|Chuck Griswold, as mayor of Fairfield in 2017, chairing a Rotary meeting.|
Saturday is the first anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Since my views on his administration should be familiar to the careful reader, I thought I'd mark the occasion by looking beyond myself.
If you list Illinois' 102 counties by how they voted in the 2016 presidential election, at one end is Cook County, which voted 74.4 percent for Hillary Clinton. On the other, Wayne County, 275 miles due south, voted 84.3 percent for Trump.
You might recall that one year ago I visited Fairfield, population 5,000, the Wayne County seat. It was pleasant and informative. In getting to know a small, tight-knit community, I met the mayor, the newspaper publisher, the bank president, the police chief. They were pretty much of one mind.
"It's kinda nice having a nonpolitician running the country," said one retiree having his early-morning coffee at the Barb Wire Grill on Main Street.
One year on, has anything changed? How do they assess the Trump presidency so far? Still kinda nice?
"Most people I know haven't really changed their opinion of Trump yet," said L. Bryan Williams, who owns an insurance company. "He says a lot of cringe-worthy things that some of us wish he wouldn't. But, by and large, we're judging things by what we're seeing regarding unemployment dropping, the price of oil is higher, more job opportunities throughout America — sadly none to Wayne County yet."
The price of oil being higher is a good thing around Fairfield.
"That's important to us," Williams said. "A lot of people here work in the oil and gas business."
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