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Dad's sandwich.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by jackknife, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    It was a crisp late autumn day and most the leaves had already fallen from the trees. A slightly chill breeze blew down through the woods, making a slight rushing noise through the tree limbs. Dad and I were tailing a plinking walk, making our way along shooting at targets of opportunity. We’d stopped at a pine tree with a good number pine cones hanging. Dad had his every present old Colt Woodsman, a trim little pre-war model with the skinny pencil barrel. I had his old Winchester 69 that he’d finally bequeathed me. To me, it was as good as Danial Boone’s flintlock or John Wayne’s big loop Winchester 73. A treasure.

    Dad always let me shoot first, and if I missed he’d try with his old Woodman, and to my shame he cleaned up after me on regular basis. At age 13 I still had some things to learn. I think him and that Colt was an inspiration for me to concentrate harder. After a while there was but one single pine cone hanging from a low laying limb. I tried and missed, so dad shot. He missed. I shot again and missed, and then dad missed again. He didn’t miss very often, and I figured that pine cone was one lucky cone. Then dad held out his hand.

    "Give me that rifle, son.” He said, and I handed over the 69.

    Dad turned party to the right and put the gun up to his shoulder, and slid his left hand back on the for stock until his hand was almost right under the magazine. Then with his left elbow firmly into his left rib cage, he breathed a few times, then relaxed until he was a statue frozen in time. It seemed like forever until that rife gave off that familiar light crack, and the pine cone shattered into pieces. He handed the rifle back to me.

    “I think it’s time for lunch, boyo.” He said to me.

    It was curious that even though he came to American when he was 5 years old, maybe having a mother and father and two older brothers that had a brogue you could spread with a garden trowel, had him still with a bit of an Irish accent and use of the old country slang.

    We found a downed tree to sit on and serve as out table and dad set about making our lunch. Another personality quirk of his was, he hated pre made sandwiches. Dad would rather pack along the makings and make the sandwich on site when he was hungry. Said it tasted better. But most of all, loved watching dad work with his little pocket knife. I don’t know if any thoracic surgeon was more careful with a scalpel than dad with his little case peanut that was part of him.

    He’d brought along a length of French Baggette for the sandwich holding duty. Carefully, he cut the length of the slim loaf and laid it on the log. Then he delt with the filling. A hard dry Spanish sausage called a Supressa or something like that, was the victim. I watched in fascination as the thin blade of that old peanut cut slices so thin you could almost see through them. They were placed on the bread in an over lapping pattern and looked like a work of art from some culinary magazine. Then came some tomato and mustard squeezed from a small bottle. He handed me my half of the woods made sub sandwich and we ate in companionable quiet. Dad wasn’t the most talkative man in the world.

    Finally I asked him why he used a pistol when the rifle was so much more accurate. He chewed for a while and when he was ready gave his answer. It always took dad a while to answer, like he was thinking carefully how to say something while using the fewest number of words. But sometimes, he surprised me with a wordy answer and a philosophy.

    “Well lad, the pistol is easier to carry, will do most times for what needs to be shot, but most of all, the handicap makes me concentrate more.” He told me. “It makes me think about what I’m doing more, and I know I have to be more careful about what I’m doing. And thinking is an important thing to do, no matter what you’re about.”

    “Like your little pocket knife?” I asked him.

    “Aye lad, like that. It’s too easy to go through life with things too easy. Too many people rush along not really thinking what thay’re about, not really noticing things they need to notice. Like using hand tools instead of a power tool that is so fast you don’t really appreciate what you’re doing. Sometimes it’s nice to just slow down and take a look at where you’re going. Go too fast through life and you miss things. Like driving too fast through nice countryside.”

    That was a long speech for dad, and I thought about it as I chewed through the next bite of sandwich. As I ate dad took the small thermos out from his bag and poured some of the tea from home iinto the tin cups. I took a swig and tasted the bite of some whiskey in it. I questioned him about it.

    “Ah, a wee bit of a dram will do no harm and it’s a chilly day. A bit of the old country will do ya some good now and then.” Dad had a taste now and then for Old Bushmills Irish whiskey.

    We finished our sandwiches and sipped our whiskey bolstered tea and listened to the wind in the trees. Dad picked up his little peanut and carefully stropped the blade on his boot top with slow careful strokes. I knew that if I felt that edge, it would have that fingerprint grabbing sharpness to it. That thin blade seems to be easy to keep razor sharp. He set great store by that little knife and always handled it with care. Like his Colt .22, it was well worn but with a nice well cared for look that the years had graced it. That Colt Woodsman and Case peanut sort of defined him, and his minimalist habits. The man was always a lesson of some sort if I took the time to study him and keep my ears open. And pay attention.
  2. street soldier

    street soldier Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Thanks, Carl. I needed this one today.

  3. Ratbert

    Ratbert Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    A good tale with some good lessons. :)
  4. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    There's a lot of wisdom in what your father said that day. Too many people are in too much of a rush these days and don't really see the world around them.
  5. chuko

    chuko Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Thank you!
  6. RobbW

    RobbW Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Thanks for the great story, and life lessons, as always. Much appreciated. Would like to have had him as a dad....
  7. glennbad

    glennbad Knife Moddin' Fool Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 13, 2003
    Thanks Carl, this one made me think of my dad.
  8. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    This made me think about hiking along the stream near my house growing up with my dad, thanks!
  9. TrapperMike

    TrapperMike Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 23, 2016
    Thanks Carl. Another great story. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.
  10. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    A great read! Thank you for sharing sir.
  11. Halfneck

    Halfneck Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Been a while, you still spin a good tale.
  12. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    Thanks, Carl. Some wisdom there.

    BTW, was your dad from Prorestant stock? Not my business, but I have always heard Bushmill’s described as “Protestant whisky”, but never had any info one way or the other, so I’m looking for a data point.
    mnblade likes this.
  13. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    A good story and definitely a lot to learn in there, you really know how to paint a picture.

    I've only cut myself with a slipjoint once years ago, I suspect it's because of the slowed down nature of them.
  14. J D Wijbenga

    J D Wijbenga Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 17, 1998
    Excellent story! Thanks!
  15. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    I didn't drink Bushmills for years because I was told that they wouldn't employ catholics at the distillery. I mentioned it to a friend of mine, a catholic girl from Derry's Bogside. "Aw bollicks", she told me. "Me sister works there!" :D Wish I had a Pound for every piece of codswallop I've heard about the Emerald Isle over the years! :rolleyes: :D :thumbsup:
    zolthar, mnblade, btb01 and 5 others like this.
  16. popedandy

    popedandy Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Good memories are priceless
  17. Wurrwulf

    Wurrwulf Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2015
    That's funny! I've always heard that Irish whisky in square bottles were protestant and round bottles were catholic.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    JohnDF and Henry Beige like this.
  18. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    LOL! That's a great one Shawn! :D A mate of mine and me collect and swap these old tropes! :D :thumbsup:
  19. Lostball

    Lostball Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2015
    Thank you sir, I too needed that!!!!
  20. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    No, dad was defiantly NOT of Protestant stock. In fact, they left Ireland when grandad and his I.R.A. activities made it a bit important that he leave a sphere of British influence. Something about a boat and some guns on the west coast of Ireland in the middle of the night. o_O

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