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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wouldn't it be great if walking sticks were in style again? I don't mean for medical purposes, but just as a stylish part of your wardrobe? Back in the day, no well dressed man would leave the house without his stick! ------- Well, maybe it's because we all wear jeans and tee shirts now, and the fashionable walking stick just looks out of place.
Don't hear me wrong -- I really don't want to wear a suit and tie everywhere either, I get enough of that in my work! But if we could just sneak the stick back into fashion without appearing disabled or bearing a weapon.

Just saying!
 

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Agreed! The cultural factors working against this, are that in the typical office building, the dress code has steadily relaxed over my career. Forty years ago when in the office, I wore a suit or slacks and a sport jacket, and a tie, as did just about everyone. Today, as many wear blue jeans as slacks, and if slacks, some sort of "Docker" or similar slack that costs less and doesn't last as long as a pair of Levi's.

I'm guilty too, I complain to my wife on days when I have a business meeting and have to wear "grown-up clothes." I'm guilty as charged, often wearing Levis today, of course now that I'm not concerned with pay raises, promotions, etc., just being compensated based on what profit I can generate for a very small company (six employees/partners).

Still, I'd carry a walking stick downtown in a heartbeat if it wouldn't make folks cross to the other side of the street.
 

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Don't think its because we wear jeans and T's. I think its because nobody really goes on a "promenade." Recall, at one time even a gentleman walked farther in a day than most homeless do now.

Still, I think there is a change going on. While I always had a stick around for hiking, I do sometimes carry a cane or stick 'cause my knees and back aren't as good as I would like. And I'm noticing more fellows doing the same. Not just the aluminum canes at every pharmacy, but real wood, carved to various degrees. Even saw a suited shaved head gent at 1 market holding what appeared to be a Jersey giant cabbage stick.

I think the popularity is already there, and growing, whatever the reason.
 

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For many of us, the day is approaching when we must have an assist. Then the choice will be manufactured or stylin' with a stick tailored to your taste. When the day comes, I'm gonna be ready.

Sanding now on pecan harder than rock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't think its because we wear jeans and T's. I think its because nobody really goes on a "promenade." Recall, at one time even a gentleman walked farther in a day than most homeless.
I'm sure your right to some degree -- however, I think it is also a matter of style --- but I hope your right about the stick coming back into vogue, I'm all in favor!
 

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You are quite right. Gentlemen do appreciate style. I was commenting that a hundred years ago, because everyone walked a lot, a gent could show style with a well carved and appointed cane. Now, it seems to me, aside from a good suit, the stye shows from a cell phone or a fancy watch. Walking sticks don't seem to fit as well w. contemporary urban life as they once did.
 

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Ok, great points! I'm ordering an iPhone bracket to sit atop my walking stick!
;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are quite right. Gentlemen do appreciate style. I was commenting that a hundred years ago, because everyone walked a lot, a gent could show style with a well carved and appointed cane. Now, it seems to me, aside from a good suit, the stye shows from a cell phone or a fancy watch. Walking sticks don't seem to fit as well w. contemporary urban life as they once did.
I agree!
 

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I agree about the walking sticks and I have another, Hats, specifically the Fedora (Indiana Jones style). I should mention that I live in West Virginia so a lot of us old coots sport hand carved walking sticks when we get to the point of needing one, which I do now. And I have noticed in recent years that the hats are making a comeback as well, they just go well with a good stick. I will say also that even though walking sticks are less used than in the past, when I go out with even my simple ones I get a lot of interest in them, oddly enough from women as well. So I guess the lesson is good stick and a fedora, a winning combination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree about the walking sticks and I have another, Hats, specifically the Fedora (Indiana Jones style). I should mention that I live in West Virginia so a lot of us old coots sport hand carved walking sticks when we get to the point of needing one, which I do now. And I have noticed in recent years that the hats are making a comeback as well, they just go well with a good stick. I will say also that even though walking sticks are less used than in the past, when I go out with even my simple ones I get a lot of interest in them, oddly enough from women as well. So I guess the lesson is good stick and a fedora, a winning combination.
Thanks for the input Alador! And welcome to the site! I agree, hats and canes seem to go hand n hand -- I don't "need" the cane all the time, yet, but with my hair challenged head I do "need" the hat!
 

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After a youth doing farm work, three years mostly outdoors in the Marine Corps, and decades as a geologist commonly in the field, the sun has taken its toll. Hats are mandatory.

Hat etiquette however, has been mostly lost. My grandfather, my father, and then my D.I. demanded that hats, covers will be removed when indoors. I still remove my cover, but I seldom see that respectful custom practiced these days.

I agree, hats and nice walking sticks mesh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After a youth doing farm work, three years mostly outdoors in the Marine Corps, and decades as a geologist commonly in the field, the sun has taken its toll. Hats are mandatory.
Hat etiquette however, has been mostly lost. My grandfather, my father, and then my D.I. demanded that hats, covers will be removed when indoors. I still remove my cover, but I seldom see that respectful custom practiced these days.
I agree, hats and nice walking sticks mesh well.
Your right CAS! Hat etiquette has gone by the wayside -- I too take my hat off indoors, it's just the way I was taught. Maybe we stick collectors/makers ought to just start a trend and carry openly. :)
 

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It occurred to me that though I've seen as many canes, walking sticks, and staffs in museum's as I have seen on the streets, that there must still be quite a few antiques around. Turns out that there are a great many. Often spectacularly embellished w. gold, silver, ivory, semi-precious stones, etc. I suspect if there is a great return of popularity, not only would contemporary makers have to compete w. plastic and aluminum canes, etc., but the huge number of fine works that have the added value of age.

Hard to make an item of distinction among such competition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It occurred to me that though I've seen as many canes, walking sticks, and staffs in museum's as I have seen on the streets, that there must still be quite a few antiques around. Turns out that there are a great many. Often spectacularly embellished w. gold, silver, ivory, semi-precious stones, etc. I suspect if there is a great return of popularity, not only would contemporary makers have to compete w. plastic and aluminum canes, etc., but the huge number of fine works that have the added value of age.

Hard to make an item of distinction among such competition.
Ahhhh, but therein lies the challenge!
 

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As far as I can see, those antique canes are already out of reach for me and most others. I used to run and antique shop and go to every auction I could for stock. Anytime a good walking stick came up it went for too much money to make any profit on. I wanted them mostly for myself so I decided to try and make my own. I liken this to the resurgence of interest in acoustic musical instruments. The price for good vintage guitars etc. soon outpaced my ability to buy them, but I could buy a good new one to play and that is the beauty of it, thoses new ones got better and better to compete with the vintage ones nobody could afford. I think there will aways be a market for quality whether antique or just created by a good artisan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As far as I can see, those antique canes are already out of reach for me and most others. I used to run and antique shop and go to every auction I could for stock. Anytime a good walking stick came up it went for too much money to make any profit on. I wanted them mostly for myself so I decided to try and make my own. I liken this to the resurgence of interest in acoustic musical instruments. The price for good vintage guitars etc. soon outpaced my ability to buy them, but I could buy a good new one to play and that is the beauty of it, thoses new ones got better and better to compete with the vintage ones nobody could afford. I think there will aways be a market for quality whether antique or just created by a good artisan.
Good point! I agree!!
 

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As far as I can see, those antique canes are already out of reach for me and most others. I used to run and antique shop and go to every auction I could for stock. Anytime a good walking stick came up it went for too much money to make any profit on. I wanted them mostly for myself so I decided to try and make my own. I liken this to the resurgence of interest in acoustic musical instruments. The price for good vintage guitars etc. soon outpaced my ability to buy them, but I could buy a good new one to play and that is the beauty of it, thoses new ones got better and better to compete with the vintage ones nobody could afford. I think there will aways be a market for quality whether antique or just created by a good artisan.
I worked in a university art museum until retirement. It was closely associated w. the art department. I was fortunate enough to handle a very large amount of fine work. I also was able to associate with a number of fairly successful artists.

As far as I can tell, all living artists are not only competing w. their contemporaries, but their predecessors. But the contemporary has the disadvantage in the market of still needing to eat and sleep. If, at some point, the stock of fine historic canes is depleted, and the demand remains, a contemporary might, just might, command a better price than a predecessor.

Speaking of acoustic instruments, its been a few centuries since we've heard a new Stradivarius. Is there a walking stick maker of comparable reputation?
 

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Qualitative vs. quantitative attributes. Some craftsmanship has attributes that can be measured, quantified, and objectively evaluated. The Stradivarius had some such attributes as well as some subjective attributes. Much about walking sticks is highly subjective, as we each have personal notions about what constitutes beauty. There must be quantifiable attributes as well. The market-driven valuation may be different, driven by speculation about profit as much as the perceived artistic qualities and craftsmanship.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We each like what we like, and that is really all that matters. But some sticks will have a broader appeal than others. That's always thought provoking, and it may serve to push us out of our comfort zones by interesting us in new ideas to try.
 

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To quote Irving Berlin:

Without my walking stick,

I'd go insane

I can't look my best, I feel undressed

without my cane

And to quote Lyle Lovett:

My mama told me
Son to be polite
Take your hat off
When you walk inside

But the winds of change
They fill the air
And you can't set your hat down
Just anywhere

And to quote Forrest Gump:

And that's all I have to say about that.
 
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