Prior to moving to Central Maine in the summer of 2016, I really had not been very involved in country radio.  I had filled in for a friend or coworker once or twice, but I had never fully experienced the relationship between country artists and their fans.

That relationship really is one of the coolest things about the genre.  Not to put down pop, hip hop, or rock artists, but even the biggest country artists seem super appreciative of their fans.

This was very true during a 2015 Alan Jackson concert in Portland.  Mary Anne “Marie” Gallant, a Denny's waitress from Auburn, was a massive fan of Jackson.  She even had his image tattooed on her back.  As a result, she was able to watch the concert from the stage and Alan Jackson even danced with her during his hit song "Remember When".  Gallant would later recall that was the happiest night of her life.

Sadly, she passed away last year.  One of her wishes was to have her ashes spread on property of Alan Jackson's Nashville home.

According to an article in the KJ, her daughter is determined to make that happen.  Sue Castle, of Gardiner, was planning to fly to Nashville this morning(October 11th) in an attempt to get her mom's ashes on Alan Jackson's home.

While losing a loved one is always sad, the situation following Gallant's passing makes it even more tragic.  Her remains were involved in the case of Lewiston-based Affordable Cremation Solution.  If the name sounds familiar it was because the troubled company had faced a backlash in the Spring and Summer of 2021 for the alleged mishandling of remains.  Fortunately, Castle was able to get her mother's ashes and is attempting to put that situation behind her.

The KJ asked Castle what she would say to Alan Jackson if given the opportunity.  The article said, in part:

she would tell him, “Thank you for giving my mom the best day of her life” and providing so much joy to her. She remembered her mother phoning her after the concert “just screaming” with happiness.

The article said that Castle plans to spend four days in Nashville and does not really have a concrete plan about how she was going to accomplish her task.

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