Legends and Neon

Last night I did two things I never thought I would do when I was young. I went to a concert that paid tribute to singers from the 60’s, and I walked home wearing neon stripes.

The concert was a lot of fun. It was called Legends and the audience, who were primarily retired folks, thoroughly enjoyed reliving the glory days of Roy Orbison, Connie Francis, MoTown, and Elvis. The musicians and singers put on a great show and the house responded enthusiastically.

Actually, some people were a little too enthusiastic and screamed their enjoyment. This caused a huge problem for some of my seat neighbours who had been wearing hearing aids. They had to remove the aids when they experienced physical pain, and it was subsequently arranged for the screamer near us to be seated elsewhere. But, that diversion aside, it was great to relive the days of full-circle skirts and gyrating hips too provocative for television.

The theatre that was the venue for the concert is fairly close to where I live. The last time I went to an event there, the walk took about twenty-five minutes. That is a reasonable distance and I was quite comfortable in walking it. In fact, I prefer it to driving, finding a parking space, and driving home in the dark. I really dislike night driving. So, walking works best for me.

The only problem is that walking home means walking at night, and the lighting for pedestrians is not great. Half of the journey is well-lit, but the second half is not. It also means walking through a small section of town that attracts some dodgy characters at night, so I felt a little insecure at times. In addition, I was aware that as a pedestrian in dark clothing I was virtually invisible to motorists, so I was extra cautious at intersections.

After that experience I decided that I wasn’t going to let a few shady characters and bad lighting stop me from walking home. I was going to be visible and visibly confident! For that I needed a few things: a neon sash, neon wrist bands, and a whistle, so that is what I bought. (I also bought a bear bell for forest walks, but that is yet to be tested.)

On leaving the theatre I put on the wrist bands and sash. I chose not to light up the sash, but I did light up the wrist bands; not flashing, but still very bright. At one point, as I walked through a dark corner of the park, three men appeared out of the shadows and I think they found my glowing neon stripes amusing, but I’m OK with that. I don’t mind looking a bit ridiculous if it keeps me safe.

As I continued my walk, I kept my keys in my hand with the whistle attached to the key ring. I was trying to remember from my days as a girl guide if SOS is three short, three long, three short or the other way around. Either way, I was passing by enough apartment buildings that someone would have heard me if the need arose for me to make a ruckus.

All in all, I’m glad I went to the concert and equally glad that I bought my bright light-up neon stripes. I still feel a little self-conscious about wearing them, but I think that over time I will care less about looking goofy. After all, the idea is to be seen and feel safe, and a person wearing high-visibility LED neon green stripes and carrying a loud whistle is not to be messed with.


  1. I would never walk alone at night, but that’s everybody’s individual decision. However, I did go to a similar show, but it was music from the ’50’s – when I was in high school. They sang and danced about 40 songs and I knew the words for all of them all except one. Didn’t think I would enjoy it so much. I went with two friends, but one was about 10 years older and the other grew up in Rhodesia, so it didn’t mean that much to them.

  2. I’m inspired by how absolutely engaged in life you are.

    My job requires me to be out in the middle of nowhere late at night sometimes. Here’s something even better than a whistle that I keep on my purse strap ring. (copy and pasted from Amazon) Original Defense® Siren Self Defense for Women – Personal Alarm for Women, Children, & Elderly – Recommended by Police – 130 dB Loud Self Defense Keychain Siren with LED Strobe Light (Mint)

    All you have to do is separate the two parts and it makes a loud sound that should drive away dodgy characters, plus it will attract attention. I decided it would be worth my own discomfort hearing it to fend off bad guys.

  3. Yep, you are definitely braver than I am to walk alone at night. But it sounds like you have equipped yourself well. I look to wear something reflective or bright while walking in my neighborhood in the daytime. It’s not dense with cars, but it only takes one inattentive driver to have an accident.

  4. Your neon sash reminds me of the lighted vests a lot of dogs are wearing these days. I’d like to get a neon vest for nighttime jogging. (I’m glad you got out to see some live music.)

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