Freak Flag

repurposed stake before moon rising

Over the winter I discovered a pound net stake had washed ashore lodging itself here in the marsh and salt bush. At 45’ long I wondered how many jet skis it had taken out in its journey. Obviously, this was a highly valued artifact. I was tempted to re-float it, allowing the battering ram to continue its laudable mission, but it’s straightness caught me. A more radical thought occurred. Might a flagpole be raised? Just how far our stick had travelled was a mystery. The closest stakes in use I’m aware of are off Reedville, many miles up the Bay from Mobjack. The local watermen stopped using pound nets decades ago. With a shovel, chain and tractor I dislodged the pole. Hefted upon several sawhorses, I stained it white, tapered the top for a soup can cap, tarred the base, hand dug a 9’ hole with post hole diggers and auger, and then, a fellow trimming the neighbor’s trees agreed to raised and drop our pole in its new home with a cherry picker. A bullet eye as a masthead hoist, $5 of crab pot line for a halyard, a hand fashioned cleat from ipe, a couple brass snap shackles and we had a flagpole. I was amazed at how solid just dropping gravel in the hole locked the pile in.

I couldn’t locate one of those pretty rainbow flags a few are so spun up about, so I’m sure the one I chose will offend a couple. What kind? Who knows these crazy times. Well, can’t please everyone and some can never be pleased. I’m happy and proud of our efforts though. Oh, and it works!


8 thoughts on “Freak Flag

  1. JW Arthur

    Maybe add some yachty spreaders so you can run up banners for the cause of the moment? Although not sure you can improve on Old Glory, regardless of the haters.

    1. dchill

      Ok, the flag ain’t a freak. Nobody in this country of mixed emotions and contrasting loyalties can fault you flying the Stars and Stripes. The flagpole, now, that’s pretty freaky (I had to look up what a pound net is) but you tell a wonderful tale of reuse and resurrection— and bless the cherry picker. Looks just right where it is. Well done 🙂

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