A telephone pole in Philadelphia got Twitter users teary-eyed on Thursday after a farewell letter was found stapled to its grizzled, worn-down exterior.
The wooden pole, which stood for years on the corner of 3rd and Federal in the southeast corner of Jefferson Square, was selected to be retired and replaced. Now, it was time to say goodbye.
“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,” the letter, yellowed by the sun and rain, read.
“I hope to be made into furniture or at least toothpicks. Though perhaps I’ll end up being burned,” it continued.
In an ode to the lives that grew up around it, the letter said, “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.”
The first photo of the letter was retweeted thousands of times.
“In times like these, it’s very, very easy to be cynical, so, when I chose to cut through this park on a whim and saw a heartfelt letter to the community from a telephone pole that had seemingly been around for decades, it made my day,” Schneider told CNN over email. “Heartwarming little moments like that can really lift your spirits.”
It’s true. The pole is coming down
PECO Energy Company confirmed to CNN that it owns the pole and, yes, that it will soon be replaced.
A new pole is being installed because one of the other companies that utilizes it for their operations will be upgrading their equipment, which requires a new pole, PECO spokeswoman Kristina Pappas told CNN.
The pole replacement should be completed this month. After it is removed, the current pole will be recycled through its wood recycling program.
“We attempt to recycle as many replaced poles as possible, and through recycling they can be repurposed into other things, such as mulch,” Pappas assured.
So, for the pole, there is hope for a new life after this one.
A Google Maps look at the pole shows that it’s been there since at least July 2007.
Schneider attributed the social media outpouring for the inanimate object to the pride Philadelphia residents take in their neighborhoods.
“Philly’s a lot more intimate, like each neighborhood is its own tight-knit community. Because of that, there’s a real sense of sentimentality for anything related to a given neighborhood, even if it’s for something as ordinary as an old telephone pole,” Schneider said.