Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Pocket Knife

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There is not a day I do not use my pocket knife. Today I was working on a John Deere mower, BTW this has been an albatross for about 5 years.  It is Mark’s mower but taking up space here. Finally it is running and mowing. So I am doing the trim, pretty stuff. The paint on a JD is very thick, like a plastic coat. The paint has turned loose in spots and I used my knife to trim it out, and touch up the paint.

As I looked at the knife, I thought, what a history in this small utility tool.

I’ve made whistles, some folk have made art.

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I am from an era when EVERY boy in school, from  early childhood had a knife in his pocket. Hundreds of boys, and no one that  I know of was ever cut in anger.  Plenty of  self inflicted small cuts, but none to your peers.

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It trimmed and cleaned my fingernails. It opened boxes and sharpened my pencils. It was used to cut sticks for roasting wieners. It cut sticks for my homemade kites. I passed hours just throwing it at boards to try to hit a target and stick it in the wood. Counting the swirls per step. Fun for a kid. I cut my name in trees.

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I was a doctor, operating and removing the stubborn splinters boys get. It was handy to cut the perfect sling-shot prongs spotted in a dogwood tree.

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(Just plain whittling!)

Daddy taught me to use it to skin a rabbit at six years old, and I furnished supper a couple times from my rabbit boxes before we moved to the city. In town I used it to remove nails and glass from my bicycle tires before patching the tube.

Plug a watermelon, clean a fish, cut tent stakes and poles. The pocket knife was ALWAYS there. I liked what Gary said when Debbie asked him did he have his knife?

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“Got my pants on don’t I?”  That was a fact for more years than I can count. Now you cannot enter a court house or board a plane with a pocket knife. A testimony to our world today. Kids today will never know the responsibility of using a knife, of keeping it sharp and clean. They will never know the thrill of seeing it shave some hair from your arm to prove it is sharp.

Nite Shipslog


This did not make production.


1959 Cadillac Cyclone. I must admit, this dream car is not a dream to me. BUT I WOULD DRIVE IT!


Jimmy's Journal said...

Show me a man over 40 that didn't have a pocket knife as a kid and I'll show you a dull, unimaginative boy. Good post!


betty said...

Yep, can't even take a pocket knife into the county fair these days. But so true how versatile one can be with their pocket knife.


Paula said...

Nice post Jack. I used to carry a pocket knife in my purse but I don't think I ever used it. Finally lightened my purse.


My husband is the same age as you so I have heard similar stories. it was an important rite of passage as a young boy.

Mevely317 said...

... and echoing Taryterre, Tom thoroughly enjoyed his own pocketknife. (Probably not the extent you did!)
He was mighty miffed when the TSA seized the knife which used to belong to his own daddy. At the same time, probably embarrassed for having had it in his possession whilst going through airport security!

shirl72 said...

what a shame for such a useful item to not be able to carry anymore.
Like Jack said I don't ever remember anybody treating anyone or each other. They were useful for opening things, even a letter opener,
Everybody had one..

Unknown said...

i have also heard the same stories

Rick Watson said...

I too have had a pocket knife all my life and I use it often. When we went on our cruise a few years ago I took my pocket knife. Security stopped me not because I had a small pocket knife but because the pocket knife had a cork screw. I found that interesting. My choices were I could dispose of the knife or take it back to the car. Jilda said "Toss it, I'll buy you another one"...but that went against my grain. Instead I walked all the way back to the car which was a few hundred yards away and left it there. There was no way I was going to donate my knife to the security guard fund.

Lisa said...

I remember the boys would sit in class and sharpen pencils and the crafty ones would carve rock band names into them (and the desk).
I used to have a pocket knife my daddy gave me. He gave me several cheap ones because I couldn't keep up with anything. But I would sit a carve out big colorful acorns and make beads. Those were the days. I still have a few tucked away in drawers.


Sheila Y said...

Daddy has always carried a knife. Knives aren't my friend, the tip of my thumb is healing from a run in last Sunday with a knife. Ouch! Take care, Sheila

Unknown said...

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