Tom Joad 2009 | Buzz Blog
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Tom Joad 2009

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            After the recent stock market rally, pundits were already talking about economy recovery – or trying to pep the market up.

            But out on Salt Lake City’s streets these days the fraying fabric of society continues to be all too evident. One recent afternoon in a sandwich shop near Main and 300 South, a young man came in carrying a white polystyrene box. “Do you have any food you can give me?” he asked. The server said no and he quickly did an about turn.

            On Redwood Road today, a mother and daughter were sitting on a street corner in the sun. The mother held a cardboard, handwritten sign asking for help, the teenage girl beside her sitting on the curb, her long legs folded under her, staring at the passing cars.

            Whatever the state of the recession nationally, the economic underbelly of Salt Lake City is going through some very painful restructuring. Along North Temple this afternoon, a white truck passed, pulling two large, uncovered trailers. Both had dark brown furniture tied down with thick string. This appeared to be all the possessions of the family riding in the truck. A man and a young boy were up front; in the back an elderly woman. It was a Steinbeck-vision abruptly transplanted from a 1930s dust bowl to the concrete, steel and glass of modern day Salt Lake City. The family, stalled before a red stop sign, stared grimly ahead at an uncertain future.