November Update

(Clocks go back one hour at 0200 on Sunday 2 November - That's 2 AM Sunday, November second) I just got back from one of the thrills of my life. While I was in Savanah this last time, I got to meet, eat with, drink with, talk with, laugh with, breath the same air with, and even sing with, two of the men who - in my opinion - did nothing less than save the world. "Wild Bill" Guarnere and Edward "Babe" Heffron of South Philly, and late of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division (The Band of Brothers) were in Savannah for a book signing at Kevin Barry's Pub and then attend the formal ball of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) the following evening. Through the generosity and good graces of Vic Power - publican of Kevin Barry's, Jeannette and Leo Rahill of Philadelphia's finest, the 160th SOAR, and the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Babe and Bill spent a full three days in Savannah. I was lucky enough to be with them fairly constantly. On Friday night, I guess it was around midnight, I even did a kind of duet with Babe as he was sitting ringside in the pub. We sang the song that he said was the foavorite of their pal, the late Joe Toye. Babe sang it in "The Band of Brothers" The song, of course , was "Bridget O'Flynn" . Babe said we did pretty good, but not as good a Guarnere used to sing it. Over the course of their visit, we managed to sell all 400 copies of their book "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends". The fellows were extremely gracious: signing autographs, posing for pictures, and chatting amiably with anyone and everyone. Of course, their stories were endlessly entertaining. Funny and gracious gentlemen that they are, they are still - at age 85 - a couple of genuine tough customers and not to be monkeyed with - unless you want to go to fist city. What a time, we all had, what a time! You can see a couple of photos of me and them at mywebsite as the most recent entries in the photo section. Coming up now we have a couple more important days. I'll be opening at Kevin Barry's on Monday 10 October. If that date sounds familiar, it's because it's the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. That will make 233 years since the Corps was founded on Philadelphia's waterfront in Tun Tavern. So a full HOORAH! to the Gyrenes! The date is also special for another reason. It was on Thursday evening November 10, 1938 that Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" was introduced to the listening audience by the most popular radio singer of the day, Kate Smith, on her weekly hour long program. It was an immediate hit. The story goes that at the end of the show, Irving Berlin was called from the audience up on stage. To roaring applause, Kate - who was larger than somewhat - gave little Irving a bearhug that would have kept him out of the draft. Just in case you're interested, I've got the song on disc too, on my record "There's a Story Told". You can get it at my website. Of course the following day, Tuesday the 11th of November should ring even more bells. That's Veterans Day Symbolic of the end of World War I - the 11th hour, the 11th day, the 11th month - the date was established by Woodrow Wilson in 1919 as Armistice Day. Ike redesignated it as Veterans Day in 1954 so that all who served and serve might be remembered, recognized and thatnked. That description, of course, includes those men and women who continue to keep the vigil, make the sacrifices, and do freedom's work today. That's about it for now. Oh, I guess I should mention that I'll be warbling- chirping as Babe and Wild Bill called it - at Kevin Barry's all week through the 16th...doing Celtic music and my usual olio of song, toasts and snappy patter. Hope you can make it. God Blesss for now,

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