A few Sundays ago I wandered down to Caboose Hobbies in Denver. I had a couple of gift cards in my wallet, and after many years Caboose was closing its doors. Why was the business shutting down? The owners of the building decided to terminate the long standing lease, and the business owners decided now would be a good time to close the doors. Both decisions were made just because they could.
The property would be worth far more to the land owners if the building were demolished, replaced by newer construction. And the business owners had reached retirement age. They also faced the challenges that small business face these days in trying to borrow money for inventory, let alone relocation. Besides…there’s also the web, forcing small, niche businesses to try to compete globally with low overhead internet stores.
I had delayed getting to the store to spend the last of my gift cards. I put off shopping because it was almost like going to the funeral of an old friend, and as a result the selection was pretty limited. I model in N-scale, and aside from a couple of cars the shelves were empty.
I’ve always been fascinated by Z-scale, an even smaller depiction of reality at 1:220, but I’d never owned any. So I bought a few Z-scale cars and a locomotive, but no track. There wasn’t any left in the store, although I’ve since ordered an oval from Walthers…on the web, naturally. Of course it was backordered, but Any Day Now I’ll be able to run my new train. And why did I finally take the jump? Just because.
I had arrived late in the day, just before the store closed, and I wanted to speak to a long time employee. However, he was busy at that moment, and I ended up waiting at the rear of the building for him to leave. He was one of two employees designated to lock up, so I had a long time to contemplate the world. As I sat and waited, I kept looking down the alley across the street, watching the shadows change.
Then I took a photograph. And why? Just because. There’s nothing particularly beautiful or well-formed in the scene, but I found it interesting. There was something that attracted my attention, although I have no idea what it was.
But it was enough to press the shutter. Just because.