In what may become the iconic event of the mortgage crisis, 90 year old Addie Polk of Akron, Ohio shot herself today as an eviction notice was being served at her foreclosed home. CNN.com reports that Mrs. Polk is being treated in a local hospital for at least two bullet wounds in her upper body. Her is a photo of the home from CNN.com:
Particularly poignant was this bit from the CNN article:
Neighbor Robert Dillon, 62, used a ladder to enter a second-story bathroom window of Polk’s home after he and the deputies heard loud noises inside, Dillon said.
He hurried downstairs and let the deputies in. He said they told him they found Polk’s car keys, pocketbook and life insurance policy laid out neatly where they could be found, suggesting she intended to kill herself.
After learning of this, Representative Dennis Kucinich said on the House floor:
This is a human face for a great national tragedy.
On reading of Mrs. Polk, my mind immediately flashed on the photograph that often is used as the best descriptor of the Great Depression. Shot by Dorothea Lange, it is titled "Migrant Mother" and it depicts the haggard agony of Florence Thompson in a migrant camp in California, trying to protect her children. Thompson had just sold the tires of her car to buy food.
Polk’s home was a simple one that she and her late husband had owned since 1970. On a day in which our government has decided to hand out nearly a trillion dollars to reckless gamblers on Wall Street, it seems we have not learned the lesson of Florence Thompson, as Addie Polk proved all to well. How many will follow?