02 April 2008

Every Man Should Carry a Pocket Knife

I do. My knife of choice, at least for the moment, is a Kershaw. I currently carry the Chive 1600. Kershaw knives carry a lifetime warranty. The Chive is a tough, slender, practical knife with a blade that holds an edge fairly well and comes with Kershaw's patented SpeedSafe opening system - almost switch-blade like in ease and speed. It retails for $53, but I bought this one used for $10. It's in perfect condition. I've carried a pocket knife since I was a very young boy, probably around 7 years old. My first knife, which I still have, was an Old Timer given to me by my grandfather.

Growing up in Western Virginia, a pocket knife was considered "standard equipment" for every boy. I can remember playing mumbly-peg (or "mumblety-peg"), comparing knives with other boys, and "whittlin' sticks" together. Playing mumbly-peg today in a government school would get a boy expelled and require that some shrink psycho-analyze the poor kid. Funny, we never had school shootings when Bibles and pocket-knives were allowed in schools. In our modern age of "homeland security" (a joke), the feminization of American males, and boys who prefer video games to the great outdoors, carrying a pocket knife is seen by many as quaint and old-fashioned. Not so, not so!

Read the excellent article from one of my favorite sites here if you doubt me. This is a great piece and gives a little history of the pocket knife as well as why every real man should carry one. :)

Here's an excerpt:

"Pocket knives have been an essential tool for soldiers throughout American history. New York and New Hampshire required their militias to carry pocket knives during the American Revolution. Even George Washington toted one around as he led his troops. The U.S. Navy began issuing pocket knives to sailors during the Civil War. During WWII, the pocket knife was standard issue for American GIs."

One well known incident involving the use of a pocket knife by a Civil War soldier involved Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest stabbed his adversary in the abdomen with his pen knife after the man had shot Forrest in the gut during an argument. Forrest is alleged to have said: "No damned man kills me and lives!" Forrest did live. His adversary did not.

One version of the incident can be read here. A better version is in Andrew Neslon Lytle's Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company.

3 comments:

Anthony said...

Good piece of history of the pocket knife, the part about the Confederate General is interesting. Not sure if pocket knife plays a part in changing the fate of the Civil War though.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks for commenting and reading Anthony.

best pocket knife said...

Kershaw makes great knives. My favorite is the Kershaw Ken Onion Blur. Opens in a flash. Great choice!