Honored to have known Seth Vining Jr.

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Editor&39;s note: Rebecca Patton Kennedy submitted the following memory of Seth Vining Jr., former owner and editor of the Bulletin, who died on Monday, Oct. 20. We invite others to send in their stories, too (email them to news @tryondailybulletin.com or bring them by the Bulletin office in Tryon).

Having grown up in the Tryon area, I always &uot;knew of&uot; the Vining family and the Bulletin. It was not until I was in the 8th grade at Tryon School that I actually had the privilege of meeting Seth Vining Jr.

It was the 1959-60 school year and my teacher, Mrs. Holthouser, had invited him to speak to our class since he was a county commissioner. After addressing the class he opened up for any questions. Well, I asked him a question and so help me I cannot for the life of me remember the question and answer but do remember his first response: &uot;That is a very intelligent question.&uot; That really made me feel good. And from that point on he always remembered me. Every time he saw me he said, &uot;Hey, Becky Patton, that little 8th grader who asks intelligent questions.&uot;

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Over the years our lives crossed many times. He was on the school board for Tryon Schools, he covered every school activity, especially football. And every time I ever saw him he had a smile for me and was kind and gentle and listened to what I had to say. We did not always agree but we could always disagree in a friendly way.

A good example was when the Polk County Board of Elections combined the three Tryon precincts into one and started voting at the Harmon Field Cabin. One morning at 8 a.m. my phone rang and both Seth and Bos were on the line explaining their views against the move. I listened and explained to them why we (the board) did it. At the end of the &uot;early morning conversation&uot; they still were not in favor of the move but understood my position as a board member, and as we parted I thanked them for their call and said I would come see them soon. And we were still friends.

Last February I did go by one afternoon intending to stay 20-30 minutes and ended up staying well over two hours. The three of us had a wonderful time discussing community events, the old days at Tryon High, family ‐ you name it, we discussed it. Before I left just so I would not forget,&bsp; it was mentioned one more time that they were still not in favor of the Tryon precinct change. I smiled, hugged and kissed them both goodbye with hopes of another visit soon.

However, that was my last time to see Seth. I will miss him very much ‐ his thoughts on local, state and national issues, but most of all his friendship, his smile and always calling me Becky Patton.

Seth gave a lot of his time to the community and enjoyed every minute of it and he was also a good father and husband. His children are living proof. He will be greatly missed not only by his family but by all of us who knew him. I am just honored to have known him and have his friendship over these many years.