5 Thoughts: A Celebration of Bags

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.

2 comments for “5 Thoughts: A Celebration of Bags

  1. Kathryn Hildebrandt
    2020.12.07 at 1833

    What kind of bag did Will Thrustwell carry (or wear?)

    • 2020.12.07 at 2106

      Two, actually. One was a grey leather coin pouch with black drawstrings; I don’t remember the other one so well save that it was brown leather, like the coin pouch also attached to my belt, and I made it myself. It held various trinkets/props as well as a few ahem anachronisms. Thanks for asking!

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