Well not only are the Thomas family members amazing, but they know how to make moves! When we returned from doing a newspaper interview and meeting the mayor, Sherri confirmed that the local FOX news station was really interested in doing a piece on Buddy!
Thanks to tons and tons of hard work put forth by Sherri and Jerry Thomas Marion VA is now an AT trail town. They have held an incredible hiker feed for the past 4 years and are so proud of what they are doing, and we are too. They genuinely care for hikers and take such pleasure in being able to help them. They are an incredible family who give and give, expecting nothing in return except the gratification of helping others. They are selfless amazing people and we truly wish their were more people like them.
We set up a time to meet Jim Conrad of the WCYB news cannel at the settlers museum and hiked a short 6 miles to get there. Although we are trying to keep our miles up, we didn’t want Buddy to be too tired when it was time to film. We were all a bit surprised when we met Jim. He hoped out of the car, introduced himself and we quickly all felt at ease and like we were just talking with an old friend. He didn’t quite match what we had expected from hearing his voice narrate a news story the night before, but were pleasantly surprised by how great he was with Christian and seemed genuinely excited to hear our story. We walked around the settlers museum for a little while trying to find the nest spot to film. Jim thought that inside the museum itself would be the best spot. He let Buddy check out all his equipment and his camera while he set up, all the while telling us about his two grandchildren and asking us tons of questions. When the big moment finally arrived and we sat down on the couch we were all a bit more nervous that I think we had expected. Once that blinking light turned red, so did we! Buddy is usually an extremely bubbly and energetic nonstop talker, but once he was put in front of that camera he got very shy, which is completely understandable considering the camera was almost the size of him! Once the interview was done, he folded up his gear, put it in the car and thanked us for our time. He really couldn’t have been a nicer guy. We are all a little nervous about how it will turn out, but know that he will do a great job putting it together!
Once we got back to the Thomas house, we all piled in their van and went to their friends house to gather some stuff to resupply the Valley View Baptist Churches hiker box. While we were there, we heard in the background, “Coming up, a story of the youngest Appalachian Trail thru hiker,” coming from their tv. We all screamed and gathered around the tv as fast as we could move. We all held our breath in anticipation of the big debut, nervous, excited and anxious as could be! When it was over, we were so relieved! It came out great! We were so excited and proud of Buddy, and now tons of other people can see what an amazing son we have too. We are so thankful to the Thomas’ for putting this together for us, we wouldn’t have this amazing opportunity with out them and we are so excited to have gotten this experience.