Up the Creek: Knives
Up the Creek
Ken M. Blomberg
In war and gang fights, they become weapons. In peacetime, they are considered tools. Since the dawn of mankind, they have cut, sliced, carved and pierced their way into history. Modern folding knives are in a class of their own. As opposed to sheath knives, pocket varieties are slipped away and wait for their next opportunity to come in handy.
My father was issued two knives during World War II – a bayonet and a fighting fixed blade sheath knife. I still have two of his fix blade hunting knives. Sharp as he left them the day he passed away. Dad knew the value of a knife “at the ready”.
I own way more than my fair share of knives. The majority are sheath knives used for hunting. Always in the market for new and used ones, I currently am on the make for a filet knife. One of these days, when I get serious once again about fishing and need to lay up a supply of fresh filets, I had better be ready. My current supply includes several favorite fixed blades. One custom made for me by local knifemaker extraordinaire, Ken Coats of Stevens Point. A Smith & Wesson gifted for being best man at friend Mike’s wedding. And a pair from my father. But it’s a small folding pocket knife, from the assembly line somewhere in New York, that gets most attention. This little knife and its predecessors have laid claim the small pocket sewn into my front right pants pocket for as long as I can remember. A knife “at the ready” – in its own way. Over the years, I given pocket knives of this kind away as gifts. To both sons and this year to three neighbor boys who help me regularly at the kennels. Every time I asked if they had a pocket knife handy, they said no. Problem solved.
Ironically, earlier this week, blogger Jackson Farmstead expounded on pocket knives, “For my father and so many others of a generation gone by, a pocket knife was an essential tool for daily life. The men who carry pocket knives are hardworking, do it yourselfers, who were raised to rely on themselves in nearly every situation. I have seen a pocket knife start a tractor, remove a splinter, slice a watermelon, carve a toy, and open a can. They have been used to clean wild game, cut gum/tar out of hair, sharpen a pencil, cutting fishing bait, and teaching responsibility. The list goes on and on. The uses of the pocket knife are as varied and strong as the men who use them.”
Jackson, from Alabama, went on to say, “So, who are the kind of men who carry pocket knives today? They are typically utilitarian. They are the type of men who earn an honest living, work hard, and stand fearless in a world gone mad. To put it simply, they are the type of men that I feel this world needs more of. If you find yourself in a tight spot and need some help, just ask the guy with the pocket knife. Although they are few are far between these days, chances are he can and will be able to lend a hand.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I wish I had.