Andrew Dys

‘A bunch of mess’: York County working people weigh in on Comey hearing

Melissa Wommer is a waitress at Red’s Grill who works on her feet all day, starting before sunrise. She must work even if there is big news.

When fired FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the U.S. Senate Thursday, Wommer peeked at Facebook Live on her phone while working, just to catch glimpses. In rare moments, between eggs and grits, she watched the television mounted on the wall next to to-go drink holders.

Every working person knows what happened to Comey; he got fired.

“I just hope that they get a successful outcome, and get to the bottom of what happened.” Wommer said.

Because America is her America -- not Comey’s America, not even President Trumps’s America -- Wommer said she wants the truth.

“The people of this country deserve to know what happened,” Wommer said.

Others around the place ate and watched. Or didn’t. A few burly guys said they couldn’t care less. A heating and air guy said it is summer, and that means he has no time for politicians.

Real people got up and went to real jobs. There is no argument for working people, the paycheck comes first.

Ebenezer Grill, another Rock Hill landmark, had two televisions tuned to the Comey hearings. There was no sound.

One television had closed captions, and customer Ashley Fry, on her break from work at a urology medical practice, watched and read what she could from a table next to the TV.

She was not impressed with Comey. She said the whole deal might be because some don’t like Trump or what he says or does. Fry said she doesn’t agree with Trump on everything, but he is president and partisan politics might be at play.

“I’ve seen him (Comey) blame a lot of people rather than take any of the blame himself,” Fry said. “If tables were turned, none of this would happen. . . Trump tells it like it is. . . He is president and we need to respect that.”

Like at Red’s, customers at Ebenezer Grill watched if interested and didn’t if they weren’t. Many people said they would watch reruns and analysis later at home.

The problem with the testimony is that it happened Thursday before and through lunch, when many people were working.

Is Comey a showboat and grandstander, as Trump says? Is Trump a liar, as Comey says? Working people might care, but many couldn’t take time off to watch.

A pair of crews worked on a construction project on Main Street, west of downtown. Workers hustled and sweated and dug and lifted, and nobody said the word Comey. But several talked about how they believe Trump gets a raw deal from the media and from Democrats.

Richard Jackson is 65, and if he does not work he does not get paid. He used a hoe, then a shovel. He said he “could care less” what Comey said or what Comey claims Trump said in a back-and-forth. Regular people have to feed families.

“I’m a construction superintendent. We are going to work regardless of what goes on in Washington,” Jackson said.

At another construction site on Herlong Avenue, workers built a wall in front of a busy medical complex. Patients rushed in or went in by wheelchair or with canes and walkers. Nobody watched Comey. The workers building the wall didn’t take time for Comey or Trump, either.

“I know I have got to work. It doesn’t bother me,” said James Hazel, who like Jackson is doing manual labor at age 65.

Hazel has worked since he was a child. “They are wasting taxpayers money with that kind of stuff,” he said.

About Washington, and politicians, and Comey and Trump, Hazel said: “Ain’t nothin’ but a bunch of mess up there.”

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