Editor’s note: Since this episode was recorded, news broke on Feb. 16 that a judge dismissed Kroger’s motion to have the Seyfried’s lawsuit against the company thrown out. The family’s lawsuit against the company will be allowed to proceed.
Content warning: This episode contains discussion of the topic of suicide.
We kick off Season Six of Working People with a very special episode that is dedicated to Evan Seyfried, his family, and his loved ones. As listeners know from our previous conversations with Evan’s family members and their supporters in the Justice for Evan coalition, Evan was a loving son, brother, boyfriend, friend, and a dedicated worker. For 19 years, with a virtually spotless record, Evan worked at a local Kroger grocery store in Milford, Ohio, where he eventually became the dairy department manager. From October 2020 to March 2021, however, according to a lawsuit filed by the Seyfried family, Evan suffered a torturous litany of bullying, harassment, and sabotage at the hands of numerous actors, including management-level supervisors Shannon Frazee and Joseph Pigg, which caused Evan to eventually suffer a “transient episodic break” and take his own life.
We have done our best over the past year and a half to help the Seyfrieds get the justice they deserve, to hold Kroger accountable, and to keep Evan’s story from fading from public view. But we also want to make sure that people remember Evan for the whole, beautiful person he was, for the joy and light he brought into the world, and for the love he showed to those who knew him. February 11 was Evan’s birthday, and we wanted to take this opportunity to give some of that love back. With Evan’s beloved girlfriend Amy Chamberlin and dear friend of the Seyfried family and cofounder of the Justice for Evan coalition Jana Murphy, we pay tribute to Evan by celebrating his life and the beautiful mark he left on this world.
Additional links/info below…
- Justice for Evan Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram
- Justice for Evan Billboard Campaign
- Justice for Evan: Kroger Associates Stories (Facebook group)
- Kroger Employees (Facebook group)
- Working People, “Evan Seyfried (w/ Ken, Linda, & Eric Seyfried)“
- Working People, “For Evan (w/ Ken Seyfried, Eric Seyfried, Amy Chamberlin, Erica Erskine, Jana Murphy, & Austin LiPuma)“
- Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, “‘Justice for Evan’: Supporters Demand Accountability from Kroger after 19-Year Employee Allegedly Bullied by Management to Suicide“
- Maximillian Alvarez, Breaking Points, “Max Alvarez: A DEADLY, Silent Epidemic of Workplace Abuse is Growing“
- Maximillian Alvarez, Breaking Points, “Lawsuit Says Kroger Management Bullied Worker Into Taking His Own Life“
Permanent links below…
- Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
- Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
- The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
- Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song
Post-production: Jules Taylor
If you or someone you care about has contemplated suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. Crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day. The International Association for Suicide Prevention also provides contact information for crisis centers around the world.
Maximillian Alvarez: All right. Welcome, everyone, to season six of Working People, a podcast about the lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles of the working class today. Brought to you in partnership with In These Times magazine and The Real News Network, produced by Jules Taylor, and made possible by the support of listeners like you. Working People is a proud member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network. If you’re hungry for more worker and labor-focused shows like ours, follow the link in the show notes and go check out the other great shows in our network. Please support the work that we’re doing here at Working People so we can keep growing and keep bringing y’all more important conversations every week. Leave us a positive review on Apple Podcasts. Share these episodes on your social media, and share them with your coworkers, your friends, and family members.
And of course, the single best thing you can do to support our work is become a paid monthly subscriber on Patreon for just five bucks a month. Subscribe for 10 bucks a month, and you’ll also get a print subscription of the amazing In These Times magazine delivered right to your mailbox every month. Just head on over to patreon.com/workingpeople, that’s P-A-T-R-E-O-N.com/workingpeople. Hit the subscribe button and you’ll immediately get access to all the great bonus episodes that we’ve published over the past five seasons of the show.
My name is Maximillian Alvarez, and it is so good to be back with y’all for season six of the show. Trust me when I say that Jules and I really needed to take a little bit of a break after the marathon that we ran last year, but you know what? It’s February, year of our Lord 2023. We are back in the saddle, and we are ready to kick some more ass for the working class. From coffee shops to coal mines, working people all over this country and beyond are standing up for themselves and their co-workers, fighting for what they deserve, and the ruling economic and political establishments are doing everything they can to demolish and demoralize our movements and to beat us back into subservience. But those bastards don’t know what they’re up against. They are no match for you or for us. It’s going to be a dog fight, and frankly, it’s going to be the fight of a lifetime. So we all have to be there for each other day in and day out. We here at Working People are going to be right there with you day in, day out.
As our theme music reminds us every week, we’ve got work to do, baby, so let’s get to work. So we are kicking off the new season of the show with a very special episode that is dedicated to Evan Seyfried, his family, and his loved ones. We are scheduling this episode to come out right around Evan’s birthday, which is on Feb. 11. As you all know from our previous episodes where I’ve had conversations with Evan’s family members and their supporters in the Justice for Evan Coalition, Evan was a loving son, brother, boyfriend, friend, and a dedicated worker. For 19 years with a virtually spotless record, Evan worked at a local Kroger grocery store in Milford, Ohio, where he eventually became the dairy department manager.
From October 2020 to March 2021, however, Evan suffered a torturous litany of bullying, harassment, and sabotage, according to a lawsuit that was filed by the Seyfried family. As the lawsuit alleges, it was this treatment which was the result of a conspiracy involving numerous actors, including management level supervisor Shannon Frazee and Joseph Pigg at the Milford store, that caused Evan to eventually suffer a transient episodic break and take his own life.
Now, I know it has not been easy to listen to the conversations that we’ve had about Evan and the tragic, unforgivable circumstances that led to his death. But I know that you all, like we do, understand how important it is to keep Evan’s memory alive, to keep his story from fading away, and to keep fighting until the Seyfrieds get justice and Kroger is held accountable. But we also want to make sure that people remember Evan for the whole beautiful person that he was, for the joy and light that he brought into this world, and for the love that he showed to those who knew him, and to those who didn’t. On this Feb. 11, we want to take a moment to celebrate Evan’s life, to give some of that love back. I couldn’t be more grateful to Evan’s beloved girlfriend, Amy, and to dear friend of the Seyfried family and co-founder of the Justice for Evan Coalition, Jana, for recording this tribute to Evan with us.
I also wanted to note before we get to the episode that on Feb. 11, which is, again, Evan’s birthday, Justice for Evan is holding a National Kindness Day to honor Evan, and it’s really what it sounds like. This Saturday, wherever you are, do something kind for others. Help a neighbor, pick up some trash in your neighborhood, ask a friend out for coffee or lunch. Call that friend or family member that you’ve been meaning to call for a while now, but just haven’t. Give someone a compliment. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, matters. It may seem insignificant to you, but it can mean the whole world to someone else. So please visit the Justice for Evan social media pages to learn more about Kindness Day and how you can participate in it and keep Evan’s loving spirit alive this year and every year by being just a little more kind to yourselves and to others.
Jana Murphy: Hi, Max. Thank you so much for having us. My name is Jana Murphy, and I’m the co-founder and co-organizer of Justice for Evan. I’m a close friend of Evan Seyfried’s wonderful family. I’m here today to talk a little bit about Evan and honor him as his 42nd birthday is approaching on Feb. 11. For your listeners who haven’t heard about Evan and what happened to him, he was a wonderful employee at Kroger in Milford, Ohio. He worked for the Kroger Company for almost 20 years. On March 9 of 2021, Evan took his own life due to what was happening to him at work. Evan didn’t have any history of any mental illnesses. He was a happy 40-year-old man. He was really close with his girlfriend, who’s going to talk about Evan today also. He’s really close with his mom and dad who also live in Milford and his brother, Eric, who is two years older. He was a homeowner in Milford, and he loved his job until a lady named Shannon Frazee became his store manager.
In the fall of 2020, Evan became a target of a bullying campaign that was started by Shannon Frazee and another manager named Joseph Pigg. Evan followed the CDC guidelines during the pandemic and wore his mask to work. He was targeted at first for wearing the mask and was referred to by store management as antifa, and Shannon Frazee took it upon herself to start harassing Evan. She sexually harassed him. She launched a full campaign to target him, and Evan reported, as protocol to the union and to his representative, and nothing was done. We believe that all of the reports that he filed did not go where they were actually supposed to go.
Joseph Pigg was the store manager at that time. Evan helped female employees report Joseph Pigg for sexual harassment when their reports were ignored. When Evan helped those female employees to report, the harassment against him became even worse. Between the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021, Evan’s department – He was a dairy manager – His department was repetitively sabotaged. He was sent menacing messages to his phone. He was followed home. Cars would be parked outside of his house. He was alienated at work. He was told that his life was going to be made a living hell by Joseph Pigg. Other employees witnessed what was happening with Evan.
On March 9, Evan suffered an episodic break and took his own life. It was reported to the family days later about what they had witnessed that was happening to him at work. In July, July 12 of 2021, Ken Siegfried, Evan Seyfried’s father, filed a lawsuit against the corporation of Kroger, and also Shannon Frazee and Joseph Pigg. There’s a 30-page lawsuit that your listeners can find on script.com. If they type in the name Evan Seyfried, it’s S-E-Y-F-R-I-E-D, they can read the entire lawsuit there. There’s also many, many articles from The Washington Post, all the local news that have continued to give updates and report about what happened to Evan and what’s going on at Kroger. The Cincinnati Enquirer has done multiple pieces including a very large piece that came out Dec. 12 that was also on the front page of USA Today, and your listeners can find that online as well.
Justice for Evan was launched in the summer of 2021, and we’ve been bringing attention to what happened to Evan and holding public events, and recording podcasts, and getting as much media attention as we possibly can to what has happened to Evan and what’s going on in Kroger stores as we’ve learned how toxic of a work culture that’s actually going on in Kroger.
The lawsuit is ongoing. Kroger has requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, and we are waiting to hear the decision from the judge whether the lawsuit will be dismissed or carried on. The family in the lawsuit has requested a jury trial. Shannon Frazee and Joseph Pigg are still employed with Kroger. Joseph Pigg was actually promoted to a store manager at Goshen, and Shannon Frazee kept her position for quite a while as the store manager in Milford. She has since been demoted.
We believe that Kroger knows that these two parties are guilty in this case and that they are guilty for failing to protect their employee. Evan was targeted, and he was organizationally mobbed by the entire culture of Kroger, because they did absolutely nothing to protect their employee. Every employee deserves to be protected, and Evan Seyfried was a very diligent employee. He dedicated his life to goodness, and that definitely carried over in his work. He was committed and loved Kroger. He’d started working there when he was 19 years old because he loved food and he liked to cook. He started working in the meat department when he was 19, and he was a wonderful employee. He took his vacations when they were scheduled. He did not call off. He was not late for work. He had never failed an audit until the last audit that he had, which was fully sabotaged. Your readers will be shocked and horrified, literally horrified. That’s what we hear from everyone when they read the lawsuit that they are shocked and horrified that this could possibly happen, and it did. It happened and it is happening to people.
The more that people can be educated on what is growing on, it can help to protect people in the future. That’s what we have to make sure that happens, is that in Evan’s legacy, that justice is given to him and the Seyfried family, and that future employees are protected from this happening to them. So it’s that audit that your readers can read about and what happened. Evan had never had expired product on his shelf before. He was impeccable in his word and in his deed and in his life. He worked his way up at Kroger and became the dairy manager. He was at the Milford Kroger. He had transferred stores to help out a fellow employee, a fellow co-worker, colleague who wanted to transfer stores, and Evan transferred stores to help out that man.
Evan enjoyed being with his family. He spent a couple of nights a week having dinner with his parents. They were very, very close. He was his mother’s very best friend. They were always very, very close. He was his father’s very close friend. They would take walks in the park and talk, and they had very deep discussions. Evan was a very deep person. He spent a lot of time thinking. He was always thinking about what was the meaning of life and how he could fulfill his purpose. He did that while he was here by being the good person that he was.
He would travel to see his brother. They would take family vacations. His brother, Eric, lives in Oregon, and the entire family loved to take trips and hike together and be together. That is what they love to do. He always had a kind word for his family. He was a wonderful listener. He was the glue to the family. That was said about him before his death, and certainly after.
Holidays were very important to the family. They would sit around the table at Thanksgiving and talk. They looked forward to their holidays together. He was a wonderful gift buyer. He bought very meaningful gifts for everyone in his life. Since his passing, Eric has been at a loss. So many things that Evan did for the family, now there’s nobody there to do those things. Evan was the one who picked out the Christmas gifts for his mom and dad. Evan was the one who talked about when they were going to plan their vacations, like when his vacation time was and what they were going to do.
His role was very, very important in the family, and he was very beloved for that role. The hole in each of their lives, individually and as a family, has been greater than can be explained. He was a lover of nature. He loved to be out in nature. He appreciated the world. He was saddened by what was going on in the world and with humans to each other, and humans, what they were doing to the earth. He lived a right life, and what happened to him is so unjust that this harm and this mild regard of this beautiful person is so horrific that we are so grateful that people can see the light that Evan left in this world.
People who have spread the word about what happened to him, all the news outlets, all what you have done for us, Max, giving us a microphone so that we can let people know the type of person that Evan was and how his death should not have occurred. It was an absolutely preventable death. It was a preventable death if Kroger had done what they were supposed to do and listened to him, fired the people who were torturing him, and simply treated him like a human being. It’s an awful thing, what happened to Evan Seyfried.
I encourage your listeners to get online, go to our petition on change.org. Again, it’s change.org, and just type in Evan Seyfried, and you can read the synopsis of what happened to him and sign our petition to spread that where he has over 11,000 signatures. We’re going to continue to fight the fight and let people know what happened to him. I’m going to hand the floor over to Amy, Evan’s beloved girlfriend. In introduction of Amy, I’ll tell you that she was the light of Evan’s life.
Evan treated every one of his relationships extremely special, and he had been waiting for the love of his life. When she came along, he was extremely happy, and happy to have found his person. He shared that with his brother, Eric, and Eric shared that with me. When Eric told me that Evan had met somebody really special and that he was in love and that he thought he had met the one, it was like, we had just found out about COVID and everybody in the world was in shock. I said, well, the world might be going to hell in a handbasket, but Evan Seyfried’s in love.
It was just a really special, special thing, because the two boys had always traveled together. They’d shared memories together and they’d shared their lives together. Knowing that Evan had found true love in his life was a real celebratory thing. Amy’s a really, really special person. How I’ve gotten to know her and learn about Evan and even more of a right and wonderful and beautiful person that he was through getting to talk to Amy makes me want to fight even harder. Thank you, Amy, for everything that you shared with me. I’m going to let you share that now with Max.
Amy Chamberlin: Hi, I’m Amy Chamberlin. I met Evan in the fall of 2017, I believe, when he was transferred to my store to be the dairy manager. He was only at my store for a couple of months, but we became friends really quickly. He was just a great listener and a person that you could talk to very easily. After he left my store and transferred to a different store, we kept in contact, and eventually started meeting up and trying out new restaurants, because he loved to try new restaurants but didn’t want to go alone. I like, I don’t got nothing going on, so might as well. He loved spicy foods and I am not good with spice at all, so just tell me what not to eat, we’ll be good. So that was always fun, just trying new stuff. We’d go walking in the park sometimes just to be outside, and there’s always so much great conversation. You could spend an entire day just talking, and it seemed like a matter of minutes would pass. You’d look at the watch, and you’d be like, oh, wow. It’s been a few hours. That was crazy. I guess finding someone who you can connect with on that level and the listening and connecting is, it’s hard to find a genuine relationship like that.
So yeah, eventually, as we started hanging out more and more, we’d get into a routine of I’d come over to his house in the morning and he’d cook me breakfast, because my typical breakfast would be drinking a soda while I’m driving somewhere. He’s like, yeah, that’s not going to work. You need real food, so he was making me eggs and bacon always. Then he found out that I really like biscuits, so then he’d start making me biscuits with my eggs and bacon, and always made sure I was well-fed, which is good. Always a good memory of hanging out and in the kitchen in the morning and making breakfast and just spending the day hanging out and talking and do silly stuff like run errands, but it would be a good day. Good company makes the regular kind of stuff go better.
He was very thoughtful about paying attention and putting that into buying a gift. You’d mentioned something, I think I was complaining one day because my favorite candy is Necco Wafers, and the company that makes Necco Wafers went out of business. So I bought all the Necco Wafers at Jungle Jim’s while we were there. I was out of Necco Wafers, so he went online and surprised me by buying me a whole lot of Necco Wafers one time, which was really sweet. There was all the other times where I had complained about, while Christmas shopping, Doc Martens brought out this new line of boots, and I’m like, oh, I need these, but it’s Christmastime, so I’m not buying presents for myself. I’m buying presents for other people. When I get money after Christmas, I’ll think about buying them. But then by then they were sold out in my size, and I forgot about that. Then when my birthday rolled around in June, it was the pair of boots that I really wanted and I couldn’t find anywhere. He somehow managed to track down a pair, and it’s been one of the most meaningful gifts I’ve ever received. The little things, the thought that he would put into stuff like that is amazing.
Jana Murphy: Amy always has really beautiful shoes. Last week when we were spending time together, I noticed that she has three really nice pairs of Doc Martens. I was talking to her about some of the gifts that Evan had gotten her, and she’s like, yeah, he got me the glittery Doc Martens and my low cut Rose Doc Martens and my Hello Kitty Doc Martens. I was like, oh my gosh, he got you all of those great shoes. She’s like, yeah, he knew I really liked them. She’ll carry this beautiful purse, and I’ll comment on the purse and she’s like, oh, Evan got that for me for Valentine’s Day, or a wallet.
Amy Chamberlin: Yeah. The purse was one where he actually asked me what I wanted for Christmas one year, and I’m like, well, they have this new line of purple stuff on Lux De Ville. He’s like, okay, noted. Then there was one discussion and it was like, oh, perfect. It was perfect, perfect one.
Maximillian Alvarez: I think that it’s just so beautiful to hear this, because obviously we’ve been talking over the course of the past year or so, doing multiple recordings for this podcast, a segment on Breaking Points and The Real News. It’s impossible to avoid the awful stuff. But I think it’s so beautiful to hear all these other ways that y’all want Evan to be remembered, and the way that you remember Evan.
I think about this a lot, because I think the first photo of Evan I saw is this beautiful photo of him in front of a birthday cake. He just looks so full of life and just looks so kind and sweet. I love getting to hear that side of him from his loved ones. I love that we get to share that with our listeners. So I just wanted to ask, in that vein, in the spirit that is captured in that great picture of Evan on a past birthday, if there are any other memories that you want folks listening to this who have become invested in this story, who are with you guys and are with the Seyfrieds till the end, any other just birthday memories or wishes that you want to share with folks?
Amy Chamberlin: With that birthday picture, he was so excited for the week beforehand. He kept telling me about how his mom was going to make him a cake, and he was so excited ‘because she was the best cook. She made the best food and he was so excited for that cake. I think afterwards, it was really hard for him to not eat the entire cake, but he did share some of it with me, and it was a very good cake, very good. That was the ultimate test of willpower, to not eat the whole cake [laughs].
Jana Murphy: Yeah, he loved to eat. He was really thin and he could eat whatever he wanted, and he loved food. He really enjoyed eating food. He was very much known for that.
Amy Chamberlin: Yeah. That was one thing when we would go out, his favorite restaurant was The Original Pancake House. So we’d always go to the one out on Beechmont Avenue, and he’d always get the same thing, potato pancakes with a side of sour cream and applesauce, and then corned beef hash. I don’t know, their menu is so vast. I’d have something different every time, but then he’d eat his entire meal, and I’d eat half of mine ’cause it’s a big plate of food, and then he’d finish mine too. I’m like, where does it go? Yeah, it was fun.
Jana Murphy: His favorite cake was spice cake with a cream cheese frosting on it. Both boys, they loved their mom’s carrot cakes or spice cakes. Well, her favorite’s carrot, but they love the spice cake. She makes cakes from very scratch. She makes a carrot cake, she shaves the carrots. She’s an extremely beautiful, amazing homemaker. She was really excited to make all of the boys’ birthday cakes from scratch for them. Especially both boys love to eat, and they really appreciate their mom’s cooking. With Evan being here and living here, as Eric’s been out in Oregon for the past 10 years with work, Evan was the one who, he’d be there all the time cooking with his mom, and he increased that over the pandemic. He’d go over, and not only would they make their meal together, but they started making their desserts together.
That birthday picture that you mentioned, Max, that was his 40th birthday, and he was over at his mom and dad’s house. There’s a picture of him and his mom sitting there together. That’s the picture, mainly, that people see, even though it’s just his face there to see him. But that was on his birthday around the table. And there’s lots and lots of pictures that the Seyfrieds had with him throughout his life.
As time goes on – And it takes a long time, and who knows if healing, when that can happen? Maybe one day there’ll be more pictures to share of him if the Seyfrieds ever want to share. But he was just the cutest little kid, I mean, super, super, super cute. Your listeners can see his picture. He was a really handsome guy. He was a really good-looking guy, beautiful brown hair and big brown eyes, a nice beautiful face and beautiful teeth and a beautiful smile. We’re just so grateful that those pictures were taken of him on his birthday and have those in front of his cake. I know that Amy can tell you more things about what he collected, but he collected… You want to talk about his collection, Amy?
Amy Chamberlin: He liked to collect belt buckles, I don’t even know that I ever saw all of them. There were certain ones that he’d show me at different times, just being really excited about them. He’d shown me the really pretty ones. There were some that were… I don’t know much about them myself, but he’d say they were really expensive, but they had turquoise stones and really elaborate designs. Those were the ones that never… They were the display ones. Then there were the ones he would wear on a daily basis that I remember, like one that had a Celtic knot that I remember him wearing a lot. He had one that was pretty plain, but it just had the word “nasty” on it [Max laughs]. He was like, this one’s funny, ’cause my mom hates it, and I like to wear it ’cause my mom hates it. I was like, okay. I see you there. I get that. I have two teenage boys, it’s like, whatever, but [crosstalk]
Jana Murphy: They love to joke around, and that was a big part of their life, joking around a lot. He had a great, amazing sense of humor. I think that’s one thing that we haven’t really brought to life a whole lot, is Evan was the funniest person alive. He had an incredible wit about him. He was incredibly intelligent. He was extremely well-read and extremely well-versed on everything that was going on in politics. He knew what was going on in so many different realms. He could talk about anything, and so therefore, that lent itself a lot to a quick wit, because he could make a joke about anything that was going on, historically or currently.
So if you were talking to him, Eric has said this multiple times, that since he was such a great listener too – And I know Amy can attest to this – Since he’s such a good listener, he was always paying attention to what you were saying. So he could just pull something off-the-cuff and make everybody at the table laugh, and make those people feel like they were the one who was the star of the show. He just made everybody feel really, really special. He made other people feel better about themselves. His co-workers, I know, can give the same testimony that he helped them in their job. He lifted everybody up. He was known as being an amazing leader, an extremely kind person, always giving and loving and sweet. And there. He showed up. He wasn’t checked out. I know, Amy, you can talk more about how much Evan was present. He was present, he wasn’t on his phone, he was there with you.
Amy Chamberlin: Yeah. There would be lots of times where we’d be talking about whatever random topic we were on of the day, I remember one time we’re sitting there talking and he looks at me and he looks like he’s about to say something. I’m like, what? He’s like, I was going to argue a point with you, but every time I think I’m going to argue a point, I just Google it, and it turns out you’re right. I’m like, what? I feel like it was at that point in time I realized, this is the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. The fact that he can appreciate that there are other points of view, and it was, I don’t know, it was a good acknowledgement, but we did end up Googling it anyhow. I was part of, I love having Google handy, so never a topic that wasn’t… If we started talking about something and then there was some sort of question like, I wonder how that would end up? So we’d just Google it.
Jana Murphy: He was a reader of all the books in the bookstore. So many people who are close-minded or won’t listen to other people’s opinions, and he was a learner. He had no fear of learning about how other people believed or what they thought, and he’s just a really good person. More people should be like Evan, and we make that comment a lot: what would Evan do? What would he do?
Another note about something wonderful about him is he was a really good travel partner for his family. I know I mentioned about their trips, but he and Eric took a five-week trip. I believe it was right before Evan started at Kroger, so he was 19, I think it was right before he started. But Eric has said multiple times that that was the best trip. He was the best travel partner. The trip was so incredible, and they took other trips together, and that was the longest one. He’s commented a lot about how he’s just so grateful for those five weeks in Europe with Evan, and just what a fun travel partner that he was. He was just a perfect, perfect travel partner.
I’ve known the Seyfrieds for 20 years and just all of the honor and the good words that Eric has always… It’s just always a good word about Evan, always was. We’re honored to do this work for such a wonderful person. That’s why we’re doing it. That’s why we’re doing it. It would still be a just cause to fight for anyone who such torture had happened to needlessly, but man, it is fuel for the fire that he was such a wonderful human being.
Amy Chamberlin: I remember Evan telling me a lot about that trip to Europe that he went with his brother. In particular, I remember him telling me about seeing Chelsea Clinton in Paris. He found that part very humorous, that he saw her. To be out in Europe and see someone famous in the United States, and also staying in hostels along the way, and just what an adventure it was. It was a good memory for him too. He talked about it quite a bit.
Jana Murphy: He loved ethnic food, so when he would travel, he really enjoyed eating all of the food. I know that he loved ethnic restaurants. As Amy he touched on earlier, he liked spicy food, but he loved Indian food. It’s interesting, it’s just been so great, Amy, to have the memories come out. Amy and I’ll be hanging out and I’ll mention a restaurant, she’s like, oh yeah, I went there one time with Evan, or, oh, yeah, Evan and I went there and he got this and I tried it and it was too spicy, so he ate mine. We switched foods because mine was too spicy, so I got…
Amy Chamberlin: Yep. Yeah. I’m like, no spice whatsoever, and he is adding Tabasco sauce and cayenne peppers.
Jana Murphy: Even though he didn’t have pets, he loved his mom’s cat. Her name is Maggie. On the cover of the USA Today, there’s a beautiful picture of Evan looking down with a big loving smile on his face, and he’s looking at Maggie, the cat [laughs]. She loved him. She was warmer to him than other people. She loved him a lot. He just had that beautiful energy to him, and anybody will tell you that. He just had a beautiful, loving, caring energy. People who see his picture, they’ll be able to see that come through.
Maximillian Alvarez: Yeah. Again, I’ve been open about this on this show and elsewhere that that first episode with Eric, Ken, and Linda was the hardest interview I’ve ever recorded, but I’m glad that we did. I think it was important, and it’s been a real honor to get to know them and you guys over the course of this past year and a half. I can’t thank you enough for always being willing to share what I know are very painful memories. But I’m so glad that we made space to share the happier memories as well, because we don’t want to give people the impression that an entire beautiful life lived is reducible to the horrors that Evan endured at the end of his life.
It’s worth very much honoring his memory and lifting up the beautiful soul that he was and the beautiful impact that he had on the people around him and the world that he was a part of, and so I just wanted to thank you both. Thank you to Erica, who couldn’t be here with us today, from the Justice for Evan Coalition. Obviously, we’re sending all of our love and solidarity to Evan’s family along with Amy and Jana. And to all of you out there, please take care of yourselves, and take care of each other. Please join us here at Working People in wishing Evan Seyfried a very happy birthday. We miss you.
Jana Murphy: Evan, we wish that you were here to celebrate another 40 years here on the planet. I know that’s been something that’s been so hard. So the Seyfrieds and Amy and everyone who knew Evan, looking forward to many, many, many, many more years of his light shining here on earth. Now that you’re not here any longer, Evan, we’re going to continue to carry your light. We’re so grateful that it was so, so bright, that your legacy will always live. You’re going to make a huge impact on the world, and just so grateful that you’re such a good person. On Saturday, Feb. 11, when your birthday comes, we’ll be lighting many, many, many lights for you and sending out so much gratitude, and grateful for the 40 birthdays that you got to celebrate here, and all of the wonderful memories that were made. Happy birthday, Evan. We love you and we miss you.