image copyright Fred First

“It’s rumored that in the early ’90’s, civic authorities ordered the Peachoid water tower repainted so it would look less like a big butt — reducing rubbernecking fatalities on nearby I-85. It may be safer today, but from the right angle, the one-million gallon watersphere STILL looks like a bright orange butt.” link

We knew to expect it this time down I-85 through South Carolina. The first time–twenty years ago, when the kids were young–it came upon us quite unexpected, like spotting the plumber’s rump protruding out from under the kitchen sink when you walk into the house with an armful of groceries. It just sort of demands one’s attention, and this is even with the purported taming down of its buttness since those days.

If I had time before work this morning, it would be fun to put some low-slung Carhartts about mid-cleavage, playing around in Photoshop. Be my guest, show us your best “just say no” picture.

The other thing I wish I had a picture of from our trip–but never went back with the camera–is the collection of identical signs that appeared about every 20 feet on the wall behind our motel in Mobile. Under a large, standard-yellow smiley face, were these words: YOU ARE BEING VIDEOTAPED AND RECORDED.

What a country.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. i remember the “giant peach” very well , as we went past it every time we went to visit my grandmother in florida. i don’t think i ever noticed the “tail” before, though- it is a little disturbing! 🙂

  2. There are two conical mountains that rise from the flat expanse of the Namibian Highveld. In local dialects they are the Omatako, or “buttocks” mountains, although to these western eyes they resemble nothing so much as a pair of well-formed breasts. As buttocks have sexual connotations in the local culture but breasts are merely utilitarian, one begins to sense what changes in the eye of the beholder.

  3. If you think you are being watched in America you should come to the UK. For 1984 read 2006 !

    PS – taking a slow read thro’ SRH.

  4. fred,
    been laughing at that peach for at least the past 25 years. hubby & i just enjoyed another laugh thanks to you.

    thanks for the memories!

    take care, susannah