Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Singer Andy Williams is gone, but he shouldn't be forgotten

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Moon River, wider than a mile …

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– Johnny Mercer

Here’s a good sign you’re getting old.

On Wednesday, we got an AP alert that singer Andy Williams had died. I turned to one of my twentysomething colleagues in the newsroom and said, “Aww, Andy Williams died.”

She gave me a “Who’s that?” look, shrugged and went back to working.

That happens a lot now, but it shouldn’t.

Andy Williams was a very talented guy and, from everything I’ve heard, a good guy. Most of us know that he once owned a home in Aiken, and some of us sort of like to think that his evocative signature song Moon River had an even closer connection.

The lyrics to Moon River were written by Johnny Mercer, of Savannah, and it’s certainly nice to think that Mercer was inspired by the moon shining on the same Savannah River we see flowing beside Augusta.

His biographies indicate otherwise, but it’s still a lovely song and has been performed by everyone from Aretha Franklin to Kazumasa Oda.

I admit I don’t know who Kazumasa Oda is, but if he or she is known for singing Moon River, he or she is probably OK.

BLESSING ANIMALS: My little white dog got an invitation from the Church of the Holy Comforter letting him know it will have its annual Blessing of the Animals, rain or shine, at 10 a.m. Saturday, at 473 Furys Ferry Road, Martinez.

All creatures great and small are welcome. There will be free treats for animals and their humans, and free bandanas for dogs.

According to the invitation, there will also be a special remembrance for those whose pets have died. The Augusta Kennel Club will be on hand.

Dogs should be on leashes, cats in carriers, horses in harnesses and fish in bowls, etc.

For information, call the church office at (706) 210-1133.

MORE MAIL: Some people are traveling really far.

Laura Cameron and her daughter took a train from Toronto to Vancouver, which pretty much covers Canada.

Sue Guthier, of Aiken, sends a postcard from Berlin, Germany. She says she is enjoying a river cruise on the Elbe. She was particularly impressed with Hamburg, which was voted “Cleanest City in Europe.”

Bill Leopard, of Aiken, is also traveling, but he’s in Alaska and sent two cards. One reports: “We stopped at Skagway and took a ride on the train up the hill to the Canadian border and back. Beautiful scenery.”

TODAY’S JOKE: Here’s one from Bill Wood in Hepzibah:

There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it’s still out there in your pockets.”


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