Featured Artisan – Glen Thomason

Featured Artisan – Glen Thomason
Washington County, Virginia

Glen Thomason considers himself a storyteller but is now coming to terms with the title of author after the release of his fifth published book.

Thomason’s Adventures of Duke Series features its title character based on his childhood border collie. Thomason grew up in the coal mining community of Crumpler, West Virginia exploring the town with Duke. His series recounts actual events in their lives throughout the 60s and 70s.

“I love animals,” Thomason said. “I have had lots of dogs, but he was the best dog I ever owned. He loved kids. He wanted to be with you.”

The books originated after Thomason compiled the bedtime stories he had been telling his daughters and grandchildren for decades. In fact, every book starts the same way:
“A long time ago when Daddy was a little boy, he had a dog named Duke. Duke was a good ole dog and everywhere Daddy went, Duke went too.  I guess you could say he was kinda like my shadow.”

Thomason recalls vivid memories of Duke waiting with him at the bus stop, laying on the church steps during services, and visiting the coal company store. Several of these accounts have been captured in Thomason’s first five books, but he already has five additional books written to be published.

His enthusiasm and passion for Duke and the childhood wonder with man’s best friend is evident in a discussion, but Thomason shares his love broadly in local school systems. He frequently visits his wife’s first grade classroom to read his stories aloud and encourage reading amongst elementary students.

He travels with photos, memorabilia, and a stuffed animal version of Duke to bring the stories to life.

While his retirement hobby has become a service dedicated to children, his own lessons from childhood have been revived and reminders weaved into his own book.

“My connection to home went with me. The city didn’t change me. My values, my beliefs went with me,” Thomason said. His next book, he shared, will be dedicated to the townspeople of Crumpler.

Thomason’s latest book, Duke’s Best Christmas Ever!, was released in summer 2023 and is now available for purchase.

In addition to his role as an active member, Glenn Thomason currently serves on the ‘Round the Mountain Artisan Network Board.