I’m not sure if death is the right word, but it will do. I witnessed a building die this week. Normally I wouldn’t care. This is Huntsville, right? Buildings die all the time, ripped down to build the latest trendy drugstore or lawyer office. But in this case it was the building that I’d spent more time in than my own house for the past 7 years.
In April of 2000 I got hired on as a producer at one of the trendiest dot-com in town. Well, it is Huntsville after all, there wasn’t exactly a ton of dot-com companies in town. But thanks to the dot-com bubble, and a company run by engineers who couldn’t figure out how to market their product to teenagers, (Frankly, they couldn’t figure out how to market anything to anyone) on October 11, 2001 I lost my job. On November 11, 2001 I started up with a new company. A contractor for the Army… and again, if it wasn’t for the Army or NASA who would we work for in this town?
So I merged into the traffic of the Redstone Arsenal, way back in 2001. And I never left. At least, not yet. I got sucked into the money pit that contracting life gives you. It was easy to do, they pay well, not great but a month unemployed at it was enough to make me jump at the chance. And I’ve managed to get a penny or two more over the years. And from 2001 till May of 2008 I worked out of the same building. In Army talk, I worked in building 4489.
Now 4489 has a ton of history behind it. John Wayne, Werner Von Braun, Bob Hope and many others walked through the doors of 4489. For most of its existence, 4489 was the film studio for Redstone Arsenal while Redstone Arsenal was THE place we tried to go to the moon. (Until President Johnson screwed it up, but that’s another story.)
Today, 4489 is a bunch of rubble. No, they’ve even cleaned up the rubble and it is nothing more than a scar on the ground. It has been completely wiped from the face of the earth.
A part of me is sad. A part of me is glad to be out of the rat infested cockroach haven.