'Bless their hearts': 'country boys' drive wagons, Trump sign through Carolinas
Yes, that was mule and horse drawn wagons covered with Trump signs clippity clopping down one of York County's busiest highways Thursday morning.
The men in the wagons on S.C. 161 between York and Rock Hill wanted to get attention. They sure got it.
Horns honked. People stopped for videos and pictures. Some vehicles stopped in the middle of the five-lane highway and stared.
A wagon train. With giant Trump signs draped on the sides of the wagons.
"Make America great again," called out Randy Smith in the rear wagon pulled by two horses as a trucker honked.
"God bless America," said Jeff Hoyle in the front wagon hauled by three mules.
The men from Cleveland County, N.C., are raising money for a therapeutic riding program in Shelby, N.C., called Hearts and Hooves.
"We're just two good ol' country boys who support our president, trying to raise money for a good cause," Hoyle said.
The men also fly large American and Christian flags.
They said they had the idea to take their love of horses and mules and Trump on the road to raise money.
The road is long -- more than 400 miles long at about 4 mph, a roundtrip to Myrtle Beach and back.
They started April 4 and have been on the road since. They sleep in the wagons at night. Wednesday they bunked near a Rock Hill Walmart.
The wagon train is not an official part of the Trump campaign, the men said. But both men say they voted for Trump in 2016 and will again if he runs in 2020. The Trump signs are a way to support the man they say is a good president for all Americans, and to get noticed.
It works, they said.
One York County driver, Marcus Sanders, said Thursday he saw the Trump signs and stopped along S.C. 161 to see "what was going on" with the wagon train. The men explained the cause, and Sanders donated $20 to the riding program.
The men said they have collected "a lot of donations from kind people" during the ride.
And then there is the attention from drivers because of the Trump signs.
"Most people they like it, they holler and wave, but some don't like President Trump," said Hoyle, a chicken farmer from Casar, N.C. "But he's our president, whether somebody likes it or not. I happen to like it."
Smith, retired, from Boiling Springs, N.C., said he supports Trump because Trump supports "working people."
Smith said they don't seek out or even speak out with those against Trump.
"We love everybody and respect everybody," Smith said. "Even if they don't like President Trump. And we sure like him."
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald