Meet Michigan's divided: Dave and Sherri Frohriep

Dave and Sherri Frohriep

Sherri and Dave Frohriep (Photo by John Russell)

Vital stats

Names: Dave and Sherri Frohriep
Ages: 40 and 45 Place: Newberry, in the U.P.
Jobs: Unemployed in the winter
Income: Under $20,000
Voted for: Trump
Hope or fear for 2017: Improved job opportunities

LUCE COUNTY — You think you know why Yoopers like Dave and Sherri Frohreip voted overwhelmingly for Trump. But you can’t. Not until you put your special-needs daughter on a bus at 6 a.m. for a two-hour ride to the closest school with a program that can help her. Not until you drive an hour and 20 minutes to the closest store to buy shoes. When you have money for shoes. When there’s gas in the car. When you have a car.

You don’t know why they voted for Trump until you’ve had eight miscarriages and two bouts of cancer like Sherri. Not until you’ve dealt with health insurance that doesn’t cover the cost of life-saving medications. Not until you’ve sold your TV and stereo and knife collection and, as a last resort, your guns, to buy that medicine. Not until you live in a place where those guns aren’t a political statement but tools to put meat in the freezer for the winter, when seemingly nobody has jobs. “(Trump) said he’d bring back jobs,” said Dave, 40. “I hope he does. That’s what everybody needs here.”

From their main news source – word of mouth between neighbors – they believe Hillary Clinton was going to take away guns (“There was a run on guns before the election. I had to order .22 shells online,” Dave said), and that she hid major health problems.

Their home is Luce County, on land bordering Lake Superior, where snowmobiles outnumber cars in hotel parking lots. It is one of Michigan’s poorest counties, with few kids going to college and the state’s highest teen pregnancy rate.

“People think the U.P. is full of welfare people and we could get jobs if we want to,” Sherri said. “They have no clue.”

About The Author

Ron French

Ron French is Bridge senior writer, based in Lansing. He can be reached here.

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Comments

Donna Bultema
Sat, 04/15/2017 - 5:25pm

Come interview me, I can give you real life facts about the UP of Muchigan as well...
Good job Sheri n Dave..