Rank has its privileges. In this case it’s a private entrance just a few feet away from a parking space. Location: The Savanna Army Depot mostly decommissioned. Once a bustling Depot in charge of the manufacture and testing of ordinance that fueled World Wars, it now slowly deteriorates under the blazing summer sun and the harsh cold winds of winter.
The sun and wind, along with rain and bitter cold, make the proximity of a parking space all the more desirable. A strong winter wind whipping in across the Mississippi River and up the tall sand bluffs can really bite at exposed skin. I’m sure the Generals that crossed this threshold were well aware of the luxury it afforded. Besides, who wants to mingle with the enlisted men and junior officers on their way to the office?
One wonders at the daily routine behind the door back in the days when the depot was at full tilt, with armed guards patrolling a long perimeter of barbed wire and chain link fence. Walk ways between buildings still sport the roofs and walls that protected the comings and goings from prying eyes. That was back before the satellites that could read a license plate from high in the sky. It was in the pre “infra red and digital technology that read and hear through the corrugated steel walls and roofs”. Those were days that danced to the sound of a manual type writer. The type writer sounds that remind one of experimental jazz played late at night in dark places. Places not so different from this, full of mystery and often misunderstood.
I’m sure the smell of mimeograph ink hung thick in the air, the sound of the hand cranked drum playing rhythm to the staccato lead of the teletype. No doubt cigarette smoke wafted through the halls accompanied by the click of heels on bare wood floors and the clatter and click of real wood doors opening and closing.
But the Commanders entrance served as a buffer to the daily grind, affording the one with the biggest load a bit of respite. Rank has its privileges and sometimes, just sometimes they are deserved.