Fathers’ Day is just past, and I would be remiss if I didn’t describe mine, not for me, but to spotlight some young-uns. I’ve been a father for a long time. Hell, I’ve been everything I am or was, for a long time. I don’t get too worked up about birthdays or Christmas or Fathers’ Day. The wife will shove a hot poker up my ass if I forget her birthday, or our anniversary, but otherwise, meh!
Since the son is almost as sentimental as me, (Remember that first part! It’s SENTImental, not just mental) his Fathers’ Day present was a guided tour of Kings’ Buffet Chinese Restaurant. It was also his Mothers’ Day present to the wife – kill two birds with one obesity stone. He also picked out and purchased about $30 worth of gorgeous cholesterol beef tenderloin, from which we cut three thick, beautiful filets, and two small roasts for later. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I have an 8-lane super-highway, complete with on-ramps.
My darling daughter, LadyRyl chose to enhance my coin collection. When she and the grandson came over on Fathers’ Day, she presented me with a Presentation Grade, 1986, Canadian Dollar coin. This is different from the simple, bronze-colored, Loonie coin in general circulation. These used to be ‘Silver Dollars’ but are now Nickel, and silver in color only. This one commemorates 100 years of coast-to-coast railroad in Canada.
The coin came safely snuggled in a plastic holder, inside a black holding case with a gold panda embossed on the top. It has never been touched by human hands – cotton inspectors’ gloves, but never oily skin. The finish is immaculate. Certain areas have a mirror polish. Truly an impressive coin, and a tribute to a vanishing technology. I just can’t imagine one with a semi big-rig on it.
Now we come to the grandson – the 6’ 2” little scamp. (Fortunately) abandoned by his father before he was born, the son and I have tried to support and guide him through life as best we can. We may have helped his mother do something right, because he has grown up to be a super young man.
He handed his uncle a $100 gift card to the Chapters Bookstore chain. Knowing the son’s reading habits, that might last till the middle of July. For something to munch on while he’s reading, he also gave him about two quarts of party mix snack, from the bulk food store.
He brought with him, a cardboard box, about 4” square, and almost 4 feet long. Being a little slow on the uptake, I wondered what it was. He brought it over to me, slit open the seal on one end and handed it to me. ‘Hmmm, doesn’t weigh much.’ And the dénouement began.
The Well-Dressed Renaissance Gentleman
Of all the weapons I’m interested in, I’ve wanted a rapier for display for years – and that’s what slid out of the box. This thing is fully functional. I could engage in SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) fencing tournaments, but like the Dollar coin above, I don’t want to ruin some polished surfaces.
It has a 39” long, diamond profile blade, with no sharp edges. This is a stabbing weapon. It weighs 2-½ pounds. Movies aside, real sword fights didn’t last all that long. Your arm would tire quickly. Interest in rapiers must be cycling/dying down. A few years ago, it would have been possible to also purchase a matching ‘main gauche’, a left hand parrying knife – but no longer.
I am fascinated by the shiny, beautiful, swirling, interlaced-rod guard, developed over years of experience to protect the hand. It has a heavy pommel to counterbalance the heft of the sword, and for punching or head-bashing, in close. The handle is bone, perhaps giraffe, from Africa, spiral grooved and inlaid with twisted gold(-plated brass) wires, for solid grip. At each end of the bone handle is an assembly ring which is engraved with flowers.
I have cast my bread upon the waters, and it has been returned to me seven-fold. I have the love of my daughter – and an impressive coin, and I have an upstanding, generous grandson – and a mesmerising rapier. I have displayed (pictures of) the sword on my blog site. Now I have to find a place to display the real thing, proudly in my home – and stop waving it around, knocking over the lamp, and (gently) poking the dog. Baseball bat? Shit! Now I’m waiting for the first stupid burglar. 😳