Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Carefree.

Any guesses where, and what, this is?

IMGP5119 cropped small IMGP5120 cropped small IMGP5121 cropped small

Answer:

It’s the Greasy Pole in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

From Wikipedia:

The Greasy Pole Contest takes place every year during St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester, Massachusetts. During this time, many young men try their luck at walking down a greased, wooden pole in the middle of Gloucester Harbor. The goal is to be the first person to grab the red flag at the end of the pole.

The Greasy Pole competition originated in Sicily in the 19th century or earlier, and was brought to Gloucester by the Italian immigrant population of fishermen in the early 20th century. The object is to walk across a greased pole protruding from a platform about 200 yards from shore. This platform, depending on the tide, can be anywhere from 10–25 ft above the water. The pole, which hangs over the water, is 45 feet long, and only about as wide as a standard telephone pole. This pole is then heavily greased with biodegradable axle grease mixed with anything from Tabasco sauce to oil, banana peels, and various other slippery objects. A red flag (or sometimes the Italian Flag with a red flag underneath it) is then nailed to the very end of the pole. The idea is to run out on the heavily greased pole and try to grab the flag before slipping and falling into the water. About 40 or 50 men between age 18–60 go out from Pavilion Beach in Gloucester MA during the St. Peter Fiesta, the last weekend of June. They walk the pole one at a time in a pre-determined order. Generally, the men are of Italian descent, although the walkers may include all nationalities. Because of the popularity of the event, there are strict rules as to who is eligible to walk on Sunday. The event is currently held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4:45PM.

But this was in July. The Greasy Pole was deserted, except for these few kids out to have some fun… or maybe get a leg up on the competition for when they turn eighteen ;-)

The first Carefree post was here.

68 responses to “Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree, Take Two

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | Wind Against Current

  2. Uff, a difficult jump! Good shot!
    Cheers,
    Rafael

    Like

  3. I don’t know where it is but it sure looks like fun!

    Like

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree (Utah Beach Camping) | What's (in) the picture?

  5. Wow, this fits the prompt perfectly! :)
    PS: A new photo challenge – you are welcome to participate! http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/eses-weekly-shoot-quote-challenge/

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  6. Lovely series of photos. Looks like a lot of fun!

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  7. No idea where or what this is, but Im not sure I would feel carefree up there on the giant plank!

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  8. I guess it is a rig on off shore and the pipe. I don’t have any idea where it is. Truly nice shot. :-)

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  9. nice take on the challenge.. wonderful shots!

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  10. It looks like a piling to replace an old one or to build a new area.. That’s a great series of images, and it fits ‘Carefree’ well!

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  11. Pingback: Photo Project ’52 Bolivian Sundays’ [week 33, 'Carefree']. | 3rdculturechildren

  12. Where is that? I hope not the hudson or the east river! Looks otherwise like fun!

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  13. this kind of carefree is not for the faint of heart! :)
     
    but those participating look like they are having fun. thanks for sharing. no idea where this is….

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  14. not ever something i would…or could…do…seeing as i’m not a swimmer… :(

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  15. Think I might be full of care but lovely shots/light/

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  16. I just wonder how carefree the guy is on the right! Is he there of his own free will or is there some group pressure involved? I am just kidding. A beautiful picture, great tones, and a lovely composition.

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  17. I’m not sure where it is, but Mama Rosie has the most awesome diving board EVER!

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  18. is this the greased pole in gloucester?

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  19. Holy cow ! Did you do this?

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  20. Great shots, but it would most certainly not be carefree for me! :)

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  21. The sea looks cold but it looks like fun. Great photos.

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  22. Sandy hook?
    In any event, YIKES! ;-)

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  23. WOW … I hope they can swim. ~~~~ : – )
    CAREFREE … to the max.
    Fun post

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  24. Very carefree, Vladimir.

    janet

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  25. I’m afraid I would not be feeling “carefree” on there!

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  26. Thanks for the Bulgari like Vlad. Where have you been, or is it me? This picture is NOT carefree in my opinion it is HORRIFYING >..laughs – great capture !

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  27. Looks like fun to me. :)

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  28. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree 2 | Bastet and Sekhmet

  29. Great post! I’d jump!

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  30. Its more like training for jumping off a ledge from a pirate ship arrrrrr

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