October Art Crawl

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The city of Thomas is a blend of history, art, and culture. No matter where you walk downtown you will be able to see the two worlds collide from the old buildings which you can envision as general stores back in the day that are now full of modern art. Though you can go into these shops on a day to day basis, about once a month the galleries keep their doors open a little later and host an art crawl. It normally coincides with a show’s opening or closing reception and brings the artist, locals, and tourists together to celebrate the creativity found in our small town. This month’s art crawl featured meals from the Food Truck, drinks from Tip Top, and a celebration of Nellie Rose’s first ever show opening. 

“Lines, Circles, Squares, and Dots”, up in Lamplight Gallery until Christmas, featured Nellie’s unique work on raw silk canvases. Her first ever solo show proved to be a success as it had people spilling out of the gallery all evening. As you walked into the room you were greeted by loads of color, shapes, and people who were all stoked on the art and culture of  Thomas. The other galleries had their own story to tell. Whether you went into Creature and found a piece whose poem hit you to the core or went to White Room to watch the artists perfect their craft in their studio there was something to keep you occupied for the evening. The best parts of the artist community and art crawl nights in Thomas is the camaraderie between the artists. Whenever you were walking out of any given shop they were telling you to check out the show in the one down the street. It is a support system unlike any other. They want nothing but the best for one another.

Whether you have been to one art crawl or many you know the energy is something that can’t be compared. If you have yet to experience a Thomas art crawl keep an eye out for the next one! You definitely do not want to miss them. I know I can’t wait!

People of Thomas: Dawn Smith

Dawn did not want a photo of herself so enjoy the beauty of her Bed and Breakfast

Dawn did not want a photo of herself so enjoy the beauty of her Bed and Breakfast

Upon entering entering Mountain Primrose Bed and Breakfast I was greeted by the barefoot matron, Dawn Smith, and a steaming cup of strong coffee. Her mother, Thelma, was busy fiddling around the kitchen baking something that smelled absolutely heavenly. I assumed they were two women who always wanted to be in this line of work and had some roots in this neck of the woods ( I mean how else do you hear about Thomas, West Virginia?). Turns out my preconceived notions were completely wrong! When I scheduled this interview I thought it would be like any typical b&b. The story where the owner always knew they wanted to work with people, have a fancy victorian decorated home, and planned and worked for years to achieve this dream. That is not even close to the story I heard! I listened to a story of fearlessness, a love of nomading, and being brave enough to uproot the life you have grown comfortable with in exchange for a new adventure. 

Dawn and her mother moved to Thomas practically on a whim around two years ago. The idea of opening a B&B was planted in her mind by a colleague at her courthouse job. Being perfectly happy at her position there and with plans of retiring within 10 years she scoffed at the idea. Though she lived all over world with her parents and her own military career she set up a life in San Diego; her family and grandchildren were all very close. However, once the seed was planted in her mind she couldn’t let it go. She realized she could retire early and set off on this new adventure. Having seen pictures of West Virginia as a little girl she was enamored with the mountains and set her mind to live there someday,  with the prospect of a new adventure someday was now. With a tentative goal of four years to plan she started checking out nursing facilities and medical in West Virginia and came across Cortland Acres and eventually Thomas. While doing her research she found the house that would eventually become Mountain Primrose. She went home, asked her mom if she wanted to move to West Virginia and open a bed and breakfast, in true family fashion her response was, “I haven’t done that yet… sure!” And that was that. These two strong ladies run away from conformity, so just like that, decision made! They like to see the world and try new things as much as possible, and opening this business was nothing different. 

The first time Dawn ever visited West Virginia is when she came to look at the house and ended up putting an offer on it. Four months later she drove out and started the process of opening up the business, and never looked back. Naming the business after her granddaughter, Primrose, this wonderful name adds many aspects of magic that you can’t be denied. For one, the Primrose flower is known for inviting fairies into your home and life, and when opening her doors she keeps the folklore alive. 

As a veteran, West Virginia made it incredibly easy for her to establish the business. Once the serious effort began to get everything up and running it took her a couple of months of fixing the floors, some electrical issues, and $32 investment with the state she was open for business. She says that the people are the ones who make every part of this venture worth it. The main goal is to make sure her B&B is comfortable. She wants her guests to kick back in the living room, play board games, listen to music, and enjoy the atmosphere. Still a relatively new business she has found early success. She, her mother, and their two dogs have officially settled and made Thomas their home. Her advice for anyone is to be open for any opportunity that knocks on your door. If you don’t try you’ll never succeed whether that means moving clear across the country to open a business in which you had zero experience or moving to a foreign country. Jump in the deep end without your water wings. Be bold, and if you keep your heart open you will find home anywhere. 

AdventureWVU Volunteer Day

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This month New Historic Thomas had the pleasure of hosting a trail work day with volunteers from Adventure WVU. This is a program that allows incoming first year students to get acclimated to the area, explore outside, and gain skills that will help them in their college years and beyond. Part of this program requires the students to participate in volunteer days. Nathan Harlan, the Associate Director for Adventure WVU believes it is important for students to participate in service projects such as these because, “they develop more of a connection with these places and become advocates for them.” This opportunity was perfect to teach them basic trail building skills as well as share the beauty Tucker County has to offer this time of year. 

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The students spent their day split into two groups. One group on the trail and the other cycling Blackwater Canyon, and they switched midway through the day. Each group got to do work that was vastly different than the other. The morning group got to work on the tail end of the trail building. They spent three hours lopping through unnecessary roots, raking out the soil, naturalizing the back slope, and generally making these sections ready for gravel and tamping. They were able to see the before and after of an almost finished section. It was awesome to see a group of students get excited for a brand new type of work. 

In contrast to the morning group the afternoon team got to work on a trail that isn’t even a trail yet. They had to follow a line of tiny colored flags of un-dug trail. They spent three hours moving various types of logs, branches, and sticks away from the trail line. It gave them a very rough outline of where the new trail will be. The students got to traverse through the woods like lumberjacks hauling things through untouched bits of woods. 

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It was neat to see two completely opposite ends of the spectrum of trails. One being almost finished, the end is in sight and you can practically imagine it being used. Seeing people zip up and down on their bikes, taking leisurely walks, and enjoying the natural beauty the Thomas city parks have to offer. The other freshly mapped out section is hard to imagine being something other than a natural wooded area. You see these flags twisting around in a very deliberate fashion, but are unsure how it is going to transform from what it currently looks like to a usable trail. 

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Perhaps to the students, doing only three hours of work seemed insignificant, but the work helped us by leaps and bounds. Days like this according to Harlan, “teach college students about themselves, each other, and the communities of which they are now a part.” The mastermind behind this project, Zach Adams, said the work accomplished on this volunteer day could’ve easily taken around three weeks for one person. As we are nearing the end of the beginner mountain biker trail we can’t help but be eager and excited to see the final project. We are so thankful for these students taking time out of their weekend to spend time out on the trail. We can’t wait to share the final product with you so soon! 

What's Happening in Thomas - November

Meetings:

11/14: Thomas City Council Meeting - 6:30pm @ City Hall

Live Music:

11/3: Chris Rattie and the New Rebels - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/4: Bonehart Flannigan -1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/4: Revelator Hill - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/5: Bonehart Flannigan -1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/9: darlin darlin plus Stephen Karl and Handsome Animals - 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/10: The Sun Parade - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle 

11/11: Chris Sutton - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/11: Fre3kBasS - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/12: Chris Sutton - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/13: Bella’s Bartok - 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/14: Open Mic - Host EMay - 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/18: The Rogue Farmers - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/18: Art Spring Benefit - 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/19: The Rogue Farmers - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/24: Emily Barnes - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/24: Charles Godwin - 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/24: Black Masala - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/25: Emily Barnes - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/25: Charles Godwin - 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

11/25: EMay - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle 

11/26: Emily Barnes - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

Hello Thomas!

by Natalia Dutt, NHT AmeriCorps Member

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Hi all, as you may have read in last month's newsletter our previous AmeriCorps member Katie Teems finished her year of service with New Historic Thomas. Her dedication for the community has left a lasting impact. She is leaving her position behind with big shoes to fill. That's where I come in! My name is Natalia Dutt and I am the newest AmeriCorps member serving New Historic Thomas and this amazing city for the upcoming year. I am so excited to serve and become a part of this wonderful community to the best of my ability. 

When I accepted the position with New Historic Thomas I must admit, I knew very little about this community. I knew it was small and in the middle of the mountains and that about sums it up. I am the type of person who follows their gut and moves wherever it seems right at that moment in time. For me, that was Thomas. When I got off the phone with Emily after my interview I knew this was it. Her energy and passion for the city made me that much more excited for the prospect of moving here for the year. When I was offered the position I did not hesitate one bit to accept.

To give you a bit of insight into who I am: I hail from a small town in rural Ohio with dreams of getting out. I wanted to explore every inch of the world before settling down and calling someplace permanent “home.” After graduating college I decided to hit the road and moved to places like Hawaii, Ireland, and North Carolina. I loved the prospect of creating a new tribe each place I moved and trying something completely different with each new home. I never really stayed longer than 6 months in each place. I constantly got the itch to move and try something new. So the idea of staying somewhere for a year is a little terrifying, but I’m excited for the challenge!

I was drawn to Thomas because of the collaboration of art, nature, and history. I love the idea of walking down the street and knowing everyone you pass. I love being able to drive only a couple of minutes and be surrounded by nature whose beauty is almost intimidating. I love knowing there is a community around who have your best interest at heart. I love being in an area where outdoor recreation is so prominent (be on the lookout for a complete beginner falling on all of the bike trails.) I think my year in Thomas is going to be one of my favorite destinations. I cannot wait to get to know and work with each of you in some capacity. Over the next few weeks I am going to try and introduce myself to all of you, so don’t be alarmed when a complete stranger comes up to you looking eager to make friends! If you have any advice of a MUST do in the Tucker County area I’d love to know. If there is anything you would like to see improved over the course of the year I am all ears! I cannot wait to get this year rolling and serve the city of Thomas to the best of my ability!

 

What's Happening in Thomas - October

Meetings:

10/10: Thomas City Council meeting- 6:30pm @City Hall

10/23: Thomas Planning Commission meeting- 6pm @TEC

Live Music:

10/1: The Truehearts- 1pm @Purple Fiddle

10/1: Bess Greenberg- 3pm @Purple Fiddle

10/1: Girls, Guns and Glory- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/2: The Deer- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/3: The Meadows Brothers- 8pm @Purple Fiddle

10/4:  Hurricane Hoss and the Perfect Storm- 8pm @Purple Fiddle

10/5: Emma’s Lounge- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/6: Shook Twins- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/7: Sara Elizabeth- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/7: Randy Niles- 3pm @Purple Fiddle

10/7: Trevor Reichman- 6pm @Mountain State Brewing Co.

10/8: Sara Elizabeth- 1pm @Purple Fiddle

10/8: Randy Niles- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/8: Strung like a Horse- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/9: Molly Alphabet- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/10: Open Mic- Host Emay- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/11: Greyhounds- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/12: The Speedbumps- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/13: Woody Russell- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/14: Patrick Coman- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/14: Juels Bland- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/14: Brian Davis- 6pm @ Mountain State Brewing Co.

10/14: The High Divers- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/15: Patrick Coman- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/15: Juels Bland- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/15: Paul Sprawl- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/16: Muddy Ruckus- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/18: Tarrant- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/19: Amber North- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/20: Pierce Edens-  8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/21: Davis Bradley- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/21: Butch Ross- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/21: Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/22: Davis Bradley- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/22: Butch Ross- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/27: Qiet- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/28: Alyssa Hankey- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/28: Zombie Walk- 7:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/28: Possessed by Paul James- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

10/29: Alyssa Hankey- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

Check out the Purple Fiddle and Mountain State Brewing Co. for more information!

 

Regular Happenings:

Community Mountain Yoga every Wednesday at 6pm be sure to check the blog for location changes! Donation based

Stop for lunch at Tip Top for Mediterranean Monday with both delicious meat and vegetarian options. Mediterranean Monday will take place from 11 am – 2 pm.

Check out Tip Top's Burger Night every Friday evening starting at 6 pm and Sunday Brunch weekly from 10 am-2 pm.

Leaf Peepers 2017

by Natalia Dutt, NHT AmeriCorps Member

 

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With September coming to a close the air is getting crisper and the leaves a little bit redder, and you know what that means? It is Leaf Peeper’s season! This annual festival brings together Davis, Thomas, and people from all over the county for a weekend of 5ks, nature, and excellent food. With events all day starting Friday there was a little something for everyone no matter your age. You were able to enjoy petting zoos, craft auctions, hikes, a parade, a wide variety of music, and so much more. 

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Upon arriving to the festival Saturday morning I was immediately greeted by the smell of the Rotary club’s annual chicken roast. Vendors all over were setting up shop for a long day of fun. The craft fair was open and ready for business featuring artisans from all over the state. It is definitely a festival that you can stay at all day and not get bored. Wandering around Davis you were surrounded by booths full of art and good food. In Thomas the attendees were able to experience some amazing live music at the Purple Fiddle, get a glimpse of the art scene during an art crawl, and enjoy a nice cup of coffee at Tip Top. Leaf Peeper’s even extended beyond these two towns. One of the best offers was to be led on a bike tour from Thomas to Parsons while learning about the lush history of this area as well as experience the natural beauty Tucker County provides us.

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The major event of the weekend was the annual ‘Run for It’ 2k walk and 5k run put on by the Tucker Community Foundation. This year was able to boast as the most successful event thus far. With approximately 1500 racers, TCF, thanks to the participants, was able to raise around $285,000! The race played host to people from every walk of life. You had children running with parents, people who crushed the course in record breaking times, and the older generation who took to the route at their own pace. The energy found at this event was incomparable. Thomas resident Alexa White stated the run was her favorite event of the weekend, "it's fun to see people coming together for their favorite causes. The positive energy all over town on Saturday morning made it really exciting." Everywhere you looked you found people stoked and ready to support their cause. It wasn’t the type of race you found intimidating (excluding the huge hill at the end) because everyone was so kind. The community truly came together to support one another whether it was by passing out water, cheering fellow runners on as they crossed the finish line, or donating money to the various teams and charities. 

With 2017 Leaf Peeper’s under our belt fall has officially started and we can look forward to the beauty Tucker County graces us with during these months. 

People of Thomas: Anne Farmer

by Natalia Dutt, NHT AmeriCorps member

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When I first moved to Thomas I was not expecting there to be a huge yoga community. I assumed I would have to stick to my home practice and venture far away to find a class. However, as I was walking down Front Street my first night in town I passed a storefront full of people folding into downward dog. I was totally shocked and was so incredibly excited to get involved in the classes and meet the instructor behind the Thomas yoga scene. Spearheaded by local yogi Anne Farmer, Thomas has a wide variety of classes throughout the week. As one of the first members of the community I met I knew immediately I wanted to get to know Anne more and share her story with you all. 

We sat down together one Friday afternoon before class and dove right in like two old friends catching up. Her story starts in Charlottesville, VA which she attributed as the place where she started to dabble with a yoga practice. Living there from 1999-2005 she set up a life, learned how to play guitar, and did the general “discovering” yourself thing you do early in life. Leaving her home behind in Virginia she found her way to Thomas by random happenstance.  A little nervous about the prospect of starting over away from the place she loved she began to create a life in Thomas. Accepting a position as a school counsellor in Mineral County she began to turn to yoga to get her through her long early morning commutes. Developing a simple at home practice she used yoga to combat the intensity of her running practice. She enjoyed staying balanced and fit in her off hours. However, eventually Anne started choosing yoga over running as her main focus. As a mental health counsellor she said she is, “really drawn to positive change,” which yoga truly can provide. The home practice progressed and the idea of becoming an instructor blossomed. Encouraged by close friend Sarah the idea hatched into what has now become the Wednesday night community class.

It wasn’t until recently that Anne has made teaching yoga her full time gig. Stepping down from her 14 year career as a mental health professional she says she is, “scited,” (scared and excited) for this next adventure. Does she know if it will work? No, but she is remaining in the present and staying optimistic about sharing her yoga practice with the Thomas community. Teaching a wide variety of classes there is truly something for everyone. The Wednesday class allows anyone from all walks of life to enjoy an easy flow. Anne always waits to see who shows up and the energy of the group when starting the flow and the class. Friday's happy hour class is one that can be super challenging or chill, but will always leave you feeling balanced. Sundays are for breathing and meditation, a practice to start your week off on a positive note. 

She said that, “the practice of yoga reminds me to live the life I want.  A life of compassion, honesty, and no attachment. It lends itself to the breath and being in the moment.” Each class she teaches does just that. You are able to view your yoga mat as a mirror for yourself. Everyday is different. Every class will make you feel something different, with the hope they will help you become a more balanced and aware person. Living in a society where your worth can at times be measured by what you do or what you have accomplished that day, Anne hopes her classes can encourage you for even one hour to forget about planning, forget about your to-do list, forget what the person next to you is doing and be fully present in the moment on your mat. It was definitely refreshing to chat to someone who only wants the best for everyone. Anne is the type of person who sees the magic of Tucker County, she sees the magic in this community, and will continue to spread good vibes for as long as possible! 

If you haven’t checked out any of her classes be sure to go to http://mountainyoga.blogspot.com/ for a full schedule and descriptions! 

What's Happening in Thomas - September

Meetings
9/11: Thomas Planning Commission meeting – 6:00 pm @ Thomas Ed. Center
9/12: Thomas City Council meeting - 6:30 pm @ Thomas City Hall

Live Music
9/1: Humming House- 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/2: Jason Ring- 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/2: Sol Driven Train– 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/3: Jason Ring- 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/3: Black Masala – 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/4: Jason Ring- 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/4: Zach Brock- 8:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/7: Todd Burge - 8:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/8: The Stray Birds- 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/9: Joshua Rich- 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/9: Meadow Run- 6:00 pm @ Mountain State Brewing Co.
9/9: Peter Mulvey – 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/10: Joshua Rich- 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/10: Aurora Celtic – 7:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/14: Hustle Souls – 8:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/15: David Wax Museum: Electric Artifacts Tour - 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/16: Mike P. Ryan – 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/17: Mike P. Ryan– 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/22: Chad Elliot, with Tommy C. Lewis– 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/23: Bob Keel– 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/23: Belle of the Fall- 3:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/23: EMay- 6:00 pm @ Mountain State Brewing Co.
9/23: The Railsplitters – 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/24: Bob Keel - 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/24: Belle of the Fall - 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/28: Diane Cluck – 8:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/29: Mo’ Mojo – 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/30: The Truehearts – 1:00 pm @ Purple Fiddle
9/30: The Soda Pop Gypsies Band- 6:00 om @ Mountain State Brewing Co.
9/30: The Way Down Wanderers – 8:30 pm @ Purple Fiddle

Check out Purple Fiddle and Mountain State Brewing Co. online for times and more details.

Other Happenings
9/2: Art Crawl – 7:00 pm @ Front Street
9/2: Art Opening: Joshua Miller's “Implements: Wooden Sculptures” - 7:00 pm @ Lamplight Gallery
9/2: Art Opening: Lisa Elmaleh's "The Lightness & The Dark"- 7:00 pm @ The White Room
9/22-9/24: Leaf Peepers Festival

Regular Happenings
Stop for lunch at Tip Top for Mediterranean Monday with both delicious meat and vegetarian options. Mediterranean Monday will take place from 11 am – 2 pm.

Check out Tip Top's Burger Night every Friday evening starting at 6 pm and Sunday Brunch weekly from 10 am-2 pm.

Community Mountain Yoga every Wednesday at 6 pm in the Thomas Education Center. Donations encouraged! Check blog for updates. 

Purple Fiddle hosts an Open Mic Night every second Tuesday of the month starting at 8 pm.

To submit events for next month’s newsletter, email details to mail@newhistoricthomas.com by the 25th of the current month.

 

Saying "Goodbye for now" to Thomas

by Katie Teems, NHT AmeriCorps Member

When I first arrived in Thomas late August 2016 as an AmeriCorps member for New Historic Thomas, I learned that Thomas was more rural and more magical than I thought it would be. Then, the winter happened. This Georgia girl was not mentally prepared for the cold. Thomas' "mild winter" by local standards proved to be bitter cold and tough on my morale. But, I got to trudge in the snow, shovel the sidewalks, and go sledding and cross country skiing for the first time in my life. 

While in Thomas, I have met so many wonderful people who quickly embraced me as a part of the community. I've loved being able to wander around Front Street and run into people who I knew. I've loved being able to walk home at night and see the Milky Way, even with the glare from street lights. I've loved how "traffic" meant a few cars on Front Street. 

My service with New Historic Thomas has allowed me so many opportunities to learn and accomplish cool projects. I had the chance to start the Thomas Times newsletter and see its following grow. I got to work with a committee and professionals to create a business map promoting Thomas—it's still in the works but coming very soon, by the way. I had the chance to work on addressing Thomas and Davis' needs through helping to write a comprehensive plan. I also got to co-teach a Mountain Laurel Spanish Camp! Most importantly, though, serving with New Historic Thomas has allowed me to become a helper and friend to Thomas and its lovely, interesting, lively, and resilient residents—"locals" and "transplants" alike. 

I am so grateful to have lived and served in Thomas and Tucker County for a year. As I'm writing this, it is still mid-August. I plan on returning to Georgia for the total solar eclipse on August 21st. I have applied to positions in the Atlanta-area and am excited to see what I will be doing next. I plan on returning to Thomas to visit, so it's not "goodbye," Thomas; It's "see ya later." 

New Historic Thomas has selected a new AmeriCorps member who will be taking over for me in mid-September. She'll be working on a variety of projects, including the Thomas Times. To anyone who's reading this, make sure to give her a warm welcome!