In September 2006, more than a year before the housing boom busted and the Great Recession descended upon the land, the Inland Northwest was dotted with construction cranes, the outward sign of the good times.
The new tower at The Spokane International Airport was being built, using a crane as big as my imagination. For a Labor Day 2006 column, I climbed it and wrote about the man who operated it.
At the end of the column, I wrote: "I will never see a construction crane with the same eyes again."
And then, within two years, the cranes disappeared from the landscape. No one was really building. I missed them, because of what they stood for.
This week, I have spotted cranes again. There's one in the Kendall Yards development and at the Spokane VA Medical Center.
It's the sign of something, a community building again, new housing, an improved VA Center, a hope for the future that the cranes will dot the landscape again.
(S-R archive photo from 2006 of Spokane's airport tower under construction).