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“Hey there! Old girl; how ya doing? Ah-h, you do bring back some fond memories. And as I sit here and look at you, it hurts me something awful to have to admit that you are getting a bit old and gray. Some might even say that you’re long in the tooth or declare you a gummer. Yes, your time for leaving this earth has definitely come. Sorry to have to get rid of you, but remember in my heart of hearts, you’ll always be very special to me.”

Now, you readers are probably thinking that Jane is talking to one of her old Angus cows before sending the critter to market. Not this time. Instead I’m talking to an inanimate object and reflecting about its significance in my life. This place, a building to be precise, has left an imprint on my life forever. You see, for over fifty years, I’ve been going back to this building each fall and sharing some great times there. And before it’s demolished and completely gone from sight, I just gotta ask some questions. I gotta ask these questions in order to reveal just what a very significant special place this has been.

Were you there?

Were you there when this building housed and fed hundreds of kids for a whole week at the South Dakota State Fair? Yes, I’m reminiscing about the aging 4-H Clover Hall that will soon be just a memory.

I think I was about 12 years old the first time that I got to actually stay in the dormitory of Clover Hall. What an excitement this was for me! I packed for weeks that summer and learned how to make a bedroll. My older sisters reminded me that sometimes it got really cold in the unheated dorm, so I found the heaviest wool quilt we had in the house to put in my bedroll. Well, that year at