Pocket knife

This week, it's been a year since my grandfather died. I'm still in a bizarre state of denial over it. I was there his last week, I saw him and I know he's gone, but for some reason I don't feel like he's gone. Every time I see a manila envelope in the mailbox, my pulse sorta quickens.


My mom and I were recently remembering the consistent stream of letters he would write. I've been truly horrible at keeping up correspondence in the past few months and have been bent over the old typewriter as of late, trying to start up again. Make my grandpa proud.

I think this photo of the Emerson gang was taken in the late 1930s. 1939? Grandpa Bill is in the front next to his mother, Helen, who looks stunning.




My most cherished grandpa thing is his old pocket knife. It still has some antique crumbs of cheese from a long ago picnic inside. Sort of charming in a way, but I must resist the urge to become sentimental about other folk's dirt.

In classic Emerson fashion, he dremeled his address into the handle and carried it in his pocket as he trekked across the Sahara, went on archeological digs in Crete and hiked up our beloved Mt. Monadnock. It's so freakin dull I'm in constant danger of killing myself every time I try to use it. In the realm of knife fixing uping, I am a total novice. Any advice?


21 comments:

  1. You could have it sharpened at a knife grinder or link to sharpening it yourself tutorial
    http://users.ameritech.net/knives/index.htm

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amy, I don't think it's meant to be used.....just keep it in a treasured place next to your heart x

    ReplyDelete
  3. not trusty henry westpfal? your favorite knife sharpening company?

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a proper Victorinox and a classic. Make friends with a butcher and he'll sharpen it proper for you. I carry my grandpa's knife in my purse always. (Except on planes of course.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had tooled around the idea of fixing it up myself. It needs an all around tune up not just a sharpening, the knives are damn near impossible to pry out. Maybe boys just have really strong fingers?

    ReplyDelete
  6. i disagree: you must never resist the urge to become sentimental about other folk's dirt.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Unless you want to keep the crumbs, I would have it cleaned so it won't rust. However, the crumbs are kind of dear.

    I feel your "missing him".

    I cry for my grandmothers sometimes. Just out of the blue. It's kind of like little wounds that open again.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Last December I lost a dear friend, and later found a piece of paper on which I'd scribbled his new phone number. I cried. And then threw the paper away. My memory of him is no less diminished for having done so.

    The crumbs are endearing, though. I like them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mt. Monadnock in NH? I've climbed that too! My family used to vacation in that area during the summer when I was little.

    It's so nice to be able to have something that reminds you of your grandfather. Even though I never met my mom's parents, some of my favorite accessories were my grandmothers. It's so nice to wear them and know that she loved them as much as I do.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amy,

    Your family is so photogenic, handsome all. I always love when you post the old photos; your grandfather looks so affable.

    Lovely post.

    ps. Yeah, boy-fingers are stronger. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How sweet. I miss my grandpa often too, although he died eleven years ago. He had such a presence, and was a real force of life in our family. Aren't we fortunate to have had such stunning creatures grace our lives?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Leave it. There are a lot of other knives that can be used as knives. This one doesn't need to be. Its perfect as is. You don't get decades old cheese just anywhere ya know.

    ReplyDelete
  13. sorry for your grandpa.. i lost my two grandpas either.. it sucks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks like the toothpick and tweezers are still there. Very impressive!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Recommend dripping some 3-in-1 oil into the hinges on either side of the knife. Let it set for ten minutes, then start prying and move all of the fixtures around to work the oil into the joints. To sharpen - Unless you want to embark on a project involving lots of money and/or time, it's be best and easiest to hire it out. And then you can get kitchen knives done too. Scrape off cheese! Use the knife! Tools are meant to be used.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sharp or dll how lucky you are to have this. Both my Grandfathers died before I was born so I never had the joy of having a loving "Pap". You hve my sympathy for your loss.
    DarLie

    ReplyDelete
  17. I lost my grandfather last April. I visited the hospital every day the two weeks before he died. I never remember that he's gone, but when I do, I cry.
    I have an empty photo album from his house with his initials on it. I can't bring myself to fill it.

    That's cute how he put his address on there. I would be too afraid to have someone else alter the knife in any way. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I generally fall into the "make it functional" camp instead of the "save it as an unusable relic" camp, especially when it comes to a filthy 1980's pocket knife, even if it was my grandfathers.

    Further more, I know he'd be really pleased if I got it in shipshape condition and used it for the next 20 years instead of letting it sit in a drawer.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh goodness! I love how that address is engraved!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Soak it in warm soapy water- the blades are stainless, nothing to rust, then a spray with wd-40 to loosen things, then some oil. Take it somewhere to properly sharpen it- water or oil stones, never a grinder...it's meant to be used, and meant to pass on with your own cheese crumbs years from now.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Guess what I just inherited yesterday? My dad's pocket knife. I do believe his grandfather gave it to him. Dad carried it with him every day - not only for on the job (he was a bricklayer and a policeman)or for everyday needs, but for good luck. It sure did him well. I was trying to find out something about it when I came across your website. I miss him every day.

    ReplyDelete