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.


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.”


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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2 Responses to A Pole Painter

  1. Karen says:

    Interesting. I’ve never heard the term “steeplejack”.

  2. Jan - Alexandria says:

    That was a fun story…not that your others aren’t interesting too. :) I remember as a child living next to a church watching the steeplejacks work on the steeple next door. There was a family from our area in south central MN that did that work. I wonder if any of them are still doing that work. I like his touch of the red/white/blue hat! And I always love seeing working people who have a dog as a companion.

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