Tuesday, September 10, 2013


My father, and both my grandfathers, always carried a small penknife with them.  It was a part of them and they would no more think of being without one, than of not having a handkerchief.  My father used to say to me that he couldn't understand why I didn't do the same. But I never found the need for a knife.  Penknives were carried originally as the name implies to cut the quills that served as pens.  Nibs needed trimming and shaping.  But I never used a quill and had no need to trim one, nor as far as I know did my elder relatives.  But the habit remained with them.  For me, I tried to comply but I became fed up with the thing always being there and occasionally wearing a hole in my pocket.  About the only time I regularly carry a knife is when I'm on one of my long motorcycling camping trips, and there they come into their own.

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