When I officially “retired” last month there was no party, no proclamation, no gold watch. It was a day in my life and I spent it with The Great Love of My Life, on The Mountain. I ended the observance with a Nicaraguan cigar and Kentucky bourbon.
I hadn’t a clue that Deb was working on procuring a gift to mark my milestone. She has a way of surprising me, see, and she knows what I like. It arrived at Second Chance Ranch yesterday via UPS.
Inside the box was a knife — a Lon Humphrey custom, specifically the Delta model that had been unveiled only a week before. Lon is a fellow Buckeye, and seven years ago I had the privilege of spending a day with him at his shop.
If his name sounds familiar to Ubi Libertas Blog readers, by the way, it could be because a Humphrey Kephart (ca. 2014) appeared here last February.
The Delta isn’t a small knife — it’s 10.5 inches overall with a blade measuring 5.4 inches long and .190 inch thick. Steel is hand-forged 52100. This one is handled in Tasmanian Blackwood with blue G10 liners, and it came with a classy two-tone leather sheath.
Some years ago I worked in the knife business (twice) and came to know a number of ‘makers, a few of whom are still among my social-media friends. I’m lucky to have an early (2009) Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter made by Andy Roy. I still haven’t managed to acquire one of Mike Malosh‘s hand-forged knives, in the Scagel style, an error I hope to correct one day soon.
Those guys make their knives in Georgia and Michigan, respectively, while Lon’s shop is in east-central Ohio. Visiting his forge that June day in 2015 gave me something of a personal connection and an appreciation of his approach to the craft. His knives, of course, are top-shelf.
Deb made a great choice, the perfect way to help me commemorate the beginning of the next phase of my American Life. I can’t wait to put the Delta to work on The Mountain.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.