Francis Meinhardt pulled me aside to show me an interesting set of Parker 21 pencils at the Triangle Pen Show in Raleigh:
These commemorate the astronauts of the Mercury Program, from 1961 to 1963. They are unusually heavy, given their sterling lower barrels. Each is engraved with the name of one of the astronauts:
Along with the date of their flight and number of orbits:
Of course, John Glenn was my obvious choice for these closeup shots. He was born in Cambridge, Ohio (home of the Hopalong Cassidy Museum and near Salt Fork State Park), and was raised in New Concord, halfway between Cambride and Zanesville, just 45 minutes or so east of here. After he retired from the space program, he became a U.S. Senator, a position he held for 24 years before retiring in 1999.