I come from a long line of “pocket knife always in the pocket” men on my paternal side. Come to think of it, my maternal side also. I can remember Christmas struggling with that hard-to-get open packaging on a gift. It was like gunslingers in the Old West with my father and grandfather quickly reaching into their pocket, pulling out their pocketknives, opening them up and saying, I got it!
I am not sure I ever remember a time that my father did not have a pocketknife in his pocket. He would clean under his nails with it, open envelopes, and cut apple slices. When I was little, he smoked a pipe, and he would use the knife to clean out the bowl of the pipe before refilling it. Tangent, he also had this very large rough green-blue stone ash tray. It was probably seven inches by four inches and about two inches deep. It was made the prettiest rough stone, almost geode- like and I remember thinking how sad it was covered in ash. And heavy, that ashtray totally could have been used as a weapon in a game of Clue.
Anyway, back to pocket knives. One trip when my son when to stay a few days with my dad, my dad taught him to whittle. As a mother might do, I felt he was WAY too young to be hanging out with a sharp blade, but my father taught him how to care for the blade and how to properly and carefully open the blade. While the whittling was basic (taking a small stick and making smaller and with a point), it became something they did together and made a cool memory.
I do wonder what happened to my father’s pocket knife upon his passing. I know he had a few, as he was never without one. I am happy the habit of “pocket knife always in the pocket” is carried on with my husband and kid.