Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday at the Hut - 8/25/12

As Hurricane Isaac bears down on Florida, several of us gathered at The Tobacco Hut to have our own mini-hurricane party. In attendance were Joe K, Peter G, Scott R, Tom L, Lou, and myself. I sat down and enjoyed a bowl full of Lou's Baker Street tobacco in a Crown Viking freehand. Most excellent!

Even in the face of the Republican National Convention starting this week (although Day 1 has been cancelled due to Isaac), political talk was kept to a minimum. Until Tom arrived. But before Tom could unleash his anti-progressive diatribes, I issued him a challenge, thanks to an item Scott brought with him.

Scott, as many of you know, is our resident pocket knife expert. He blogs extensively about his passion at and he often brings in new acquisitions to show off. Saturday he brought in a knife that he obtained in an eBay auction that still had the original price sticker on it. It was faded and yellowed, but clearly read "Value Stores - $1.99". We weren't sure, but we're guessing that based on the price, the knife probably came from the 1960s.

The trick knife Scott bequeathed to me.
(click to enlarge)
What I found more interesting however, was the other knife Scott brought in. Pictured at left, Scott handed it to me to examine. I struggled to open it though as there was no nail nick in which to insert my fingernail. And there wasn't enough of the blade showing to grasp it firmly. I was stymied, so Scott kindly demonstrated how to open it. It's actually a trick knife, consisting of a little pin inside that locks the blade closed. There's a special way to open it, holding the knife blade pointing upward, squeezing the blade and jerking it downward dislodges the pin, allowing the blade to open. To close it, you basically reverse the actions just described.

A little research on this knife revealed that it was made by Imperial, as Scott had told me, and the patent number on the blade indicated that it was updated by Imperial in 1954, from a previously held patents dating from 1939 and 1942. This knife also had an imprint on the blade: "You can rely on Certified". It was especially appropriate that Scott obtained this knife as he is also a promotional advertising guru extraordinaire.

Scott surprised me by actually giving me the knife! Knowing my love of magic and puzzles, he wanted me to have it. Thanks Scott - much appreciated.

When Tom arrived, I offered him $5 if he could open the knife. Tom had to borrow Scott's "cheaters" so he could even see the knife, and as he was examining it, I set forth the conditions. Five minute time limit, he had to open it by the method intended (not use pliers, or other tools to pry the blade loose), and he could not destroy the knife in the process (he had threatened to run it over with his truck). Tom tried and tried, but was unable to open it in the time limit allotted. Phew! I only had a single dollar bill on me, and I don't think Tom would have accepted a check.

Speaking of bets, Joe and I made a bet. A political bet. I mentioned that the main broadcast networks were only barely covering the RNC this coming week. I think each network was only going to be broadcasting live from the convention one hour per day in primetime. The reasoning was that modern political conventions, for both parties, were nothing more than five day long infomercials and nothing really newsworthy occurred. Joe agreed, but commented that they would be all over the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. I disagreed, saying that they would cover it in the same minimal amount as the RNC. We bet a cigar. Can't wait to enjoy my victory cigar!

Joe is planning a trip soon to visit family in Erie, PA, and I recommended he take a couple hours and visit Letchworth State Park in western NY. It's provided the inspiration behind my novel-in-progress (read about it here) and has supplied me with numerous photo-taking opportunities over the years. In fact, we're planning a trip to the area in the fall, perfectly timed for the leaves changing. Something I haven't experienced in a long time living in Florida.

BTW, congratulations to Lou for officially becoming an old fart. He turned 85 years old on Saturday. And a huge congratulations to both Lou and Dotty for celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary this coming week.



  1. Happy Birhday Lou, and Happy 53rd to you and Dotty...


  2. Say happy birthday and belated happy anniversary to Lou and Dottie.