NIOBRARA COUNTY – Patriotism part II was completed on 10th Street in Wheatland July 22 with the painting of the flagpole that sits outside Kim Zimmerman’s business – Touch of Color.
It was just a little over a month ago that new flags were presented to Zimmerman for her flagpole that had stood uncovered for years. When she purchased the building last fall, the flagpole came along with the business, but it was rusted, there was no halyard and there was no flag.
For all intents and purposes, it was simply an unsightly rusted metal pole. Zimmerman knew that would never do and began a quest to restore the flagpole and add a flag as a show of patriotism in the midst of a nation that has been recently challenged on the subject.
The flag was added June 15, but the pole would take some work. It needed to be scraped and painted and a lot of people were hoping someone would step up and tackle the job.
“I tried to get a couple of painters, and nothing had panned out,” Zimmerman said. “So, Mary Ann (Stinnette) who leases the Quilt Whisperer behind me; her husband had decided it was time to go ahead and make the move and we’re painting some of the trim on the building itself, so we needed to rent a scissor-lift. We just decided that it would be the perfect time to paint the flagpole.”
Steven Stinnette climbed into a shaky scissor lift that moved with the wind and the weight of his body to the top of the 30-foot flagpole and scraped and applied two coats of white paint provided by Zimmerman. The Stinnettes took it upon themselves to be good neighbors and patriots and finish the vision that Zimmerman originally had. The pole took Stinnette two hours to complete.
The two painters Zimmerman had originally planned on could not do the job, so when she rented the scissor-lift to do the trim, the Stinnettes stepped up.
Zimmerman said the project is not quite done and there is talk about welding an eagle perched on a brass ball to the top of the pole.
Stinnette said the wobbly lift was the biggest challenge for him. When asked if heights intimidated him, he commented, “not anymore.
“Once you get used to it, no biggie,” Stinnette said. “I’ve fallen off a few roofs back in my younger days, so this was a little fun.”
Patriots stepping up with a vision in the face of the adversity and splitting of the nation. With every whip sound Old Glory makes and every rope clank from the halyard on the newly painted pole, it’s Platte County’s voice for doing the right thing.