Wms & Co. / AmassBlog
Exquisitely Practical Tools for Your Life and Your Desk

a natural collection

JP Williams

many collections start with just one thing and this collection is no different. most new yorkers know about the 26th street flea market, now primarily in the garage with an annex on 39th street. my first cane was purchased at this flea market many years ago when it consisted of the garage and three large parking lots. these parking lots are now tall apartment buildings of little merit. i usually went to the flea market on sundays rather than saturdays. i used saturdays to clean the apartment and decompress from a long week. in case you didn't know, a week in new york lasts longer than a week anywhere else. i would leave early, but not too early, in search of nothing in particular but mostly books.

one day a cane made from a branch caught my eye. it's simplicity was obvious. there were several but only one felt right. (the far right in this pic) i loved it. the slope of the handle was the perfect angle. the shaft was curved just so. it truly made a wonderful cane. as you can see, i have acquired several more. my favorite is made from two twisted branches. simple and lovely. i stand each new cane up against the next and the collection grows ever so slowly. the main reason for this is that i paid five dollars for the first one and i vowed not to pay more than ten dollars for any thereafter. so far I have been able to stay within that budget. that is one way to limit my collecting. unfortunately, that rule doesn't apply to everything else.

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Made me think of AA Milne's Not That It Matters ( a pretty funny book): The Friend of Man: When swords went out of fashion, walking-sticks, I suppose, came into fashion. The present custom has its advantages. Even in his busiest day the hero's sword must have returned at times to its scabbard, and what would he do then with nothing in his right hand? But our walking-sticks have no scabbards. We grasp them always, ready at any moment to summon a cab, to point out a view, or to dig an enemy in the stomach. Meanwhile we slash the air in defiance of the world.