I’m on a sandy playground talking with the only other person there, a pretty, 20-something brunette with her 2-year-old son, except, it turns out, she is his nanny, not his mother. It is not yet noon, but the sun beating down has already made some of the equipment too hot to touch.
I ask her how the economy is in Pensacola. I was expecting the large military presence would smooth out the economic bump, but she tells me it is bad. She thinks the military bases are too far away to have much influence. (We are actually in Gulf Breeze on the south side of Pensacola Bay.)
"My nanny job will be over when school starts in September, and I haven’t been able to line up anything else," she tells me. Her husband had worked for a company that built Tiki-houses and waterfalls in the backyards of affluent homeowners, but that business dried up last year. He is now working with the county’s beach maintenance department, but that, too, will end in September.
They are living with her in-laws, and when she tells me this her youthful perkiness leaves her and frustration flits across her face.