This obituary for a Philadelphia street pole has struck an odd emotional chord with social media users around the world—and it’s strangely heartwarming.
Since the city’s power company is updating its technology, the ancient, staple-riddled post on the corner of 3rd and Federal is due to be replaced with a newer wooden pole in order to support the new infrastructure by the end of the month.
After the pole was marked for retirement earlier this week, local journalist Brad Pearson noticed a new sign appear on the post during one of his daily walks through the square.
The 150-word goodbye note was written from the perspective of the telephone pole bidding adieu to all of the local residents.
“I just wanted to say it’s been my pleasure to be your corner telephone pole for many years now. It looks like I’ll soon be replaced. Probably by the young pole there on the ground,” said the note. “The neighborhood has changed over the years but I’ve always been here—holding street signs, electric wires, telephone wires, cable, a light, and lately this transformer.
“The many staples are a reminder of the garage sales, flea markets, and hundreds of lost pets,” it continued. “Sox, Cinnamon, Poncho and the rest, I hope you made it home. I hope I do too.
“It’s been fun! Maybe a few months from now you’ll say to yourself ‘I remember the old pole.’ Thanks, The Corner Pole.”
Did not expect to be emotionally gutted by a utility pole this morning pic.twitter.com/5olhl9WoAk— Bradford Pearson (@BradfordPearson) September 12, 2019
Pearson was so impressed by the sign’s personal message, he posted a photo of the obituary to Twitter where it has since been shared thousands of times.
Some users have expressed their skepticism and dismay over an inanimate object evoking such powerfully complex emotional reactions; others have simply been touched by an inanimate object taking on such an intimate role in a community.
Regardless, thousands of viewers have agreed that the anonymously-written sign is a sweet reminder of how we can appreciate the little details of our neighborhoods.
The power company has confirmed that it will be repurposing the wooden pole through their recycling program, so concerned readers need not be afraid of the pole being turned into smoke.
Now after 12 years of standing tall in the community, local residents are paying homage to the pole before it is retired from its long career of being an upstanding citizen.
A look at the pole from Google Street view....— Richard (@richardmoser) September 12, 2019
Be Sure And Share This Sweet Story Of Community Sappiness With Your Friends On Social Media…