Over the last year of using a cane, I've paid a lot more attention to other people on the street with walking sticks.
Most of the people I see in San Francisco use stock aluminum canes, that someone in a government agency or insurance program gave them. They don't look too happy holding it.
Others use aluminum derby canes (like the folding travel canes, or the designer canes), and a few use wooden derby canes. (Pronounced "darby", it's an English style from 1900s, with a shallow hook and thumb rest -- possible to hook on your arm, but not as reliable out of the walking position, I think.)
I see a few folks using wooden canes with J-shaped hook handles. Lots more when I'm near the Tenderloin or South-of-the-Slot. ;-) There's a few folks with handmade, one-of-a-kind sticks too.
But... I don't recall seeing any of these people having fun with their canes... spinning, stretching, twirling... zip. Very strange.
Sometimes the people holding wooden derbys will look fairly comfortable with them, as if it's an old companion. The folks with aluminum canes almost seem ashamed, holding them stolidly at their sides.
I want to watch these people more attentively, and see how they handle foot traffic... what they do with oblivioids spreading across the sidewalk or trying to walk through them. How do they cope?
I'm pretty confident that a lot of the gents in skidrow areas are aware of how the cane can be used, but I rarely see them having fun manipulating it, or using it adroitly... maybe more a mental comfort, as potential threat, than a tool.
But it's strange to me that it's hard to recall seeing other people having fun with a stick. The ability to define space, and to attract attention of cellphone talkers with an object, and just the sheer juggling fun, the ability to work out unobtrusively while waiting for a traffic light, to reach things high, low and far... to hold an object you can toss around and use as a skill toy... why aren't more people taking advantage of this?