Two years ago, when Ron Weaver first became aware of how hard the economy was hitting people who worked in the real estate industry, he thought again and again about his father's struggle to support his family during the Great Depression.
"My father dropped out of ninth grade and he drove a truck the rest of his life," said Weaver, a land-use lawyer in Tampa, Fla. And in the darkest years of the Depression, he anxiously took that truck on distant, lonely and sometimes perilous routes, Weaver said.
"It was what had to be done for his family," he said.
Weaver sensed that some members of the real estate community in Tampa might be struggling, silently, in a comparable way today. He estimates that 30,000 people in Hillsborough C