Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

A Bit More Faith

Yes, today this faithless heathen is smiling a bit broader, feeling a little better about the people of this nation and humanity in general. It’s not that I’m normally a cynic – I’m just a lowly realist – but last Saturday a woman named Marilyn Mock did something truly unreal: she selflessly saved the home of a total stranger.

Mock attended a foreclosure auction in Texas Saturday with her son, who was buying his first home, and after a successful round of bidding, she left her seat and headed out of the room – only to run across Tracy Orr. Orr was alone and leaning back against a wall, holding a brochure; seeing that Orr seemed to be by herself, Mock plopped down on the floor beside her.

“Are you here to buy a house?” Marilyn Mock said.

Orr couldn’t hold it in. The tears flowed. She pointed to the auction brochure at a home that didn’t have a picture. “That’s my house,” she said.

Within moments, the four-bedroom, two-bath home in Pottsboro, Texas, went up for sale. People up front began casting their bids. The home that Orr purchased in September 2004 was slipping away.


As Orr walked away, Mock walked back toward the front, ready to place another bid.  She purchased Orr’s home for approximately $30,000, then approached her to let Orr know she could move back in.

“She didn’t know I was doing it,” Mock says. “I just kept asking her if [her home] was worth it, and she just kept crying. She probably thought I was crazy, ‘Why does this woman keep asking me that?’ ”

[. . .]

“She said, ‘I did this for you. I’m doing this for you,’ ” Orr says. “When it was all done, I was just in shock. . .I thought maybe her and her husband do these types of things to buy them and turn them. She said, ‘No, you just look like you needed a friend.'”

A woman saved the home of a stranger because she thought that stranger looked like she needed a friend.

Mock says she’s using one of her business dump trucks as collateral for the $30,000 sale price. “I can’t afford to just give [the house] to her,” she says.

As for Orr’s payments, Mock says, “We’ll just figure out however much she can pay on it. That way, she can have her house back.”

Why be so generous?

“She was just so sad. You put yourself in their situation and you realize you just got to do something,” says Mock, who says she has trouble walking by homeless people on the street and not helping them out.

“If it was you, you’d want somebody to stop and help you.”

In times of trouble, people pull together. We’ve seen it countless times, perhaps most recently in the aftermaths of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Sure, disasters bring out the worst in some people – but more commonly they bring out the best. Somehow I just never guessed that our foundering economy would bring out the best in people too.

Every now and then, it’s nice to be surprised.


  1. sricki

    this is a truly heartwarming story. Like something out of a Disney movie. And yes… I love Disney movies. ; )

  2. Hollede

    I caught just a bit of this earlier and appreciate the full update. I believe that most Americans will help another person if a personal connection is made. It is something that utterly transcends political beliefs.

    The real trick is getting folks to help others they do not have a personal tie with. We are our brothers keepers, whether we can see their pain in front of us or not.

  3. It’s a Wonderful Life. I was brought up with that movie, saw it every Christmas, each frame and scene engraved on my mind.

    That too ends with an act of complete generosity like this. Some people may think it’s sentimental.

    But twenty or maybe thirty years since I’d last seen it, I watched ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ again. Boy, it’s dark. Suicide, bankruptcy, small town corruption, lost dreams. (The bit when he yells at his kids is heartbreaking)

    And then there’s the end – the generosity of friends and strangers, just like Marilyn Mock. Only yours isn’t a story; it’s reality.

    Let’s hope that hard times bring out shining instances like this. That’s the only upside of the credit crunch – these immaterial human values become more precious

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