Pat Shingleton: "The Barlow and Katie in Bermuda"
George Washington carried one and Mark Twain wrote of a “real Barlow” in “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn” in 1876. A Barlow is classified as a penknife however original penknives didn’t have folding blades. Original knives resembled a scalpel and were designed to thin and point writing instruments known as quills. Both knives were used for whittling which is an exercise in cutting small bits or pare shavings from a piece of wood. No matter what the season, Bert Price, our grandfather, not only carried a Barlow but also whittled. He kept his pocket knife super sharp, often sharpening it with what was called a "wet stone." I remember him whittling during moments of relaxation and also moments when the weather put him on the porch, rather than in his vegetable garden. He chewed "Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco" but his son, Gerry, gave him a rope-like braid of Kentucky chewing tobacco. "Pap" would often extract his Barlow and carve out a "plug" of that. When we would ask “Gramps” to borrow his Barlow he would fold his newspaper, spit some tobacco juice, slowly reach into his coveralls and retrieve his precious knife. He was very protective of us and our safety and no matter how many times we borrowed his precious knife he would always extend a protective saying, “Now mind, that Barlow is sharp and cuts two inches ahead of its shadow.” With 46 days remaining in hurricane season, a final look back at another storm. On this date in 1987, I was in Bermuda, accompanying my wife on an advertising conference. Actually, three members of our family made the trip, including our “soon-to-be-born-by-four-months” daughter, Katie. Also visiting Bermuda during this trip was a tropical storm bearing the name of Emily. There are plenty of Emilys in my wife’s family. Her mother was Emily Lou, her sister is Emily and our niece and Godmother of our son Michael has the name Emily. There are many chapters in the family registry about “our” Emilys. Tropical Storm Emily hit Bermuda with 85 mile-per-hour winds. As all weathermen would do, I watched the storm from a pub in the hotel, enjoying a couple of pints; making sure that my wife was secure in an interior room.