John Steward of Jesus
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Stockyards Station

September 6, 1980

Sitting in the Stockyards Station (former Swift Packing Plant) in Sioux City last Tuesday, September 1, I was struck with the symbolism of the building.

Formerly the plant was the center of productive activity-- hustling people sitting at work tables made economically and efficiently (as exemplified by one now used as decorative furniture), producing the end result of an industrious farming community--cut beef, to supply the protein needs of the world. What better symbol is there of abundance of true wealth?

Now the building is a center of consumption and conspicuous
spending.  Formerly useful pipes hang uselessly from the ceiling. Former meat coolers serve as storage rooms for expensive hand made pottery, refinished antiques, etc. There is an abundant display of expensive items with no functional purpose. It is a perfect place to spend money fast and foolishly.

While sitting there I felt an eerie omen of the coming times. The building seemed strangely empty of customers. Someday the meatcutters may reclaim the building--and the country.