I’ve been here for a very long time, but few people see me. The vines that cling to the bricks around me used to be full of emerald green leaves. Now, all that’s left is withering vine. The mortar around my edges is starting to crack and fade. Some days I worry that it will all crumble and my safe haven will be no more.
But today, somebody took my photo. She told her friend she’d never noticed me before. But today she did. I wonder why.
I want to ask her:
“Do you think I’m beautiful?”
“Do you think I’m worthy?”
“Do you think anyone else ever notices me? Ever really sees me?”
I remember the day when I was bought at auction. Or more accurately, the entire building, then known as the Allen Stove Plant, was bought at auction by Oscar Dortch. And let me tell you, he bought it for a steal.
I was once the OG…the original. I’d been painstakingly crafted by a Master Craftsman, long before I was “the Factory”. Back then I was known only at the elevated water tank. But somewhere along the line someone changed the colour of my paint from green to red, and I became an important landmark, admired by many. Although I guess I’m taking artistic license here, as I’m speaking of the water tower that is the focal point of “me”…the stained glass window.
I believe the water tower and I share an important place in history. I worry that one day the water tower, due to its age, might be torn down. And what a shame that would be. Then I would be the only reminder of what once was. I know the tower is listed with the National Register of Historic Places and maybe that will be its saving grace. I do hope so.
In the meantime, I’ll keep a watchful eye on the tower that inspired my creation and hope that others, like the woman who took my photo, will cast their eyes upward and see my beauty.
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