By: Natalie M. Zeigler
City Manger

It is often important to get an outside opinion, to receive a different perspective. Earlier this month, Mayor Mel Pennington received a note of thanks from a Elizabeth Reber. The letter is a reminder of what we do well as a community.

Dear Mr. Mayor — Recently, my mother, two children and our combined six dogs and one cat were evacuated from our homes on Hilton Head Island. As luck would have it, we found lodging in your town and I just had to take a minute to let you know what a wonderful experience it was being “displaced” there.

First of all, your main street area is beautiful, inviting and full of a variety of shopping options. Everywhere we went, we were met with kind, helpful people who were clearly very proud to be citizens of Hartsville. The first day we were there, we walked along the main street and visited many of your shops, including the bookstore where we found such an eclectic selection of new and used books. Our traveling companion collects signed first editions and was thrilled to get one from a local author. My mother collects prints from the towns she visits and was so pleased to be able to get a watercolor of Hartsville. We also visited the thrift shop where I was able to find some vintage goblets to match a set I have cherished–a gift to my parents on their wedding day. One of your residents chatted with us and told us about your great movie theatre and we all went to see the movie “IT” on Sunday. That popcorn sure hit the spot!!

You have some great places to eat, too!  We sure did NOT go hungry. We enjoyed the Pita Pit and Bizzell’s and had great coffee at that adorable coffee shop—my 11 year old daughter, who was hoping for a Starbucks, was thrilled with her smoothie and cake pop at Crema and claimed it was even better than Starbucks!

Every single person we encountered was warm, kind and very welcoming.  Kat and Marc, from Applebee’s treated us as royalty and made sure we were well taken care of when we stopped in for lunch or dinner (three times!) Kat not only checked to see if we had enough to eat and our drinks were filled, but checked on our wellbeing, and truly made us feel at home. Marc saw us at the movies and greeted me like we were old friends—he is such a wonderful man and truly a gem of Hartsville.

My mother and I said several times, if we lost our homes in the hurricane, we were moving to Hartsville!  As you know, the storm turned and we were spared.  We were thankful to have our homes intact and headed home on Tuesday. However, if we had to be displaced—how very blessed we were to have been displaced in your town.

Thank you for your town’s hospitality during what could have been a stressful time.  Because of the caring and kindness of Hartsville, we actually had a nice evacuation!

Again, thank you. — Elizabeth Reber

Everyone at the City of Hartsville is very appreciative of Elizabeth’s kind words. Receiving feedback from visitors to our city is always useful in helping us make Hartsville an even better place to stay and live. We will continue to work hard to make sure those that come to our City feel welcomed home.