Use of canes

Published 7:13 pm Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Canes are a common sight in our retirement complex, and I have even used one on occasion. Now before you express concern or sympathize with the users, let me assure you the cane is a symbol of great historical significance. Walking sticks have been used ever since man began traveling on two legs. Canes, an elaborate version of the walking stick,&bsp; have been used as a symbol of power by royalty throughout the ages. King Louis XIV carried ornate, jeweled canes and restricted their use only to the aristocracy. In the 19th century both in our country and Europe it was a status symbol, and one way of determining&bsp; ones wealth. (Please note my plain walking stick).

President Harry Truman was always seen with his cane on his brisk walks, and gave it a new status in the 20th&bsp; century.

The cane has a rich theatrical background as well. Did you ever see Charlie Chaplin without his familiar prop? Fred Astaire was a master of dancing with a cane. Gene Kelly and Donald OConner brought its use to new heights in the movie classic, Singing in the Rain. &bsp;

All of the above may have impressed you, but my real purpose in&bsp; this column is to warn you about what might actually be stored in the cane carried by that innocent looking senior citizen. Historically canes have housed guns, swords, and. knives. Various information has been published about how to defend yourself from attack by the use of the cane. Canes have also housed more peaceful objects such as cameras and umbrellas. Some are even designed for liquid refreshment One of mine has a headlight built into it. If you see a small bouncing light in our development please beware.

I hope all of the above has caused you to give us the respect we deserve. If not, dont get to close to one of the bearers of this honored symbol.~ On the Light Side written by Paul E. Nelson.