For one man, the trip from Germany to Newberry provided a glimpse into small town life in America.
Christian Krutz, from Northern Germany, visited Newberry as part of a sister city trip.
Ed and Joan Kyzer have both frequented Germany many times and Joan decided to organize this event by having a local from Germany visit the town with Germanic roots.
Krutz met with a slew of local leaders Tuesday evening in downtown Newberry which included City of Newberry Mayor Foster Senn, Sen. Ronnie Cromer, Jimmie Coggins, chamber director Ted Smith, Newberry Opera House Director Deborah Smith and others. There was also a doctor who spoke about what health care is like in Newberry which, for now, is quite different from Germany he pointed out.
Krutz went around the table asking everyone questions about Newberry and why they enjoyed it and what makes them stay in a town like Newberry.
Senn commented on the slogan, which is City of Friendly Folks, and said it’s a welcoming and neighborly place. They also said that there used to be a sign with this slogan.
Deborah Smith said that it’s a place that wants to grow and even said that the director of the Vienna Boys Choir chose to live in Newberry.
Deborah Smith and Ted Smith, no relation, both came to Newberry and enjoy it.
Ted Smith said that Newberry is close to being in the center of the state.
Cromer went into a bit of the history saying that most of the southern towns used to be textile and a lot of the southern, rural towns have dried up and there’s almost no to no growth. However, Newberry was able to revitalize itself, he elaborated.
“Anything you do, you have to reinvent yourself and we have done that,” added Ted Smith, after they discussed the many industries in town.
Coggins, who has lived in Newberry all his life, said that it’s a great place to come back to especially with its almost-central location.
Krutz also asked about what may be missing from town and Senn said that the parks are outdated but they are working to improve them.
“You have to have a sense of urgency to make the town better,” said Senn and parks are an example of something they are working to improve upon.
Krutz also inquired about the health of Newberry especially with fried foods being ever so popular in the south. The conversation turned more towards the overall health care and the fact that health care is growing because it is essentially a business.