Day Two: Friday
Friday I got up, not singing the Hot Cheetohs song. You can’t really sing that song every morning.
I went in to the shop and started gathering the things I’d need to serve coffee to the peoples of the Pen Show, who generally speaking like coffee quite a bit, and are glad that I’m there coffeeing. I tried to remember everything but didn’t stress too much about it, because I do this stuff all the time.
I got to the show around late morning o’clock, and saw my Pen Club Friends Henry, Calvin, Brandon, Elizabeth, and others engaged in massive mayhem already. I loaded in my coffee gear and started up a brew!
This was when I really started hanging out with my 2 tiny friends, A. and E. Smith. They would say to Dan or Kisha, “Take me to Tim.”
So I spent a lot of time at the show with these kids, who I have to say are top-notch, well behaved and hilarious.
Friday afternoon, we prowled the show, me holding airpots of coffee and the kids holding the cups. We poured coffee for anybody who wanted some, and made the rounds til we ran out. It was a highlight for me to see the looks on people’s faces seeing those cute kids, then getting a cup of hot delicious coffee. Folks really appreciated it, especially since the coffee stuff really wasn’t supposed to start til Saturday.
At some point I went over to Mario Campa’s table, cause I needed a 24-pen Girologio case in Bomber Brown. Mario didn’t have one, so I ordered one and bought a 12-pen version. I had a lot of pens rattling around my bag in 1 or 2-pen pouches and it was time to put a stop to that.
Around 2 something I went to get Charlotte from school, and we headed back to the pen show. We walked around and said hey to lots of our pen friends at tables, many of whom have known Char since she was 2 years old. I was able to find Ralph over near Mario’s table and pick up the Crossflex. Boom! That was the big pickup for the day. For the show, really. Only question was what pen to put the nib in….
Around 5something pm it was time to take Charlotte to her swimming lesson. I believe it’s cruel to make kids get in a pool (indoors or out) when the temperature drops below 85 degrees. Fortunately my children do not share this opinion and are happy to swim laps for over an hour no matter how awful it is outside.
Char and I stopped at DiBellas for sandwiches on our way to swimtown. We like those sandwiches. The folks there were very nice, and the guy who made our sandwiches said to me “This may sound strange, but I feel like I have to tell you that you’re probably a really good father.” That was really unexpected and nice.
I dropped Char off at the pool and hopped on the freeway to get my butt to Blue Ginger for dinner with the Smiths, Laura from Chicago, and Jim Dabir, our Canadian Pen Friend.
I got there first and sat at the bar with an Asahi and set to putting that Ralph Crossflex in a pen!
I chose my Franklin Christoph 20, the first 20 I got. I picked it up at the Philly show years back, the first time they were available. I bought it from Jim Rouse, and it had housed the fine Masuyama Cursive Italic nib I’d bought it with ever since.
Apparently this was a mistake, cause I failed to thread the nib housing into the section properly and it got stuck. It didn’t go all the way in and I couldn’t cap the pen (well, not without mashing the tip of the Crossflex, and I’m not THAT clumsy.) I tried to remove the thing, but the nib and feed just spun around in the housing. Shit.
I pulled the nib and feed out and put them back in the box with the Masuyama. I feel like they had a good time in there together.
I drank my beer and tried to figure out how I’d get this housing out. I would try a couple things, but I wasn’t in a rush. In the meantime the others arrived for dinner and we sat down.
I used a chopstick, having whittled it down to fit inside the nib housing, and tried to get a grasp on it to turn it out of the section. No soap. I tried to see if I could get a grasp on the housing using the blade of my pocketknife, but only a couple times.
I didn’t have the proper tool, and it would be a tragedy to break this thing, so I put the knife away, and opted to wait. We were at a pen show for goshsakes, there was somebody at the hotel who could get that thing out in a jiffy if I could just refrain from ruining it first.
That’s when I knocked the pen off the freaking table. I’d posted the cap on the butt end of the pen so as not to lose it, and of course when it hit the ground it landed cap first.
Now the section was clogged with misaligned feed housing, and the cap was stuck permanently to the wrong end of the pen. I couldn’t get it off. Dangit! After a while I was able to wriggle it loose. After that I put the pen away.
We ate dinner, which was DELICIOUS. I couldn’t finish mine. I think it may have been because I’d eaten half of my DiBella’s sandwich beforehand. Whoops.
After dinner we headed back to the show. It was maybe 8PM. Walking back into the hotel, I saw Richard Greenwald sitting outside having a cigar, alone.
I went inside and rattled around a little bit. After a while (what did I do? I don’t remember. Probably talked to somebody.) I went back outside to have a cigar and some whiskey with the Black Pen Society. That was a treat. Most of those guys are retired, and there are just tons of stories, so I mostly sit, smoke, drink scotch and keep my mouth shut. I think I hung out until 10PM or so. The weather was nice– fine in a jacket. The last few years we froze our butts off trying to smoke a cigar, so this was truly a treat.
I took my cigar breath home and went to bed.