Here Goes…..

30 10 2008

Why do I have this horrible addiction to fountain pens? I’ not sure really. For me, they evoke an era gone by. And while I’m also admittedly a technology geek, there is something about what I consider to be the Golden Age – from the late ’20’s to the late ’40’s. That has always fascinated me. I’m 42 years old as I write this, but from pictures and movies, it seems to me that this time period was an era of far more elegance and class that we have today. From the way men and women dressed, to the cars they drove, to the types and architecture of homes that were built – even to the types of restaurants they had to choose from (you could still go to a decent ‘dinner’ and get good food. No ‘McBurgers’ for them). Our nation actually had morals and a conscience. God was still in the classrooms, and they still said a prayer over a loudspeaker (so EVERYONE could hear) before the high school football games on a Friday night. And people actually wrote. They wrote letters and kept journals.

And then there were the pens. Today, very few people give much thought to the stick between their fingers. Oh sure, people have preferences; ballpoint vs rollerball vs gel. But few care about a name. Maybe that’s the way it should be. But I like the thought of a man’s pen being important as to the brand and type, much in the way people still have allegiances to car manufacturers (He’s a Ford man, she’s a Toyota person, etc)

In this day and age I think there’s something really cool about being really retro. And not for a fad’s sake, but because you really like whatever it is that’s retro for you. For some, it’s ‘bowling shirts (Charlie on Two and a Half Men), for me, it’s fountain pens. For fountain pen ‘people’, there’s been a lot written about how much more expressively you can write, and how good the act of writing with a fountain pen can feel – and I whole-heartedly agree with with that. But another thing that pegs out the coolness meter for me is that I’m (often) writing with a pen that is older than I am, older than my Dad, older than…..well maybe not John McCain. And it works as well as the day it rolled out of the factory in 1927. For me, that’s COOL!

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2 responses

17 11 2008
Alan

Several of my friends and I are convinced we were born in the wrong century. That said, I think we’d all suffer withdrawal symptoms if we were separated from our computers for more than a day.

Yuki/Alan

23 03 2014
Irv Camhi

Will, Kudos on your article here goes.. retro.I am a member of that generation having been born in the 30’s. I love fountain pens and journalizing. Also I have an IT background having retired after 35 years consulting in the various areas of technology. You are right, that period had a charm for all the things you mentioned. Im glad that there are some people in your generation that recognize it. I do enjoy your website
Irv Camhi

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