Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Some Pens

We have put just a few special pens up at the penguin in advance of the San Francisco Pen Show. Included are a couple of Montblancs (vintage celluloid 144 and moderrn 149) and some very special Parker “51’s” including a first year in cedar with a gold filled cap, a Nassau set with Signet caps, and a 14 Karat Empire State set in India black.



Over the next couple of weeks we will be adding another couple of dozen pens, so keep an eye out for additional updates of both pens and knives.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Lightning Strikes Twice


Lightning Strikes Twice

So what are the odds? Earlier in the trip while on the Oregon coast I came across a first year Parker 51 in cedar blue with a gold filled cap. I was pretty excited, especially since I was able to lightly clean and fill it. The diaphragm still works. Cool.

For the last week we have been in Ashland at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, soaking up culture, andI really have not thought much about pens and knives since I did pretty well in Portland.

But Saturday is market day in Ashland and we were cruising the markets after which I decided to stop into one of our favorite shops. Both of us, Sharon and I, have gotten stuff there and I have asked Jeremy, the jeweler, about pens. So I step into the shop and he asks if I am still interested in pens. Of course I am, and he brings out this set. An original Parker 51 Empire State (or Icicle) set in Nassau green. It did belong to Henry Evangeloff, but he took really nice care of it and even more remarkably it fills.

What are the odds?

I have not yet decided whether to keep it or not. How many Empire State sets do I need? But to me this set is rather special, simply because it came directly out of the owner’s (or a family member’s) estate and is totally unmolested and undamaged beyond the expected signs of use, and not even much of that. I did not have to clean or polish it at all beyond a good sound water flush and fill. The eraser on the pencil is unused.

Unlike the first year pen I did not get a screaming bargain on this set, but did well enough.




And if anyone is interested I will consider offers, but they probably should start at around $3.000.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Bastille Day

This car above all else!


When we came out of the hotel this morning I was surprised to see the coupe sitting at the curb since I had not called for it as we planned to walk to brunch and the Portland Art Museum, so I asked the valet. Turns out it had been there since our return yesterday afternoon.

You guessed it . . . No one could drive a manual transmission.

From there brunch and then the museum. During breakfast I had noted a number of very fancy cars driving past and wondered what they were up to.

We found out. They were parked outside PAM as part of the SCM 1000 Rally.



This is not, of course, an original, but it is an AC, one of the continuation models from, I think, the 1990s.

The French thing: a modern Bugatti and a Citroen Deux Chevaux


Finally we made it into the museum for the Paris 1900 exhibit.


The French Thing Part Deux: a frieze depicting the end of an early car race. See how neatly we tied all the day's themes together?

My favorite image from the exhibition.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Pens & Knives


Can’t just talk the talk, sometimes you gotta walk the walk, so I went out on Saturday to the Portland Pen Round-up and got a couple of nice pieces, a Montblanc 149 and a black Pelikan 140. Both will be restored and offered.

From there I went to my favorite knife shop, Hawthorne Cutlery. I have gotten to know the owner David Rapoport over the years and we are of an age, so we spent some time catching up before getting down to business, which landed me three knives and taught me a somewhat greater appreciation of good automatics.   

Ended up the day with dinner with a friend.

All in all a good day.

The round-up. It was great seeing some old friends and meeting new folks. Always enjoy this show.


The day's catch. 1980s Montblanc 149, black Pelikan 140. A Pro-Tech pre-ban ivory handled switchblade (aka automatic), not sure who made the stag handled automatic in the middle, but it is nicely done, and the catch of the day, a dual action carbon fiber small gents knife with an ingenious mechanism by a maker new to me, William Tuch. He does full customs that are exquisite enough that I am considering one if I can sell enough pens.

One More Day on the Coast

I've been frustrated by not being able to walk trails as much as I hoped. So I been taking pictures.







Wednesday, July 10, 2019

He's Got a Ticket to Write

Travel Day


Wednesday, July 10, 2019 was a travel day as we headed north from Mendocino to Smith River, an easy distance of 250 miles, though much of it was on some of the twistiest parts of Highway 1 along what we call the Lost Coast.

Along the way we stopped once so that a California Highway Patrolman could write me a speeding ticket (91/65) and once so that I could find a late first year Parker “51” for $5.00. They are still out there!

Amazingly enough when we landed at our B&B for the evening I tested the pen and it still works! And I do have ink. 

A tootpaste polish and I may use it tomorrow always hoping that the 78 year old diaphragm doesn’t give up the ghost.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A Walk in the Garden




After many years of driving past it, last year we visited and then joined the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. So now it has become a tradition. In fact my last walk on my old knees was here.

In 2019 California had an extraordinarily wet winter. In spring the wildflowers were in a “superbloom” that made it into the pages of The New York Times. Even in summer there are flowers in profusion, especially in the gardens, but everywhere, along the roads, across the hillsides.