Every town has one.

OK, let me adjust that a bit. Almost every town has one.

In many of the small towns I've had the pleasure of driving into, there are two things that usually pop up above rooftops and power poles. You see a church steeple (choose your denomination) and you see a water tower.

And virtually every time I see that water tower standing tall against the sky, I remember my Grandma. Yes, my Grandma, gone from the planet now for almost a half century.

You see, I've discovered that a water tower, especially those that rise up majestically over a small town, hold not only water but magic. And memories.

My Grandma lived in the smallest house in one of those small towns. It was just here, Grandpa having passed even before I ever got to meet him. There's a lot of things that will take me back to my 10 year old self and Grandma Grace, I suppose the chief among them the smell of freshly baked bread.

And that small town water tower.

She lived just a block from it, this huge contraption colored green with the towns name boldly printed on the side of the tank way, way up there. And thank goodness it was way up there.

I could go wander around town, check out the candy aisle at the local grocery store, trot over to the baseball field, walk past the school playground, empty now in the middle of summer. I could walk over to the creek and watch a couple old fella's fish.

And I could always find Grandma's house by looking up for my old friend, that magical tub in the sky. Just walk towards that and Grandma's house was....well, just over there. If someone would ask me where Grandma lived (They'd use her proper adult name, but just Grandma to me), I'd just tell 'em 'See that water tower? She lives down near the bottom there.'

Of course, i didn't know that ol' water tower was makin' memories for me at the time. I guess that's the magical part.

I love driving the highways and byways of South Dakota, and those small town's are my favorite, because I grew up on a small farm next to a small town myself. And I love seeing that water tower.

Because all these years later I see Grandma's house, and I know there's fresh baked bread waiting.

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