LUCE COUNTY – Dave and Sherri Frohriep voted for change. Just not this kind.
The power company turned off their electricity recently and the couple doesn’t have the $500 to get it turned back on. Neither have jobs beyond a few dollars they get for working for the volunteer fire department. Dave filled out paperwork seeking employment at the local Michigan Works office. “They told me Dave, you can fill this out, but I wouldn’t hold my breath,” Dave said.
Music blared from the speakers of a radio running off a car battery as Dave poured charcoal in an old gas grill. He lit a cigarette with a cigarette lighter, then used the lighter to start the charcoal.
“We’ve been in some down-and-out situations and we’ve come out of it beautiful,” Dave said. “But this is about as low as we’ve been. I mean, this sucks.”
The Frohrieps live in rural Luce County in the Upper Peninsula. Beyond tourism and a prison, there’s little work. Dave said he has a daughter who went to Lake Superior State to earn a certification to work as a medical assistant. “She works at Applebee’s,” Dave said. “It pays more.”
Dave and Sherri cast their ballots for Trump, like most of their neighbors in a county where 68 percent voted for Trump and 26 percent for Clinton. “(Trump) said he’d bring back jobs,” Dave told Bridge in January. “I hope so. That’s what everybody needs.”
Six months later, with no job and no electricity, Dave said he is depressed. “I’ve always had a job,” he said. “I feel like a bum.”
Still, Dave would vote for Trump again. “He’s doing some good things,” he said.
“I probably wouldn’t vote,” Sherri said, rolling a cigarette with loose tobacco stored in a plastic container. “I honestly don’t think it makes a difference.”