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Individuality

Posted by Dirck on 24 October, 2011

I was signing in at an SCA event over the weekend (and yes, I did lose time on the Great Work out of it, although it was a mere two blocks from home), and the person signing in ahead of me was using… a fountain pen!

“Ooh, an Al Star,” said I, “and is that… hmm… Pelikan violet?”

Just the cartridge that came with the pen, she replied, but then mentioned she had an eyedropper filled with Noodler’s Bay State Blue.  My internal voice says Ah hah!  That’s someone who is seriously a part of the fountain pen way of life. Since I essentially never run into anyone of this sort in the world, I became slightly giddy.  As a way of indicating fellowship, I held up the Parker “51” I’d brought along for the day.

“Huh.  That’s a small nib.  What it is?”

After a moment of confusion, I said the name.  “Oh?  Neat.”  And then, having finished filling out the needed forms, she departed to watch the fencing.

My lesson from this encounter is a warning about making assumptions about degrees of enthusiam.  Yes, someone who has begun to dabble in Noodler’s inks is beginning to swim in the deep end of fountain pen use, the that’s not yet making at attempt to paddle across the English channel… nor indeed does the former necessarily lead to the latter.  I, for example, have swum in non-metaphorical pools, but I’ve no interest in prolonged exercise in the literal ocean.  Just because my interest in fountain pens has stepped into unhealthy obsession serious scholarship does not mean everyone else who takes one up will join me.  A fountain pen might merely be a comfortable means of getting some writing done.

I wonder what that’s like?

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Imperial II
Today’s ink: Noodler’s La Couleur Royale

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