Knocking on heaven’s door
You know from reading the media accounts of the life of Anne Seaton that she was involved in a number of civic organizations and that she was an active local Republican leader.
Here’s something you almost certainly didn’t know: she once backed a Democrat running for an seat on Waynesboro City Council.
I know this because that Democrat is me.
Odd thing is, I barely knew Anne back in 2008 when I announced my candidacy for City Council.
We were both involved at the time in the effort to restore the Wayne Theatre, but that was about it in terms of connections.
She literally just showed up at my office one day and said, I want to help.
That turned out to be an understatement.
Anne worked as hard as I did to try to convince people to vote for me that spring, campaigning door to door for me for weeks, keeping constant pressure on us to make sure that she had enough leaflets to hand people when she was on their front porches, running into people at the grocery store, at the post office.
In the end, I came up short – well short – of winning the race.
It wasn’t for lack of effort.
What’s funny is, I don’t remember the subject of Anne being a Republican and me being a Democrat ever coming up that spring.
And when I say Anne was a Republican and I’m a Democrat, I’m not referring to either of us being center-right or center-left.
I think it says an awful lot about Anne Seaton that she could put party labels aside and be as gung-ho as she was about trying to help me get elected.
She might have been more gung-ho than I was, honestly.
The tributes that you’ve been reading from so many who knew her so well say the same thing.
She was just about the most enthusiastic person about life that you’d ever meet.
As circumstances would have it, I happened to be driving past the scene of the accident that claimed her life the night of April 23, on my way back from broadcasting a VMI baseball doubleheader on ESPN+.
We wouldn’t know until the next morning exactly what had happened, but it was an awful scene.
I got the news the next day while broadcasting another baseball game, between innings.
It was a gut punch for me, for so many, to learn that the accident had involved Anne, that a person had been arrested and charged with DUI, and we now know today that he has been charged with manslaughter in her death.
Whatever happens in the criminal justice system with that young man won’t bring her back for her husband, for her children, for the countless people and organizations that she touched, for a community that she made better.
I almost hesitate to conclude here by saying that I hadn’t seen or spoken with Anne in a long, long time, for no reason other than, life happens, right?
That’s why I want to share this as my tribute to her.
She knocked on countless doors for me; this is my way of knocking on one door for her.
Keep her family in your thoughts.
Story by Chris Graham