Strangers – Part Deux

The knife show – and other excitements.

We woke at 8 AM Saturday morning in Detroit, and got ready to go to the knife show, which started at 9.  It’s about a half-hour drive away.  Back before Christmas, when the son was doing his shopping for presents, he picked up a nice little Garmin GPS unit for himself at $40.  It’s been in his room, still in the box, but he thought he might like to bring it along.  We plugged it into the wife’s laptop the night before, to charge it.

As we were doing breakfast-y things, the son entered the motel’s address, and the address of the hall we were going to.  He’d already put in our home address, so it knew where we lived, but for the rest, it just printed, “Acquiring satellites” and sat there.  He thought it might be because we were under concrete and steel, so he moved it to the window sill, but, another ten minutes and still, “Acquiring satellites”.  When we were ready to leave, he threw it on the bed, bitching that he had wasted $40.  I told him to bring it along.  He disdainfully tossed it in the back seat.

As we moved up the driveway toward the street, a female voice from the back loudly proclaimed, Recalculating.  Please proceed 75 yards to Eureka Rd, and turn left.  Two problems with that, it’s a one-way street, and the show is to the right.  Maybe she wanted me to go to a hardware store and buy her an upgrade.  I turned right.  Recalculating.  Now she’s figured which direction I want to go but, Proceed 600 yards and turn right on Telegraph Rd.  I’ve already checked with MapQuest, and want to continue straight ahead.  It’s two kilometers farther, but five minutes faster, so I proceed through the intersection.  RECALCULATING!  Damn!!  That’s three times I’ve heard that word, and I can still see the motel in the mirror.  Oh, it’s gonna be a loonngg half-hour drive.

The show was bigger this spring.  The hall is modular, so they took three bays instead of two.  The knives were beside the guns, not at the back as they have been stuck in the past.  Lots of the Rusty Jackknife crowd, but several custom makers as well, including one from Sarnia, ON, who we know from the Toronto shows.  There was a certain overlap of displays.  The custom knife makers wanted to display and sell only their knives, but the knife purveyors were permitted to display a few firearms, and several gun dealers also displayed factory-made knives.

We ran into a woman at a booth who told us she was from Sevierville, Tenn.  This is home territory to several well-known makers.  Up here in Canada, where 50% of the English-speakers have to be fluent in French because most of the 10% who speak French, won’t bother to learn English, that name would be pronounced sev-yay-vill.  Down there, it’s severe-vull, like Knoxvull, and Nashvull, and Loo-uh-vull.  (That’s Louisville, for those of you who don’t speak redneck.)

When I suggested that she had just a bit of an accent, she told me I had to visit the maker from Alabama, in the next row.  “Ah cain’t hardly unnerstan a word he’s sayun!”  There were a couple of kiosks in the entry with internet-enabled computers.  I knew that my pre-scheduled post hadn’t worked out, but could do nothing about it from that distance.

I took a few photos of a knife collection, to show the different styles and sizes made.

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The big bowie-style knife with the man’s face on the handle, was made by that gentleman.  The man who bought it, paid a lady scrimshander to add his likeness.  She also does other art, like ivory carving.  The son bought a hear-no-evil, etc., etc. trio, about as big as two fingers, from her.  The knife-maker is the man I purchased my only custom knife from.  I paid a retired veterinary-magazine illustrator to scrimshaw the two gryphons onto it.  One has eagle’s wings; the other has dragonfly wings.  Note how he wrapped the tails around the center pin.  He included his working drawings, dedicated to the wife and me.

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Gryphon 2

Kyle's Scrimshaw

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Thanks for coming by to look and read.  I’ll post more about the trip soon.  The ooh-ing and aah-ing may now begin.

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