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Celebrating three years in publication. Thank you for visiting often!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For the love of pens

Some of my possessions have become touchstones that guide and sometimes even mirror me. Take pens, for example. My collection is reasonably large—mostly contemporary—and I’ve amassed it over a period of 20 years or so. I remember when and where I was when I became the owner of just about every one, and this has created a very personal and tangible timeline of sorts wherein I can chart my changing tastes, budget, interests and even my own personal growth (or lack of, in some cases). In viewing my pens this way, I can even spot some of the synchronicity in my life: a certain pen led me to a certain person (or place) who had some impact on me. I contemplated all this while at the recent Chicago Pen Show…

On Friday afternoon of the three-day show, there was a memorial service for Chicago pen collector and Renaissance man Mike Fultz. I think Mike led many of us to pens whether we even knew it or not. He was a somewhat shy and reserved Everyman, and if he could quote year, model and make of just about any pen you put before him, he made me think that perhaps I could, too. My life is better having known him, and pens are what paved the way. On Saturday, I attended a wedding—also at the pen show—officiated by Joel Hamilton. The nuptials of Lisa Hanes and Brian Anderson were held in the same room where they first met at the Westin O’Hare several years ago. It was their love of Esterbrook pens that first brought them together, and pens as a shared interest will undoubtedly play a part in their future. It was a small and heartfelt ceremony with many members of their families—as well as lots of collectors—in attendance. The cake was good, too. On Sunday, the only day the show was open to the public, I had a wonderful time re-connecting with subscribers and pen makers and being grateful for this work. And I even acquired a few more pens, their provenance now firmly locked in my psyche. The world keeps spinning, but I guess if you follow what you love, it more often than not illuminates the way.


  1. On Sunday, the only day the show was open to the public,

    Wow I did not realize that there is only one public day for that show.

  2. Public was allowed in on Saturday, but for a hefty entrance fee of $25. Don Lavin announced that next year this will change, in effect making it a two-day public show.