Darrel and the Mighty Mite.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by jackknife, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    The last machine shop I worked at, after my job with a big company went offshore, was a little hole in the wall place in Frederick Maryalnd. It was a giant step down on the ladder, but it was a job. To be honest, it was a lousy place to work, old machines, very little tooling, cheap owners. But the one good thing was I had some great co-workers. One was a long tall galloot named Darrel. He was an old country boy from up around Hancock Maryland, and was a motorcycle enthusiast to boot. Since I was commuting to work on my sportster, we hit it off well. Darrel had totally restored a 1966 Electraglide, and painted it creamsicle orange. A drop dead gorgious bike.

    But at work his choice of pocket cutlery was way more pedestrian. In his watch pocket was a badly worn, but still servicable little Schrade Old Timer mighty mite. I don't know the model number, but it was the little job, maybe 2 3/4 inches closed, with a single blade that locked open with one of those old style brass liner locks like you see on a TL-29. I don't know how many years Darrel had carried and used that little knife, but the blade was about 40 to 50% worn away. It was starting to look like a lockblade awl, but Darrel being the old country boy he was, just kept on using it.

    I'd good naturedly kid him about it once in a while, and he'd just grin. We used a knife a lot on the job, and I do have to admit the little worn mighty mite did the job. The round stock we used on the lathes came in bundles of 10 foot lengths, taped together at the ends and middle with that fiber strand reenforced plastic tape. Being from a steel supply, the bundles were greasy and filthy, and the tape of course picked up the greasy grit. To get the stock, we had to cut through the tape to free up the lengths of round stock, so we were cutting through sticky steel dust impregnated tape. Sharp edges didn't last long. When the truck dropped off a new supply of round stock, and we had to restock the material racks, there was always some knife sharpening afterwards. Darrel would take out a little pocket size carborundum stone from a drawer in his tool chest, and give the little Schrade a quick honing. The plain carbon steel of the Schrade took a quick edge.

    Another thing about those old country boys like Darrel; once they find something that works for them, they won't switch. Not for all the tea in China. For better or for worse, Darrel loved that little Old Timer pattern, and would't change. I realized that, the day he showed up with a new knife.

    He had cut some burrs off some delrin parts that he'd milled, and as he was wiping off his pocket knife, I thought the blade looked a little big. I asked him if h'e got a new knife, and he held out his hand. In the palm of that callused work knarled hand, was a brand new Schrade Old Timer might mite. It looked a little weird to see one with a full blade, both in width and length. I expressed some surprise that he would retire his old knife while there was a micron of steel left.

    "Oh I didn't retire it. It's just been re-asigned duty stations." he replied, opening one of the small drawers on his machinest chest. There next to his callipers, lay the old mighty mite.

    "It was gettin a mite thin in the blade, so I'm gonna use it as my dirty work knife." Darrel said.

    Darrel was a country boy, and come deer season, don't look for him at work. He's already signed for the leave. Come spring, don't look for him either, He's off turkey huntin. But in the years I knew Darrel, I never saw him with any other knife but that little Old Timer mighty mite. Even when he went 'huntin'.

    I guess like my dad with his peanut, Darrel found a pattern that baked his cookie, so he never switched.
    Storm 8593 likes this.
  2. KnifeHead

    KnifeHead I'm bad, I'm nationwide

    Apr 5, 2006
    Good readin! Thanks, jackknife, for the always welcome downshift from the fast lane. :thumbup::cool:
  3. RobbW

    RobbW Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Great lessons for uncertain times. Thanks for sharing!
  4. kidwholaughs


    Jan 17, 2004
    right on dude.
  5. Carolina River Rat

    Carolina River Rat

    Oct 29, 2008
    Good stuff, Jackknife, as always.
  6. RedEdge77


    Jul 13, 2005
    Hello all, been gone for a few months being busy with whatever comes my way, but it's nice to see these stories every time I come back. Thanks jackknife :thumbup::D
  7. d.parker


    Sep 1, 2001
    Good story Jackknife.. I wonder what his other brother carried? :)
  8. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    The real lesson was Darrel's 'huntin' gun was an old Harrington-Richardson single barrel break open shotgun. Apparently Darrel didn't need more than one shot, because after deer sesson he'd bring in deer sticks like slim jims, and deer baloney to share with his co-workers. The same little break open shotgun was his turkey gun. That old boy would go into the woods with his old shotgun and a pocket knife, dressed in a pair of green Big Smith coveralls that he'd dabbed black paint on in a random pattern, and bring back food.

    Maybe the old song is true, a country boy will survive.
    Storm 8593 likes this.
  9. T.K.C.


    May 7, 2005
    As always, that was a most enjoyable read!!
  10. db


    Oct 3, 1998
    That is the same knife I carried and used before I started down the one handed knife nut road. I still have mine that I used all through the 80's. It is a great little knife think I'll go dig it out for a carry.
  11. shaldag


    Jun 17, 2004
    Long day at work. What a nice end for the day: a story by Jackknife.
  12. Nursie


    Sep 28, 2005
    Nice to feel that warm feeling, in chilling out
    Great relaxation,these stories just draw pictures in my head that should be framed.
    Take Care
  13. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Thanks Jackknife. I was happy to find that you had shared another tale with us today.

    I think guys like Darrel have it figured out.
  14. yobbos1


    Mar 29, 2002
    I have that very knife don't carry it tho' , afraid to lose it. They are getting hard to replace. In the spirit of keeping it simple, maybe I should dig out of the safe where it lies unused with a few other great Schrades and give it the life and use it deserves. Thank you Jackknife, again.
  15. pipedreams308

    pipedreams308 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    I always enjoy the stories! Thank you.
  16. hunterfisher808

    hunterfisher808 Basic Member Basic Member

    Dec 27, 2006
    Jack when I see a new story of yours up, It's as good as gettin' a new knife in the mail....well almost lol:D
  17. Voltron


    Dec 13, 2008
    Wow. I had never seen a Mighty Mite before, so I googled it, and it looks just like my Buck Solo!! Same size and shape. No lock on the Solo, but..... cool. Darrel had good taste in knives!! LOL. I loved this story.
  18. DennisStrickland

    DennisStrickland Banned BANNED

    Jun 24, 2009
    thanks jacknife, great reading & as always shows some people can do more with a spoon than others with a shovel.

Share This Page