After 40 years, two landmarks will be dismantled. A county mourns as petty neighbors celebrate.

Travelers on I-85 north of Atlanta (by the Jimmy Carter Boulevard exit), have been treated to the Great Gwinnett Twin Towers for over three decades. These glorious water towers serve as a beacon to the universe with their simple declarative statements: “GWINNETT IS GREAT” and “SUCCESS LIVES HERE.” Well, water tower fans, scuttlebutt has it that soon the towers are coming down. As a proud resident (a Gwinnetian) I am saddened at the thought.

Driving is boring. Most billboards are ugly and suck. Mother Nature can get repetitive on a long drive (she’s prettty stingy with her Grand Canyons, Niagra Falls, Badlands or Big Surs). Thus, roadside attractions like water towers with pithy thought-proving messages are greatly appreciated. Think about this philosophical question–– is Gwinnett great because Success lives here, or does Success live here because Gwinnett is great? Those are two distinct perspectives are worthy of serious brain wrestling. Yet, soon these majestic towers will soon be gone.

Many in neighboring counties think our towers are boastful. These envious people are happy to see these cherished monuments become memories, but I beg to differ. Gwinnett is great, but that doesn’t diminish our county cousins. I mean, look–– Fulton is fine, DeKalb is decent, Cobb is common, Barrow is bewildering, Hall is helpful, Walton is wistful, Forsyth is funky and Cherokee is cheery.

Now, imagine for a moment you are Success– where would you live?

Gwinnett. Where water towers always speak truth, Gwinnetians are masters of the universe and Success can be seen mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters or washing the car on Saturdays.

Fair thee well, wise water towers. I shall spout waterworks for you long after you’ve gone.