need to get a few races in this summer and fall to represent and give coverage to our valued sponsors.

We will be going to Petty again this weekend. That's another $1500 show and we will be continuing to learn the car and hopefully our radios work. If they do I can be a little more aggressive this race.

Here's a nice picture from Ken MacIsaac from our last visit to Petty.
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Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:36 pm

July 18th ..............Petty International Raceway

Race #2


High Lites
* 25 cars
* Ashton Tucker wins
* Two big wrecks
* We start 25th finish 11th
* No damage
* car not right yet....or me :D

Results
Time Trials......24th 14:220
Heat..............7th
Feature..........11th

Winnings
$525

Repairs
routine, fix handling

Crew
Bob Landry, Shannon Riley, Tyler Hallahan, Jeff DeCoste, Kerry Fry, Aiden Fry and Chris White

Conclusion
We had quite a day and night. First we left early in the morning, my choice, set the clock for 7:30 am (are you kidding)...but I did it so we wouldn't get late to Petty due to the long line ups to get into New Brunswick. Lately the line ups have been crazy, you'd think there was free tickets for a Leaf Boston game.

The night before we all logged on the New Brunswick web site to register that we were coming, a new law. But none of us got a confirmation letter confirming they received our request.

We had filled other papers out for July 4th but they never asked for them, possibly because after sitting for almost 3 hours my friend Dan McGrath suggested we get off the trans Canada 104 and take the back woods, crossing at a small place manned by 2 police and a few government people....we were waved on....didn't even stop.

This time we made sure we had all our papers ready. The traffic was light and to our surprise we drove way past our last traffic jam on July 4th, getting to within 2k of the border. We sat for at least 10 minutes...stopped, not moving....maybe they found some people from another planet. Finally we got moving and when we did we sailed right through, all of us completely confused why they didn't ask for something..."have a nice day" they said.....wow I could have slept in longer :roll:

We got to the track in plenty of time. Pro Stocks were already lined up. I had paid $50 for a pad so we were okay.

Once inside the crew Bob, Tyler, Shannon, Jeff, Kerry and Chris went to work setting up our pit area.
We had no issues at all, but wondered if our radios would work.

We soon found out the bad news in the first set of hot laps. The radios were the same, tons of static and so frustrating. In the second set of hot laps I could hear a little better but not much.
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I met one of the regular racers in the series Nevin Scott. I introduced myself to him and his crew, very nice people, most everyone down here is.
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With more radio issues we asked Nevin for some help and he told us to try an antenna. I was going to buy one from EiT but he loaned us a brand new one. Shannon and Bob installed it and we were ready for our heat race.
Meanwhile Buttons was doing okay, keeping her eye on me :mrgreen:
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Qualifying
Our heat race was uneventful mostly because I was content to drive the car and not really get into the action because I wasn't ready to race the car just yet. Everyone qualified and with me getting to know the car and the track I felt like doing that from the rear and learn more gradually....what's the rush was a good thought, until the birth certificate is checked and a slight reminder taps you on the shoulder..."there is a reason to push harder". I think it had something to do with the hour glass....but I honestly don't worry about that although I would like to get closer to being competitive.
We finished last in our hear putting us 25th in the feature and that strategy worked out just fine.
PS.....the radios were perfect, finally.

Feature
There was a fairly good size crowd on hand, not near capacity, but still around 500, and the pits were pretty well full with lots of cars in every class, felt good really because the Covid restrictions sure can get the best of us all.

On the green the racing was aggressive and tight, kind of exactly what this small fast high banked track would bring. We were told there would be a competition yellow on lap 40, in fact every 40 laps. I think that was a good idea to keep the racing exciting.

Our first caution came way before lap 40, about 38 laps before when cars were spinning in turn three on lap 2. I was close to the rear of the field, still bunched up and had to zig zag through the spinning cars. We got through okay but 2 cars had to be flat bedded to the pits making this a long delay.

Our next caution was on lap 36, and by this time my car was so loose off I couldn't drive it. I made several pit stops over the next 50 laps to try and get the car right. The sway bar kept coming loose, so the boys would add a half a turn. This process happened about 5 times and each time I returned to the track the car was good for about four laps and would loose again on exit from the turns. I think we were fast on the straights and even decent through the middle but getting on the gas and coming off the turns was hurting us bad.

I had a long battle all night with #19 Nevin Scott. We were fairly equal on the straights, and I could get right on his back bumper going into the corners. I hounded Nevin for half a dozen laps or so, getting very close to passing him. He moved up the track on entry to give me the inside but every time I had a run the car broke loose coming off. I know what you're thinking...."don't get on the gas so soon, just wait a second".....I did, and when I waited that second, he pulled ahead a full car length, so there was no waiting. There also would be no passing because he ran decent on the outside and as good as we were going in, I just couldn't get on the gas soon enough. :roll:
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I made a few more pit stops but they didn't help. Towards the end of the race some cars got into a big wreck right in front of me. I was able to get through it but some good cars got tore up pretty badly.
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July 18th Petty (24) - Copy.JPG (88.3 KiB) Viewed 197 times
The leader was much faster than us resulting in us going down 2 laps. Nevin made a pit stop as well but when he pitted he didn't get back out in time and went down a lap in the pits. That meant he was one lap down more that us.

As the race wound down the battle between 19 and 36 raged on but we would settle the night with me unable to get by.
July 18th Petty  (23) - Copy.JPG
July 18th Petty (23) - Copy.JPG (77.7 KiB) Viewed 197 times

I found out later that Nevin was actually behind me because he was down one more lap than we were.
#15 Ernie (3) - Copy.jpg
#15 Ernie (3) - Copy.jpg (70.31 KiB) Viewed 197 times
At the end of the night we were happy that our radios worked, the car didn't overheat and there was no damage, all and all a good night.

Congrats to Ashton Tucker for his win. Thanks to Wayne Smith and Petty International Raceway for having this event for us to show case our sponsors and have some fun.

Our next race is August 15th back at Petty. Thanks also to Ernest Pothier for supplying pictures for this write up. 8-)
This might be the nicest picture ever of our car
#14 Ernie (5) - Copy.jpg
#14 Ernie (5) - Copy.jpg (169.3 KiB) Viewed 197 times

Gary
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2020

Post by Gary » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:37 am

Many years ago I wrote a bunch of songs kept them in a book until the past year when my cousin David Fitzpatrick, who use to play for the Fables in Newfoundland, and who now records music for many artists, wanted to help me get these songs out. I played for a Toronto band in mid 1966 (Lords of London) just before they went on to fame. They had a #1 song across Canada.
These turned out really good with David's help. We finished them when I raced at Eastbound Speedway in Newfoundland last September.
I wrote the words and lyrics for all 15 songs and hope to use the sales from these CDs to help with the Covid hit we took from some of our sponsors who also took a financial hit from closing down temporarily.

Here's how you can help me:
1) click on the link
2) push PLAY
3) you can hear all 15 songs, they will keep playing :mrgreen:

Please don't feel obligated to buy a CD, I would love for you to listen to the songs and post a reply or let me know on face-book
email garyelliottmotorsports@gmail.com
phone 905-928-8086
I used the picture of my best looking race car as the cover of this CD

Note....Song #6 was written the night John Lennon died. I was a big fan and was truly shaken by his death.
Thanks for listening and remember, no commitment, just have a listen, but if you want one they are $15 for one, $20 for 2 or more plus $5 mail.....so 2 CDs would be $25 including shipping. :D
Got CD June 18th 2020 (1) - Copy.JPG
Got CD June 18th 2020 (1) - Copy.JPG (91.62 KiB) Viewed 53 times
Got CD June 18th 2020 (3) - Copy.JPG
Got CD June 18th 2020 (3) - Copy.JPG (138.49 KiB) Viewed 53 times
Got CD June 18th 2020 (2) - Copy.JPG
Got CD June 18th 2020 (2) - Copy.JPG (125.49 KiB) Viewed 53 times
https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A ... t2dFHRAvJM

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