Recently I had the pleasure of attending a cookout with several knifemakers. Excellent deer back strap was served; the host did provide forks but no knives. That shouldn’t have been a problem; one would think that since we were all knife makers and/or knife enthusiasts we each probably would have had a knife with us. Yes, that is probably what one would think, but as it turns out one would be wrong.
There were four of us at the table, three knife makers of varying experience and capabilities, and myself. I used my relatively inexpensive Solingen folder to cut the food on my plate. The maker across from me also used his factory made pocket knife, and the maker on his right used a beautiful little fixed blade of his making which he carried in a pocket sheath. The third maker apparently was not carrying any knife at all or chose not to use it if he did have one. He borrowed the knife the cook had been using to prepare the food.
I grew up in a rural area where just about every man and boy that I knew carried some sort of pocket knife. I have carried and used knives nearly every day of my life for more years I care to recall. I am always surprised at men that don’t carry a pocket knife in a rural environment or in an urban environment for that matter. I am even more surprised to see someone who says they are a knife maker or knife enthusiast at a cook out at a cabin in the country without a knife of some sort. To me it is a puzzle.
I suppose that it is possible that some makers view themselves as makers of knives and not users of knives, but what better way is there to learn about knives and what is desired in a using knife than by actually carrying and using one?
I am not sure what I should deduce about the knife borrowing maker/enthusiast from this event. Maybe his knife was in his other pants, maybe for some reason he didn’t want the others of us to see whatever knife he was carrying, or maybe he doesn’t normally carry a knife. I am ignorant as to the answer. The conundrum remains.
copyright Bill North 2013