SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - If you’re driving around southern Illinois over the next couple days, odds are you’ll see a traveling merchant selling shirts, hats, beanies, and just about anything else you can fit President Trump’s image on.
We spoke to some of these merchants who come from places all over the country. They travel from rally to rally selling merchandise, some of them full time and others in busy seasons.
Justin Williamson set up shop in Carbondale just off Route 13 outside the University Mall. He said southern Illinois has been welcoming to him since arriving.
“Just opened up this morning and from the minute we opened up we’ve gotten nothing but smiles,” he said.
Williamson is from North Carolina, but said he’s traveled all throughout the mid-west and east coast from event to event selling President Trump items.
“Different town every week,” he said. "So always on the move.”
Raymond Moe had his booth in Marion by the town square, who’s also been well received.
“I’m getting a lot of great feedback,” he said. “I’m actually liking Illinois here again. I haven’t spent too much time in southern Illinois because I’m from northern Illinois, but I like it down here.”
Still, with all the controversy behind the President and the political divisiveness in the country right now, it’s not all high fives and smiles for these guys.
“One kid walked by,” Moe said. "He went to the dollar store and on his way back, he said, ‘there’s an easier way to sell garbage.’”
Moe said that happened to him this morning and has only been the really hostile interaction he’s had here so far.
These merchants said whenever they get someone trying to start something at their tents they brush it off and keep focused on the job at hand.
“For the most part they’re not gonna really come at you too much,” Williamson said. "They’re just gonna holler at you and say their part or whatever and move on.”
“I’m not out here to be controversial,” Moe said. “I’m just out here making a living.”