Rickey Thomas of McDowell County loves to be surrounded by love. He's one of three finalists in News 13's Dynamite Dad contest.
"They're very special to me," he said, pointing out photos that provide a picture of the man.
Thomas is clearly all about family. Between his children and 12 grandkids, he has got a lot of love to give, and Thomas believes you cannot hold back.
"You never know when you're gonna pass away or go on," he said. "So, you better be sure to tell them that you love them before they're gone."
His house in Nebo is almost always packed with young people.
"We have movie nights down here where all of us are down here watching movies," daughter Leslie Jones said. "And then we have the Sunday dinners every week, and there's usually 10 or 12 kids running around."
"I want to nominate my dad, Rickey Thomas. He does anything and everything for his four kids," Jones said, reading the essay she wrote to News 13. "He even has custody of two of my sister's kids. He takes care of them, a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old, plus my brother, who is legally blind. Once or twice a month, he has my sister's other two kids for the weekend. All this while facing a possibility of a second back surgery."
"About made me cry, thinking she'd think enough of me to do that," Thomas said.
When he heard the words aloud, the emotion erupted like a volcano.
Thomas was beyond words, but he did not need to say a thing to describe the magnitude of the moment.
"I just don't think he knows how much he means to everybody," Jones said.
The family pictures speak volumes, and the image of Thomas and Jones together says a lot, too.
"I don't know what I'd do without you," Thomas said.
"Party," Jones joked.
On Thursday, June 14, at 5:30 p.m., News 13 will feature the last finalist for Dynamite Dad. The special father will win a gift bag from Nevada Bob's, a gift card to World of Clothing, and a recliner from Carolina Furniture Concepts.