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Faux (Tower) Pas
0612 Faux Tank 1
Designed to conceal the top of a cell phone tower when entering into Oakdale on Highway 120/North Yosemite Avenue, this faux tank would seem to be more eye pleasing than just the cell tower but has also brought with it a fair amount of local opposition and concern. - photo by Virginia Still/The Leader


Reminiscent of Petticoat Junction or Hooterville, the new faux water tower installed by AT&T greets travelers entering the city from the north along Highway 120 with “Welcome to the City of Oakdale.”

The color scheme, however, has some not thinking of Green Acres or the Cannonball, but of American Graffiti and the color description of John Milner’s hot rod, which included yellow and “puke green.”

Last year the city entered into an agreement with AT&T to allow a cell phone tower at Yosemite Avenue and East A Street. The lease agreement brings in $2000 a month to city coffers.

This week the tower was completed with its lime green faux water tank structure hoisted onto the top. Instead of numerous gallons of water, the rustic-looking circular tank covers a collection of antennas and satellite dishes used by the wireless provider to improve service to customers.

The reaction from the public has been mixed as The Leader received several calls on Monday, June 10 criticizing the choice of paint for the old fashioned tank, many upset because the colors – a pale green and yellow – are more akin to the rival Sonora Wildcats to the east, not the colors of the town’s own red and gold Oakdale Mustangs.

Even social media sites have added criticism to the new landmark.

“Thank you AT&T for this great cell tower but don’t you think you could have painted it something a bit more red and gold! Lime green, really,” is a post on the popular Oakdale Events Facebook page.

Followers commented agreeing that “red and gold” would have been a more appropriate choice.

Those contacted from the site didn’t return calls by press time.

“It’s really ugly,” agreed Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul. “I thought they could have matched Gilbert’s (Feed) and blended in. It’s garish. I wear colors like that on shirts to attract attention to myself.”

Not everyone, however, is taking the concerns seriously.

“Is this some sort of joke, really?” AT&T media representative Charles Bassett asked when contacted about the color choice by phone on Tuesday, June 11. “Citizens don’t like the color and I’m supposed to respond?”

With the response – or lack thereof – from the phone company, it wouldn’t be out of the question for some loyal citizen to follow the advice of ‘redneck’ Jeff Foxworthy and climb a water tank with a bucket of paint to defend the city’s honor.

Not a good idea, though; they likely would get hit with a trespassing charge, at the very least.

So, for now, the tank remains its unusual colors but offers a welcoming message.