I got my first pocketknife from my grandmother when I was 10. She gave all of us pocketknives from her vast collection when we reached that age and no, my parents were not aghast. We were all trained to use them as tools and use them responsibly and so we did. There couldn't have been more than 20 or 30 flesh wounds between the 4 of us caused by those sharp little knives.
Back then every boy scout had a pocketknife and usually a sheath knife and a hatchet and camping gear and went camping on weekends and built fires in the woods and on the prairie and I swear, once on a frozen lake. I think the pocketknives sometimes went to school and nobody cared. In the entire time of my education from kindergarten until post college, no classmate was ever so much as scratched by a knife.
After 9/11 pocketknives were relegated to the dustbin of history here in America. One cannot board an aircraft with anything sharper than wit and you'd be well advised to keep that under control as you pass, literally, through the hands of the TSA. God help you if you caught with a simple box cutter.
One cannot enter a courthouse or a federal building or a school with a knife. My last journey by train downtown was to go to my bank near the top floor of the Federal Building but I was stopped from entering by my pocketknife. Not some dangerous thing, it was little more than a penknife. One of the 2 dozen guards screening people entering the building told me that they had no means to keep it for me while I did my business and maybe I could just go outside and hide it in the bushes and come back for it when I was done. I wonder sometimes how many people fall for that scam.
On a recent trip I arrived at an airport with my usual flight bag but I forgot that I had put my grandfather's knife in that bag when my father passed it on to me a few weeks earlier when we made a road trip to visit my parents in another state. I wasn't going to let the TSA confiscate it and fortunately they now have an arrangement where one can pay $25.00 to mail it home.
I don't routinely slip a knife into my pocket. They are handy for many things beyond most mortal ken but I'll only remember to put one in my pocket if we're driving somewhere. The little hatch in our Subaru Outback that guards the dashboard vault that holds the usb chargers sometimes gets stuck in the down position and has to be jimmied open with......a thin bladed pocketknife.
|some of the dozens we have around the house|
It's definitely a different world. I can open an old high school yearbook and show you a photo of young me, walking down a hall, with my Buck 110 in its holster on my hip. Freshman year, so '79-80. I wasn't the only one, either. Then again, when a hunting season was on, there were usually rifles in the racks in pickups in the (gravel) parking lot, including mine.ReplyDelete
I graduated high school in ‘79. In Alabama nobody cared what we brought to school. Their only issue would be if it was misused. In my school, nobody did. It took another decade or so before staff and teachers all took to treating students as prisoners without any rights.Delete
About the only times I am without at least two pocket knives are when I'm sleeping and bathing.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the post.
Paul L. Quandt
I usually carry a bag because I like to walk and need the room for a book or an iPad or something else plus other stuff. Now that I live in a winter clime I find that most of those things fit in the pockets of winter coats. There is no substitute for a pocketknife.Delete
I just looked at your complete profile; it contains a number of the authors whose books I read. I am somewhat surprised by the absence of Eric Flint. I have not, in the past, visited your site frequently although I have it in my favorites. I shall rectify that error forthwith, Sir.ReplyDelete
I've read a lot of Eric Flint. The list on my profile is not 1% of the authors I read. I think I started reading Baen about the time his 1632 came out and I've read many of the rest that followed. I also like what he did bringing back to life the classics like Christopher Anvil and Keith Laumer. There is a "gap" in the digital era where works still in copyright written back in the 50's and 60's and 70's were never guaranteed a digital renewal because it wasn't a thing back then and hard to to track down who held the rights. Eric did a lot of that for some great authors and books.Delete
Oh, and I forgot to say, Welcome Reader!Delete
"Oh, and I forgot to say, Welcome Reader!"ReplyDelete
If that is directed to me, thank you.
If I am remembering correctly, comments on your blog do not post until after review. If that is correct, it is not a policy with which I am in total agreement. I can somewhat understand it, but don't like it. However, it IS your blog and you are totally within your rights ( as I see it ) to run it in any fashion you wish.
Hummm… I just hit publish and my comment posted. It is likely that I have confused your blog with some other blog which I sometimes visit. I crave your pardon sir, for my intemperate remarks.ReplyDelete
I try to make it as easy as possible to comment here and keep thinking there are no restrictions on posting. Sometimes the thing sneaks up and bites me when I'm not looking. Every six months or so a spam comment shows up and gets deleted.