Trump supporters a familiar scene in Athol

  • Royalston’s Roberta “Bobbi” Newman uses her megaphone to encourage fellow Trump supporters Saturday afternoon. Newman has organized pro-Trump rallies at the Uptown Common each Saturday for more than two months. STAFF PHOTO/GREG VINE

  • Ryan Belliveau dressed as President Donald Trump urges people to shout support for the president to motorists passing through Athol on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/GREG VINE

  • Supporters of President Donald Trump line Main Street at the Uptown Common in Athol, Saturday afternoon. STAFF PHOTO/GREG VINE

Staff Writer
Published: 10/26/2020 7:07:02 PM

ATHOL — While there’s little question plenty of Donald Trump supporters live in the North Quabbin area, it’s safe to say Royalston’s Roberta Newman (known to her friends as Bobbi) is second to none when it comes to enthusiasm for the president.

Ask her what she likes about the real estate mogul turned politician as he seeks election to a second term and she is, for a brief moment, silent. But the pause stems not from an inability to answer the question, but from uncertainty over where to begin.

“Oh my God,” she said while at a weekly Trump visibility event at Athol’s Uptown Common, “do you have about two days for me to tell you about it?”

After gathering her thoughts, she ticks off an issue or two of importance to her.

“Well, the economy — how well he has done with the economy. All the things he has given us as American citizens, like the security that we have with him.”

Even though deep blue Massachusetts is unlikely to give its 14 electoral votes to Trump, Newman is not deterred in her effort to solicit support for the president. She is, in fact, the one who has organized the every-Saturday event at the common, which has regularly drawn dozens of flag-wavers and sign-holders.

“We are supporting our president for what he has done, what he is continuously doing, what he has done for all the people of the United States and all the citizens of the United States.

“Nevermind this COVID thing,” she said, as she then mounted a defense of Trump’s handling of the pandemic. “Because that is nothing that he did. Everything that he did, that all the states have required from him, he did. He brought in the ships. He brought in the ventilators. He gave them everything they needed. What they did with them, God only knows.

“And all the people that died in the nursing homes — shame on the governors in all the states. And shame on the governors for all the corruption that happened in their states.”

One of those who joined Newman at this past Saturday’s Uptown rally was Lynne Schultz of Old Orchard, Maine, who said she made the trip to show support for her friend, as well as for the president.

“We have plenty (of these events) in Maine, but I adore Bobbi. This was a surprise for her,” Schultz said. “I wanted to come down and support her, as well as President Trump.”

When asked why she supports the president, Schultz answered bluntly.

“I love his — to be honest — no b******t attitude,” she said. “He says it like it is. You know, he doesn’t hide behind anything, and I think he’s doing pretty well.”

She added that his pro-life stance also plays a big role in her opinion of Trump.

Another of Newman’s compatriots standing along Main Street with a pro-Trump sign were Celeste Ziemba and John Gorey, both of Shutesbury.

“Well, we’re for free enterprise. We don’t like socialism,” Gorey said. “We don’t want people coming over the border, we want legal immigration.”

“We want someone who is hard-working as president,” Ziemba added, “not some lay-about like Joe Biden. Trump is working every single day for America, and that’s what we’re impressed with. We love him.”

The Trump events at the Uptown Common have taken place for nine consecutive Saturdays, and it is expected the president’s supporters will be out in force this weekend — the last before election day on Nov. 3. And you can also be sure that “Bobbi” Newman will be there, megaphone in hand, encouraging her friends to regale passing motorists with cheers and pro-Trump slogans.

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