Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Pole Painter

On Tuesday at the museum  I noticed some commotion outside by the flag pole.  The janitors were looking up and taking down the flag and messing with the ropes. ( I think sometimes it is what men do best..stand around in group look up and down and nod their heads.)

The flag pole is situated right out the door of the museum next to the street.

Later I saw this..well what is a gal with a camera to do?

What in the world

A Steeplejack

He hollered “Look Ma no hands!”

Well the guy is up a pole..he is a captive audience for my curious questions.

Warren a Flag Pole painter

He sits on a board, he moves up and down the pole with ropes.  Those two buckets attached to the board hold his paint, roller and brush and whatever else a pole painter needs whilst he is up a pole.

His name is Warren, he is from Spokane Washington and he has been a Steeplejack for 51 years.  His Dad was one for 55 years.  Warren first went to work with his Dad when he was eight years old, he made 25 cents an hour.  ( Big money back then) He paints mainly flag poles now but he has done water and radio towers and other tall structures. He is not afraid of heights.   He charges 10 dollars a foot to paint a pole.  Our is 34 feet tall.  He painted one pole 66 feet tall in the morning up in Bagley and ours in the afternoon.  Yes, if it is windy he cannot work.  He told me that a flag pole should be painted every three years but it has been six years since ours has been done.  Our flag pole has a bit of a sway to it also…made me nervous but didn’t bother Warren.

He has an assistant.

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He was tied to a tree and watched his master the entire time except when I scratched his ears.  I believe his name was “Scritch.”

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Warren has five children, three girls and two boys, his boys have painted with him from time to time but are not working with him now.  We had a nice visit, until I got visitors at the museum.  Then he hollered “Goodbye Museum Lady.”

Just incase you every wonder who paints the flag poles..well now you know:)

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22 comments:

  1. How interesting. I can't imagine doing that as I'm afraid of heights. Such a cute assistant.

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  2. That is so interesting! It is something I could never do as I am afraid of heights unless there is a railing to hold on to.

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  3. A great post!

    Looks like Warren and Scritch enjoy their work.

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  4. Now that was fun and informative. I had no idea flagpoles needed to be painted every few years, but it makes sense. I've never seen one being painted before. Thanks for giving Scritch a scratch. :-)

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  5. I didn't know pole painting was a profession. I'd think it would get a little hot up there in summer.

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  6. It seems to me that I've heard the term steeplejack before, but I never knew what it meant. Very interesting!

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  7. You won't catch me doing that. I'd be on the ground scratching Scritch!

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  8. Fascinating look at this dying art! Loved the pics too.

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  9. You learn something every day! Wow, sounds like good money on the days that he works. If Scritch was my dog, I'd be worried about someone making off with him while I was way up the pole.

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  10. Well, that was interesting! I don't think I have ever seen a flag pole painted or a person who paints the poles! Very nice, Connie! I enjoyed this little post very much! Thanks, Museum Lady!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  11. He's been doing that for 51 years! Amazing. I wish I were not afraid of height. Oh well, maybe in my next life.

    Interesting post. I'd have never thought of flagpoles being painted. :)

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  12. So did the guys looking up and nodding their heads join in the lengthy conversation? :)

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  13. Great post. Very interesting. :-)

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  14. Surprising that they climb a pole to paint it. The pipe is not that strong with a 150 lb weight torquing it. As a kid I shinnied up flag poles. I would think they could easily snap. No one knows how rusty they might be inside. But this guy would know a lot more than I do.

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  15. Connie, I love that you interviewed this man. You got good info about him and his work, and great photos including his adorable dog.

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  16. I didn't think metal poles needed to be painted. But if they do, now we know who can get the job done. Fun post.

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  17. Thanks for sharing. I didn't even realize that flag poles would need painting, but it stands to reason! Warren sounds like quite the character.

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  18. I would never of thought about having someone who paints poles! How interesting.

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  19. Now I can sleep better at night, knowing how flag poles are painted. hehe!!

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  20. very interesting ~ I had no idea ;)

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  21. I'm afraid of heights, so I'd never be a candidate for that job. But, more importantly, I didn't know one had to paint a flag pole!?!?
    He has a cute dog. :)

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  22. That is a first for me to see a pole painter. The dog is a great looking mascot.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie