He’s the guy who can make all of the cool sounds with his mouth, the one who can’t stand still while giving a presentation. He’s the writer, the sound man, the music man – the man who can do it all. His renowned work is no stranger to famous Disney and Nickelodeon cartoons like Doug, countless film scripts like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and even Saturday Night Live. You’ve probably seen his face on children’s academia shows, too, like Sesame Street and Between the Lions. But in the midst of renowned fame, “Nothing could be more made in Troup County than me,” said our very own Fred Newman.
Born and raised in La-Grange, Fred Newman quickly learned that life has little to do with statistics and everything to do with stories. “As you get older, what really hangs with you is where you were made,” Fred said. He loved hanging around Jack Fling’s Cash-and-Carry Grocery Store near the Country Club Road. Eating popsicles and oranges, he would listen as lawyers, businessmen, and even Jack Fling himself gathered together to tell story after story, keeping facts and currency alive.
Fast forward to the 21st century, to the LaGrange/ Troup County Chamber of Commerce’s Early Bird Breakfast on October 18, and we are plagued with what Fred calls a “data overload”. He went on to explain to the Chamber that “We’ve got so many facts right here. Too many facts. Too much data.” We have all of the information we could possibly need on our phones: the date, the weather, the news. All we want now is something more than the raw data. We want dialogue, even in the business world. Fred told each Chamber member, each businessman and businesswoman, “As your business, if you don’t have a story, then you’ve lost them. You have to get your story out there. You’ve got to brand yourself and make your story.”
Fred Newman spoke to the same Chamber around 20 years ago and was excited to see how much it has grown since then. “I can’t tell you the difference,” he said, as he praised such a unique, special place to build commerce with so many stories all its own. When each La-Grange/Troup County business owner realizes the story behind his or her own company, the narrative that brings the business to life, the community connects with commerce and creates a business growth like no other.
Peyton Hanners Staff Writer