The letters showed up within my dorm mailbox every Thursday. I’d unlock the small door, fish out my mail, and thumb with the letters.
Dad’s familiar, copperplate cursive always was out. He penned each letter together with his trusty Parker fountain pens. Nobody writes like Abraham Lincoln subsequently any longer.
Each letter contained news at home, Wall Street Journal clippings, and forty dollars in cash.
The cash frequently come to beer pubs and pizza joints. But individuals letters, within my father’s old-fashioned hands, found their distance to me. Each one of these reflected his ideas, advice, news, and first and foremost, love.
A factor of beauty
My romance with fountain pens traces to nights on my small father’s knee. Like a youthful boy, I loved watching my Father write on his lengthy, yellow, legal pads.
Father favored a thick, black Parker 21 fountain pen. Afterwards he switched to some handsome Waterman. His immaculate handwriting was its very own talent. A factor of beauty. How that lovely cursive originated from such beefy hands I’ll don’t know.
Father was created in 1921 and also the schools in those days still trained the art work of handwriting. One’s penmanship was once important. It reflected education, refinement, focus on detail and private expression.
Regrettably, communication today has devolved to keyboard acronyms, smartphone texts and email. Forget about perfumed letters from female friends. Forget about handwritten cards from grandma and grandpa. It’s simpler to transmit the children mothering sunday email and gift credits for Amazon . com.
Okay, you may still find many people writing letters. The postal service hasn’t gone belly up at this time. But letters are becoming a lot more like typewriters. Quaint vestiges of history.
Maybe that is why I still love fountain pens a lot. As well as fine stationery, leather folios, journals as well as melted, sealing wax. There’s something so superbly analog, artful and stylish about this all.
Handwritten notes to individuals
My Father bought me my first fountain pen right before I finished senior high school. It had been an attractive Parker, by having an internal bladder to refill a lot of it from your ink bottle.
That Parker fountain pen supported me through my college years. Many a phrase paper and blue book were finished with that pen. On top of that, it had been like a bit of Father was always beside me.
After I grew to become a officer, I needed to make use of a ballpoint pen for patrol work. Fountain pens were impractical for that triplicate traffic citations we used. My fountain pens were relegated to non-public letters and book notes in your own home.
Many years along with a couple of promotions later, I grew to become a Lieutenant. It was an administration position. I needed to put on a suit, attend conferences and immerse myself in administrative work. Happily, I could employ my fountain pens again.
I attempted to create a number of my work correspondence having a fountain pen, however the police chief at that time explained it had been unprofessional, and to utilize a typewriter.
A couple of years later, I had been hired as Chief of Police, and it was fortunate with an executive assistant. For official correspondence, she and that i would send type written documents and letters. However, I began using my fountain pens increasingly more, to craft handwritten notes to individuals.
I enjoyed writing personal letters as a result of citizen queries. I additionally sent notes of condolence to community people who lost family members. I sent out letters of congratulations to police professionals yet others within our county who received awards or promotions.
Much to my delight, the handwritten notes were very popular and well accepted. People appreciated the novelty and thoughtfulness of having an individual, handwritten letter. Also, it didn’t hurt which i inherited my Dad’s flair for beautiful handwriting.
Old things stick out
I loved to gather fountain pens, in addition to a couple of quality leather goods in my professional work. I made use of an attractive, Saddleback leather briefcase and folio for those my documents. Every day, I’d chose which fountain pen I needed to make use of.
People frequently commented on my small fountain pens, leather satchel and related products. Another police leaders and staff at county conferences all huddled around their tablets and laptops. They appeared to compete for who’d the most recentOrfinest devices. Aside from me. I had been pleased with my fountain pens and leather notebooks.
Old things stick out. Particularly when they’re of top quality and performance. Yes, I’d an iPad within my leather satchel, and often it had been helpful for delivering off documents and quick notes to my assistant. But more often than not, I could take notes faster with my fountain pen.
Colleagues, fellow police leaders as well as their staff frequently commented on my small beautiful taking notes. “There’s something don’t see anymore…a fountain pen and nice penmanship,” a Sheriff’s deputy once stated in my experience inside a meeting.
My fine pens, leather notebooks and paper afforded me the opportunity to enjoy a little bit of art and magnificence within my professional work. Anybody that has discovered the charms of calligraphy will understand.
The design of an excellent fountain pen, because the delicate nib tines glide ink across a webpage, is pure pleasure. When you become hooked, you be aware of various fountain pens as well as their performance. As well as the subtleties of quality inks.
Lately my 20 years old boy discovered that old Underwood, Luxurious, portable typewriter within my office study. It’s on loan from my mother in law.
Intrigued, my boy started plinking away around the typewriter. He emerged later having a typewritten page, a smile on his face, and also the remark, “That factor is awesome. I love the actual way it feels and sounds after i type.”
As mentioned above, old things stick out. There’s a charm, elegance and straightforward utility towards the devices of history.
I’m comfortable inside a suit, if it is okay
Think about the wonderful movie “The Intern,” looking Robert De Niro and Hathaway As Catwoman. De Niro plays a 70 years old widower named Ben Whittaker who will get selected to have an internship inside a modern, launch company founded by Jules Ostin (Hathaway As Catwoman.)
Ben sticks out all the millennials while he turns up every day inside a suit, carries a stylish old briefcase, and conducts themself with dignity and elegance. He asks why nobody “tucks anything in any longer?”
Simply because something or someone now has wrinkles, doesn’t mean there’s no value.
In a single scene, Jules and Ben possess the following conversation:
Jules: Don’t seem like you need to liven up.
Ben: I’m comfortable inside a suit if it is okay.
Ben: A minimum of I’ll stick out.
What about you? Would you stick out? The way you dress and also the tools you utilize create a statement about what you are. The same is true what you do, and just how you treat others. They might not tell the entire story in regards to you, however they leave clues.
The fun of process
Being an artist, I appreciate individuals who bring some flair into this existence. I admire individuals who take time to put themselves together. I applaud those who are not scared to make use of old tools, like fountain pens. Not because they would like to impress people, speculate it’s vital that you them. It brings them pleasure.
We sometimes get so finished up about outcomes that people overlook the joys of process.
As Chief of Police, it could have been much more efficient to dictate letters or send them an email to my assistant. However for me, inking an individual letter with my Pelikan M1000 fountain pen was pure pleasure. The procedure mattered in my experience, and you know what? It affected the end result too. Because individuals loved receiving personal notes.
I still take out different pens, load all of them with ink, and craft my letters and correspondence. Yesterday, I’d out my Dad’s old Waterman. It’s a temperamental pen. The tines scratch a little in writing.
But here’s the offer. The old Waterman fountain pen is a touch bit of my Father, who I lost in 2004. After I hold it within my hands, I imagine my Father writing my college letters by using it.
It’s a classic fountain pen. It’s some background and miles onto it. It leaks, it’s analog, and that i like it.
Modernity and also the digital age could keep marching forward. But simply like Ben Whittaker within the movie The Intern, there’s no problem with keeping a couple of old things.
When they offered us well previously, they simply might serve us now.
Prior to going
I’m John P. Weiss. Fine artist and author. Jump on my free list here for that latest artwork and writing. No junk e-mail, privacy respected.