You might know him as Councilman Jim Lamerson, but away from his governmental responsibilities, he’s a jeweler and an artist.
"I paint, I write poetry, I’m in the arts," Lamerson explains. "Since I’m compelled by medical consequence to carry a cane, it’s got to be something I like. Something that’s significant to me, it can’t be just some old cane - that’s not me."
"My canes are sort of like my children," he says.
Usually, Lamerson’s wife, Ann, finds the canes. They could come from a Thrift Shop, or the wood might be hand selected from a family apple orchard in upper New York. She also might contribute some of the stones or relics that are included in the cane.
Lamerson has 30 storyteller canes so far. They are embellished with memorabilia that is important to him. Items that reflect his foundational beliefs - such as Republican, religious, Americana or military memorabilia. Every item on his cane is thoughtfully selected and meticulously added in just the right spot.
Ask Lamerson about anything on his cane, and there’s a story behind every item, whether it be a crucifix or a piece of quartz or chunks of glass found on a walk.
Each cane takes from 3-9 months to create.
Lamerson is in business as a licensed jeweler. So, does that mean these canes are for sale?
"These are mine," Lamerson replies. "They’re very personal. They’re like my babies."
"That doesn’t mean I can’t share my skill and talent with other people’s memories," he continues. "But they have to bring me their memories. I can’t sell them my memories."
Lamerson agreed that he could create a cane for another person, but it would be expensive. "I probably have no less than 400-500 hours [put into] each cane," he says. Add into that the gems and semi-precious stones he uses, and the cost could easily run into the thousands of dollars.
In the meantime, Lamerson is rather fond of cane #30. When he started making it, he began with a Guardian Angel figurine. He calls it his Angel cane.