SALEM — It’s hard to believe a tiny diner next to a liquor store could generate so much excitement, but Salem State University did everything but hire trumpeters and put on top hats for the reopening this week of The Salem Diner.
Never before has grease and high cholesterol gotten such royal treatment.
Amid all the hoopla, however, a few people did notice that something was missing from the old diner — and not just former owners George and Zoe.
The Pesky Pole is gone.
“Where’s the Pesky Pole?” one regular exclaimed as she sat down to lunch on Wednesday.
This is not the famous Pesky Pole at Fenway Park, and not even the one at the Salem State baseball diamond. This Pesky Pole was inside the diner in the corner where the late, great Johnny Pesky used to meet his pals for breakfast.
Fearing the worst, we turned the case over to Salem State Police Chief Gene Labonte.
Using detective skills honed during his State Police days, Labonte made a startling discovery: the much-ballyhooed Pesky Pole was an old, rusty metal coat rack located near where Pesky used to dine. It even had the words “Pesky Pole” inscribed on the side. This coat rack and another one of similar ilk apparently were tossed by a vendor during renovations.
Take heart, Pesky fans. There is still a No. 6 on the diner wall.
Attention, all you 3,000 dog owners. If your pooch is neither spayed nor neutered, the 2014 Salem dog license will cost $5 more than last year.
Don’t blame the city — the state law changed.
Licensing starts the first week of February. You can register at the city clerk’s office, by downloading a form online (search for forms under “City Clerk”), or the lazy way — wait for the census form to arrive in the mail.