Thursday, August 30, 2012

Like Bread and Butter

Pen shows and cigars go together. It’s a tough call even to decide which is more fun – the action in the show room or the time spent talking and catching up over a few cigars in whatever area the guys decide to light up their cigars. In fact, it’s so much of a tradition that even at the Ohio show, a dozen or so guys will be huddled outside in the November wind, sitting on metal chairs that your tongue would probably stick to (not that anyone has been triple dog-dared to do so), puffing away furiously over some good conversation and a nip of scotch.

It’s probably no coincidence that the quintessential junk box at a pen show is a cigar box. Any box could hold the junk, but we usually have an empty cigar box or two on hand when the time comes to clean house.
So when Janet and I stopped in Barnesville on our way to DC, it was no surprise that this non-pen, but definitely pen-related item caught my eye:

This Fuente Fuente Opus X box was once filled with Rare Special Reserve 1992 cigars. No, they weren’t made in 1992, but that’s when the seeds for the wrapper were planted. In the early 1990s, the Opus X was THE cigar to buy – if you could find them.

I still remember the only Opus X I ever splurged on – to celebrate finishing the bar exam (coincidentally, in 1992). At twenty five bucks a stick, it had to be a truly special event for a poor law student to indulge in one of these! And it was . . . soooooooo worth it . . .

And what made this box worth the $30 price tag, at least to me?

It still had two of them inside! Although they will go into my humidor for some reconditioning time, to undo the damage done by who-knows-how-long sitting in an antique mall, I’ll never smoke these!

However, since we were on our way to DC, my excitement over this find was quickly overshadowed. Of course, on arrival, Janet and I dumped our bags in the room and I made a beeline for "the pit," an area outside the hotel where all the cigar smokers congregate, where I ran into Joe Nemecek. Since we were puffing away together, Joe said that he had something to show me that he knew I’d appreciate.

Well, of course I would, I’m thinking. I can appreciate nearly everything Joe has to show off. But what I wasn’t expecting was an advertising poster, approximately a foot wide by two feet long, that fits in so perfectly with this story:

Looks like the connection between cigars and writing instruments is even more traditional than I’d thought! Although early Eversharp advertising material tended to be a little inaccurate in the details (the imprint on the pencil says simply "Eversharp"), the one word "Eversharp" (adopted in 1917-1918) and the shorter tip on the pencil (1917-1924) narrows the dates of production for this poster to within just a few years.

It was difficult to resist the temptation to beg, plead and whine about this one . . . Joe wanted to keep this piece and I respected that. But, after we did all of our other business for the weekend, when I arrived at my table on Sunday the poster was on my table, and now it’s hanging proudly in my mechanical pencil "museum." And I’ve got to admit, the advice on the poster is sound:

Says Janet, when I asked her to take this picture: "Seriously? You put that shirt on just for this? (click) OK, there’s your picture, now go hang that shirt back up. I just ironed it!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting.