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I sent the picture below to my brother, it’s my downtown neighbor’s use of  property we had leased from them for decades, I made light of the situation trying to be humorous about it.

He replied:

“This is a very, very, very sad photograph! It reminds me of some of the great images that documented the Great Depression, created through the lens of photographers like Dorothea Lange…see the attached images. Perhaps it’s because I’m too close to it, but the pathetic image of an old farm tractor, begging for a sale on the site of what was once a vibrant new-car sales and service lot…well, it’s almost an iconic image of the Great Recession…fuck that, it’s as close as we’ve ever been to a Depression…it is in Michigan anyway.”

His reply had a black and white version of the photo I had sent him.

My brother has firsthand experience in the situation, losing his job with an automotive advertising agency about three years ago, followed by his wife losing her job. But they recently started their own business, which seems to be taking off and should be very successful.

I sent him a link to an article that examines the visual documentation of now compared to eighty years ago; The Great Recession: A Hidden Depression? There are many interesting links within that article that are worth checking out.

The whole situation has preoccupied my thoughts lately, a melancholy reflection on what I would have been doing now, what I have done for over a quarter century with the rejuvenating spring weather … preparing for a busy selling season. And I’ve responded to optimistic inquiries about the news of dealers being reinstated … well that’s dealers who still have a product to sell, our situation is different the product was eliminated, it’s not that they didn’t want us to represent the product, we were one of their best performing dealers!

But I’m still dealing with the settling dust of a business lost. This month I have finally finished closing the accounting books for 2009, there were many one-time adjustments and physical counts that had to be done. I finally sold the parts inventory the manufacturer stuck us with, for pennies-on-the-dollar. The utilities finally got separated from properties leased to properties owned, but the billing is screwed up. I am now finding time to go through files and years of paperwork to see what can be disposed of and what has to be saved. Then in the back of my mind is what the hell am I going to do when all the busy-work is done … I’m taking it one step at a time to keep my sanity … “this ain’t no depression … just notes falling slow”.


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