Editorial: Those who leave still care about Charles City and New Kent
When a person leaves Charles City or New Kent, it is usually to pursue an education or further a career. But just because that person chooses to depart the area doesn’t mean that they don’t want the best for their hometown.
This past weekend, I had the privilege to take my annual trip to Emmittsburg, Maryland to visit my friend and Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian. After winning his 100th career game, I provided him an annual care package of his favorite newspaper, the New Kent-Charles City Chronicle. (Even the young people still prefer the hard copy, but that’s an editorial for another day).
The following day, I went through my usual routine and went to his office to catch up on old times. Upon sitting down, Jamion doesn’t speak much about basketball when our conversations begin. The first thing he asked me was, “How are things back home?” He continues by asking questions about if Charles City will get any businesses there (he has family in Charles City), what is causing New Kent to grow so quickly, and other questions that even I am trying to continue to answer for myself. After an hour or so about that talk, Jamion moves on to talk about New Kent High School sports and his family before he gets into his daily routine of preparing for his upcoming game.
Jamion is a prime example of how a majority of people feel about Charles City and New Kent. There will always be love for a person’s hometown but having an outside perspective from a native is something that both counties can benefit from. Seeing a person who grew up in the vicinity views their hometown now is one reason why an area works hard to grow. Charles City and New Kent are making strides to become more relevant and impactful today for its own residents. The changes and efforts by our hometown area is being viewed by those who still have a connection here. If those who use to live here are still interested in what Charles City and New Kent are doing, imagine what people who currently have no affiliation with either county may be thinking.
It is up to the counties to become attractive to those with an interest to relocate or work here. New Kent is growing at a rapid pace while Charles City is beginning to get bearings underneath itself to accommodate new businesses. The depiction of the counties can be misconstrued by talks, incidents, or misrepresentation. But as a resident of the area, we both know the jewels that Charles City and New Kent County are. It’s not our reputation that makes us; it’s the people who work and live here who do.