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A Jack Knife

Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
2,773
A bit of a story, here…

At age 12, I joined the Boy Scouts, and ASAP, went to the BSA department at a major store in town to stock up on Scout stuff. When I came to look for a knife, there were two to compare, both with the same construction and tools, the only exception being that one was decorated with a Scout insignia, the other not, but it was @ $2 cheaper. Well, you know “A Scout is thrifty,” so without hesitation, I chose the Kamp King instead.

That was my one pocket knife for the next 25+ years, during which time I did everything required in a scout-type knife; opening cans, notching tent stakes, cutting food, playing stretch and so forth. Later, it accompanied me to college, the Army, grownup camping trips and etc. where it It got pretty uglified, but always remained functional. The last I ever saw of it was when saying goodbye to a girl I thought I would never see again, I impulsively gave it to her as a keepsake.

(Footnote: many years later, I did see her again. Amidst the reminiscences, I asked her whatever became of the knife, and she replied that two weeks after I gave it to her, she “lost” it. Can’t say I blamed her.)

So anyway, years later and half a continent away, I was reminiscing about the knife, by then long replaced with various SAKs and others, to my friend Jack, who owned a record shop near a college campus. He seemed to have been barely noticing, if that, so I let the matter drop and went on to other topics. That may have been the one time I even thought about that knife, so there the matter rested, or so I thought.

Two years later, although I thought Jack hadn’t been listening, he presented me with the exact same model Kamp King knife I had described to him. He had come across it while hunting for antiques at a trade show, and was able to pick it up for $1.00. It was in near perfect condition. So he had been listening after all!

In any case, by this time, having been spoiled by the use of an equivalent SAK, instead of carrying it, I put into my small box of knifely treasures, where it resides to this very day.

I call it my Jack knife.

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Last edited:

paulhilborn

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
12,679
A bit of a story, here…

At age 12, I joined the Boy Scouts, and ASAP, went to the BSA department at a major store in town to stock up on Scout stuff. When I came to look for a knife, there were two to compare, both with the same construction and tools, the only exception being that one was decorated with a Scout insignia, the other not, but it was @ $2 cheaper. Well, you know “A Scout is thrifty,” so without hesitation, I chose the Kamp King instead.

That was my one pocket knife for the next 25+ years, during which time I did everything required in a scout-type knife; opening cans, notching tent skis, cutting food, playing stretch and so forth. Later, it accompanied me to college, the Army, grownup camping trips and etc. where it It got pretty uglified, but always remained functional. The last I ever saw of it was when saying goodbye to a girl I thought I would never see again, I impulsively gave it to her as a keepsake.

(Footnote: many years later, I did see her again. Amidst the reminiscences, I asked her whatever became of the knife, and she replied that two weeks after I gave it to her, she “lost” it. Can’t say I blamed her.)

So anyway, years later and half a continent away, I was reminiscing about the knife, by then long replaced with various SAKs and others, to my friend Jack, who owned a record shop near a college campus. He seemed to have been barely noticing, if that, so I let the matter drop and went on to other topics. That may have been the one time I even thought about that knife, so there the matter rested, or so I thought.

Two years later, although I thought Jack hadn’t been listening, he presented me with the exact same model Kamp King knife I had described to him. He had come across it while hunting for antiques at a trade show, and was able to pick it up for $1.00. It was in near perfect condition. So he had been listening after all!

In any case, by this time, having been spoiled by the use of an equivalent SAK, instead of carrying it, I put into my small box of knifely treasures, where it resides to this very day.

I call it my Jack knife.
Cool story, I love hearing of such things, glad one just like yours is back in your possession:thumbsup: memories on top of memories right there:cool::cool::cool:
 

315

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Messages
3,431
That is a good story. It’s funny how some of us enjoy those nostalgic items and others couldn’t care less. I lost an Old Timer when I was in the Marines so I replaced it with a Victorinox small Tinker. I bought one just like it for my little brother, who wouldn’t have a clue what happened to it. He couldn’t care less, but I still wonder what happened to that Old Timer and that was over 30 years ago!!
 
Joined
Feb 18, 1999
Messages
5,907
Wonderful story! It’s amazing how, for some of us, seemingly simple items that seem unimportant (to most people) carry so many memories. I would be upset if I ever lost my older Vic Spartan, that was my only knife through the years I lived overseas and another several years after returning home. I bought that particular knife in 1981 at a hardware store having a Christmas sale for only $5. The price I paid has no bearing on the knife’s worth to me.

Jim
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
2,773
Great story and Jack is certainly a good friend to treasure. Thanks for sharing it with us :thumbsup:

Sadly, Jack passed away in 2017. He had been ill for a long time, connected to a pacemaker for heart troubles, but it didn't seem to have slowed him down. One of his great joys was coming to work in the mornings, where he spent his days answering mail and sending out packages to his customers. His evenings were for hobbies and other interests, including attending his friend and jazz band leader Vaughn Wiester's Monday night big band jazz concerts every week. Vaughn said Jack didn't look so well at his last concert, and on the following Tuesday, it was all over for our good friend. Jack died in harness, so to speak. We had our occasional squabbles, but overall, I liked and respected him, and miss him still.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
2,401
Keeping in mind what you had said in passing and translating that to a gift when he saw it at the show says a lot about the gentleman concerned. It's a nice knife! I can well imagine that you carried and used it for 25 years.
 
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
93
I had the tiger knife. Which was a seriously badly designed piece of gear. But I thought it was the bomb diggidy at the time.
 
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