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What’s going on with Gaffney’s Peachoid?

No, the Gaffney Peachoid has not been converted to a Lemonoid.

Having been sandblasted down to the metal over the winter months, the 34-year-old giant water tower along Interstate 85 was coated with a solid yellow base layer in preparation for a shiny new paint job.

Murals artist Eric Henn expects to arrive in Gaffney this week to get started.

“I’ve known about the Peachoid for a long time. It’s a very famous water tower,” said the Ohio-based artist. “It’s going to be a thrill for me to get to do the repaint on it.”

Positioned in a very tall lift, Henn will use seven or eight colors of red, orange and yellow to coax a realistic peach image from the steel water tower. And because of the nearby Fatz restaurant parking lot, he’ll be rolling it all on by hand rather than spraying it.

The process will take three to five weeks, depending on the weather, Henn said.

One of Henn’s recent projects was an apple basket water tower in Mt. Jackson, Va.

The paint job became necessary when paint started peeling off the tank last year.

Despite our neighbor to the south’s having laid claim to the moniker “Peach State,” South Carolina is actually the country’s second-largest peach producer, behind only California, according to Matt Cornwell, executive director of the S.C. Peach Council.

South Carolina produces and ships about 46,000 tons of peaches in a year, he said, almost two-and-a-half times Georgia’s production. In fact, there’s one farm in Ridge Spring that alone produces as many peaches as all of Georgia.

The beloved Peachoid has ended up on multiple lists of the coolest, weirdest or wackiest water towers in the world, alongside an ear of corn, a bottle of ketchup, a watermelon and a Leaning Tower of Pisa replica. It also is a frequent mention on the popular Netflix series, “House of Cards.”

And, a bonus: The Gaffney Peachoid isn’t the only peach water tank going. There’s another, half the Peachoid’s size, in Alabama.

Amy Clare Burns writes Q&Amy for the Greenville News.

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