I’ve had the same green LL Bean Backpack since the mid-90s, following me across Philadelphia and the country, stuffed to the gills. You know the one I’m talking about – with the embroidered initials? Everyone I knew had one in highschool – most of them were blue or purple.
It’s a marvel that the thing has lasted this long, because I don’t travel lightly.
It’s not that I’m an overpacker. When it comes to socks and pants I’m sparse and practical. It’s more my voracious appetite for things to do.
It was easier when I was a kid. How many waking minutes would I be away from home? Bring that many pages worth books. Done and done.
Now it’s not so simple. A book or magazine, yes. My laptop is necessary, of course, as I might want to write, tweet, or work on lyrics. And I can’t go more than a day without playing guitar, so that comes too – plus maybe some sheet music. Oh, and I’m mostly a vegetarian, so I might need to pack some backup food in case I’ll be in the exclusive company of carnivores.
Seriously, I’m harder to pack for than a pair of twin toddlers.
This bag has been so many trials and indignities. It’s bedn dragged across beaches and subway floors. It’s been crammed full of microphones and cables. It’s been soaked and spilled on, washed and hung out to dry. Right now it’s carrying The Beatles Full Scores, two days of cold-weather clothes and pajamas, guitar accessories, toiletries, snacks. and a pair of shoes.
The previously bright green is faded and the bottom is a thinning a little, but otherwise it’s practically like new.
How many other things in your life do you have regular, sometimes DAILY use of for over a decade?
I’ll probably cry the day that it gives up the ghost.