August 19th, 2009
Growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina my family took frequent road trips to visit friends and family in Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. These nonstaycations generally involved 4-5 hour car trips down I- 85, undoubtedly the trendiest of the southeastern highways. Dad would be driving, mom would be reading, my brother would be listening to New Order with giant headphones and I was just observing all of them for possible material for 25 years later. But there was always a point when we would all unify in the group mind of the “family unit.” It would happen when we would be driving through Gaffney, a small town in the north-western part of South Carolina. There stands one of the most remarkable man-made creations of classical antiquity, the Gaffney Peach.
This wonder claims to be a water tower that serves both artistic and practical functions. Although shaped like a fruit, anyone who has an ass or has ever seen an ass simply can’t deny that this structure is a ginormous expression of the buttocks, the hindquarters, the posterior, (or as they say in Indonesia and the ghetto) the badonkadonk.
My mom would stare at it wonderment, my brother would react with the typical boyish "huh huh huh,”my dad would smirk and laugh with a hint of mischief and I would scream “Oh my God!”(or “What the fuck" in my teenage years.) This juicy extraordinary eyesore represented one of those rare moments when the wavelengths of four people were operating at the exact same frequency. A beautiful thing.
The years have passed, my parents have divorced and this once collective family unit is now spread out all over the country. Yet the peach still stands tall and I want to revisit it in some way, shape or form.
Living in the northeast, the practicality of me voyaging to the pornographic tower will not happen anytime soon.
This is where you come in. I am reaching out my hand to you with a cry for help. Clearly this peach serves as a pivotal memory in my conscious and subconscious. Obviously part of it goes back to some pain and abandonment issues around my parents marital demise. Duh. Psychology 101. Something in the depths of my soul senses that said peach represents more. When auditioning potential friends and future boyfriends, they must comprehend(empathize) what the peach means to me. Prove it. Bring it to me. Please, I ask gently(beg of you) bring it to me.
And this is how.
Look for a sign that reads, “To View Peach, Exit 92.” Please send the following to my PO Box:
1) I want a picture of you in front of it. Bonus points if you create the illusion that you’re leaning on it like the obligatory annoying photo that all people take when visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa: http://www.floridaventureb
2) If there is a gift shop, I’d like a postcard that’s in all black that says “The Gaffney Peach at Night.”
3) Please journal your experience of this scenario: In front of the other tourists, please have a moment with your arms crossed..your chin tucked down..and you get a little weepy because you’re blown away by the magnificence of the peach. Might I suggest channeling people seeing the Pieta for the first time or Clark Griswold getting choked up when the family finally gets to Wally World. Extra credit if you ask the nearest good-ol-boy redneck if you two can just “hug it out.”
Please, take me home.