One Liverpool resident can be seen coming and going – especially after dark.
Kathy Gillett has a unique “cane of light” that practically lights up the night sky when all its lights are on. It was created especially for her by her brother Charlie Vogel.
“I told him my daughter had tattled on me because I was crossing the street in the dark on my scooter that doesn’t have lights,” Gillett said. “My neighbor called my house and asked for my daughter. She got on the phone and was laughing and pointing at me. I got in trouble with her for crossing a busy street without proper lights.
“Charlie said, ‘Come on over, and I’ll make you a cane of light that you can use on your scooter.'”
Vogel reminded her that “more pedestrians have been hit (in 2010) than in any other year.”
Gillett’s finished cane has a floor light, a flashlight, reflective lights, glow sticks, a pocket notebook and pen , a top that unscrews to reveal a secret compartment, and a hook to hang her purse.
“You can get as goofy as you want,” Vogel said.
Vogel, who has Parkinson’s disease, said he started making the walking sticks, or canes as he calls them, about four months ago.
“At first I modified walking sticks,” he said. “I was using regular wood and tree limbs, and I prep the wood. We have two dogs and a cat, so I attached lights so I wouldn’t trip over them at night. Then I kept getting ideas to put more things on.
“Because Kathy wanted to use hers on her scooter, I added flashing lights, and I also found glow sticks.”
Vogel creates different “motifs” for each of his canes and keeps adding embellishments.
For example, before the University of Oregon-Oregon State University Civil War game, he made a UO cane using green and yellow colors. He attached a little yellow duck that could quack if the Ducks scored and a frog that could croak if the Beavers scored.
Vogel’s cane for camping comes complete with a night light “to find it in the dark,” and he made a short cane “for short walks.” One includes a flashlight on a cloth band “to put around your neck.”
Holding up another one of his creations that includes an AM-FM radio and a knife, Vogel said, “This one lights up the room,” to which Kathy replied, “I didn’t bring my sunglasses.”
Vogel explained, “The hardest part is finding all the buttons to turn things on and off.”
His government- or patriotic-motif cane is red, white and blue, of course, with lights in the same colors plus an eagle.
Vogel mostly uses Super Glue to attach all the accessories, and he discovered after making a few canes that it is much easier to attach items to square canes instead of round ones.