All good things…

17 Aug

Houston would be our last stop. There, on the steps leading to our hotel, we said our goodbyes. Rogier and Rob head an afternoon flight for Brussels, Ben flew straight to NYC, and Matt headed to Syracuse.  A few hugs, and the taxi man drives you away.

We can’t thank enough the beautiful people that made this journey possible — Elinor Tatum, Kristin, Russel Banks, Ann and Rachel, Mia, Sheriff Wiley, Dana, Carol Heard, Oscar, Ms Duren, Mr Montgomery, the Wingate family, Kevin, Vivacious Val, Jacqueline, Johan, Charles Evers, Bob and Billie, Bill, Derek, LaDonne, Diane, Tommy, and many, many others we met along the way.

And a big thank you to the radio stations, news magazines, and newspapers that were there with us every state we hit.

6 States, 14 hotels, thousands of miles. But none of that compares to the amazing people we met. More so than any other journey, every state we went to had its own life. Each state had something to really hold onto.

Packing up your things, grabbing the pavement, and heading out onto the road, that’s something that is distinctly, and beautifully, American. And here we were, two foreigners and two Americans, going off and trying to do something that has never been done before. But through all this — through the miles, the hotels, the restaurants, the ups and the downs, the backroads, and the dead-ends — one thing has remained true: it’s the people that make this country great. They didn’t have to let us into their homes, but they did. They didn’t have to meet us for coffee, show us onto their pontoon boat, reveal parts of themselves, but they did.

Nowadays, it’s easy to lose sight on the good in people. It’s easy to write people off as rude, as uncaring. A person does you wrong, the actions of people on the news get you down — it’s become the thing nowadays to not trust people, to stick close to what we know and hold tight to that.  But from town to town, we found how that belief kept falling to the side. People are good. People do let you into your home and treat you like family. People surprise you.  People change and people grow. You can come in with a preconceived idea of someone, and two days later, everything you thought you knew goes right out the window. That’s an amazing thing.

We don’t know everything. And we don’t really know what makes a person until we take the time to get to know them. The people we met during these five weeks are as unique as anyone could be. But never once did they push us aside, never once did they tell us to go somewhere else. It takes great compassion to believe in the good in others. It takes care to know that people aren’t what they seem.

We set off to show America. We set off to show our audience that America is full of many different kinds of people, many different voices, and many different lives. But through it all, we are bound together by life. And in the end, these differences actually bring us together.

Once again, endless thanks to the great people of New York, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. You made this journey incredible. We thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. And it’s nice to know that wherever life takes us, we always have a place in your home to hang our hats and catch up on old times.

Here’s to you all.

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One Response to “All good things…”

  1. Billie Johnson August 18, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    We enjoyed the four of you so much,it was great fun to see our community through your eyes. All of us admire the task you have set upon and look forward to the film production. maybe someday we will meet your families and share your stories, till then best wishes and may God bless you.

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