[By Marcia Milner-Brage in Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA]
Seldom used train tracks cross Main Street at 5th in downtown Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Rock Island Line long ago ran passenger trains through town. This was the depot. It was built in 1871. For most of the 30 years that I've lived here it's been a bank. Before it was a bank, it was a restaurant. Ten days ago, Regions Bank closed this branch office. It was my bank, conveniently walking distance from my house. Too many people are doing their banking online, we were told, to keep it open. The bank consolidated their seven local branch offices down to five. Now, I'll need to get in my car to do my banking and to chat with the tellers we've come to enjoy as friends. The building is vacant and for sale.
Last week, I was wearing my winter coat and boots. Yesterday, I stood on the edge of the eerily empty parking lot of The Depot, the temperature 70 degrees Fahrenheit, gnats biting my ankles, a March wind chasing crazy cloud formations above the long roof.
One of the tellers, who worked at this branch for 19 years, commissioned me to do this drawing. I hope she likes it.