If ever there was a poster boy who is tailor made to represent Flint and Genesee County, it’s Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas.
Much like the people who also call the Flint area home, Thomas has absorbed more than his share of setbacks over the years only to keep plugging along while refusing to quit no matter how bad things looked.
For a couple of hours, it allowed everyone in attendance to forget about our unemployment woes, soaring crime rate and uncertain future while proving that it’s possible to overcome anything.
Life after winning a Stanley Cup has been fun but overwhelming at times for Thomas. It's the constant demands, the celebration, the physical exhaustion that takes weeks to lift that has worn on him at times.
"I don't think I ever mentally prepared or thought of the reaction that would come afterwards," he said on Wednesday.
Even the day that is supposed to be a celebration was stressful. It was his day with the Stanley Cup and there were nerves leading up to his trip home. He said he gets that way any time a function becomes about him and this was most definitely a day about him.
Thomas got the key to the city. He had a bridge named after him. It was declared Tim Thomas day. He was presented with a Davison hockey jersey along with an old team picture. A sign with his accomplishments will now greet visitors to the school as they drive up.
His cousin Susan Danner told stories of grabbing old couch cushions from the garbage to use as goalie pads while growing up with Thomas. She was just one of countless people in this town who took turns shooting pucks on Thomas as he constantly worked on improving his game.
His hard work went beyond hockey. He sold fruit door to door. He delivered pizza. He worked at the local grocery store and as a lot boy at a car dealership where he spent mornings making sure there was enough air in the tires of the vehicles for sale.