Day one is in the books and my brain hurts. This is the first time I have had to get back to the room and write, and despite the total knife immersion I experienced over the past 8 hours, I am not completely convinced I have anything overwhelmingly profound to offer.
That isn’t to say that it hasn’t already been a wonderful experience. For one, I finally had the chance to meet David (he is a nice guy btw). This being his first show, he is like a kid in a candy store. Couple this with his impressive knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the industry (he and Nathan would both eclipse me on a test of knife knowledge, even if they were hungover or otherwise mentally hamstrung), and it has been fun to watch. There are thousands of knives everywhere and you get to touch them. And photograph them.
David is a great photographer. He uses an actual DSLR for his review photos, and about half of his pictures here. The difference is more than noticeable, it is often beautiful as well. David has been handling the bulk of our outbound social media photo stream. As I mentioned last night, you can follow us at @KnifeTruth on both Twitter and Instagram.
Even if you don’t have an instagram account, you can still view all of David’s pictures here. And check back often tomorrow. He has been prolific, and there will be lots more to come.
The Instagram pictures get automatically put into our Twitter feed as well. It has been fun to watch our number of followers climb, especially because so many of our posts are being shared by the likes of BladeHQ, Hougue Knives, and plenty of others.
For me, the show has been about building personal relationships. I have been busy over the past month sending introduction emails or reconnecting with people. Now that the show is here, I am able to build these relationships further. I have finally met both Sal Glesser and Doug Ritter face-to-face. David introduced me to LT Wright. I had a chance to chat with Ken Onion about my Halfachance, Leek, and soon to come Hootenanny reviews. We both got to hang out with Will Woods a bit and his assistant Teddy Peacher (who is a fledgeling knifemaker under his own label : Peachsmith Knives). I introduced David to Murray Carter.
That is one of the things that is so amazing about Blade. The knife industry doesn’t have nearly the egos as the gun industry. Almost everyone from industry titans to the most exclusive custom makers are completely approachable. Sal Glesser was working the Spyderco booth like any one of his employees. David had a chance to spend a bit of time with Ethan Becker at the Ka-Bar booth. Ken Onion was just circulating amongst the folks on the floor, taking pictures and answering questions.
We visited with Ben at CRKT, whom I met last year and have had a multi-year correspondence at this point. It was nice seeing Chris Williams of Wilmont Knives and giving him an update on my Wharny review. Not only did we spend some time talking knives with Derrick at the Benchmade booth, but by sheer coincidence we ran into each other while grabbing Subway in the atrium and had a nice conversation on things other than knives for a few.
I am bummed that my friends Craig (Empire Outfitters) Nugent and Jon (Sheriff of Baghdad) McPhee couldn’t make it due to other commitments. That leaves one more person that I was really hoping to see. When I didn’t see Kim Breed’s name on the table directory, I was disappointed, but it wasn’t an hour later when I ran into him walking through the convention hall. I was excited to tell him about the adventures that my Model 15 has seen over the past year, and show him the nicks, scratches, and patina on what was my first custom knife and my favorite that I own. He has a few new knives, a full set of Damascus carving-wear, and one really bizarre piece: A stag-handled Damascus punch-dagger. Because ‘Murica.
I am going to wrap this up and try to get to bed early. Day One is taking it all in. Now I need to get to thinking about the rabbits I want to chase tomorrow, the questions I want to ask, and the knives I want to see and hold.