My Most Valued Possession

Lanterns, stoves, etc... anything old!

My Most Valued Possession

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:51 pm

The single most highly valued possession that I own happens to be a timeless article of vintage camping equipment.

Tonight I was reunited with it.

As regular followers of TPCE may know, a big driving force of my build is the memory of my father. Dad didn’t always buy me birthday or X-mas gifts, but he did far better than that with this back when I was a young lad.

It is his old boy scout hatchet from when he was young. He was tinkering in the basement, like he often did, but unbeknownst to me, he was spending what must have been a great deal of his time lovingly embellishing this with all of the love and craftsmanship that I could have ever asked for.

He removed the old handle, polished the head, which is clearly stamped PLUMB surrounded by a rectangular border. Mind you, this was formerly a painted steel head, and he polished it to the point where it looks like it is stainless steel or even nickel plated. Then he honed the edge until you could shave with it. It’s showing some abrasion to the shiny finish from use, but there isn’t a spot of rust on it after at least 17 years in storage, and it is a tool that was always meant to be used.

Then he fit a new handle that he stained with very subtle milk like stain, or perhaps ‘driftwood’. By the way, the handle is fit perfectly to the head and shows no signs of cracking or looseness.

The pièce de résistance is the hand crafted leather sheath. Leather work is a craft that I would like to someday follow in my father’s footsteps.

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This is the hatchet that I used on the original Poet Creek camping trips to make kindling for the camp fires. When bored I would replicate something I learned from the Boy Scout demonstrations given at the LA County Fair long before I was ever old enough, or had any thought of becoming a boy scout. You can stand a strike-anywhere match up in the axe marks of your chopping stump, then strike the match with a chopping stroke of the hatchet.

Why did it take so long for me to be reunited with this? Well my old family home is a Cape Cod style with crawl space type attic and some of my stuff was still in there when my sister moved back home from CA. A bunch of her stuff got moved into my old room, blocking access to this space when I was moving out after getting married. Now that my sister and mom are going thru and cleaning out, it got to be my turn.

I can’t believe, and am quite thrilled that it looks exactly like the day I put it away, has to be 20 years ago or more.

This is the most valued object in the world to me and no amount of money could ever replace it.
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby tony.latham » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:58 pm

:thumbsup: I get it. Quite the axe, quite the story.

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby Mo-Jack » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:04 am

A real beauty.

Is that a hickory handle? Or, maybe ash?
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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby KCStudly » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:14 am

Mo-Jack wrote:Is that a hickory handle? Or, maybe ash?

I'm not sure. It's either one or the other, but I'm leaning toward hickory.

Thanks for sharing in my admiration for this cherished thing. I am so happy and relieved to have it back in my possession, I can't tell you. As I settled in last night I literally wept tears of joy :dancing: (call me a big old softy if you must... I don't care!)
:D :D :D :D
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My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby bonnie » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:38 am

It's those cherished items that make us all unique. So glad you found it.
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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby Atomic77 » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:16 am

It's those treasured moments and items that mean the most to me too... And funny how they shape our adult world. Lovely piece, thank you for sharing.

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby KCStudly » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:15 pm

bonnie wrote:So glad you found it.

Thanks Bonnie, me too!

Atomic77 wrote:... thank you for sharing.

My pleasure. Glad to share it.

tony.latham wrote: :thumbsup: I get it. Quite the axe, quite the story.

Thanks Tony. Hey Tony, you know a bit about axes, don't you? Do you know what the notch on the underside of the head is intended for? It's certainly not a shake (shingling) hatchet, so I don't exactly think it is a nail claw, but that is all I could figure.

I'll post another thread, or maybe add to the Coleman Keepers thread later, but it turns out that the Coleman lanterns that we let go with dad's estate where not the original ones from our youth. I recovered those, including a '66 220F small hat green in pretty good shape, and a profane; plus a bunch of aluminum camp cookware.

Not only that, but I made about $110 selling a bunch of my old stuff. Hot Wheels, GI Joe, Big Jims Motor Home, AFX slot cars, Tonka trucks and boy scout items were the big sellers.
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby tony.latham » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:44 pm

I don't exactly think it is a nail claw, but that is all I could figure.


KC:

I think it is too, but don't know for sure.

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby doug hodder » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:58 pm

Nice to have something like that back in your hands. Doug
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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby KCStudly » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:35 pm

Thanks guys. I really appreciate the fact that you can all obviously recognize the beauty that my dad put into this simple object. Please remember that in all of the gifts that you bestow on other people. It is always more important when you put something special, something personal into the thing that you give.

My sister lives very frugally after retiring at a very early age. A few years ago at a family gathering for my birthday her gift to me was a hand written list of historical events that had occurred on that date from 1841 thru modern times. Yeah she most assuredly looked it up on the internet, but she used her creative process to think of the idea, took the time to do the research, and neatly wrote it all down for me to enjoy as a nice little novelty. That was special, way better than any store bought birthday card would have been. In fact it is still tacked up on my fridge, and frankly, I'm way past wanting bought gifts that are mere token gestures forced by societal norms.

Another thing I noticed while going thru my old crap was that people used to share hard copy pictures of themselves with hand written notes on the back. Remember class photos? And we would write well wishes in each other’s year books. I bet kids don't do that anymore. It's all cell phone pics and texts with attachments. I guess it might be better in the end 'cuz people won't have so much crap to throw out when they get old, but boy it sure is a different world now than it was then.

My message to you (and myself) is to do something for someone, use your brain and your hands to do something however small for someone. They will feel so much more special than if you just go gift shopping and pick out some piece of meaningless tchotchke because you 'had to' get them a gift.

Peace.

p.s. Hey Atomic/Michael, I found the red metal flake clackers, too! :lol:
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby Atomic77 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:51 am

That's awesome! They still work, right? ;)

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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby KCStudly » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:01 pm

Yeah, about as well as they ever did... a few clacks, a few double clacks, then ciaos with balls swinging in all manner of hazardous directions (sounds a little rude when I put it that way, but, honest, it is all perfectly innocent ;) ). I can't imagine why you don't see these much today (sarcasm). :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

They aren't as clear and sparkly as I remember them, but I will take a pic for you (not tonight, tho).

Yvette and I went and did that electronics shopping I mentioned (new laptop for her, new WIFI self-contained printer because we aren't replacing our failed desktop, and a new Garmin 6 inch GPS. Our old GPS touch screen was getting wonky. The new one has voice recognition, traffic alerts/rerouting, and law enforcement speed/stoplight camera location warning, among many other features). We went and had a nice lunch on the veranda at the Shennecossett GC (steak panini with balsamic red onion and arugula for me). Then we went back over to the East Lyme house, hoed out and/or packed what hadn't sold at the yard sale, and are settling in with a nice glass (or three) of scotch. I am on vacation, after all.

It is a good feeling to know that all of my obligations have been attended to over there. Sure, if the family needs help, I will go back and help, but all of my personal stuff has been handled, and my conscious is clear.

BTW, I sat on the couch last night fondling the hatchet. It felt good to get reacquainted. :R
Last edited by KCStudly on Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
TnTTT ORIGINAL 200A LANTERN CLUB = "The 200A Gang"
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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby wagondude » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:25 pm

That is a nice hatchet and an even better story. BTW, I always thought that notch was for cutting twine but : https://www.quora.com/Why-does-a-hatche ... n-its-head It seems pulling nails is the correct answer.
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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby KCStudly » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:39 am

Thanks WD/Bill. :thumbsup:
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
TnTTT ORIGINAL 200A LANTERN CLUB = "The 200A Gang"
Green Lantern Corpsmen
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Re: My Most Valued Possession

Postby ghcoe » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:25 pm

Sometimes just one item holds a lifetime of memories. To me you have to keep using those items for what they are intended to do, because they do not make more memories packed away. Great story. Hope to share some memories with it someday with you. :thumbsup:
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