|The Ferrington Farms subdivision has one house in it.|
FAIRFIELD, Illinois — Drive 275 miles due south from Cook County to Wayne County. You'll notice differences right away.
It is warmer here, literally — last Wednesday, when it was 42 degrees in Chicago, it was 67 degrees in Fairfield, the county seat, and with a population of 5,000, the largest town in Wayne County, population 15,000.
Figuratively warmer too. Ask directions at a bakery and the owner will walk out into the street to point the way. Strangers volunteer to put you up for the night. Pop in on the bank president, unannounced, and he'll visit with you a good long spell. The Rotary meeting starts with a sing-along of "Clementine."
This isn't the traditional South, true. But the three vehicles in the fleet of the Fairfield Police Department are pickup trucks.
The occasional Confederate flag can be spied flying in the yards of modest homes that sell for $35,000. There is a free-standing video store.
Like the South, this is Donald Trump Country. Though he is being sworn in Friday as the 45th president with historically low popularity ratings nationwide, you wouldn't know it in Wayne.
Line up Illinois' 102 counties based on how they voted in the presidential election, with Cook County at one end with 74.4 percent voting for Hillary Clinton. Skip over the next 100 counties and you end here, at Wayne, a struggling coal, oil, farming and light manufacturing region that went 84.3 percent for Trump.....
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