I will admit it. I am a consummate consumer. I love collecting all types of rubbish, and I will part with hard-earned dollars for the purpose of doing so.
That admission made, I have always loved walking sticks. This affection is in part due to the fact that I have battled with gout ever since I was sixteen years of age, and I did not care for the aluminum cane provided by the hospital. For the last several years I have used the blackthorn stick that belonged to my father and his father before him. It is a particularly beautiful example of an Irish blackthorn, and it is one of my most cherished belongings. My particular fondness of that ancient warrior is exactly what led me to this post – I am far too fond of it to risk damaging it in the wild! When in the wilderness, you need to have a stout companion of a stick with you that you are willing to stick into holes and beat up a bit, and grandpa's blackthorn is not the one.
So I went on-line to see what is currently available. After sifting through a bunch of trash, I stumbled upon a site called The Stick Man. The stick man himself, Keith Pickering, is an elegant soul who is very willing to talk you through stick repair, and, further, his sight hosts a stick-making forum! This could be a wicked new obsession for me. I am toying with the idea of buying old knobby cane heads off of eBay and making luscious new walking sticks to go with them!
If only I were rich. . . .