Jimmy Carter plaque rededication at The Original Pinkie Masters

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The annual St. Patrick's Day pilgrimage to this familiar place was underway when the doors opened at 7 a.m.

"This is the center of the universe as we see it."

This St. Patrick's morning, thirsty revelers were joined in the return to Pinkie Masters by a piece of Savannah history.

"We're just glad we got it back and it's in its place and that President Carter knew it was going back home," said Matt Garappolo, owner of The Original Pinkie Masters.

The plaque marking the spot where Jimmy Carter - as president - stood on the bar at Pinkie's and eulogized the pub's namesake owner, had been away from home for more than a year. Separated from Savannah's most famous watering hole by a legal dispute between former and current owners.

But it returned minutes after 7 a.m. Friday, rededicated with a letter from the president.

"When I ran for governor, Pinkie himself was one of the most important supporters."

And welcomed home by happy patrons.

"We felt we needed to be here this morning to see the plaque re-installed, so it was exciting," said Michael Merrell.

"I was like, that's a piece of history, I've got to see that," said Marshall Showalter.

"We got video of the whole deal, it's already on Facebook, already getting likes. People are excited."

For some Savannahians, St. Patrick's Day starts with a toast at Pinkie's. But there has rarely been as good a reason to raise a glass - or a can - this early as this morning.

"Cheers to him. Cheers to Jimmy and his grandson."

"I think it means a lot. There are a lot of people who are here all the time and they were like where's the plaque, where's the plaque and I'd tell them I don't know where the plaque is. So, I think I'm happier for them that they feel their bar is their bar again."

In an appropriate Pinkie's twist, some details of just how the plaque came back remain a mystery.

"That's how it works. You know, miracles happen. It's a good Savannah story."

One being told again in its rightful place.

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