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Archive for August 14th, 2012

Happy Reunion

Posted by Dirck on 14 August, 2012

I mentioned last Wednesday that my mother is about to enjoy a hip replacement.  Over the weekend, part of my Really Useful activity was applying my relatively intact legs to trotting up and down stairs at the parental abode, clearing away some unnecessary clutter of the main floor and plowing about the basement in search of some of the little contrivances to ease the life of the newly-rehipped which came into the family’s possession when my Grandmother had a similar surgery.

The searching aspect of the exercise was somewhat fruitless, as most of the items did not appear.  As I looked in increasingly unlikely places, vague memories stirred of a disposal of things which previous carefree decades said, “That’s taking up a lot of space unnecessarily and is easily replaced should future need arise.”  However, duty demanded a complete examination of all possible hidey-holes and coverts, and while I could not produce the prescribed objects, there was a reward awaiting me:

You’d think it would make an impression, wouldn’t you?

This is a variant of the venerable Sheaffer cartridge pen, and since I was a habitual user of those pens from about age 9 until well into high school, having one should not be a surprise.  However, the vague memories of which I spoke a moment ago contained nary a glimmer of this pen, let alone its entry into my life.  The model had appeared to me during my researches for the web site (and I might brag a little about turning over some virtual compost heaps in that pursuit), but not one tiny bell was rung.  Holding it, looking at it with an eye practiced in spotting blemish and ill-use in a pen, I remained unconscious of any tingling in my hippocampus, and also found very little sign that it had got much use at all.  That would explain the absence of memories, but not entirely.  The pen had been used, since the feed contained residue of the Peacock Blue ink which I used with some regularity, but gave up on after about 1980 when it began to strike me as slightly illegible.

There are some who would moan at this point about the failing memory and the ravages of age.  Not I.  I’ve been forgetting things with some power since at least 1987, and I’m content to wrap the whole bundle of cloudiness with the aegis of “mislaid retrieval path.”  Indeed, I find it an encouraging indicator that I was merely slightly interested in fountain pens at that time in my life, and that my memories of being much more consumed with the appropriate topics of the Apollo program, Star Wars, Space: 1999, and the Atari Video Computer System are valid.

This reintroduction serves to bring a delightful paradox into my world.  I might not remember the getting of it, but I now have in my hands my oldest pen as counting from date of purchase.  This is just one layer to the odd set of self-contradicting attributes this pen brings with it.  It is my new old unremembered nostalgia-laden Sheaffer, which I cherish as a treasure because it is cheap.  That’s pretty good pay for a little bit of work on a Sunday afternoon.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer S Range (the pen in question, according to a British catalogue)
Today’s ink: Skrip King’s Gold (an old colour which I’ve only just gotten)

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