DURHAM, N.C. -- Wilma Dillard took over her family's barbecue restaurant in 1997, after her father's death. But this spring -- with her blue-collar customers cutting back, and the banks unwilling to extend the usual credit -- she was forced close the 58-year-old Durham eatery and lay off her dozen employees.
"I could hear my father telling me, 'Wilma, it's time for you to get out of the waters. The water's a little too rough for you right now,"' the 51-year-old former school teacher says. "'Bring it into dock, and maybe it can sail again at a later day."'
On Thursday, she and millions of other recession-weary Americans sat rapt before their televisions as President Barack Obama told Congress that later isn't soon enough.