It's been a little over a year since my dad passed, and I was looking at his old knife hanging on the wall of the gun room the other night. That knife has been around since I can remember, even had my backside tenderized once or twice for touching it without permission by the time I was five.
It's nothing really special, just a Western Knife Company bowie-style hunting knife with a stacked leather handle and a leather sheath... both of which are showing wear and age. The blade is now dirty and dull after spending the last few years of my Pa's life opening envelopes, packages, cleaning the bottoms of his shoes, and whatever else old retired knives do when they're not stored away or lost.
I thought about restoring it, but each mark and scratch, the torn leather sheath are part of it's character. It's not an expensive knife, but it's worth a lot to me and works far better than a scrapbook for remembering my past. You can see marks and dents on the end of the handle where it was used to pound tent stakes while camping in the summer or at Boy Scouts. No... polishing up this knife and replacing the stacked leather handle just won't do... you can't cover up it's life with my dad.
My first knife was a little, cheap pocket-folder from the local hardware store that I promptly lost a week or two after getting it at the age of seven or so. It later turned up in a load of laundry resulting in another tenderized backside. I still have the Sabre camping knife I was given for daily chores, camping, carving, and opening cans. I used to hang it on the metal clip attached to those camper shorts and pants we wore as kids before all the new cargo pants and tactical clothing became all the rage.
One of my favorite knives was purchased with some birthday money and earnings from farming when I was fifteen... a Buck 110 Folding Hunter with finger grooves. The knife rode shotgun with me every day in it's leather belt sheath for better than fifteen years. It loves to go hunting, holds a great edge and can make short work of field dressing a deer. I still carry it while hunting and on other occasions. Heck, it even went on my first date with a hot redhead who later became my wife. We've been together now for over thirty years... the Buck and me... the wife and I are getting close to twenty-five years.
These days I can usually be found carrying three knives... a little Leatherman Style multi-tool on my key-chain, a MiniBuck in my pocket that has been carried so many years that the texture and "Buck" are nearly worn smooth from moving around in my front pocket, and clip knife in my right front pocket.
My current clip knife is a Buck Bones with a tanto-style blade. This knife was much less expensive than my Benchmade Griptilian which went AWOL last year. So far, the Buck Bones has held it's edge well, flips and locks open easily, and I really like the tanto-style blade for an everyday carry knife. We'll see how it holds out as clip knives and I seem to have short relationships. Yeah, I know I'm partial to Buck Knives, but they're American-made and owned by a Christian family who still drop John 3:16 into the instruction sheet shipped with each knife.
The old Buck 110 Folding Hunter isn't tacticool enough these days for a lot of folks, but he and I have been through a lot together... we're both showing some wear and have a few marks we've aquired climbing up the learning curve of life, but it's still my favorite knife.
Someday, maybe my daughter will thinking about me when she looks at that old Buck knife, just... Lookin' back on a life and a knife...
So what's your favorite knife in life so far?