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Here's what our premier audience had to say about "Trail Magic"

Andy Verhoff (History Fund Grant Manager & Historical Marker Coordinator, Ohio History Fund): "Trail Magic shares with the rest of the world and outstanding story that hikers of the Appalachian Trail and most other hikers already know, that of “Grandma” Emma Gatewood. As a senior citizen she hiked the length of the Appalachian Trail three times, an inspirational feat when most of us today are more concerned with getting the parking spots closest to the entrances of the buildings we’ll enter! ... thanks, too, for using your organizational grant to make such an uplifing film about Grandma Gatewood. It's projects like yours that makes grant making so rewarding."

Sheri Thomas Reynolds: "It was such a wonderful film!"

Ted Winebarger: "My wife told me we were going to a show. So I thought I would catch some ZZZ while my wife watched, but to my amazement it was very interesting. I started watching it and missed my nap but I didn't mind after I got interested. She was one tough woman and if you don't see it YOUR (sic) MISSING OUT IN (sic) A GREAT SHOW
"PS : I guess I should listen to my wife more often."

Rosemary Versaci: "I was a part of the two day festivities of the Grandma Gatewood storytelling event and the premier of the documentary “Trail Magic” the story of Grandma Gatewood. Both events were wonderful. I especially feel that the storytelling program for Grandma Gatewood is a great way to introduce the audience to this remarkable person. The storytelling program sets the stage for the documentary of “Trail Magic”. It is a more personal account of her life and how she came to [the] point of making this epic journey. It sets the tone and the background for the documentary. The storyteller makes you feel a part of Grandma Gatewood and her life…she brings her to life, right before your eyes and ears with words and pictures!

Upon seeing the storytelling program and then seeing the documentary, I think they go hand in hand and truly complement each other! The documentary not only tells her story of determination but also frames her story with interviews from people that hike the Appalachian Trail and of course know of her and her accomplishment but also with interviews from her relatives makes it much more personal and wonderful to hear.

Her story is important to be heard because of what she endured through her marriage, domestic abuse and to see that not only was she a survivor but that she also accomplished something that had never been done before by a woman and the age of 67! She hiked the Appalachian Trail! Not only once but several times. And if that wasn’t enough she also completed the Oregon Trail. And helped to establish the Buckeye Trail!

It is a story of survival, independence and determination….to see and hear her story makes one feel that we too can accomplish our “trails”….whatever they may be in our lives! We just have to have the gumption and the determination of Grandma Gatewood! A story for EVERYONE to hear and see!"

Alethea Wilhelm: "I learned so much and was happily entertained! Emma's story was important to tell because she has been a huge inspiration for through hikers and women. Telling her story gave me a new understanding and appreciation of the Appalachian trail and the magic that can happen there." (Alethea was one of our singers for the film.)

Doris Higgins: "Tom & I want to thank you for a spectacular documentary on the first solo hike by Grandma Gatewood. What an inspiration especially to those of us that are aging & to recognize how important exercise is at any age. Keep up the good work & we look forward to your next production."

Bill King: "It was a great night! The movie was very good. The story of Emma Gatewood is compelling and the movie did an excellent job of telling about her life. The reception was a nice way of getting everyone together to learn more about the process of making the movie."

Foster Brown: "The documentary was a well balance[d] piece of film that captures the past and present. ... I left inspired, informed, saddened by her struggles, yet strengthened at the same time by her faith, tenacity and persevering character. The acting was wonderful, the interviews with the family were tastefully done, the script was well written and thought out, the landscape was gorgeous and the music lent to the spirit of the whole story. Great work! This documentary should be seen by all. Emma Gatewood is a great role model for all who will and have struggled through great adversity and came out on the other side victorious." (Foster was one of the singers in the film)

Kay Hoebake: "I thought her story was inspirational. She did it before women were considered able to do something like that and she was not young. Even though she had a difficult life, she was not worn out. She had been challenged by hardships but took on a very difficult challenge for her hobby! I don't know where she got her strength, stamina, determination and courage. I admire her for not giving up and for not letting her abusive husband take away her spirit. She was a trailblazer and was not afraid to show her artistic side with her poetry. She was so resourceful and is a folk heroine whose story should not be forgotten. Her healing ways for others reminds me of the native Americans as well as her reverence for nature. I wonder what her mother and grandmother were like and what they accomplished. I think she serves as a role model for young and old alike, male or female."

Rev. Lou Will wrote to our Grandma Gatewood, Anne McEvoy,:
"Hi Anne,

Last evening Sylvia and I went to True North for the premiere of 'Trail Magic'. At the church where I am now serving part-time, one of our members is Kelly Boyer Sagert, who was the researcher and writer for that production, so we were all there to support her.

And then, when the film began, there you were, portraying Grandma Gatewood! From what I have come to learn about her and her life, you captured her wonderfully: her honesty, her humor, her determination and grit. It must have been a good project in which to participate.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop this note of appreciation for your performance. Although we don't cross paths very often, I have admired your work and joyous spirit whenever our paths have intersected.

Best wishes in upcoming endeavors in theater, and in all your pursuits, Anne.

Peace and blessings,

Do you have a question or comment about our film? Send us an e-mail!

To find out where our Grandma Gatewood programs are showing, visit our calendar page.

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