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#72100 - 11/18/06 09:32 PM New Jersey Poco Pole Ornaments?
Lostazhell Offline
Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1428
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
Anyone in Jersey seen these??

"The first pole art piece appeared around 1994 along the southbound lane of Rt. 23 near Smoke Rise, Kinnelon. A plastic pumpkin sat atop a 30 ft. utility pole, grinning to passers-by. Slowly other characters began showing up atop the poles along that stretch road; a chicken, a bowling pin, a two foot tall beer bottle, a mail box, a rabbit, a flamingo, and a bright pink pig, were all perched on consecutive low voltage telephone poles.

Nobody seems to know who was placing them there though, making their strange appearance even more perplexing to the local residents. Kinnelon Mayor Glen Sisco said the poles drew mixed reactions from the townsfolk.

“To some people it’s funny,” Sisco said in the Record, “To some people it’s sick.”

Kinnelon police Capt. Elmer Bott said in the Record that except for one anonymous complaint about the poles distracting motorists, the poles haven’t caused any problems. However, he stated that the exhibit is illegal, citing a law prohibiting affixing anything to utility poles.

When asked to what lengths his officers had gone to find the culprit, Bott said “Let’s put it this way—we did not stake it out looking for individuals that were responsible.”

But to what lengths will this mysterious pole artist go to perpetuate his ornamental art? Bare in mind that these pieces have appeared sporadically, over a long period of time. This always makes watching for new ones more fun, because you never know when or where that next one is going to pop up. The mystery artist must do his work at night to avoid being spotted. This would be daring work in the daylight, so must be extremely hazardous in the dark.

As if this wasn’t brazen enough, whoever is responsible has more recently been decorating the poles in a much more highly visible area of Route 23, near Canistear Road. Yes, just as the Kinnelon grouping of pole ornaments began to fade due to weathering, their mysterious mounter surprised everyone by starting a whole new group a few miles farther north, on the poles that border the Oak Ridge Reservoir. Now West Milford residents are feeling the draw of the pole art, where a metal whale and a plastic cat were the first in what would soon be a long line of roadside attractions. Soon to follow; a witch, a gnome, a rubber chicken, Big Bird, a Mutant Ninja Turtle, a snowman, a ball and chain, Mr. Peanut, an alien, and the list goes on and on.

Unlike their neighbors to the south, the Town of West Milford, where the new poles were located, was not going to take the onslaught lying down. There was an effort made to remove all of the offending ornaments from the poles in question. But what do you think happened? That’s right, just as soon as they were taken down, a new series of different pieces went up!

It would almost seem that this renegade pole-hopping craftsman was on some kind of a weird mission. But what do these weird creations represent? A strange telephone pole cult? An homage to some forgotten lineman? Or just someone with too much free time.

And who is this artist anyway? A few people have told us that they suspect people in the Department of Public Works, or the utility company, and this would probably make sense. After all, you would have to have the proper climbing equipment in order to pull this stunt off. Perhaps it’s a disgruntled telephone company ex-employee.

One thing is for sure: this guy is dedicated, for his work in progress has been progressing steadily for about five years now! West Milford resident James Weinbrecht was the first one to bring the pole art to the attention of Weird NJ in 1996. We’ve been photographing these poles ever since, whenever we notice a new one go up.

“The Halloween one was the best because it used to be bright orange,” said Weinbrecht, drummer for the band Reno’s Men. “The bear was made by that guy on Rt. 23 who carves all these wooden sculptures—that doesn’t mean he put it up there—somebody probably bought it and put it up. It’s freaky, it’s weird. I think the mailbox is for air mail. I think once in a while they get air.

found at
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#72101 - 11/18/06 09:40 PM Re: New Jersey Poco Pole Ornaments?
Ann Brush Offline
Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 152
Loc: Ohia
I would most likely suspect a line worker - TelCo guys often work alone and could easilt erect them during the day without drawing any attention.
#72102 - 11/18/06 10:45 PM Re: New Jersey Poco Pole Ornaments?
EV607797 Offline
Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 744
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA, USA
It's the aliens, I tell you. The same ones that are making the crop circles.

Seriously, from the pics, it's obvious that there's no power on these poles. It appears to be just CATV and telephone. Seems pretty obvious who is the culprit, but then again with no high voltage on the poles, tree trimming people become suspects. They too have the necessary climbing equipment.

This stuff doesn't look difficult to even do with a ladder, so who knows? Isn't most of what occurs in NJ "unexplained"?

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
#72103 - 11/19/06 02:14 PM Re: New Jersey Poco Pole Ornaments?
e57 Offline
Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2876
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Over-zealous garbage truck driver - they employ simular ornaments on thier trucks... One of them owns some gaffs.

He does seem to stay away from line or high voltage though? Intentionally or not? They all seem to be telco only poles....
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
#72104 - 11/19/06 02:39 PM Re: New Jersey Poco Pole Ornaments?
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5316
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I suppose there IS a difference between a good prank, and vandalism.

I once knew a guy who had, in a previous life, illustrated comic books. Every now and then, for reasons unknown, her would arise in the middle of the night, slink off to some remote building, and chalk out amazing re-creations of Superman, Spiderman, etc.- to the shocked delight of the residents the next morning!

I also once lived in a place that was said to be the fastest growing place in the USA at the time. The town fathers, looking into their crystal ball, foresaw an industrial park in the future of one road-side wheat field. So, planning ahead, they errected a pair of huge water tanks.
Now, as it happend, a friend's dad worked part time for the village, and had keys to the fence. In no time at all, the tankes were labled -in large, neat letters- "hot" and "cold." To this day, rumor persists that thie industrial park has city-provided hot water!
#72105 - 11/19/06 05:25 PM Re: New Jersey Poco Pole Ornaments?
napervillesoundtech Offline
Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
Thats hilarious! Both the stuff on the poles as well as the hot and cold water tanks.
#72106 - 11/20/06 06:10 AM Re: New Jersey Poco Pole Ornaments?
mkoloj Offline
Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 135
I have definitely seen those pole ornaments while driving on Rt. 23 in Northern Passaic County. It's a mystery I tell you!!

Another thing in the vicinity of these poles that is a little creepy is a section of New City Rd. that is now privately owned by the Newark Watershed that had a whole neighborhood of people seemingly abandon their homes.

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