This is one of those things that I wish could talk. I got this in one of the most amazing collections I've ever come across. Nothing in this whole collection was post WWII. The man that owned it had passed away 20 years before and his wife was finally deciding to pass it on. It had some really rare Civil War pieces that I will post later, but this one...I'm pretty sure it was originally a trade knife from the Colonial Period and someone put a replacement grip on it many, many years ago made out of a large. It's about a foot long and the blade was never allowed to rust. The only way that could have happened would have been proper storage or continual use. For a knife this old...well, it just fascinates me. I wish there were some way to actually know what it was and who did what with it for probably the last 200 years.
|United States Military Mess Knife|
This is one of several of these I have. I didn't try to collect these. They are from WWII mess kits. The reason I have them is because my parents were seriously involved in Pathfinders when my older sisters were kids. For those of you not aware of what this is, its co-ed Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts that is part of Seventh-day Adventism. I had to go on all these "camp-outs" as they were referred to at a little bitty kid so, when it came time for me to join Pathfinders, I lasted about a week. My parents were long out of it, and I never quite figured out what it was for. Everybody had to dress in para-military uniforms and every Wednesday night we had a meeting that seemed mostly to center around learning marching drills. Even at 13, I remember thinking, "Isn't this kind of how the Hitler Youth movement got started?" I don't know if it was me, the times, the people in charge...it was just too weird for me. I had good memories of it when my parents did it and I just tagged along. I guess it was because my dad knew how to keep a bunch of unruly adolescents in line without scaring the crap out of them. He was the kind of guy who just commanded respect. But, by the time I got there...like I said, Hitler Youth Rallies. But I did end up with a lot of interesting WWII surplus stuff...5 gallon aluminum stock pots, mess kits, pup tents. Geeze, when I posted the picture of this mess knife I didn't realize how much Pathfinder baggage I had bottled up in me. I'm probably going to have to think about this now.
|Muela Commemorative Dagger|
OK, there are many elements to this one. When we were in Spain in 2004, we went to Toledo. Well, being a historian that concentrated a lot on the Spanish Conquest of America, the phrase "Toledo Steel" was bandied about quite a bit. A lot of the older historians used that as a big part of the explanation at to why Cortes, with 500 some "conquistadors" (in reality, most of them were out of work lawyers) were able to conquer the Aztecs. Anyway, I just always wanted a sword made out of Toldeo Steel. Well, this gaudy, silver encrusted dagger was the closest thing I could find. All the swords had "made in Pakistan" on them. So, since that was an actual Spanish made knife, I had to have it. The reason I bothered to mention when we were there is because the day before we were going to fly home, the United States invaded Iraq. This made the airport a thrill a minute. They pulled everyone going to the United States out of line and took us into a back room to make sure we weren't terrorists. OK...reasonable, I suppose. But, to be honest, if any racial profiling was going on, it was 180 degrees off. Realistically, I looked like the most likely of everybody to cause trouble. But, they went through Gail and Whitny's suitcases with the proverbial "fine-toothed comb" and confiscated all their shampoos and lotions, etc. Gail had a bunch of matchbooks from different Paradores we had stayed at. Of course, they were all confiscated. I could accept all this had I not had my own experience to compare it with. The woman who was assessing my potential connection to Bin Laden, Baader Meinhoff, Abu Sayyaf, the Zapatistas or whatever, asked me, in Spanish, what was in this box. Politely, in Spanish, I replied, "A knife"...she didn't bother to open it. My carry on bag was actually an old Colt range bag that was just the perfect size for this purpose. It was filled with matchbooks as well. They were left untouched. The one that really took me by surprise was that, being a range bag, that on occasion I had actually used as a range bag, I had a 9 mm cartridge stuck down in the bottom of one of the slit pockets that I had no idea was there. Of course, being the thorough security professional she was, she found it. I actually felt a bit of a lump in my throat as I saw her dig it out and hold it up to the light to inspect it. She actually kind of closed one eye as if to focus in on it, like Al qaeda engraved on the side of the casing. Then, without saying a word, she dropped it bag in the bag and I was done with my inspection. Very little surprises me any more.
|Another Muela Commemorative Knife|
This is another knife I picked up in Toledo. I bought this one first because after a couple of hours of looking at crap made out of "Pakistani Surgical Steel" (which translates into reality as "don't look at it too long, it will rust). I found this Muela, so I bought it because I didn't want to leave Toledo without a Spanish edged something. I found the dagger above later.
I wish I knew what this is. It's another knife that I picked up in an estate sale. You can tell from the wear on the handmade buckskin scabbard that it was worn on a belt...a lot. But the knife is weird. It has an aluminum eyelet and brass rivets in the handle. The rust pattern is one I've never seen and the blade looks like it was hot blued at some time. It actually just kind of looks like an old kitchen knife in a way. It's the aluminum that bothers me the most, because the blade actually appears to have been hand forged. Dunno...
SOME OF MY FIREARMS
This is going to be a long work in progress. But, I plan to eventually show examples and variations of all the firearms I have collected. Hi Standard .22 Target pistols and Colt 1911s are two that I have concentrated on the most. But, I have a little bit of almost everything.
This is a Hi Standard Trophy Slant grip Model 102 with an 8" barrel. These are the most difficult Hi Standards to find. They were referred to as "Space Guns" for obvious reasons. They were made in the late 50s and early 60s. One of the things I really like about Hi Standard autos is that the barrels are quite easily interchanged. Its a really interesting feature. This particular one has a Doctor red dot sight mounted on the barrel simply because when I got this, someone has removed the original sight and I am still looking for one.