Remembering Tank

Published 3:59 pm Friday, April 17, 2020

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As I sit and think, I see James ‘Tank” Waters” as I saw him just a few days ago. Big, bold, and full of life. I can hear him saying “Hello Mayor, what can I do for you?”

Tonight, however, I see all the other James Waters.

I see him at Cowan’s at about the age of five where our middle son worked; I see James as a student in my class at Tryon Middle School, I remember the short story he wrote when he was talking about shooting his air “riffle”; I see James throwing the shot put for us on the Polk County Junior Olympics team; I see him responding as a deputy; I see James responding to a fire and suffering when the team could not save the structure; I see Tank hauling the Fire Department cooker to either Harmon Field or Polk County High when we needed to cook for the track and cross country teams; I see Tank rise to the occasion and become our new Tryon Fire Chief; and I see the man Tank, who became a leader who was admired, respected, and loved.

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Morris, our Town horse, told me that James probably went to see St. Peter and asked if there were a four-wheel vehicle that he could use to go get some Bar-B-que over at the Heavenly Grill. I also imagine that he had the angels rolling in the sky with laughter after a few jokes. I am sure that all were smiling since I know that it was impossible to see his smile and not smile back.

I miss you James. You were an integral part of my life for thirty-five years. God speed!

J Alan Peoples