Hello out there - I don't know how the weather is where you are right now, but here in Southwest Virginia, it's so cold the lawyers have their hands in their own pockets. Well next week, on Saturday and Sunday - 17 & 18 February, the Festival Committee will present the 16th annual Savannah Irish Festival at the Savannah Civic Center. All sorts of information about the thing - including contact information and performance schedules - is available at their website -www.savannahirish.org. This is always a family oriented affair with special children's activities and entertainment in a special area. The whole production reflects a cooperative spirit between, and efforts on the part of, the many local and national Celtic organizations and businesses who have pulled together yearly since 1992. I'm delighted to play a part in it again this year. One of my favorite bits of the festival is the "Songwriters' in the Round" session. This will take place at around 1330 each day on the Buttimer Cultural stage. Harry O'Donoghue (www.harryodonoghue.com)chairs the thing. With him will be Roger Drawdy (www.roger.drawdy.com), Kevin McKrell (www.mckrells.com), Carroll Brown (www.carrollbrownmusic.com), and me. It's always been interesting and great fun in the past and promises to be likewise this year. Congratulations and a "Holy Smokes, Ain't that Great!" go out to our friend, the extremely talented Kristina Beatty. She was just signed by the Blue Note record label. That's the same label that features Norah Jones. It is also the home to the likes of Harry James, Count Basie and Nat Cole – among others. Now that's a lot of class. Consequently, it seems to me that Kristina is going to fit in just fine. On a somewhat more serious note, a good pal of ours, Ranger Bryan Schrader, U.S. Army, has been involved in a pretty serious parachute mishap. Are there any other kinds? It looks like the tough SOB is going to be OK, but recuperation might be a bit rough. Please join me in keeping him in your prayers and that his recovery is as speedy, complete, and painless as possible. I guess that's about it for now. Good luck and take care. I've got to run now as I've just received a message on the other line from Smokey the Bear saying that it's so cold here, he wants everyone to start fires. Drop a line some time.

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