If you follow us on Facebook, twitter or Instagram then you saw a few of my posting from this past weekend spent at the W.R. Case & Sons collectors reunion in Bradford, PA. While over the next few weeks I will be diving more into specific things that I saw and the experience had there, tonight I just wanted to go over the overall vibe and experience had.
With all of the terrible knife related news out there right now, it’s good to remember that the knife community(much like the firearm community, and really any community) is full of wonderful, normal, law abiding citizens.
I was invited to the Case event by my contact there who I have been in contact with over the last year and a half through my personal website (RuggedAmericanGear.com), and jumped at the chance to head to PA and meet the Case team and see what there was to see.
I brought my wife and oldest boy and we had a blast.
As mentioned above, I will get into the specifics of the day another time. I want to talk about two main things from this event though. The first is that it is clear from the moment you set foot near any Case employee that they care deeply about their company, their product, and their customers. As one could expect from a company that specializes in slip joint knives, a good portion of their devoted following is on the elderly side. Not once did I see anything less than pure enthusiasm from any Case employee when talking to their customers. Whether that talk was in regards to where the closest bathroom was, or their favorite knife from the year 1962.
On the opposite end of that, my son that I brought with me is just turning five soon, and not once did any Case employee ever seem anything less than deeply interested in anything he had to say. Whether he was asking a million questions while one of them was polishing and sharpening one of our knives, or when one of the employees was showing him his Damascus steel knife and explaining how it was made.
The 2nd topic I want to cover is the dealers, resellers, and cutlery lovers that were there. My family and I knew absolutely nobody going to the event. During the auction dinner Friday night we found ourselves sitting with an elderly couple, and a middle aged couple. Knives brought us together though, and barely five minutes after sitting down our knives were out on the table and we were swapping stories, checking out the others knives and having a great time.
On Saturday during the main even there is a dealer/reseller/swap tent set up to check out some knives and buy some. I was on the hunt for a knife but wasn’t sure what. While walking Bluegrass Ace Hardware’s(bluegrasscasexx.com) table from Richmond, KY a few knives caught my sons eye. They were a bunch of tiny, small Case texas toothpicks. They were older ones, and were “premier” editions, each was retailing for $40.
One of the gentleman from behind the booth came around the table and knelt down to my son and asked him which toothpick he liked. After a minute of intense thinking and soul searching my son pointed to an orange, yellow and pink handled knife. That same gentleman took it off the table, handed it to my son and told him to
“do me a favor, and put it in your pocket, that’s yours now“.
I insisted to him that I could purchase it and he declined stating that
“when my son was his age we came here and someone gave him a knife too, and I want to pass that on“.
After thanking the man profusely I then purchase a Tony Bose “backpocket” Case knife in their CV steel(review to come).
I could not believe that they just gave my son a knife. They literally made his day, all throughout the rest of Saturday, and up until today he is still showing everyone his new knife, and talking about it non stop.
when it comes down to it, the knife community is really about one thing in my opinion. Passing our knives, our stories, and a piece of ourselves down to the next generation.
To that man from Bluegrass Ace Hardware in Richmond, KY,
Thank you for being an example of what a knife collector should be and thank you for giving my son a memory I don’t think he will ever forget.
There will be more articles to come out about the W.R. Case collectors reunion over the next few weeks.