Just finished a week in Savannah. Pretty hectic and rewarding all at the same time. The united Irish Societes held their 15th annual festival, which by all accounts was well received. I was not performing there this year, but I did have the stage at Kevin Barry's from 7:00 PM on. A fair number of performers came by to have a drink and do a twist on the stage as well. Of course the place was packed and everyone seemed to have a good time. There was a traditional session upstairs in Liberty Hall, so there really was something for everyone. On Friday evening, Kevin Barry's Pub participated in the Great Guinness Toast. A local radio station held a contest and the winners were taken on a tour-bus pub crawl. Since Kevin Barry's sells more Guinness than anyone else in Savannah, they stared out there. I told them I would go on stage early to give them some musical background. There got to be a fly in the ointment, when I was informed that they would not be back to KB's for the actual toast at 11:00 PM, that instead, they would be ending up at a British Bar! Imagine that! Da noive!!! I thought that was crummy since the manager had been asssured they would be back at the appointed time and then she got blindsided. Ah no matter. I 'd rather whiskey anyway. Back to the music. It was good to see and hear the Cathie Ryan Band, The Dady Brothers, Rosie & Pat Maloney, Harry O'Dopnoghue, Chris Hagan and Brendan Nolan all playing a bit and drinking a bit and laughing and talking a bit. That's a lot of different bits, you know? On Sunday, we finished off the fundraiser for Andy M. Stewart with the raffle drawing. Some nice prizes including a week's stay in Costa Rica. We ended up raising a fair amount of cash to help defray Andy's expenses. I spoke with Danny Doyle on Monday morning. The fellows in DC had conducted their own fundraiser at Nanny O'Brien's on Sunday night and managed to raise another good chunk of change for A.M.S. As I understand it, Bruce Foley in conjunction with Dianne Byrnes of Echoes of Erin Radio programme at WEDO-AM in Pittsburgh, will be putting together another fundraiser for Andy a little later in the spring. Now, as to Andy: I got a phone call from him the other evening. He wanted me to convey his most heartfelt thanks to all of you who have sent him e-mails, cards, and of course contributed monetarily and with your thoughts and prayers. He is indeed on the mend. However, in any spinal operation, the medicos are dealing with a very dicey area. His prognosis is very good for recovery but it will be a good while yet before he can perform. It seems that the operation in fact also affected his hands, in that at the moment he cannot play banjo or guitar. So it looks like he's in for a run of physical and occupational therapy. But there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. If anyone cares to contact Andy, make a contribution or just wish him well, you can do so in a number of ways: e-mail through his agent: firstname.lastname@example.org Write his agent: McShane Glover Noteworthy Productions 124 1/2Archewood Ave Annapolis, MD 21401 Write Danny Doyle 10836 Moore Drive Manassas, VA 20111 Write me, Frank Emerson 490 E.NorthStreet Wytheville, VA 24382 Diane Byrnes can be reached at: www.pittsburghirish.org/echoesoferin/ Any cheques you might wish to send to Andy, make them out directly to "Andy M. Stewart", we can see that he gets them.