To: Horton Water Spheroid

From: Former close neighbor

Re: Recent Vinton Today piece

It was with great interest that I read your recent article. I was your nearest neighbor, residing in the black home just to your south, for nearly 27 years. In 2011 I retired and moved to Minnesota but I think of you and your fair city often. My family and I received a great many benefits from you that not only met our basic needs but provided other inputs to our life as well. In general you were a good neighbor, but I must admit you gave us some challenges as well.

I am quite familiar with your creator, the Chicago Bridge & Iron company. CB&I also built a large water storage tank situated below the reactor at the Duane Arnold plant, my former employer. It holds several hundred thousands of gallons that are meant to absorb excess heat following a reactor shutdown and provide a large water source for long term cooling. Although you are a spheroid your cousin near Palo is toroidal which, as you know, is the shape of a doughnut.

I always thought the pressure output you gave my family could have been better. Whether it was due to the limited amount of static head differential because my home was up the hill from your base, improperly sized distribution pipes, or something else is unknown to me.

My children and any child who visited Kiwanis Park always delighted in you. Visiting children would run to you just look and touch you. My two boys threw rocks, baseballs, footballs and anything else that can be thrown at you but you never even chipped or dented. I may have even hit you with a golf ball or two. I apologize for those misdeeds.

Although not your fault, my youngest son has a small scar across his forehead due to your unyielding ways. One Thanksgiving Day, he was playing near you, tripped and fell, and hit his head on one of your hold-down bolts. The nice folks at Virginia Gay Emergency Room sewed him up and our Turkey Day resumed.

You do sweat a lot in the summer. You always have water condensing on you above and streaming down your sides. There was always a nice ring of lush green grass around your base because it was so well watered. I’m sure that’s the reason you currently look so dirty and grimy. It was always that way.

Your lights provided us illumination that was sometimes welcome and sometimes an annoyance. Star gazing was not in the cards for us was it? And in the summer when a window was cranked open at a certain angle your light would reflect right into my eyes. I remember driving home from work during the big ice storm we had several years ago. It appeared to me that everything in Benton County was without power but driving up highway 218 I could see your lights from a great distance and it filled my heart with joy knowing our local electric plant was supplying power to keep us warm.

I hope the leaders of Vinton find the funds to spruce you back up. I’m sure you are able to provide service for many more decades. Don’t let them tell you that you need some exotic paint color scheme to attract people to Vinton or some such nonsense. You are utilitarian. After a good sand blast and fresh paint you look wonderful. I miss your melodious ring when a golf ball bounces off you. Be well.

Dave Schussler

Pine City, Mn