Dave Price spent Friday morning at the Johnson City Fire Department, even sliding down a fire pole — "I can't believe I did this!" Price exclaimed — before surprising one of the city's bravest with a summer vacation.
Thanks to a letter to The Early Show from his wife, Mary, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Finucane was awarded a seven-night cruise through beautiful Alaska.
The trip includes whale watching and an excursion trip to Mendenhall Glacier.
While on board their Celebrity Cruise, the Finucanes will enjoy luxury accommodations, a fun-filled Broadway-style show and delicious meals.
"I'm just in shock -- I just didn't expect this," Finucane said.
"We've talked about visiting Alaska and going on a cruise. We are looking forward to it. I love watching the whales, it's very exciting."
Finucane was even in on the planning of the The Early Show's surprise at the fire station, which was prompted by a letter from his wife. He just did not know he was the deserving recipient.
"[In my letter,] I said that the hardest working and most dedicated fireman that I've ever known, of course, is Mark," Mary Finucane told Price. "He works 24/7 on behalf of his men. He's so fiercely loyal to them. He works hard for the community and for me and for our church. He's a great student of the fire service. He's studying all the time to try to better himself and to find better ways to do things."
So what does the couple like most about living in Johnson City?
"I love the mountains and I do love the people," Mary Finucane said. "It's funny, over the 12 years that I've been living here -- we're transplants ourselves -- and it's amazing how well the transplants and the natives take care of each other. Everyone gets along great and the city is very well run."
"I have a bunch of great firefighters I work with, a great fire chief I work with, and our neighbors and our friends are just fantastic here. It's a great life here," Mark Finucane said.
On Wednesday, June 14, one of two Early Show Winnebagos that are crossing the country will pull into Cape Giraedeau, Mo., where The Early Show will surprise another deserving viewer with a "Great American Vacation."
Check out our map: If you live in one if the cities we're visiting, tell us about the one thing we just have to see and about someone there who's deserving of a "Great American Vacation."
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who knows ... maybe we'll send them packing!