An Ode to the Glorious Flagler Water Orb

Stanley Drescher was a man with a dream and a vision. His vision was one in which Flagler Beach, Florida’s plain-Jane water tower proudly displayed the town’s moniker for townspeople and tourists alike. Through tireless fundraising, hard work, indifferent city leadership, red tape and poetry (yes, poetry!) Stanley’s dream is about to become reality. From,

Drescher — whose love of the tower has moved him to write poems about it — raised the money just five months after announcing his desire to see the oceanside structure bear the city’s name. Most of the funds came from selling commemorative plaques about the fund drive to businesses, which enlisted sponsors who paid $100 to have their names engraved on the plaques, too. The plaques state, in part: “The tower tanks you.”

Stan Drescher and the soon-to-be-awesome Flagler Beach water tower (Photo: David Massey via The Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Why would this goal be so difficult to achieve? How did a sense of public duty turn into taking a load of public doody?

Drumming up support for a project so close to his heart wasn’t easy, Drescher said. “It was very, very difficult,” he said. “It didn’t happen overnight.”

Community organizations weren’t interested in hearing his pitch for the tower on the city’s south side, he said. And an attempt to raise the money through the sales of vanity license plates failed.

City Commissioners wouldn’t accept the money unless donations were tax-deductible and came from a nonprofit group. They wouldn’t match the money Drescher raised. The reaction from city commissioners was a surprise, Drescher said. “I never dreamed they would turn me down,” he said. “They put a lot of restrictions on me.”

Drescher’s love of poetry came into play in the campaign as he authored a number of poems about his trials, even reading some of them in the public comment portions of city and county meetings. From his composition, “The Beginning of a Quest”

“I had my work cut out for me/I saw every person/But no matter what I did/Effort seemed to worsen

We walked in all directions/’Til we got swollen feet/And all the while determined/Not to accept defeat.”

With victory at hand, Mr. Drescher notes “I have to find another project. Maybe I’ll form a poet’s society.”

Super! Can I join? Here’s my first contribution: I think that I shall never see/A tower with the town’s marquee…

Flagler Beach via armisteadbooker on Flickr

The Drainage Problem that Grew…94 feet?

For every endeavor, there’s a “best of the best” list and if you’re with Roto Rooter, you’d aspire to this one. Each year Roto-Rooter Plumbing and Drain Service surveys 4,000 field technicians to honor (spotlight?) the year’s ”five strangest items recovered from pipes and toilets over the course of the year.”

The list for 2008 includes cats, diamonds and this record-setting, traffic-stopping 94-foot-long root extracted from a drainge pipe at the Manatee County United Way office.

In June, Roto-Rooter Contractor Bart Mathis of Sarasota, Florida was called to the United Way offices in Manatee County. The building had a clogged courtyard drain that caused the office to flood whenever there was heavy rain. Mathis cut into the underground pipe and found a giant root mass filling the entire pipe. When the root wouldn’t budge, he hooked up his 4 wheel drive truck to it and dragged it out of the pipe. Roto-Rooter had to close off four lanes of traffic because the root turned out to be 94 feet long and stretched across the nearby roadway. The monster root is one of the longest Roto-Rooter has ever extracted from a pipe.

Tank, Spaz, Tiddy & Melissa


I’m sure a little summer fun is all they had in mind. Or maybe summer fun in their little minds. Four Manatee county, Florida teenagers went straight to jail for burglary and criminal mischief when they were nailed vandalizing this water tower. Melissa Jenkins, her brother “Spaz” Jenkins and his two friends, Frankie “Tank” Koonz and Jordan “Tiddy” Tidwell scaled the water tower to spray paint their names. Now, that’s smart! Sheriff’s deputies eventually arrived on the scene and arrested all four.

At 10:30 pm on a Friday night, they climbed a ladder and got to work, . Someone on the ground spotted the antics and called police. Photos from ABC7