may not look like much to you, but this water tank, shown in a 1956
photograph taken for a promotional brochure for the City of
Summerville, was a favorite swimming hole on hot summer days for a
group of boys whose names shall remain stricken from the record. (Your
writer is unsure of the statute of limitations regarding trespassing on
Three years later, the parents of the ring leader built a house nearby atop
Harlow Heights, located behind the old Georgia Rug Mill on Highway 48
in Summerville. A few years after that, the ring leader and his little gang
of hoodlums discovered the metal hatch which led into the clear,
freshly sanitized waters was without a lock. As fast as you can holler
"Skinny dip!" the kids were in the drink.
was even more fun (so I am told) was climbing to the top of the much larger metal tank
built nearby, especially if the water level indicator along the side
showed the tank as half full. That meant some high dives from the top.
(Fortunately for foolish boys, an interior ladder was welded to the
tank.) One also learned fairly quickly not to do the cannonball when
one was skinny-dipping.
the Nervous Nellie badgering by the ring leader to conduct personal business before
entering the fresh water alternative to the chlorine-soaked recreation
center swimming pool, the boys had a great time until one day a snitch
ratted them out, and soon the City of Summerville installed padlocks on
all the water tanks. Perhaps headlines about LSD also convinced the
water department that leaving the tanks unlocked might make Summerville
residents an easy target for acid trips, just like the ones shown at
the Tooga Theater in the Peter Fonda movie, The Trip.
The boys wondered if there was a merit badge for preventing city-wide
freak-outs, but like CIA operations, their actions would have to remain
Photograph courtesy of Chattooga Chamber of Commerce.