The Los Angeles International Pen Show convenes every February. Pen companies from around the world attend this popular show that features antiques, new old stock and brand new stock. My acquisition of fountain pens began many years ago while working at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. At that time I used pens, mostly dip pens, assembled with a nib pushed into a pen holder and a calligraphy model fountain pen made by Osmiroid® with an italic nib and a plastic body. Most of the time, it was a struggle to get ink to flow via either method dip or fountain pen.
At the time I worked in the office of the chief of staff, who was an avid fountain pen user and collector. He was surprised that I did not know about a company where he bought his fountain pens in New York City: Joon. It was not long after that conversation that I bought my first good fountain pen, a Waterman Laureat. At that time fountain pens were a rare find at any store let alone any local store. We lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to University of Michigan, so the likelihood of finding fountain pens was a bit higher there, in a university town. It was there that I bought my first decent fountain pen, a model (Baragi) that I can no longer find and one of the original two I still have in my collection.
Since that time, the sale of fountain pens has escalated, and the entire industry has blossomed into a collector’s garden of Eden. And, of course, the Internet has put purchasing pretty much any kind of product or service at our fingertips. Although my computer, iPad, iPhone and other gizmos are part of my required daily routine, I still write letters and notes in pen and use multiple journals for a variety of projects. The tactile quality of ink flowing onto paper is irresistible to me.
After my rough night of discomfort, I almost agreed to stay home. But, with the show coming around only once a year, I knew I could not miss it. So, armed with pain medication and my walker/wheelchair, off we went for the afternoon, It turned out to be tiring and uncomfortable, of course, but so much fun. In the end, when it’s a toss-up decision, I figure it is much better to be out doing something fun than staying at home. Cancer’s annoyances happen either way, and, as long as I have a choice, I’d much prefer to be out doing something I enjoy than staying at home.
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© 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.