The Villages: Dueling Golf Cart Rallies

A Collaboration Between

Boyd's Station and

American Reportage​

ESSAY

The Villages:
Dueling Golf Cart Rallies

Text and Photography by Tina Russell

Henrietta Amey, 83, a resident of The Villages, is an avid supporter of President Donald Trump. She has a painted portrait of Trump right above the television in her home. A teddy bear depicting a likeness to Trump sits on a chair by her front door.

Amey spends a good portion of her time with The Villagers for Trump, an organization run by Villagers with the goal of getting Donald Trump reelected. The club boasts having 25,000 members. The Villages is a retirement community nestled in Central Florida that spans over three counties.

Today is no different for Amey as she gets ready to attend a Trump golf cart parade. She’s wearing a bright red shirt that supports Donald Trump paired with a bedazzled vest and hat with the American flag printed on it. For accessories, she wore cowboy hat shaped earrings and rhinestone studded pin that says Trump and a pin that says “Fire Pelosi.” She even has Trump-themed sneakers. By

“He’s the best president in my lifetime,” Amey said. “ “He made promises, and he kept his promises.”

Donald Trump is popular in The Villages. This is evident with the amount of people that arrived at Lake Miona Recreation Center to participate in the golf cart parade. There’s not an accurate number for the amount of people who attended the event on September 23rd, but the oversized parking lot was packed to the brim with golf carts.

Attendees of the golf cart parade cheered as Patti Schweikert and a friend arrived, holding up a sign that said, “Fill that seat,” referring to the empty Supreme Court seat that was left open after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Villager Denise Marshall supports Trump because she likes his stance on immigration and his trade deals. “I don’t want to live in a socialist country,” she said.

Prior to the start of the parade, Villagers gathered at the front of the Lake Miona Recreation Center for prayer, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing patriotic songs.

“It thrills my heart to see such patriotism,” Patti Hutch said, an attendee of the parade.

As golf cart parade attendees made their way to Spanish Springs Town Square, they looped around the square and waved to supporters that lined the streets. Many attendees then parked their golf carts and got dinner at the square. Some even danced to the “Cupid Shuffle,’ that was performed by a local musician.

Amey, like many other Villagers who support Trump, believes he puts America first. “I like everything about him,” Amey said. “I hope and pray that he wins.”

***

 

Four days after the Villagers for Trump golf cart rally, a much smaller group of Villagers gathered at Fenney Recreation Center for a golf cart parade of their own, but this time the presidential nominee they supported was different. This group supports Joe Biden in the upcoming election.

Peggy Shearer and her husband, Greg Shearer organized the Sept. 27th Biden/Harris golf cart parade. Peggy Shearer is a former Republican who broke away from the party after not voting for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. She’s always participated in voting, but this is the first time she’s been actively involved in organizing local political events.

“I want to have someone I can respect for the highest office in the world,” Peggy Shearer said. I think Biden has lots of integrity.”

“I think when you see how Biden interacts with anyone who has had a tragedy or trouble, you get a sense of empathy is at his core, and we need somebody like that,” Greg Shearer said.

Peggy Shearer is very nervous with this upcoming election.

“I just hate to think what will happen if he’s reelected,” she said. “I’m very scared. I feel like we’re going down the tunnel into the abyss with this administration.”

Cary Feldman sat in his golf cart prior to the Biden/Harris golf cart parade. He had a sign plastered on his golf cart that read: “200,000 plus dead. He knew. He lied.”

He said he’s disgusted by the lies that come from Trump. “We’re in big trouble if he’s in another four years,” Feldman said. “I don’t understand how Trump supporters don’t see the light.”

The group received mixed reviews as they traveled two miles by golf cart to their ending location at Edna’s on the Green. Supporters were dispersed amongst passing recreation centers to cheer on the participants. Those who did not support Joe Biden simply put their thumbs down as they passed them in their golf carts. After the golf cart parade ended, attendees joined each other for lunch and drinks while practicing social distancing.

Something Greg Shearer read has resonated with him. “If you ever wonder what you would’ve done in the holocaust or WWII, look what you’re doing right now becuase we’re in the same situation,” he said. “I think a lot of people feel that way.”

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