Saturday, July 31, 2010

Walking canes

It was in the good old days when walking with a stick was considered as fashionable and the in thing.
The body language of the person could be read by just observing the way he held or used the  stick.
Like if the tip was held firmly to the carpet, it means silent disagreement, or if the nob is tapped to  the lips means farewel.

Now if we see some some one with a stick we usually label that person as old and weak and "needs a stick to walk"
Chinese old man at the Temple of Heaven 2
pic by Ocean Jeff on Flickr
But do you know that the walking stick (or cane) is the only self defence weapon that is legal and can be carried anywhere, even on the airplane.

There is a guy named Shuey, (63) who is a grand master in "Cane Fu," the self-defense art he invented. He enjoys demonstrating the lethal uses of a cane and how it can be used against attackers / muggers.

Rolce Royce is not only famous for their cars but they even design their own walking sticks and umbrellas which are well concealed in the car and can be pulled out when required.
  And then those who want to discreetly have their drinks, there was the Tippling Canes, or Tipplers, they have hollowed-out compartments near the top where flasks or vial were fitted to hold the alcohol.
There is even a song written by Irwin Berlin titled My Walking Stick. It goes like this :
Take away my high hats
Take away my favorite tie
Take away my white spats
I'll still get by
But my walking stick
You simply must let that be
I mean you can't take that away from me

Without my walking stick, I'd go insane
Can't look my best, I'd feel undressed without my cane

Must have my walking stick 'cause it may rain
And when it pours, can't be outdoors without my cane

If I ever left my house without my walking stick
It would just be something I could never explain

The thing that makes me click on Lovers' Lane
Would go for naught if I were caught without my cane

And those who want to listen to it, here it is. (notice how he has played the whole thing with just one musical instrument)
And who can wield the walking stick better than Fred Astaire. Its poetry in motion.
(he was 47 when he did this)
Or for that matter the Berry Brothers and their act with the walking stick
You get all sorts of canes at Walking canes

 Do you fancy a Blooming Red then you have it,

or may be just a simple one with Holy Berries ? The combinations are endless.

They even have a guide as to how to buy a walking cane

So next time when you see someone swinging a cane. . . . . . . .watch out.


RGB said...

Fascinating, these walking sticks are (or were)! There's so much variety to it. But like you said, in recent years it is believed to highlight an old man's handicap. I've seen people who have refused a walking stick, afraid if they'll be labelled "old man"!

BK Chowla, said...

Very interesting.I think it was either the French or the British which started the stick culture.I find it to be very stylish

Arundhati said...

I like these posts and the pictures.. even more so. You must have put in time & effort researching and the end result is fascinating for us readers. Looking fwd to more such articles.

Summer said...

Thank you for posting this, it was very interesting to read, and would be a fun little thing for a main character in a story to figure out and play with. Can you imagine it? Oh how fun! Thanks for the inspiration!

Shalini said...

Wow...this was really interesting!!!
Happy friendship's day btw. :)

Anu said...

very interesting! i wonder how you write about such normal stuff, digging up such interesting tidbits about them!

Harman said...

Very nICE post reminds me dad who was an army officer always had a cane in hand..before going to office...
Cane is left only for senior citizens now!

Virtual Poona Blogger said...

Unfortunately here in America, the walking cane has many different symbolic meanings ever since the Hip-Hop 'artists' began using them in their videos and made it part of fashion and prestige....following old skool users like the Pimps and Drug lords of the '70s. Add some Bling and you will be respected by women and men alike.

Ron Isley of the Isley Bros. with cane pic :

Shalini said...

There's lil something for you on my blog. :)

Susan Deborah said...

I always liked seeing men who have walking sticks. It is a proud embellishment to their personality but sadly I don't see many these days. People are very conscious about holding a stick as they would be branded 'old.'

A unique post idea peppered with interesting trivia.

Joy always,

Latha Nair said...

You made a mundane Walking Stick seem so exotic with all that interesting stuff you managed to dig up! That's quite an impressive post :)

Indrani said...

Very unique post, interesting details and pictures.

Rajesh said...

Very interesting and informative.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello greetings and good wishes:)

This is a very interesting post and truly an education for me on walking sticks. I never realised that walking sticks had so many uses.

Walking sticks are used not only by old men but also by blind people. However, sometimes I see blind people without walking sticks. I wonder how they manage to negotiate their way in crowds.

As regards your query in my post, the street shown is Princess st. in Fort Kochi. Jeew st. is in Mattancherry.

Best wishes:)

Trotter said...

Hi Haddock! Amazing post! I'm seeing those canes with different eyes...

Thanks for your comment at Blogtrotter Two, which is now showing a bit of Catalonia in Sardinia... ;). Take pleasure in it and have a stunning week ahead!

CoconutPalmDesigns said...

Thanks for the short history lesson about walking sticks. Very cool!

And thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

Cheers :-)
- CoconutPalmDesigns

Brownie said...

Hi! Thanks for dropping by my blog. It's always fun for me to see a new blogger commenting.

I appreciated your comment on the different ways a child will explore a place. I should say that my comment about Red being bored was a bit glib. That child rarely is still, in fact it was surprising that we caught that pose on camera. He was up and gone the next second! But it was a hot day and I suppose he was momentarily enjoying the coolness of the stone.

I enjoyed your blog about the canes. My father always had a cane with him - wood canes. I always remember him with a cane. The day before his funeral, I bought a wood cane for myself. It was comforting, like holding his hand.

Now I use the cane on occasion because of my back. Maybe I'll start a fad in my area!

Adori Graphics said...

Thanks for leaving a note on my blog. I loved this post - interesting and yet funny too. I think every pensioner should know Cane Fu :)

Adori Graphics said...

Oh I see you're a design engineer, what kind of things do you design? Not walking sticks then? LOL

Anonymous said...

dude i love this post! it's hilarious! ...and useful at the same time.. :-)
thanks for giving me feedback on my poems. you're very helpful. on that last one you commented on, i'm wondering what you meant when you said "the rest we can all easily forget"
thanks again

Cezar and Léia said...

It's very impressive, great reportage!:)
And thanks for your always kind comments,you are really gentle!
** I need to come back there (D'Coque) and try another picture to see how it looks during the day!:)

tapirgal said...

What an interesting topic! By the way, about the spoons and forks, I still don't know. I have been to Paris again (a couple of years ago), but was busy seeing other things. There is always a reason to go back (or hundreds of reasons).

Lana said...

You were so in my head! I was reading the tune by Mr. Berlin and visualizing Fred Astaire! dododo! I'm following! Thanks for the comment on my post!

Rachel @ The Cupcake Sprinkles In Life said...

We have an old walking stick in our garage- our children pretend that it is a "light saber" from the movie Star Wars!!! :)

Thanks for stopping by... and your right- it is a great organization :)

subu said...

You have listed a lot about what one can do with cane! Nice post.. BTW I bought two walking sticks from UAE for senior citizens. Now after reading your post, may be I will keep one!
Thanks for visiting - asksubu!

Sovina said...

such an innovative post..i never paid much attention to walking sticks..but now i think they really are an important part for so many people..

Jacob said...

A wonderfully informative post...I didn't know most of that information! I do have a walking stick - actually two of has a bear head and the other was carved by a mountain man from Colorado. I never use either one.

Thanks so much for stopping by Paree. And yes, one day is not enough to really see all that Notre Dame has to offer!

Janie said...

Interesting. I never thought of a walking stick as a possible weapon, but it could be formidable.

radha said...

My dad had quite a few walking sticks. He never needed it for support. Some ivory tipped. One even had silver. He carried them when he went for a walk, it may have seemed as if it was for style, but it served a greater purpose, in driving away stray dogs that ventured too near.

sulagna ™ said...

wow thats one nice post..very different but such an interesting read :)

Lily Hydrangea said...

this is an excellent article about the 'walking stick'. I know a few people I could send this too that would love it.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I own three walking sticks, all handmade by friends. They are among my favorite possessions. Interesting post.

jabblog said...

Very interesting! I have two old walking sticks, one silver-topped. I don't use them but just like to see them. Did you know there were also sword-sticks? Many years ago my husband tried to find one but was unsuccessful.

A said...

As usual, good post with pictures...

LisaDay said...

Can I get one filled with candy rather than alcohol?


Neena Sharma said...

What a fantaSTICK idea! And the photos...just loved them.

P.N. Subramanian said...

Very interesting indeed. I too have seen many varieties of walking sticks being used. Perhaps hats and sticks go together.

Joan Perry; Sidewalk Curator said...

What an interesting blog! Love the photos. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on mine. I will be back to explore further.

Tomz said...

"But do you know that the walking stick (or cane) is the only self defence weapon that is legal and can be carried anywhere, even on the airplane."

I like that statement..

Arati Harikumar said...

A very interesting post accompanied with superb pics!! must say, it was informative too....loved every bit of it!!! :)

keep writing!!

Tristan Benette said...

Fashion and safety are just two things we think a lot about when we go out. Now, we can have both! Snappy walking canes that will fit your style together with good 'Cane-Fu' techniques will make you stand out among the rest. So watch out when you see someone swings his cane.

profile said...

nice. its true that its the only thing that you can carry in any places. since cane are used by old people even airplane cannot question it. only thing that you need to learn when you have a cane is how to use it.

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