Years ago, as a young boy like so many others, I loved to go fishing. I had three local ponds that I stalked and was at them nearly every day just as soon as I could get off the bus after school. Went at the break of dawn every Saturday and if Daddy said we weren't going to church on Sunday morning, I was running for my pole and tackle box. I felt so proud to bring home a mess of fresh bass for dinner and relished the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment deep inside when the reports from the dinner table echoed of it being the best meal ever. In that little red and white tin tackle box, I had two things that I loved more than my favorite Mepps spinner and lures and that was my pocket knives. They were the dime store kind that cost me what seemed like an eternity of allowance savings,(At 25 cents a week for chores it almost did). As a good o'l country boy in the sticks of Prince George Virginia, I camped in the woods, made pine needle forts, road my horses, found or caught every kind of God's wild creature that I could to take home to Mama with the hopes that she would let me keep 'em as a pet, and for the most part, she often did. Of course, I always carried my trusty knives, one in the back left, and one in the front right pocket. Man, those were awesome times! As a man past the 50 cent mark now, I have rediscovered a boyhood love. With the same passion and enthusiasm as I did as a young boy, I have rekindled a relationship for the vintage knife. In part, it's the joy of going out on a beautiful crisp morning excited with the anticipation of a successful scavenging hunt for old knives. Finding those real diamonds in the rough from the most unlikely places. It's the amazing people you meet, discovering new friendships, sharing a common passion and the telling of stories,(factual and embellished) of long ago adventures or about some amazing new adventure that you are busting at the seems to share, even if it is with someone who is a total stranger that really doesn't remain a stranger for long. Enjoying a real deep, healthy belly laugh that's shared with someone, you know the one that makes you feel like your going to soil yourself in some ungodly embarrassing way! Once knives are found and purchased, I race home, (trying not to get a ticket that would certainly pay for another good knife) with what feels like the find of a lifetime. Clutching my treasures, I jump from my truck and run for the house. At breakneck speed stumbling through the doorway, tripping over the rug, the dog, the cat,(all who are innocently trying to say hi) and the shoes I've just kicked off because my wife insist that I take them off before entering her just cleaned floors. Like a greedy miser, I look over my shoulder to see if anyone is looking at my new cash of knives. I rush to the sanctuary of my work bench and spread out my knives, separating them in groups like a kid after a great haul on Halloween night. Here comes the joy of joys, cleaning and restoring the knives. It's almost like an artist and his sculpture, chipping away at the rust, dirt and years of use, unveiling that special gem I knew was lurking, hidden inside. There's a lot to be said about the satisfaction that one achieves from a restoration job well done, it feels an awful lot like those sweet emotions from the comments at the dinner table long, long ago. It's the quiet snickers that you keep to yourself over the screams and howlings of envy from your buddies for finding such and outrageous score. Yes, I have knives that are mint/near mint condition that I love and are for investment purpose, but I think the knives in my collection that I hold dearest to my heart and that bring the fondest of memories are those oldie but goodies that tell a story similar to the young boy from the back sticks of Virginia. Thanks for lettin' me share a thought.
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