In the wee hours of the morning, last Friday, Rob crawled out of bed and headed out to the Kershaw Knife sale. He picked up his friend, Russ,on the way, and our nephew, Steven, joined him there. It was pouring rain, cold, and dark. Rob wisely took an awning with him, put it up, and joined the throng waiting in a long, long line. Soon after arriving, he found a group of friends who had been there since 11 the previous night. They gratefully crawled under the awning as well, out of the rain, and all proceed to wait until 9 a.m., when the sale opened. Some went for coffee. Others took turns sleeping a while in the van. Pretty soon, a family member of the group of friends showed up with a stove and some sausages and proceeded to cook up some breakfast for the whole group under the awning. Lots of stories were swapped, and Rob said they had a great time catching up.
Once they got inside, it was worth every bit of inconvenience.
There were tables and tables of knives for sale. Rob, Russ, Steven and all of the other guys (and a few girls) were able to shop for knives to their hearts’ content. After Rob got home, he collapsed into bed for a well-deserved nap. Soon, there will be new knives popping up on the Uncle Rob’s e-bay store.
For years, even before Rob had an E-bay store, he has been going to the Kershaw Knife sale. It has become a fun tradition for him and some of the boys and men he knows. He would take our girls, but they don’t see it as being quite as fun as he and our nephew do! Ja’Ana went once, and says she would go again “some day.” One memorable year, the older 4H boys were helping Rob get some projects ready for a 4H club meeting. He invited any who wanted to go to the knife sale to come to the sale, and then come out to the house to make up kits for an upcoming club meeting.
After picking up a van-load around 3 in the morning, they headed out to the sale. After the customary waiting around, drinking coffee, visiting, etc., they were allowed their turn into the sale. The first thing one of the boys did was cut themselves pretty good. Luckily, the Kershaw people have bandages, and first-aid supplies handy under every counter. So, they fixed him up.
Once the group got back to the house, they went out to the shop to make the project kits. Pretty soon, one of our girls came running into the house for not only first-aid supplies, but a bottle of cleaner and rags. She was distressed because there was “so much blood all over.” Of course, my mind immediately jumped to “bad shop-type accident”and I tore out there, but it wasn’t that at all. When I got out there, I found that my nephew had put his hand into his pocket to take out the new pocket-knife he had just purchased, but accidentally opened it in his pocket. The knife was so sharp that he cut himself badly while fishing it out! Rob had the situation totally under control, and fixed him up along with the other boys who has begun getting cuts at the sale and all the way home in the van as they tested out their new knives. I went back to fixing lunch.
Once the projects were mostly completed, they trooped in to eat. They make a cook feel good, let me tell you! I kidded them quite a bit about the number of Band-Aids adorning their fingers– multiple fingers in several cases, while I fed them lunch. I will point out that one boy only had one little knick, but that was the exception!
Late in the afternoon, we loaded them all into the van and started the journey to take them all home. We had no sooner settled into our seats when we heard the clicking sounds of knives opening in the seats behind us. I still remember vividly when Rob roared, “Shut those knives, NOW!” He had horrible visions of our van full of young men with even more cuts, since it was now dark outside. They quickly complied. Not even one argument.
At each house, Rob got out of the van and explained why he was returning the kids covered with cuts. Without fail, each parent said they were just actually surprised there weren’t more cuts! Finally, they were all dropped off, and we returned home. During the weeks that followed until Christmas, we all gently teased the boys about the cuts, especially Steven who had at least one on every finger.
On Christmas Eve, our traditional time of opening gifts, I opened up a package that held several brightly-colored, extremely nice kitchen knives Rob had purchased for me at the sale. I still have them, and absolutely love them. I do have to confess, though, that the first time I used one of them, I cut my finger pretty badly. In the end, when I told the boys, the joke ended up being on me. They were gracious, and didn’t tease me too much, though.
Those boys are young adults now. Steven, our nephew, is still in the area, through with college, and is a machinist. The other boys?– They’ve grown up to be in the Marines, are finishing their educations, and work at various jobs. We are so proud of those boys. They mean a lot to us. We feel privileged for the time we’ve been able to spend with them and many others over the years.