Adair, Iowa made "Smiley, The Friendly Greeter on I-80" its civic hero. A Happy Chef Restaurant and a Smiley Face Budget Inn stood at the Interstate off ramp, ready to "make you smile!"
Local merchants printed the Smiley cartoon on their business cards, and displayed "Evening in Adair, Made with Extract of Ol' Smiley" shampoo in shop windows. Travelers could purchase a yellow plastic piggy bank replica of the water tower.
Whole towns continued to stake their identities on the smirking waterworks and were want to find another symbol more striking in life-affirming simplicity. By the late 1990s, Smiley Face water towers had achieved a longevity milestone that assured survival. It didn't matter why they were built or what they meant -- they were now a part of history.