Jim Larkin once supported him, though he showed little sympathy for those who loved him, the victim of Camp Fire, when President Donald Trump lost everything in California's most deadly strike.
And he will do it again.
Larkin said he loves the president personally and is standing outside the Disaster Assistance Center at Chico's Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday.
The 63 – year – old house burned 10 days ago in a massive fire that traversed the forest and rolled a canyon, destroying the entire village.
The paradise city of about 27,000 people is the second largest city in Butte County, next to Chico, a university town with a more moderate political composition.
Camp fire prevention:
When Trump investigated the destruction in paradise and visited with a public safety official at Chico's command center, Lakin wrote a claim for federal aid.
Larkin has insurance for a modest home, but after collecting the claimant and drowning it in red tape, he decided to visit the FEMA Disaster Center directly.
Immediately after the fire, Trump criticized wildfire management and threatened to hold the federal funds. Some of Trump's supporters were astonished by the President's insensitivity. Others, like Larkin, did not panic.
Lakin said Trump knew he had visited Burt County. But he did not have time to worry about chasing after his motorcycle. A spokesman for Lakin said that Trump's Twitter bombing was characteristic and no one was surprised that the president had left without visiting the victims of the fire in the disaster area.
"It can not even imagine a rich man, what is it?" Lakin said. "It is very difficult for such people to even understand." "Oh, they are hurting. What is it that hurts him?" "
The fire changed everything.
In many parts of Burt County or Trump Country, many conservative locals like this saying, and the president just can not get a pass.
This northern California region is a patchwork of California's metropolitan and isolated rural areas, where many people are born and leave. This is where the withdrawal movement in the rest of the country has weakened and flourished over the years.
In 2016, Trump reported to the Secretary of State that he had outclassed Hill County Clinton in Burt County by 4 percentage points. After the election, the president's conservative policy was praised by the outspoken California Republican.
But the fire, which killed about 50,000 people and killed at least 71 people, changed everyone and everyone. Confused people are starting to understand the trauma they can endure, and those who are not affected are providing support as the government receives support and other immediate help.
Lots of people live in tents and cars in the parking lot, and hundreds more are sleeping in the place. Throughout Butte County, people start to understand that there is no end or easy answer on the near horizon.
On Saturday, Trump visited the birthplace of Paradise with Paradise Mayor Jody Jones, Gavin Newsom, Governor Jerry Brown and FEMA Administrator Brian Long.
The president 's motorcycle was taken to roasted mobile homes and RV parks.
President Donald Trump said he traveled to the heart of California's killer wildfire to fully understand the scale of the November 17th devastation.
"Right now I want to take care of those seriously injured," the president said. "This is very sad, as far as life is concerned, nobody knows yet."
At Chico Fire Command Center, Trump visited his first responder. Firefighters are still trying to contain the fire. The Sheriff's spokesman is trying to find the missing person.
The lost list rose to almost 1,300.
A new perspective
Larkin put a silver gray pigbull named "Baby" in the grass in the parking lot of the FEMA Disaster Center in Chico Mall. The center is in a closed Sears store.
In social media, people have criticized officials who can move quickly to install FEMA sites in indoor buildings when vulnerable populations, families with children, sick people and the elderly are still living in cold conditions.
Trump supporter changed to fire Larkin. He fled to his car and flame adjacent to it. He can not stop thinking about old people who can not get out of the house. He heard people screaming and seeing other things he could not talk about.
"I am 63 years old, I was born on Brooklyn Street in New York, I saw everything," he said. "I have never seen anything like this. It was a stumbling block in my mind."
For the first time in his life, Larkin is considering meeting a counselor. FEMA provides mental health assistance programs for disaster survivors.
Although he found the community and eventually became the landlord, he thinks he can move out of the county.
"I had a house for the first time at the age of 63." I had it for a year and it burned out. "
Dr. Lakin showed in his initial report that his house was burning. Then he said he should check his unmanned photo. He has a family in another state. Maybe he goes there and starts again. The baby rubs behind his ears and says.
Lakin said he had done something on Saturday, which he had never done before. He always thought of himself as "attracting himself with sticky action." He often did not pay people to live on the streets.
According to the US Census, 19.5% of the population in Burt County live below the poverty line. According to the census, the poverty rate in the United States in 2017 was 12.3%.
On Saturday morning, Lakin went to Carl's Junior to have a cup of coffee. After he had finished his work in the last few days, the fire tried to defend ordinary and everyday life after deciphering his daily life.
He saw a man who looked homeless on the roadside. Larkin is a type of person I've seen many times in Butte County before.
"I usually think of myself as others, passing across the street from sick people or someone sleeping on the streets," he said in a voice filled with tears. "How can you pass him? It's weird, you know, I could not do it."
Jim said that he woke up every morning and thought his bones were cold at the campsite parked on the roadside. He said it was bad. But this man did not wear socks.
Fire saw life and people in perspective. Larkin stopped and gave the man $ 32.
"I shared money with him," Rakin said. "I will then defend the same person."
At the Chico fire control center where Trump stopped, people walked on the US flag and waited to capture the President's Motorcross escape video. A small number of protesters have opened signs about climate change.
"Welcome President Trump," I read one sign.
Many homes in orchards and rice fields across the highway are considered separate from the free Fort Trump Railway when talking about California's regulations and politics.
The desire for cultural differences with the Golden State sparked a movement to seek independence for the newly formed conservative fortress, or so-called Jefferson. As California Democrats opposed Trump's policy on immigration, global warming, conservation and business deregulation, the movement gained momentum.
Signs for exercise take from the farm and the national highway. The website is dedicated to the mission.
"23 counties in Northern California, known as Jefferson, formally require a state division of Article 4 (United States). We declare that California is in a public uprising and uprising against the US government. "
This philosophy was when California was a place for pioneers. A place for prospects in the gold rush. Jefferson stayed at the idea that people who want to live in the state do not need the government.
The political and philosophical pipe dream of secession has changed over the years. The proposal to divide California State into six states in 2014 failed if there were not enough signatures to complete the ballot.
The fire community in the foothills of Central Sierra Nevada houses conservative retirees. People like Larkin are unable to afford a high rent in a town close to Sacramento, the state capitol.
Best president since Reagan
Larkin left his home in Buffalo looking for warmer climates and a quieter life. He’s lived in Paradise for about 15 years. When he split from his girlfriend, he scraped together enough money to buy the house.
Renters and people who live in trailers make up a large portion of Paradise residents.
Edmond McCullough, 53, was living in Section 8 housing before the fire burned down his family's home.
Since the fire, he's been living in an old camper with his wife Leticia and their kids. They’ve parked near a Walmart field to be close to their neighbors in Paradise who were also left homeless after the fire.
McCullough said he’s tired of Trump’s critics. He’s not one to follow politics but he supports Trump. He also supports a state of Jefferson.
McCullough said he’s been thinking about the state of Jefferson movement. He finds it odd that two cities, Paradise and Redding, with a substantial population that supported the secession, have experienced major fires. He supports the separation, but after the fire he wonders if there’s a chance.
“I feel the state of Jefferson is still a long ways off,” he said. “But I hope this is (something) that will bring them together, finally. That’s something I never did understand between the Democrats and Republicans about bickering and the different ideas and what the different two parties want to do. Let’s just become one people, American again and take care of America.”
His neighbor and friend Casey Belcher, 33, is also a Trump fan. But Trump’s initial comments after the fire, criticizing wildfire management and threatening to withhold aid, shook him.
“We’re the United States of America, we’re supposed to be great and all these things, but see how great you are whenever something uncontrollable comes,” he said.
Belcher said he doesn’t understand how anyone, president or not, could blame the children and families who’ve lost their livelihoods and homes in the fire. McCullough argues Trump deserves respect.
“I think Donald Trump is doing an excellent job,” he said. “People need to get off him, he’s the best president we’ve had since Ronald Reagan.”
Help for Butte County
The Trump supporters and neighbors who are living on the streets in a community that is not their own agreed on one thing. The president should spend time with evacuees, see their faces, hear their stories and leave Butte County understanding the widespread suffering first-hand.
Conservatives in the region may not agree, amid the fire, on Trump’s response but their anti-government streak still runs strong.
They said 10 days is too long to wait for housing assistance, especially for families with children. Families aren’t living in a Walmart parking lot by choice. They need FEMA to offer hotel vouchers or open a mass trailer site in Butte County.
"It should’ve been done by now,” McCullough said. “It’s been over a week.”
“You look at it as that’s the government for you, when will it happen?” Belcher said. “Who knows.”
'A lot of people hate this guy'
Larkin doesn't know if the president will have the heart to make a difference for people who are suffering after the fire. But if offered, he'd sit down and talk with Trump — man to man, Republican to Republican. He'd start with something Trump promised supporters: Cut the government red tape. Get people who survived the Camp Fire help now.
"I bet you I'd change his mind," he said. "Cut it to the chase and just take care of these people."
Larkin said he figures the president stayed behind a security detail and didn't shake a single survivor's hand.
"What are you going to do?" he said. "I wouldn't want to come out in public neither and shake hands. A lot of people hate this guy for some reason. I don't even know why. He's doing a great job as far as I'm concerned."
Larkin said he also changed his mind about his neighbors in Chico. His son started a GoFundMe for him and people have donated to help get him back on his feet.
People across the community have offered trailers, money, clothes and food. Everything the government faltered on, he said.
Larkin leaned down to give Baby another rub behind the ear. He let her walk the grass for a bit.
Then he told his pup its time to get in the car. Time to go back to the camper he parked on the streets of Chico, outside a friend's house.
It's where he'll spend the night until morning when he goes for his fast-food coffee. And maybe sees a man with no socks living on the streets.
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