Trail on Tommy's
Bostwick Dedicates New Sidewalk to Beloved City Residents
By: Whitney Skeeters and Patrick Yost
Photos By Angelina Bellebuono
On Saturday, January 31, Tommy Tyson became a symbol of what makes the City of Bostwick special.
At 10 a.m. that morning, about a hundred of his neighbors, friends and family gathered to watch as the new sidewalk along Fairplay Street was officially deemed "Tommy's Trail." He received a plaque, and a marker will be placed so the world will know for years to come - this is the well-trodden path of beloved Tommy Tyson, who Bostwick residents swear is the nicest man you could ever meet.
Plans for construction of the sidewalk began several years ago when the city received a Georgia Department of Transportation grant. Mayor John Bostwick said the city council prioritized the sidewalk for people like Tommy who walk down the street every day. Fairplay is the prettiest street in town, but also the most dangerous. Many travelers speed through this road, which intersects Bostwick, on the way to Athens and neighboring cities. Pedestrian safety has been an issue for some time.
The highly anticipated trail was completed in January and the council agreed to dedicate it to someone who will use it more than anyone else. Tommy walks Fairplay several times a day for exercise, errands and social rounds. He is also respected around Bostwick for his compassion and friendliness. He always takes a genuine interest in the well-being of everyone he knows.
"The community was behind the decision 100 percent," said Bostwick. "Everyone was in total agreement that it was the right thing to do."
"I don't know anybody that has a warmer heart in this community," he said.
Ceremony attendees echoed Bostwick's assessment.
"It was awesome. I'm happy all the people in the community came out to support him," said Stacy Nabors. "He's really a special person. He's like no one else."
"Nobody deserved to have something named after them more than Tommy," agreed Jane Bostwick. "Tommy is just wonderful. I think Bostwick is blessed to have so many wonderful people in the community."
Tommy, 55, moved in with his aunt Hilda Carter in 1996 and has been a town fixture ever since
Tommy was grateful to receive the sentiment from the community he cares about.
"I'm just so tickled over it," Tommy said. "Many people came out, it's a big day. It reminds me of one of our festivals."
Tommy has been anticipating this day for months. Friends say he has literally been counting down each day since he found out about it in November. Someone in the crowd asked him if he was even able to sleep the night before.
"I knew I was going to have a good day, so I slept very well," he said.
Tommy might not have a record deal or a multi-million dollar contract, but he was certainly treated like a celebrity that day. An entourage of his closest associates encircled him and others flocked to shake his hand and offer congratulations. Paparazzi snapped photos and onlookers exchanged heartwarming stories of their own personal encounters with him over the years. When he sang a song he prepared as a tribute to the trail, fittingly titled "Life's a Holiday on Tommy's Trail," several cried. He ended his brief performance with a Roy Rogers and Dale Evans song from the early fifties, "Happy Trails." Onlookers joined in and everyone in attendance sang in unison, "Happy trails to you, until we meet again."
"This is a day I'll never forget. It is a special day in my life," Tommy said. "I love you all."
To view Images click Top Right Image
PUBLISHED IN THE FEBRUARY 5, 2009 EDITION