|Hinrichs family of flagpole painters leaves mark on town|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
As Daniel Hinrichs clung to a flagpole roughly 50 feet in the air, his father Warren Hinrichs had both feet firmly planted on the dirt below him in the arena at Phillips County Event Center, flipping through a notebook containing newspaper clippings, photos and other keepsakes from his 55 years as a steeplejack.
Warren followed his father’s footsteps into the business, and his son did the same two years ago. The three Holyoke poles repainted Wednesday, July 2, brought the summer total for the family of painters up to 80. In total, Warren says he has roughly 5,000 poles painted to his name.
Warren recalled his first time joining his father on a painting mission. At the young age of 8 years old, Warren helped paint a water tower. For 17 years he worked for his dad, then took over the business for 19 years. By 1999, Warren had limited his work strictly to repainting flagpoles, no longer tending to water towers, smoke stacks or bridges.
The second- and third-generation flagpole painting duo began this season by painting poles in parts of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. About 20 poles remain in Kansas for the year before the painting team heads back home to Spokane, Wash.
Subscribe to our e-Edition to get the full story! Call 970-854-2811.