I have been fascinated by flashlights since infancy. Almost everyone in my immediate circle and probably most of my readers is well aware of this. Because I am fascinated by flashlights, I want to always have one with me. I had been carrying flashlights on me on and off throughout my childhood and teen years.
On May 5, 2005, I decided to carry a flashlight on me everywhere I could.
That was fifteen years ago today.
I have pretty much held to that decision and there have been very few times that I have not carried a flashlight on me since.
I can probably count those times on one hand.
I would have carried a flashlight permanently on me much sooner in life but while I was in the upper levels of grade school, I was mocked and harassed for liking flashlights by other kids.
By my late teen years, I didn’t give a durn.
So, what made me decide to start carrying a flashlight on me?
We can go back to the Autumn of 2003 to answer that.
I was a sophomore in high school and some thunderstorms had gone through the area, knocking off the power.
We had to sit in class in the pitch-black classroom.
My Mom teaches at the same high school I attend and my EDC bag was definitely in her vehicle. I had an Energizer SuperCharge rechargeable LED flashlight in there.
I had offered to go to my Mom’s vehicle and get my flashlight but due to security reasons, the teacher refused.
It drove me crazy that I was in total darkness and couldn’t do anything about it.
This would be the catalyst for me to get interested in flashlights again.
A few months prior, I had a 4 D Cell Maglite that was ruined by leaking batteries so I was hesitant to sink too much money into an expensive flashlight.
This is why I didn’t own tactical flashlights right away.
I even helped with parking for football games and the cops that were working security details laughed at me for not having a tactical flashlight.
I either had a very cheap Rayovac Value Lite or my Energizer Supercharge.
I had known about SureFire since February of 2003 while reading a Gall’s catalog, but I knew I could never afford one.
In January of 2004, I had my first of many ear infections and while waiting to get some medicine filled, I was looking at the flashlights in Wal Mart.
I wanted a small pocket-sized model to carry discreetly but wouldn’t get a Mini Maglite because of what happened to my first Maglite flashlight.
I bought a 2 AA Lumilite Industrial flashlight which I would have until 2007 when the switch gave out. I did indeed carry it, but not religiously.
Fast forward to June of 2004, I bought one of my favorite flashlights of which I would own several, a Garrity Mini Rugged Lite, on clearance at K-Mart. Unfortunately, while I was hospitalized in the late Spring and early Summer of 2004, it was ruined by leaking batteries.
I was more interested in buying radio equipment than flashlights at this point in my life anyway, so that is why I only bought cheaper flashlights.
On October 24, 2004, I shopped at Academy Sports and Outdoors for the first time and was amazed by the wide selection of tactical flashlights sold there.
However, I could never afford them as an unemployed seventeen-year-old.
…Fast forward to May 1, 2005…
My Mom wanted to go shopping at the Wal*Mart in Galliano, Louisiana, and she wanted me to come with her.
I wanted to come anyway, so I could listen to boat traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway with my scanners while on our way down there.
I think my Mom wanted to buy some craft supplies, so I went looking in the sporting goods and eventually at the flashlights.
It was there that I first saw a tactical style Garrity LED flashlight with red and blue lens filters and a Nylon pouch.
And it was under $15!
I didn’t have any cash on me that day, but I knew I would be buying one soon.
For the next few days, I hustled, doing whatever chores I could to come up with the $15 or so.
Finally, on May 5, 2005, I had enough cash and I went to the West Houma Wal*Mart and purchased one.
A friend also gave me cash to purchase one for him.
Ever since then, I have been carrying a flashlight on my person.
It came in handy after Hurricane Katrina and I subsequently upgraded to other flashlights since.
During other power failures at school and on jobs I previously held, I was always one to pull out my flashlight.
More recently, it has helped me in church whilst trying to locate switches for the light and sound systems.
Almost no one harasses me about carrying a flashlight anymore, and those that did aren’t in my life anyway.
I don’t know why people would want to harass me for liking flashlights. Have they not heard of ‘to each his own’?
No one is harmed because of my flashlight fascination, but quite a few are helped.
Currently, I alternate between carrying a Streamlight Jr. and a Wowtac A1, but I have tried a plethora of other models.
I don’t care anymore if someone harasses me for liking flashlights and as long as The Good Lord wills it, I will carry a flashlight on me for the rest of my life.
I look forward to seeing advances in LED and battery technology and I’m sure will be amazed at what the next fifteen years will bring.
This, therefore, concludes my piece on how I’ve been carrying a flashlight on me for the past fifteen years.
I hope you, the reader, have been informed and entertained!