0. WHO AMONG US HAS NOT searched for the perfect shouldered carryall? Here are five of my favorites:
1. In high school, I owned a black, one-pocket, snap-closure American naval officer’s bag suitable for a notebook, pens, paperbacks and other adolescent contraband. I carried that thing around town, in caves and forests, and up hilltops and tall buildings. It finally developed more holes than I could repair, and made way for…
2. A US Army musette bag. My advanced daily collegial cargo-needs (see previous paragraph) were more than amply met by this six-pocket (three large, three small) wonder. True, it was a bit hard on any 8-1/2×11″ documents, but I could fit into it everything from #1 above with the addition of a wallet, keys and even more pens.
3. Next up was the Swiss Army (do we see a pattern here?) medic’s bag. One large and one small pocket, with a drawstring insert in the former presumably to keep plasma/saline bottles from banging around. (I mostly used mine for securing beer or wine containers.)
4. Speaking of drawstrings, during the year I lived in New Hampshire I managed to acquire a string-closed backpack small enough to secure my daily necessaries but large enough to use for hitchhiking on New England back-roads from Plymouth to Burlington, VT. (Fit nicely under the Burlington-SFO airline-seat too!)
5. Perhaps the ultimate bag so far was one I bought from Galls, that secretly famous purveyor of first-responder equipment, when I worked as a newspaper reporter. It was a police officer’s day-bag with pockets of all sizes for pens and notebooks; tape recorder; radiophone; flashlight; Swiss Army knife; space blanket; ration bar; first-aid kit; and even spare socks, shirt and underwear (my motto is, “You never can tell…”). Unfortunately, I lost it to mold when my apartment flooded a few years back, and never had the heart (or, let’s be realistic, need) to replace it. Requiescat in pace.