12/13/2008

A Reflection on Tougher Economic Times


Last week CNN.com, obviously reflecting on the economic crisis in relationship to the Great Depression of the 1930's, posted a story about Katherine McIntosh, a child of Florence Owens Thompson. Ms. McIntosh's mother was the woman who was featured with her children in one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. The photograph, titled Migrant Mother, was created by Dorothea Lange while she traveled around the state of California photographing migratory farm labor for the Resettlement Administration.

In the February, 1960 issue of Popular Photography Dorothea Lange gave this account of the experience:

"I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean-to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it."

Though times are much different in 2008, the stories of those struggling during this current economic downturn are much the same. Please remember them during the upcoming holiday season. Merry Christmas!!

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