The crew came in the Thursday before Thanksgiving. They built the shelter over the next week, starting with the frame and then the giant metal beams and then the roof and then the long parking spots. They said it would fit up to fifteen. Of course we asked What is the point? Everyone in our town worked and lived here. Never traveled around and certainly never left the state. Some of the older folks didn’t even have cars. They said they came from Augusta and it was part of the governor’s statewide effort to build them. We wondered, but didn’t ask more questions. The building did look nice. Stood tall during the day and was lighted well at night, kind of a beacon for our small town.
On the last day, they were supposed to paint the outside. One coat in the morning and the second in the afternoon. But with Wednesday morning came a cold front and rain. They said they were willing to wait it out but the forecast wasn’t good. It was going to rain all day and they wouldn’t work on the holiday. So they got into their truck and drove away, taking all their equipment with them as the rain seemed to slow. I asked the contractor if they planned on coming back, and he put a stick of gum in his mouth and got in the truck, chewing. Depends.
That night I stood in the dark, vacant shelter and listened to the rain drum on the aluminum roof.