It’s a wonderful life

Column by Chris Graham

“Can I sit on your porch and talk to you for a minute about the Waynesboro Generals?”

Well, of course. I was out on Church Street in front of the house shoveling snow and ice, and in need of a break.

It was Christmas Eve. I’d already stopped a spell to talk Generals baseball with another gentleman who had come by to buy a friend a Generals hat for Christmas.

Both wanted to know more about the article that they’d read in the paper about how I was helping owner Jerry Carter sell the team, and how the team might have to fold if we can’t find a buyer.

“It would be a shame to see it go,” my first visitor said, summing up the feelings of many.

It wasn’t all Generals out there Christmas Eve morning. A jogger ran by heading west on West Main, and about an hour later came back on his return trip home eastbound.

“Still at it,” he said as he ran by, giving me a thumbs-up.

“You, too,” I complimented back.

And then a lady drove up Church and stopped dead in her tracks where I was getting my last bit of snow and ice.

“Are you Chris Graham?” she asked, and my instinct told me to say, No, thinking, hell, she could be try to process-serve me, or something worse.

“Yes,” I said bravely, expecting maybe something lighter, like a torrent of invective at a recent column or story or video essay.

Instead, she handed me a loaf of homemade bread.

“This is for what you and your wife do for our community. It’s our way of saying thanks,” she said.

And our friends from the big city ask why we stay here when it would be so much easier – and more bottom-line profitable – to pack up and move on.

It’s a wonderful life for us here in Waynesboro.


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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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