This was my pocket knife for years. Designed by some bum named Ken
Onion. Must be a Ukranian name...
It was just the ticket for cutting the twines on hay bales, skinning out deer and minor camp work. It only cost about $75.00 and the only reason it cost that much - was that the steel was top notch. The handle was a piece of chit, of course - but it was a good working blade.
Some people get pissy and nervous around guns and knives and I had become a sales guy of a sort - so I went to a more functional Leatherman. The bed wetters, pissers and moaners seem less threatened by it. But it really isn't a knife more than a tool.
Only the Americans could improve on the legendary
Swiss army knife.
I still carry it every day and will have to make a new sheath for it soon. I figured that it would be my last blade because I don't do a lot of camping, hunting and fishing anymore... and if I ever lost or broke this Leatherman I would probably not bother replacing it.
But one day I had to do some birthday shopping for Pop and risked going into Lee Valley. It's a dangerous place for a man like me because if I ever won a million bucks - I would go into Lee Valley and be broke the next day! They carry tools, gardening stuff, wood working stuff - and all of it is the top notch, coolest stuff you'll find on the market. You won't find much of their product line in Walmart, if ya catch my drift. I went in, sternly determined to buy Pop a set of chisels I had seen - AND THAT'S IT.
I was at the counter looking the chisels over and admiring them - then ordered the clerk to bag 'em up and charge me for them. She did so, and when she removed them off the glass topped counter, I saw a little pocket knife on the shelf below.
A Laguiole knife.
I was absolutely stunned. A friendly old ghost paid me a surprise visit.
My grandfather was something of a dandy. He was always dressed to the nines, and even when he was mowing the grass and working in the garden - he was better dressed than most men. When I was a boy just old enough for his own first knife, Grampa briefly considered giving me his Laguiole - and then decided against it. I got a smaller cheapo jack knife from the gas station and it was better than a boy deserved, but I always wanted one like his. I hadn't seen a blade like this in 40 years - and here it was, sitting right under my nose. I was almost in a trance when I told the clerk to add the knife to my order. I didn't even look the price tag - I don't think it was much.
As an adult looking at this blade - it's not bad. It's not great either - it's more an elegant gentleman's knife than a working blade that I would have bought. But that wasn't the charm - the charm was that Gramps seemed to have somehow reached across the realms of the living and the dead - and given me a playful tweak on the nose!
When I got home I didn't know what to do with it. I stropped it up to a razor's edge - and put it in the drawer. For my day to day jobs I still use the Leatherman but from time to time I drag Grampa's knife out to open letters and bills and junk mail. Under better circumstances I would have my own grandson to pass it on to - it takes a force of will for me to clamp down on that particular train of thought.
You should have given my your knife when I was 5, Gramps. But no problem - when we meet again, you can pay me for this one.