Water Tower Mystery Partly Explained

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM.

 Miss Polly was still shaking her head when the bell rang for lunch. If that dear sweet soul who taught me so much in the ensuing years was alive today, I would call her this morning and explain the reason for my rather “off base” answer. It was the climb up the three flights of stairs that got me!

 I was just down the hall from Miss Polly in study hall when I decided to ask Billie Jean to the homecoming dance. The high altitude clearly affected my thinking here. She was pretty enough and wore her hair just right. But she wouldn’t near ’bout quit talking and she was all fired up on Penguin “signature” jackets and madras shirts and she thought Bass Weegins with no socks was the footwear of the elite. I liked jeans, tee shirts and boots. She catered to Herman’s Hermits and the Beatles. I leaned more toward Merle Haggard and Jerry Lee Lewis. She also thought one trip to a homecoming dance betrothed us forever. She was talking home and marriage and a good money making future……

 The only thing that saved me was the dance took place in the gym. At ground level!

 Me and Yogi were enjoying the sights from up on the water tower the week before Halloween in 1963. Folks, that was the highest elevation we had in our little town! We’d lugged the paint cans all the way to the top and paused to take in the scene as we pondered all mighty hard on what to write across that big silver tank. Today, of course, I realize what went wrong here. We should have decided exactly what we were going to “paint on” before we started the climb. Clearly, as it turned out, Al Gore is correct. There was absolutely no oxygen leaking into our brains at the top of that tower!

 Yogi came up with the idea. And when the town got sight of it in broad daylight, it caused a tad more excitement for the Halloween season than even we envisioned. I’m not saying who did the actual painting until I find out about the statute of limitations.



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