August 29, 2015

Pen Show Stories

[Posted on L&P on Jan 28, 2012.]
        Florenze wrote in this thread on
FPN about the article Fred Krinke wrote in The Pennant, Summer 2011.  “I hope he does more of those.  For people within driving distance of Monrovia, it’s really fun to spend time at his shop and hear these stories.  Plus he can fix anything that’s going on with your pens.  I wonder if anybody is getting these stories on video, at pen shows and the like?  Sounds like you all have a really great time together, and it would be fun to hear more.”
        Fred tells really good pen stories, so I thought I’d include one of them here.  One time at the LA pen show, a bunch of us went out for a meal at the end of the day, and Fred told one of the best pen repair stories I’ve ever heard.  I wish I had it on video.  In the old days, pen repair shops used to employ a number of repairmen.  In one shop, they sat around a circular table and shared the tools.  In the center of the table was a vat of water, in case the hard rubber or celluloid caught on fire.  As you can see in the picture above from the Bob Tefft article on
Fred’s website, the customers could stand at the counter and watch the repairs being done on their pens.  One time a pen was being heated over an open flame in front of a customer, and it suddenly caught fire.  The startled repairman hurriedly threw the pen in the water, and then he realized he had an audience.  Slowly the flustered repairman looked over at the horrified customer and sheepishly said, “It’s okay, we’ll fix it”.  And the whole table just roared with laughter.
        Fred Krinke is truly
“The King of Fountain Pen” stories.

George Kovalenko.