GROWING UP POOR, WITH TRUMP ON TV

Amanda Rea in Literary Hub:

Fresh_Prince_NBC_11A lot of things didn’t reach the remote corner of Colorado where I grew up. Hummus, for instance, and artichokes, mailmen, punk rock, paved roads. This was the mid 80s, so the internet wouldn’t exist for another few years, and our single TV channel played, in my memory, a near-continuous loop of The Cosby Show, broken now and then by an old episode of I Love Lucy. Airplanes passed over us, leaving white skid marks across the sky. Any passenger looking down would’ve seen nothing, a flat beige expanse where the Rocky Mountains petered out.

And yet, even there at the edge of a ghosted mining town, where jackrabbits outnumbered humans ten-to-one, we had heard of Donald Trump. His was a household name, synonymous with wealth and arrogance and a place called New York City, which might as well have been a settlement on the moon for all it meant to us. Between Cosbyreruns, Trump was on the news, wearing a suit, talking about his money. He was young then, early forties, and though his feathered ducktail hadn’t yet turned lurid yellow, he had the same petulant mouth and smug manner we know so well today. Newscasters fawned over him. They said he had the “Midas touch”—his father had given him a fortune, and he’d turned it into more fortune.

My brother and I rolled our eyes. Nobody had to tell us Trump was an asshole, though our parents probably muttered something to that effect. We were no big fans of rich people. Our family had always been poor—generations of miners, ranchers, farmers, and oil hands.

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