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2013 just started and there's a lot going on already

I just got back in the office after vacation and a couple of sick days.

Yes, I'm still sniffling and coughing, but I think my contagiousness (is that a word?) is over.

I've learned a few things as I open snail mail and email.

One, Callaway Gardens is offering free admission this month and all of February. That's Monday-Friday. You pay regular admission on Saturday and Sunday and on Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and Feb. 18 (Presidents' Day).

That's a big deal. Like Rachel Crumbley put in her press release, there are plenty of things to do at the Gardens, even in the winter. In fact, walking or riding the trails might be easier for some people because it's not hot and humid like in the summer.

The Gardens' hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Call 800-225-5292.

Then there's a special concert on Monday (Jan. 7). This one features the Diaz Trio (featuring siblings Andres, Roberto and Gabriela) at 7:30 p.m. in Legacy Hall inside RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway.

It's a benefit for the John B. Amos Cancer Center, and tickets are $50.

The concert is one of those don't-miss ones because it will be a special one with music performed by some very special people. Many people will remember that Gabriela was diagnosed with cancer when she was still in high school. She's doing very well now. Her mother, Betty Anne, was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. Betty Anne, too, is doing well. Thank goodness for that.

And maybe Betty Anne and Manuel will make a special appearance during the concert. We can only hope.

Call 706-256-3612.

Finally, a musical called "In the Mood" will be presented at 4 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Bill Heard Theatre, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

This is a Big Band show featuring the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskine Hawkins, the Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra and other notables of the 1940s.

Tickets are $39-$49.

Call 706-256-3612.

I had to email Paul Pierce and Rick Berube to see if this was the show that they had written in 1995 and presented at the Springer Opera House.

I was in that show and, boy, was that fun! We sold out almost every show that summer and it probably could still be running today. It was supposed to be a three-weekend run, but it turned out to be a six-weekend run. We just got very tired. After all, we all had day jobs and doing shows at night, even just two nights is tough. I don't know how all those actors manage to do eight shows a week on Broadway. Well, they're professionals.

Paul even put it on that year's tour. It did very well around the country.

And no, Paul said this show is completely different. Rick said it was, too, though he presented it a couple seasons ago in the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, where he now works.

I'm sure I'll discover more events as I finish reading all my mail.