Hey, ya'll, watch this!

by Richard Kolkovich

The Goal

Twice every year, I return to Hartwell, Georgia to visit my parents and head up to the Bristol Motor Speedway with my father. For the past few years (3? 5? We can’t really remember…), we have been lightly discussing re-stringing the flagpole that has been in our front yard since I can remember. Solutions included removing the pole completely and asking the neighbor to bring his cherry picker home from work at Comcast one weekend. We never have gotten past the planning phase, however.

The Goal

The Tools

Shortly before this August’s trip, I randomly thought of the damned flagpole (again). When I arrived home, dad and I were determined to not let it escape re-stringing for another year. Having recently acquired a

Kubota tractor with front-loader (how we lived in Georgia this long without one I cannot say), we concocted a plan which threatened to send my mother into cardiac arrest (or kill one of us). We sourced the manual for the machine and discovered the maximum height of the bucket was 113”. Coming in at just under 6’, I only needed another 4 or so feet to reach the top of the flagpole. After finding a half sheet of plywood, the 6’ ladder, and the 8’ ladder (to get into the bucket), we were ready to go.

The Tools

Mothers, avert your eyes

Mom was none too happy about our plan, though we eventually got her to take some photos of our progress. We started with the plywood perpendicular to the bucket, but the span of the ladder legs exceeded the bucket. We rotated the plywood, added some 2x4s to span the bucket, providing structural support, and stacked the 6’ ladder on top. I only needed to ascend 3 steps of the ladder to reach the summit.

Climbing I've reached the top!

Shoving a polypropylene/nylon cord through the hidden pulley was a bit of a chore, so dad armed me with some 12-gauge electrical wire and duct tape to fish it through. We are on our way to greatness…

Stay on target... Almost...... It's in!

It’s Miller Time

Getting down was a snap, and we received a thunderous applause from our audience once the task was complete.

Take a bow

Nothing beats a cold, refreshing beer after risking life and limb to re-string a flagpole, so we enjoyed some selections Sly Fox Brewery from Phoenixville, PA.

It's Miller Time!

Dad ordered a Valley Forge flag from BearWobble.com, and it is now waving proudly in front of the house.

Waving proudly