The Tale of Three Knives

I collected quite a few pocket knives over the years. My Grampa Mayfield also was a knife hoarder. His were all pretty much worn out. Mine were all good knives and I enjoyed using them for the time I had them. But, my divorce saw me needing to come up with some funds, so I sold almost all of my pocket knives. I don’t regret getting rid of them.

Pocket knives are simply tools. Sometimes you need to do something like cut some string or at times you might be called upon to castrate calves, lambs or pigs. Or you might need to pry a steeple out of a rotting fence post or cut something that is in your way. It makes no rational sense to become attached to a tool. I learned a lot about using a pocket knife from my Grampa Cecil Shannon.

But, I have 3 knives I will never sell. Please indulge me a trip down my memory lane.

Here are my 3 important knives. All are connected to Grampa Shannon.

I saved and saved to buy this knife for my Grampa when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I think I bought it at a hardware store in La Veta. I gave it to him for Christmas. It shows the evidence of use by a rancher.
Grampa surprised me with a smaller version of his Stockman Old Timer on that same Christmas. I carried that knife from that point every day. Yes, that was back in the day that no one checked for knives at school back in that day and I remember teachers asking to borrow it for various reasons.

Grampa passed away during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school.

I went to the New Mexico State Fair during the fall of my senior year of high school to help a local rancher show cattle. While there, I spied this Uncle Henry Schrade pocket knife and I think I paid maybe $15 for it. I remember thinking that Grampa would have liked it.

It will always be a part of my “knife life”. I’ve sharpened it many times over the past 40 years. It has served to castrate calves and pigs, earmarked calves and has cut countless pieces of string and cut up many boxes.

It will always find a place in my pocket.


2 thoughts on “The Tale of Three Knives

  1. My dad always carried a penknife, though by the time I came along it was mainly used for sedate purposes such as reaming out the crusty tobacco from his pipe and cutting string. I think it’s sad that most English men don’t carry a penknife any more. I started carrying a multitool when I cycled regularly and carry on even though I no longer have a bicycle. It serves many purposes, yet people look at me with a wary eye and suggest I’m carrying a weapon whenever I produce it. I also have a little silver and mother of pearl lady’s penknife which belonged to my grandma.

    • I left a job once when I realized I wasn’t carrying a pocket knife when I was wearing suit and tie.

      Now I carry a knife every day and I don’t think I own a tie anymore!

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