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New Hampshire

Town that went for Trump quietly marks big moment

Barber Lisa Deschenes was among those watching the inauguration at the Windham Barber Shop in Windham, N.H., on Friday.
Barber Lisa Deschenes was among those watching the inauguration at the Windham Barber Shop in Windham, N.H., on Friday. Keith Bedford/Globe staff/Boston Globe

WINDHAM, N.H. — Rosie Curran’s shift wasn’t supposed to start until 1 on Friday.

But when the coffee shop where she was having breakfast couldn’t get the sound on the television to work, she and a friend high-tailed it to Windham Barber Shop, which she’s owned for 12 years.

And though she suspected her husband wouldn’t approve — keep politics out of business, he always says — Curran planted a few American flags and draped some plastic bunting across the front of the shop when she got there.

“This is the inauguration of the president. Nobody needs to know who you voted for,” she said (her husband, it turned out, agreed).

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On Trump’s long and some would say unlikely march to the presidency, New Hampshire was pivotal. His win in the February primary kicked off a candidacy that was then widely derided as a novelty act.

And even though Hillary Clinton narrowly won the state in November, Friday was a big day for many in towns like Windham, which Trump carried by collecting 54 percent of the roughly 9,000 votes.

Even so, there was precious little open celebration on Friday. Curran’s flags and bunting were about the only visible trace of the festivities, and so a half dozen or so employees and customers settled in to watch.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever watched one of these before,” she whispered conspiratorially.

“He looks nervous to me,” said Sarah Fabian, who’d had breakfast with Curran and was going to get her hair styled, and everyone agreed: Who wouldn’t be?

The sound of electric clippers buzzed in the background as bands played on the television, and, naturally, the discussion turned to hair. Almost everything in New Hampshire ends up politicized at one point or another. And former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who lives in Windham with his family, has been known to get his haircut here, Curran said.

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But there was a more famous haircut on television.

“He’s not nearly as orange as he was,” Fabian said, speculating that perhaps the president was letting a little artificial color enhancement fade. Then she added a playful jab at Curran: “Rosie and Trump are both going gray at the same time!”

When Trump invoked God, Fabian turned to the women behind her.

“He is religious?” she asked, incredulous.

“Sure,” said Lisa Deschenes, a three-year employee at the shop, though nobody seemed quite certain (Trump is a professed Presbyterian).

When Trump listed his “two rules” — buy American, hire American — Curran interjected: “Or hire people who become Americans.”

Standing a few feet away, Gerardo Diaz de la Vega beamed. He’d voted for the first time in November — for Trump, he said — after becoming a citizen over the summer. The process took the Mexican-born de la Vega 15 years, he said, and he chose Trump because he hoped he could improve the economy.

“We can hope for the best now,” he said, as he tidied the area around his barber’s chair.


Nestor Ramos can be reached at nestor.ramos@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NestorARamos.