I've often wondered what it was like for my father growing up. Unfortunately, he passed away when I was young, too young to consider philosophical questions. I didn't realize when he passed just how much I would miss him as I got older.
But if I had the opportunity to talk to him, I'd ask what it was like to grow up during the depression, flying combat missions over Germany, and watching the world literally transform in his lifetime. My dad only made it to his fiftieth year, but boy--what an amazing half century that was. He saw cars that went from Model Ts to super race cars, from biplanes to watching men walk on the moon.
I've often wondered if I'd ever experience something like that, watching life evolve before my eyes. All you have to do is look and you'll realize, you're seeing life evolve all the time.
The latest example, another local business is closing. This is not one of those new-ish, slick auto mechanic garages where everything's clean, and the people behind the desk that take your money have clean fingernails.
This business, Haugens Auto Body in Farmington, Utah, is none of those things, which is what make it so special. It's what gives it its charm. And today, was the body shop's last day in operation. From what I understand, the shop and its surrounding area will be transformed into dwellings for a new generation of Farmingtonites.
The city is changing, as are we all. It's getting bigger (as are we all...). It's getting, well...more complicated. There's traffic lights, zones where you can't park unless you live in the area, more people, more pets, more joggers, walkers, and people on bikes. I close my eyes and I see the old Farmington A/G, the old library, the old Trailside, the old Tom Boy Café. I remember the the siren blaring from the old fire station at 7pm on Wednesday night to signal a fire drill. I remember the old Farmington Elementary that was torn down when they built the new one a half mile away. I remember Miller Floral where Farmington Jr. High now sits. I remember the old bakery across the street from the cemetery.
Every one of those buildings (except for the old fire station, which is now a museum...) is gone, replaced in the name of progress. Don't get the wrong idea--I'm not anti-progress. Most of those buildings, if they weren't torn down, they would have fallen down by now. It's just every one of us, at some point, comes to realize that you can never go back.
And, after today, you can add Haugens to that long (and expanding...) list.