Grease and Glory

“This is Peter Black’s house,” someone shouts. “Show some respect.”

The “walkers” go quiet, something they haven’t done in hours.

There are 45 of them, mostly guys in their 20s, and they’ve been partying all day, each of them in a ridiculous costume, all part of summoning the courage for what they’ll be doing later in the afternoon.

This is the Friday crowd, the lucky ones who know someone who knows someone and got their names on the list for round one of this fishing port’s major spectator draw and most sacred test: the greasy pole.

Text by Bill Baker