Photos: Faces of the Fair

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  1. Aaron Yoder, 14

    Msnbc.com asked visitors to the Elkhart Fair in northern Indiana to reflect on how the recession has impacted their lives. Some told of layoffs and worries; others saw a silver lining to the tough economic times.

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: Family going on fewer vacations

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: More people need to visit my dad, the local dentist, so that my family and I can go on more vacations

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: It has helped my patience. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Jennifer and Gene Miller

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I'm in new construction and own the business, Granite Shop, Inc. We're concerned about staying in business and we're not spending anything extra.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Banks need to start lending to small businesses and we need more jobs in our area.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: We've become smart consumers. We're relying on faith to pull us through these times. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Vincent Doczy

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I'm a server studying at Indiana University at South Bend. I am a veteran who served in the Iraq war. I was a Marine. When I came back, I was making $60,000 to $70,000 a year in the RV industry. Due to job loss, I lost my home and vehicle. I am currently a waiter, but I am attempting to find a new career in engineering. I am financing my education with loans and grants, but I also have to pay for some of it.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: Perhaps a refreshening of our economy -- a lack of reliance on old manufacturing ways. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Debbie "Buttonz" Pinnegar and Beth "Fili Brillante" Yoder

    Beth Yoder's response:
    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I work for the county health department as a comprehensive risk counselor. I work in STD/HIV -- the recession has caused a lot of "free time" for people in our area, which has lead to more sex and increased STDs.

    Debbie "Buttonz" Pinnegar's response:
    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: My husband has been out of work for an extended period of time because of the business closing. Now he is working two part-time jobs so we can make ends meet. I'm in hotel management. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Tim Blaum

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I'm a graphic design intern for Goshen College and I also do activities on campus for the college. We don't do so many big acts. It's a pretty small campus and we have a small budget. I am more aware of what my needs and wants actually are these days. I've become much more conscious about how I'm spending each paycheck.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Neighbors need to continue to support, the youth need to stay in school to continue growing into the leaders of tomorrow and we must continue to work towards being united through our differences. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Kara Battles and Barb Battles

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I work in customer service at an automotive supply company. My husband, however, was laid off from a heating and air conditioning service job for the first time in 20 years. My son just graduated from Purdue with a degree in building customer management program and had a 95 percent placement. Now he has to work for a pool company. His friend, with the same degree, is now delivering pizza just to get by.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: We've learned to live more simply -- realizing what's important. We've cancelled our newspaper subscription, our long-distance service and we don't go out so often. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Alicia Dirmyer and her daughter, Georgia, 3

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I work full time in retail. I have not had a vacation this year. I do less "fun" things with the kids like going to the museum. My husband works at a factory and they've dropped wages and hours. We just can't do the extra things.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Create more jobs, and quit sending jobs overseas. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Marshall King

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I'm the news editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth newspaper and yes! Every day in our newsroom, we tell the stories of our community. The recession is a major focus.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Creative thinking, job formation, hope.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: Returning to a focus of simpler living, family ties and creating memories. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Lori Stewart and her son, Steven Fields, 9

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I'm a government clerk, but my husband's business closed its doors in October of 2008 and just got a different job in July, 2009. Also, my job working for the city of Nappanee we have experienced pay freezes and budget cuts. The economy just fell so hard, so fast. I haven't had a raise for the last year or two, but it's been better than the alternative.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: It has made me thankful for the job I have and not to take things for granted. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Jennifer Shephard

    Question: How has the recession affected you at all?
    Answer: I work as the chief photographer for the Elkhart Truth newspaper. My husband's photography business is way down this year. However, I've been busier.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Job creation and expansion.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: A strong sense of community. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Julie Weirich

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: No one in the family has lost their jobs yet. My dad is a car insurance appraiser and that's still going. God has really blessed my family and me thus far, but I can see the effects of the recession every day. I'm concerned about how it will affect me and my student loans after college.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: It seems that a lot of people are beginning to become more informed and smarter consumers. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Malinda Wilson and daughter Tatayana, 5

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I'm unemployed and cannot find work. I'm going through a divorce and am living with my mom.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: Not for me. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. The band "State Park" (L-R) Zach Cannon, 15; TJ Jaeger, 16; Hayden Dillabough, 14; Danny Romero, 15; Michael Lara, 16

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: People don't tip me as much

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: More capitalism, less socialism and Ron Paul for president

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: Nothing, just crappy music blaming the economy (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Nicole O'Banion and Sequoya, 3 months old

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: It has made it nearly impossible for my fiancé or I to find work, to support our new family!

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: I believe they need to create more jobs (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Tom Monhaut

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: 15 months ago, I had a stroke. Now I'm really going to be suffering to find another job.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: Yes, I think things have got to turn around. They talk about the electric trucks in Wakarusa. Everything runs in cycles and I think this thing has hit rock bottom. They say all good things come to an end, well bad things have got to come to an end too. I think I've got to stay positive. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Bart McGlinsey

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: Reduced hours 32 hours. Went from 35 workers to 3 in a year. My wife is laid off. It's the uncertainty that's hard. You get your paycheck, and it's like: will this be my last one? I'm just thankful I have a job. The last lay off was around Christmas time. It makes it tough to be a supervisor.

    Question: Do you expect the local economy to improve significantly by next year?
    Answer: Little if any, but last month was a good month for the company

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: More time at home with my wife. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Ben Lechlitner

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: While my job has been a little affected, my friends and family have had to reduce their expenses. It makes me grateful for what I have.

    Question: Do you expect the local economy to improve significantly by next year?
    Answer: Yes. I think progress is happening to bring necessary change.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: We have all learned that our strength comes from people. And that we can survive with less and still be happy. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Shelby Hagman

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: Not directly, but one does see more local business closing their doors.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: In general, people need to make wiser decisions with their money and turn away from popular trend, buying in favor of necessity.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: Yes, people now are making more effort to understand their economic decisions. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Dr. Sara Granberg and calf Levi, 5 days old

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: Normally we see 5-10% growth a year; now it's just holding steady.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Everyone is pulling together doing what Elkhart County does best.

    Question: Do you expect the local economy to improve significantly by next year?
    Answer: I think it will. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Fernando Gonzalez

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: I just graduated from Concord H.S. and am going to NYU. It's hard for my parents to pay for it because the bakery we own has really slowed down in business.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: America needs to realize that while we can achieve anything, we must also work for it and "live within our means."

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: Family time has greatly increased, with or without money, they're always there. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Eric Eby and Josh Payne

    Wearing costumes as part of summer job for a Ford dealership

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: Workwise, I haven't gotten many hours at Starbucks I have to cut down on extra-curricular activities, movies. Can't spend as much on fun stuff. More stress at home.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Honestly, I just think the economy is going to work itself out. Everything bounces back. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Mohamed Al Aqili, Dana Al Aqili, Zayneb, 9; Sue Kana, 2

    Question: How has the recession affected you?
    Answer: Mohamed was working for Forest River and only getting 2 hours, until he got the DOD job 4months ago.

    Question: What needs to happen for you, Elkhart County or this country to move forward out of the current economic mess?
    Answer: Lower taxes, more jobs instead of moving companies overseas and bring troops home and bring more jobs here.

    Question: Has anything good come out of the economic downturn?
    Answer: It's getting better. (James Cheng / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 4/7/2011 7:33:49 PM ET 2011-04-07T23:33:49

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