>T#1515: No Longer the Eve of My Destruction

by jvaragona

>From November of 2001 to January of this year, I was employed at the only Target store in the city of St. Louis (strictly in the city). It was unique for the people that would frequent there, who lived in the neighborhood or hopped off of the bus line. I am a people watcher, so the environment was perfect for me.

Late last year, they decided to demolish old T#0051 and build a brand spankin’ new Target in its place to reward the residents for being loyal shoppers. Management asked me to make a video for employees to remember the place and the people. I worked for the final two months on what became “T51: The Eve of Destruction,” an hour long documentary exploring employees’ and customers’ emotions in the final weeks. It turned out quite well, earning me a pretty penny through the store, and an “A” for a documentary production class. People like Jack Francis and high pitched Andrew became legends from it to people who hadn’t even worked at the store. Because of the success of “T51: EOD,” I decided to make merchandise for my Cafepress store featuring T51 related graphics, mainly for the workers to have another memento. Apparently some were not happy with that. Needless to say, I wasn’t invited back to the new facility.

Jack Francis with his mug.

Now T#1515 stands where old T#0051 once stood. It is an amazing structure with underground parking, which is unheard of in the city. Once inside, you would swear you were in an exquisite county store. I will admit my feelings going in to the store were of bitterness, like baker’s chocolate. On Thursday though, I began a new job, and I am at ease. As Tom Petty sings, “It’s time to move on/ time to get goin’.” Everything changes, and people move on, and so I shall.

T#1515 (photo taken by Steve Patterson from his blog “Urban Review”)

And as Andrew says at the end of “T51: EOD”…”Goodbye. See you later. Aloha to you.”