All but the last 17 miles of my drive to the Chicago Pen Show were a breeze. I'd done a bit of work at the office before taking off shortly before noon, then stopped to have a leisurely lunch with Janet on the way through Columbus. It was sunny and 80 degrees, and I hummed along with a Gotye CD as I cruised across western Ohio and through Indiana.
But things got ominous as I neared the end of I-65. I was driving the wife's car because it has GPS, and the nice lady was telling me in a soothing voice to turn right when I didn't think it was a very good idea.
Turns out I was right . . . I was exiting onto 15th Avenue in Gary, Indiana, and as I was leaving the highway -- with no way to reenter -- I saw the exit for I-90 just a couple hundred yards away. It might as well have been a million miles away.
I had quite the one-sided discussion with the GPS lady as she calmly recalculated my route, sending me down a Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway that didn't look like it had been mowed yet this year, and through a war zone of a neighborhood where mine was the newest car by a decade and three out of four houses had plywood for windows. I finally decided to quit yelling and listen to her, since she was the only chance I had of getting out of Gary, Indiana alive. I have never been so happy to see an Interstate sign in my life.
Turns out my little detour did bypass the tollbooth to get onto I-90 and saved me 60 cents, but I can tell you with confidence: they could charge 60 dollars to avoid that little jaunt and I'd still pay it!
Anyway, just as I was beginning to relax again, I hit two obstacles: Chicago traffic and a gullywasher of a rainstorm. I was becoming irritated with GPS lady again, as she calmly told me to "proceed on the current road" when I was at a dead stop in the pouring rain. But hey, I thought to myself, things could be worse: I could be in Gary, Indiana!
I arrived at the Westin O'hare and was in my room at around 8 o'clock. Trading for the day was over, but Judd Perlson's pizza party was just getting started, so the day was by no means a total loss! After a bit of socializing and unwinding, Michael Little and I decided we should go through each other's stuff and do our swapping that evening.
He pulled a bunch of stuff out of my boxes, and I pulled a bunch from his. We compared piles and decided that we were both happy. Among the things I got from him were these:
All three are advertising pieces, probably from the late 1940s or early 1950s, bearing the name "Lyncraft," and they have a very distinctive clip:
So distinctive, in fact, that they reminded me of something else:
There is no way the similarities to the logo for George Kraker's "Pencraft" logo are a coincidence. Someone either bought the rights to the logo or blatantly copied it. Although I'm at a dead end on this for now, I found another clue, from another pencil I acquired from Mike in that same swap:
Same size, same clip, but this one has a twist:
The lettering is so heavily stylized that I'm having a hard time making it out. It appears to read "Esandar" or maybe "E Sandar?"