My town turned 100 two years ago.
It seems that shortly after incorporating into a town in 1909, Orland decided it needed safe water storage, and so a large water tower was built. The tower stands 126 feet tall -- maybe higher, because I don't think that accounts for its pointy hat -- and is still in use today.
I think we have more wires in the air than they had 100 years ago.
But that's not what I wanted to tell you. I told you that so I could tell you this: Orland threw a birthday party for the water tower recently, marking the tower's 100th birthday in June by lighting the tower with flood lights for the first time in its life. My good friend Gubby, who moved away from Orland years ago, was jumping out of his skin to hear all about the lighting ceremony and urged me to get "tons of photos." I got four.
Local historian (and my high school graphic arts teacher) Dr. Gene Russell stood on the back of an antique fire truck to address the assembled crowd and share water tower facts: constructed at a time when Orland was bustling and prosperous, the tank holds 80,000 gallons of water and can be seen for miles around. Doc Russell did not say why this particular water tower holds such fascination for Gubby, but I think I can help Doc out with that one: Gubby may be hosting a large brain parasite and he needs to get out more.
I haven't driven up I-5 at night to see the water tower bathed in light, but I plan to. Like Gubby, I too need to get out more. I plan to pretend I am a tourist headed north, when I espy a water tower glowing up ahead, and I'll say to myself, "Hmmmm, Orland-O . . . wonder if they have water here . . ."
(Seriously, big props to my friend and neighbor Gary Campbell, who, as Orland's Economic Development Commissioner, spearheaded this community beautification project, and others. Anything that makes my town better makes me happy.)
For a nice shot of the water tower all lit up, check out Steve Monck's photo at his Orland Bulletin article. Just can't get enough of urban water towers? Check out my friend Daryl's blog "Out and About in New York City," in which beautiful photos of water towers are a regular feature.