Electric weed-trimmer in hand, Suki Dewey carved her way through a sprawling hay field in New Jersey last week to send another message to President Donald Trump in her typical, yet unusual, way.
Dewey scrawled the words “SOS,” “Act” and “Vote” in giant letters in the hay on her more than 40-acre farm turned political art canvas just a few miles Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster with the hope that it’s visible from the air.
In the last three years, Dewey’s crop carvings have included “Resist,” “Vote” and “Truth.” She’s used corn, soy, snow and now hay as her mediums with the weedwacker, metal poles, twine, a small sledgehammer and a tape measure serving as her brushes and instruments tools.
This year’s iteration took about a week to carve, and Dewey’s FitBit told her she took between 18,000 and 24,000 steps a day in the field.
“It gives me a good workout,” Dewey, 73, told NJ Advance Media.
Dewey said she has been a longtime registered Republican, simply because in her area there were few Democratic choices in the primaries, but switched her registration to independent this year. She describes her views as progressive.
To create the design with letters she estimated at 65 by 50 feet, Dewey looped twine around poles she staked in the ground to indicate the curves and angles of each character. She followed blueprints sketched on graph paper.
This year’s SOS design has multiple meanings, she said. A Morse code distress signal, SOS typically stands for “Save Our Ship.”
“To me, that means “Save Our Ship” of state,” Dewey said.
The message also refers to the impending threat of climate change, citing Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, an issue on which Dewey said “we don’t have a lot of time to act.”
Additionally, SOS sometimes signifies the expression “Save Our Soul,” Dewey said.
“America really needs a strong person to remind us of our humanity,” she said, referring to the “soul” of the nation.
Though she does not know if Trump has seen her messages, she knows the helicopters and police who frequently fly over when Trump visits Bedminster have. The president is expected to make a campaign stop to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster on Thursday, an opportunity for Trump and his staff to see Dewey’s freshest creation as he arrives in the state.
While Trump holds a pricey re-election event this week, with the highest tier of tickets costing up to $250,000, Dewey’s message will serve as a concurrent urge to get out the vote, albeit for a different candidate.
“My feeling is elections really count,” Dewey said. “They’re really really really important, that’s why I push for the vote and to act.”
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Josh Axelrod may be reached at [email protected].