This post has been authored (for the most part) by Dr. Stan, a longtime member of the London Pen Club, with comments from the blog editor.
The trip to the Michigan Pen Show on September 6, 2008 was fun as always! Our chauffeur John P. was kind enough to give us a guided tour through the Port Huron Business loop that was particularly interesting (Riding along in Mike’s comfy Honda Pilot – no mention of that I see.).
At the show, we browsed around and picked up a few pens. Around midday, we went to lunch and visited the Paradise Pens store at the nearby Somerset Mall. We then stopped back at the show once more before returning to London. It was there that I experienced the highlight of my pen collecting years.
I brought my favourite writer to the show, an old (vintage) Waterman that Mike (the generous editor of this blog) had given to me (Actually, I asked you to hold on to it for safekeeping. That memory of yours is not quite what it once was!). I don’t want to belittle his generosity (although you are), but I think the fact that her beautiful blue body was crowned with a rather shabby black cap had something to do with it I. Nevertheless, her long slender gold nib, shiny and proud, was flexible and smooth and no matter how I leaned on it to achieve the desired effect, always sprung back to its original form. Occasionally, I sought to find a better cap for her but she always seemed to look better in that old black cap.
Mike insisted on showing the flexible nib on my Waterman to a nib expert. The expert assured us that the nib could not write properly because its tines were severely misaligned. He was about to adjust it when I wrestled it (with the greatest of difficulty) from his hands. After that comment (and near-miss), I just had to demonstrate her talent, which I did by providing a writing sample, to the stunned silence of the expert.
We (Mike and I) drifted over to a gentleman pen dealer with a large Tupperware-type box full of pen parts. As I still had my precious Waterman in my hand, I casually asked, “Got a cap to match this?”.
“Gee, I could swear I had something like that in my box this morning, but almost everything is gone now.” came the dealer’s reply.
Like a shark smelling a drop of blood in a million drops of water, I began to navigate through the box systematically. Interrupted once again and just about to turn away, I caught a glimpse of that familiar blue!
“My God, I think I’ve got it!” I yelled incredulously. Mike looked at me as though I was delusional (The way you were yelling, I thought your sildenafil citrate had kicked in!). Then he looked again.
“That’s it!” he agreed, then “He’ll take it,” he said to the dealer.
“Ten bucks,” said the dealer, “Eight,” I said, “Ten” he said, “Nine, I said, “Ten,” he said, “Ten”, I said (You made a strategic error in bargaining when you told the dealer that the pen was given to you gratis – mistakenly, see earlier safekeeping reference.).
All the way home to London I admired my beautiful, newly adorned (and now complete) vintage Waterman, and made sure that Mike and John did too (even though John was supposed to be driving. Good thing you were finished by the time we reached the border crossing or that would have been an adventure.).
At last, my ugly duckling had been transformed into a beautiful swan. Anybody got a black Waterman body to match a beautiful black Waterman cap (Funny how it was a shabby and old black cap a few paragraphs ago.)?
Editor’s (Mike’s) final note: Most people are familiar with the concept of karma. Well, I truly believe that Dr. Stan’s good fortune of finding a matching cap for my pen is a direct result of good karma. As a result, I strongly encouraged him to toss the leftover black cap into the box of pen parts so that someone else might benefit from his good fortune. But no, he wants to “double-up” and add a black Waterman to my collection!