Saturday, February 21, 2009

Just Peach-y

South Carolina ranks second in the nation for peach production, with California coming in first and Georgia third. On Interstate 85, just south of the North Carolina-South Carolina border, Gaffney, SC created a water tower that pays homage to this wonderful fruit.

If memory serves correctly, Jerry Bledsoe, formerly of the Greensboro News and Record, wrote about this wonderful icon, noting it's similarity to an elephant's butt.

I recently ventured south and grabbed my camera as I approached the border. Since I was doing about 70 mph and didn't have time to pull off the road, I snapped off a few shots and hoped for the best. My first photo was the typical highway approach shot. As I neared, I was in for a surprise.

I had heard that this once desolate area had acquired some outlets and restaurants but I was quite shocked when I saw the stores. I suppose the famous elephant's butt has produced enough fertilizer to encourage growth. Someone was even clever enough to put a particular restaurant at the foot of the tower, giving a whole new meaning to the term "fat ass." Perhaps that should be "Fatz Azz"?


  1. Great story. I have some stories about peaches grown down in the Sand Hills region of North Carolina, which I will share at a later point in time. You can't imagine the varieties of peaches out there, particularly the white ones.

  2. I never really thought about varieties of peaches, thinking they are all just fuzzy. Like other fruits, there are differences, though I have friends that would say the best are the ones left to ferment in a jar of moonshine!
    I once had the pleasure of meeting Dori Sanders (author of "Clover"). She is the granddaughter of a freed slave and grew up on one of the oldest African-American-owned farms in the region. When I met her, she said that she was living in Virginia part of the year and would go home to help on the farm when the peaches came in. Filbert is close to Gaffney - perhaps a road trip is in order this summer!

  3. I don't understand the need to erect giant fruit or giant anything for that matter. Do tourists really look at it and go, wow, there's a giant peach, must be peaches around here? Or do they say "What the HELL is that? " Well I guess it's a photo op. I'm sure I'd take a photo of it too. I took a photo of the giant Santa Claus at North Pole, Alaska.

  4. I suppose if there had to be a water tower there anyway, turning it into a peach wasn't an awful idea. The problem developed when they put a huge crease down the center! Many places are turning cell towers into trees or disguising them in some way. At least those towers are intended to "blend" rather than create a spectacle. Places that display giant-sized figures such as Santa, a crocodile, furniture, a coffee pot, and a chicken are definately seeking attention. Now, if someone could just explain why a giant inflatable gorilla or dinosaur is supposed to entice me to buy a car.