Structural change in Keyser, West Virginia

Dhe “Royal” on Keyser’s Main Street has been around since 1904. Anyone entering the restaurant in the small town in West Virginia is immersed in the 1950s. On the wall behind the light blue counter and the leatherette-covered bar stools hang pictures of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis. And an old electric guitar. The old days are not celebrated here with vintage furniture. Time just stood still. Almost at least: the waitresses no longer wear neat petticoats. But martial neck tattoos.

Majid Sattar

Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.

The “Royal” is the communication center of the place. At lunchtime, the mayor eats his yogurt with pickled peaches here. Damon Tillman had a serious heart attack four months ago. Since then he has done without pastrami sandwiches. The 51-year-old, heavy man greets a couple of older men at the next table who are drinking their root beer in jeans and lumberjack shirts. “They are tough Democrats,” he says, “right leftists.” “Sure,” replies one of the group. “I think you don’t have to work. The state should simply distribute the money. ”Then he grins ironically. He is of course not a leftist, but a Republican. As did the mayor. And two thirds of the place. “We are ‘Trump country'”, says Tillman, “at least these days.”


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