actually this does make your knife rare, maybe not in the sense of quantity made , but by quality of ownership.
May 14, 2012, 12:19 AM
Tom, I have some sense of what those knives mean.
I've opened this thread a number of times but found it hard to formulate a reply.
Several years ago, I gave my dad a Paul knife. He had long admired them, but had never felt he could justify the expense.
During the last several years of his life, I didn't get to see my father much. I had moved to Arizona to find work and keep the family fed -- something my dad had always made seem effortless -- and even after returning to Las Vegas found myself scrambling a lot more than before. After another couple of years, we moved north to Carson city, and I never managed to get back to Vegas to see him.
In the summer of last year, his health took a sudden turn for the worse, I was in the middle of a critical project for a struggling company, and when he passed I was the only one of us who didn't get to see him before he died.
In the end, the struggling company laid off a third of the crew -- the third I happened to be standing in at the time -- and the effort and sacrifice that kept me from attending to family matters came to mean naught of any lasting value.
My dad and I were close in a couple of odd and geeky ways. We both had a taste for olde school SciFi, we both grokked slide rules, enjoyed Tom Lehrer, Dickens and C.S. Forester, bad puns and grammatical torture, and we both liked sharp knives.
He gave me my first knife -- which I still have -- when I turned twelve. He taught me how to sharpen, how to care for a knife, and how to be safe with them . . . a lesson that didn't completely take on the first teaching. He taught me the value of quality cutlery, and in particular the Gerber line of knives.
Today I have a copy of the Gerber French that he bought my mother in 1964, and which served as my quality model when I picked out my first hunting knives several years later.
He taught me how to carve wood and helped me pick out my first wood carving set. He taught me how to sharpen my first bolo knife, a massive USMC Corpsman's knife, though I never got the same edge that he had on his old Filipino bolo.
So it was a sort of "giving back" when I was finally able to give him the Paul knife.
I don't know if he still had it among his effects when he passed, and it hasn't been mentioned by my brother.
It would be a cherished token of remembrance if it were yet to be found.
It represented something -- a bond or connection -- that existed between us, and not, for whatever reason, with my siblings.
He was always pleased, even in later years, that I kept my knives sharp -- and even more that I had somehow managed to hang onto that little pocket knife from my 12th birthday -- it was a part of a continuity, and it gave him a certain satisfaction.
If I once again had that old Paul knife, I would surely treasure it, but it's not as important as the lessons and learning, and eventual understandings, and the knowledge that these cannot be taken from me.
It's the wisdom that's worth keeping and transmitting down the generations.
Still . . . I'm kind of a sentimental sap, and I'd love to hold that Gerber again.
May 16, 2012, 04:26 PM
A.G. Well said & a great story.
May 16, 2012, 06:53 PM
I've got my dads schrade uncle henry 3 blade pocket knife that I gave him for christmas while I was in college. After he died in 1981 I carried it for several years, I finally retired it when I found another one. I also have the navy issue knife that he used for years to clean every kind of fish, fowl and mammal that he or I killed. I miss him still.
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