August 05, 2015

‘Some Guy’ in the PFC

[Posted on L&P on Sept 6, 2008.]
        This is from an editorial by Cliff Lawrence in the Pen Fancier’s Newsletter, March 1981, pp. 

5 and 6.  “In the seventies, on rare occasions, you would see a fellow pen collector [some guy] usually just in front of you buying a pen that you had been looking for for months.  More often you would hear of them from dealers and other collectors.  They were almost invariably described as being very frugal and secretive in their pursuance of their hobby. . . . If I had just a dollar for every time a dealer told me that he had just sold a box of beautiful pens to a [some] collector a few minutes before, I’d be quite wealthy now.”  Does this sound like a good definition of “some guy”, or “sumguy”, as I like to spell it, or “sumgai”, as Bill Riepl spells it in his “Story Of Sumgai” on the Pentrace homepage?  It sounds pretty good to me.  He stops just short of actually using the term.
        You have to understand that Cliff Lawrence was talking about the seventies when most collectors didn’t know each other, and they didn’t want the hobby to spread because they didn’t want any competition.  What I am saying is that they, like all of us, are cheap, and don’t want to pay much for pens, and want all the pens for themselves.  Now, that’s a sumguy.
        I was a sumguy, once upon a time, when I found a treasure trove of pen
parts and pen repair tools.  See my posts on “Vintage Pen Repair Tools” and A Vintage Pen Repair Shop” from my first series on Lion & Pen.

George Kovalenko.