We’re supposed to post our pen show pickups, so here are mine from last weekend’s Chicago Pen Show.
Seeing it all splayed out there is daunting. But magnificent. It takes a truck.
What did I buy? Two pens. One new, which is my first Franklin-Christoph. And one vintage, which is my second PFM I. Both pens are blue, which is my favorite color. I also bought five bottles of Papier Plume inks (my first). Three bottles of KWZ Chicago Blue. My first bottle of Robert Oster — Tranquility, recommended by blog readers. And a really cool notebook called the Zequenz roll up journal.
In terms of gifts, Papier Plume threw in a stick of gold sealing wax, with which I intend to seal my many important proclamations, like “don’t put empty boxes back in the pantry.”
A friend gave me that empty Akkerman bottle. Someone else gave me a leather case (already in use). And I got a pin for a cool fountain pen blog, Of Quill Alchemy, from three amazingly talented students at the University of Chicago who run it.
The best present isn’t up there. It was finally meeting my dear friend Lou. We’ve known each other for years through fountain pens, but only via emails and letters, because we live so far away. Lou was in the area with his wife and brother for a family event, so they hung out with me on Thursday, the show’s first day.
That Thursday also happened to be my birthday. Now, of course turning 29 (once again) doesn’t phase me. I’ve gotten blasé about that, it happens so often. But finally meeting Lou and his family made for the best birthday ever.
Lou made and gave me that gorgeous pen wrap. He knows me, however, so he handed it to me with the caution, “be careful.” The closure is opal. Which … okay, I’m fairly sure I’ll be googling “opal glue” before I turn 29 next year.
Inside, Lou stuck a few bookmarks, to remind me of some very important things. The last was, “remember to write me every once in a while.” He said that with a smile, because we’re both terrible at that. Not that it matters. Friends stay in each other’s hearts.
Along those lines, people in the US fountain pen community know that right after the pen show we unexpectedly lost Susan Wirth, a pen show mainstay and a great personality.
We always assume there will be a next time. But of course that’s not always true. So I’m going to try to remember to take more time for myself and other people. Rush around less, hang around more.