It's time for name that tower

November 08, 1999

Like everyone else in Hagerstown, I had been waiting on the edge of my La-Z-Boy for the City Council to make a decision.

For too long, the townsfolk had been up in the air, anticipating an answer - any answer. Won't someone, we wondered, step forth and show some leadership? Won't someone put politics aside and do what's best for the community?

Won't someone end the bickering, end the infighting, end the back-room meetings with special interests and hard-core lobbyists and decide, once and for all, what slogan to paint on the side of Hagerstown's West End water tower?

The water tower will serve the new shopping complex on U.S. 40, and the struggle over what to paint on the side had been going on for more than a month.


OK, players, the puzzle is a phrase:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _'_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Pat, is there an S?

There are three S's.

_ _ _ _ _ S _ _ _ _'S _ _ S _ _ _ _

Pat, I'd like to buy a vowel. Is there an E?

There are three Es.

_ _ _ E _ S _ _ _ _'S _ E S _ E _ _

Would you like to solve the puzzle, or spin?

I'll spin.

Now it wouldn't seem that naming a water tank would cause major angst, but of course this is Hagerstown, where something as simple as picking a spot for a University System of Maryland classroom building has more convoluted twists than John Hanning Speke's search for the source of the Nile.

Pat, I'd like to buy a T.

There are two Ts.

_ _ _ E _ S T _ _ _'S _ E S T E _ _

Pat, I'd like to solve the puzzle.

OK for $1,350, what phrase is going to be painted on the new water tower in Hagerstown's West End?

Would it be "Seattle's Best Elk?"

Oooo, no, - sorry.

You wouldn't figure in the land of High Rock, Dual Highway, School Stadium, Eastern Boulevard, City Park, Big Pool, etc., etc, there would be too much of a debate. Washington County has never lost sleep over naming rights before. So maybe this time would be different, maybe they would think up something pithy and original to paint on the side of the water tower for all interstate travelers to see. Something like "No Fishing."

Pat, is there an N?

There are two Ns.

_ _ _ E _ S T _ _ N'S _ E S T E N _

Pat, I would like to buy an O.

There is one O.

_ _ _ E _ S T O _ N'S _ E S T E N _

I'll spin.

I didn't really see why it had to be a slogan. I thought a big peace sign or a larger-than-life photo of Marie Byers might have been good.

Pat, is there an R?

There is one R.

_ _ _ E R S T O _ N'S _ E S T E N _

Council members were asked to put the message "Welcome to Hagerstown, Home of the West End Little League and Colt League." My question is, why stop there? You already have enough letters to wrap around the tower six times, why not go for the whole Gettysburg Address or something.

Might be good for tourism. Travelers would have to make a return trip, just so they could finish reading the tank,

Pat, is there a G?

There is one G.

_ _ G E R S T O _ N'S _ E S T E N _

Oh, I'm sorry, players, that beeping sound means you are all complete morons for not being able to figure out that the new tower on Hagerstown's West End will be graced with the logo "Hagerstown's North End."

Hey, why not? The North End gets accused of usurping everything else.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist

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