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 www.weirdnj.com