West Virginia

Bourdain’s Field Notes

Last fall, after stumbling off a plane in Los Angeles and being confronted by a cameraman from TMZ, I made a very ill-considered, off-the-cuff joke about what I might feed President Donald Trump—and the knives were out. The alt-right trolls online were calling for my head, the conservative talking heads were equating me with Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Secret Service was waiting to interview me in New York.

But I was far away from New York, in the coal country of McDowell County, West Virginia, the heart, presumably, of God, guns, and Trump’s America. Any concerns about how I might be welcomed there, however, quickly disappeared.

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“Here, in the heart of every belief system I’ve mocked or fought against, I was welcomed with open arms by everybody.”

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