Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Very Best Knife

Nestled among my collection of knives and flashlights and other random odds and ends, is a small, very old pocket knife that just happens to be the best knife I own.  It is a mid 1930s Case Mini Trapper.  It came with a small pouch that has a snap on it.

Here is a shot:

IMG_0029 by scu09144

The knife itself is nothing to go crazy over.  It has pretty routine steel, no fancy handle scales, and the case has slightly crooked stitching.  But my grandfather gave it to me and it was his first knife.  It was his EDC for over fifty years, from when he got it from his Dad in the mid 30s as a coming of age gift, until he was accosted at an airport after 9/11 for carrying a "weapon".  He was understandably upset and as then-79 year old man, he seemed like less of threat than say, a guy with a bomb in his shoe or underwear that somehow slipped through security.  After that incident he retired the knife until one visit he called me back into his spare bedroom and said: "Tony pick a knife you want.  I know you like them.  No one else does.  So its yours."  Over the years, unknown to anyone, my grandfather had collected a small cache of pocket knives.  He'd pick them up here or there, find them someplace, or just get them from people.  He had his dad's EDC, a 1920s Queen Cutlery knife.  He had a bunch of old jackknives.  But in his not-so-small collection was the Mini Trapper.  I picked that one and I could see his eyes light up.

"That one was my knife.  I made that pouch for it.  I really like that knife.  I have carried it pretty much every day with me since I was a kid.  My Dad gave me that knife."

My grandfather grew up in the hollers of southeastern Ohio during the Great Depression.  His dad was a moonshiner that lived to be 94 years old.  He has all kinds of great stories and, like me, believed that boys of a certain age should have a pocket knife.  It was sign that he was becoming a man, ready to do work.  He used that knife for all kinds of things.  My grandfather can whittle a whistle in about 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the wood and the size of the whistle) with this knife.  He fixed diesel engines while working construction for 30 years with this knife.  For over 50 years it was his constant companion.  His everyday carry before anyone even knew what that was.

Now it is my very best knife and a true shelf queen.  

PS: Hope you like the new template.  I find it much easier to read.  Plus the font size makes the navigation bar to the right much neater and cleaner looking.  


  1. Very touching story Tony, and what a great little knife.

    Love the new template, nice, clean and easy to read.

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