Guess I am competition

Fear and Loathing in Waynesboro column by Chris Graham

I was supposed to interview a bestselling author in person here at the Augusta Free Press headquarters on Friday, but Ellis Nassour never showed.

I chalked it up to his busy schedule. Nassour was in the Valley over the weekend for auditions for the upcoming Theater at Lime Kiln production of Patsy … Honky Tonk Angel, a musical that Nassour, also the author of Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline, has been working to bring to the stage for more than two decades.

I figured he must have just been running late getting here, and I’d catch up with him later.

You won’t believe the real reason we weren’t able to connect last week.

Kim Renz, the executive director at Lime Kiln, had picked up Nassour at the airport in Northern Virginia early Friday morning and was driving him back to the Valley. Renz had lost his directions to the AFP office, and when he made his way into Downtown Waynesboro came up to the News Virginian building on West Main.

“I was running late, and for some reason when I saw News Virginian on the side of the building, I assumed that was you,” Renz said.

Renz went into the main office and asked to speak to Chris Graham, “and nobody there acted like they knew who you were,” Renz said.

Renz said he even talked with the editor of the NV, Lee Wolverton, “but nobody seemed able to help me.”

My office is three blocks up the street from the NV office. That’s strike one. Strike two – the paper endorsed me last month in my bid for Waynesboro City Council. Strike three – news of me being named the chair of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee was in the paper the day that nobody at the NV could seem to be able to help someone from out of town find me three blocks up the street, and another story featuring my efforts locally was about to go into the next day’s paper.

“Are you competition to them? Maybe that’s what was going on here,” Renz said to me this morning.

That’s the good news to this. I was able to connect – by phone – with Renz and Nassour before Nassour had to leave town.

“I guess I am. Didn’t think so before, but I guess I am,” I said.

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