"How much of the exterior are you going to be able to save? Are you going to save the sign?" I pointed to the "Man's Best Friend" sign over the old front doors of the stable--supposedly an old cavalry motto referring to horses, not dogs.
He scratched under his orange hat. "They made a cast of the sign to display somewhere on campus. It was cracked in three places and couldn't be moved."
"You're not keeping the sign?" My heart fell. That sign was a unique reminder of the confluence of agricultural and military history at USU.
"Nope. The whole thing has to be renovated."
I thanked him and backed away, making notes to make some phone calls, find out what the plans were for the building. As I stood watching, one of the guys got into the tractor and slammed the excavator into the beautiful gambrel roof, crushing the corner of the building. I stared, my hand over my mouth, as they did it again and again, stripping away the front of the building.
Not renovated, razed.
In its last moments, the building proved the worth of its construction. It didn't just buckle under the blows. Tears slid down my face as I watched the destruction of all that history, all those memories. I felt a small amount of what a person must experience when they go to see a condemned friend stand in front of a firing squad. It was horrible to watch, but I was glad someone was there who understood what the building had been, to capture its final moments and bid it farewell.