Deprivation and Despair Overwhelm Seattle

The growing worldwide economic crisis has finally hit home, as residents across the Puget Sound are taking unprecedented measures to make it through these tough times. The Naked Loon performed a series of man on the street interviews with regular folks about how they are coping with financial despair.

What follows are unedited excerpts of these heart-wrenching personal tales.

Jim Parker, 40, Bellevue Real Estate Agent:

My grandfather Horace Wellsford used to tell me stories about how he lived through the Great Depression in a cardboard box, mixing snow-water with powdered nail clippings to feed his infant twins after his wife died of polio.

Thanks to the slowdown in the housing market, I have had to cut back to one latte a week. I really feel like I can identify with my grandfather’s suffering now.

Eunice Waterford, 35, Shoreline Ad Sales Lead

I always thought the Great Depression was just a big lie invented by old people to make us feel guilty about spending our money. Now that my Christmas bonus may be cut in half, I’m getting a taste of true suffering.

Dan Jones, 52, Marysville Trucker

My father always used to give us crazy backward advice like “save your money,” or “don’t buy stuff you can’t afford.” I would just smile and pretend to listen.

As I was forced to trade in my ’08 BMW for an ’06 last week, I couldn’t help but feel a little haunted by father’s words.

Brian Cassel, 28, Tacoma Factory Worker

I used to laugh when my Great Aunt Mildred spoke of life in the 30’s, when she had to feed her family of ten children on ketchup-water soup cooked on a pile of burning trash. It was so outrageous, I figured it had to be a joke, right?

As I have watched my 401k take thousands in paper losses over the last six months, I can assure you I am not laughing anymore.

These distressing stories are only a taste of the devastating hardships that people all over the greater Seattle area are coping with on a daily basis. One can only imagine the widespread destitution that will result should situation worsen.

Naked Loon reporter Jaime Rodriguez also contributed to this story.

About the Author

Frigyes Karinthy
Naked Loon Neighborhood Correspondent

7 Comments on "Deprivation and Despair Overwhelm Seattle"

  1. There’s alot of panic out there. People are lsing real money, real jobs, and I feel that this snide little story, (sorry, but it IS snide), is cruel and pointless. When the crash of 1929 first happened people didn’t feel the effects immediately. It takes a bit of time for crash to really hit. Perhaps the author of this story should find something else to laugh about, like Darfur or dead kittens.

  2. These stories are all too true… Very sad indeed.

  3. I guess my opinion is that Americans are pretty spoiled rotten as a whole, and I enjoyed the story – not healthy to lose one’s sense of humor.

  4. jessejb | 2008-10-10 at 8:55 AM |

    I agree with Patti.

    Live within your means.

    Live sustainably or sustainability will hunt you down.

  5. Ellen’s the kind of shame-shamer I’ve come to know and love about Seattle. One time a got a wag-of-a-finger for driving in the carpool lane accidentally. Don’t you feel shamed, Frigyes Karinthy? Aren’t you glad people like Ellen are around to help you understand what you’ve done?

  6. Senseless Hippie | 2008-10-12 at 9:40 AM |

    Dude, man, why is a Marysville trucker driving a beamer in the first place?

  7. I found this story, and many others on this website priceless. Awesome stuff!!

    As for the comments, I think what I can gather constructively from this story is my own experience. So many well to do people I mingle with that have no idea how bad things are. They are reflected in these man on the street interviews.

    Someone who has to switch back to one lobster meal a week from 4 is seeing changes, but it doesn’t reflect what its like to go without food, to be homeless, and the people who are yet homeless and starving are scared.

    You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    That statement could only come from someone well off.

    Fear is crippling and it’s best to be constructive with your emotions. If we project some positive thinking, and make the best out of what we are given. The situation will improve quite a bit faster. This economical turn will bring out the spirit of survival in all, it will be a great learning experience, and you might just re brand yourself a success when its over.

    It won’t be easy, but it might put things into perspective for you.

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