When I saw this one pop up in an online auction, I got really excited. So excited, in fact, that I called dibs. Even so excited that I called dibs when, by right, I shouldn’t have, because Joe Nemecek actively collects Parker Vest Pocket pencils and I don’t.
What was so special about this one?
This pencil’s in lavender moire! A Parker vest pocket in an unusual color is exciting enough - like Lee Anderson’s brown marbled one – but there are other marbled colors. If there’s any other Parker Vest Pockets out there in the pastel moire family of colors, let me know because we’ve never heard of one!
So I dibbed and put in a healthy bid, but then it sunk in that by all rights, it should be Joe bidding on this one and not me. So I call Joe and tried to undib. He wouldn’t hear of it.
Yes, he loved the color and had never seen anther like it. And there was no problem with the condition of this one, either:
But this pencil had something that Joe just didn’t like and, except on very rare occasions, he can’t live with. This pencil is personalized:
"Grand Commandery / Oklahoma 1931." I don’t mind personalization as much as Joe, particularly (as is the case here) when there’s a date included in any inscription. Besides, I couldn’t ever recall seeing a Parker Vest Pocket with any inscription on it, except maybe the occasional name or initials. But when it came right down to it, that was enough for Joe to decide I should chase after it rather than him.
However, Joe’s instructions to me were clear. First, I’d better win it. Second, and more importantly, he told me I’d better up my bid. I did both of those things, and only because I listened to Joe’s advice and bumped up my bid did I succeed, holding off a few last-minute snipes to bring it home.
Since then, I’ve done some research to find out what the inscription is all about. The Grand Commandery is the state organization that supervises local Knights Templar Comanderies, one of the higher orders within Freemasonry. I’m not sure what significance the color purple possesses to the Knights Templar ,if any. But I do believe that for whatever reason, the Oklahoma Grand Commandery had this pencil specially made in this color by Parker.
Joe’s slowly starting to change his tune a little bit now when it comes to personalizations on pencils. If anything would do it, it would be a special order Parker with a Masonic inscription!