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The Swordsman’s Sword

Leroy Easterbrook was a man of class, category and distinction. He was

always well dressed and polished, and one could say handsome. Mr. Easterbrook

was a writer and a mentor to many people.

He, hardly wore “bling”, but one thing Leroy always had of importance was a pen! Especially a fountain pen.

Men of substance he said, numerous times, had a fountain pens in their pocket in a

leather pouch were it wont leak any ink. Always Leroy preached this gospel among

his fans and friends. Mr. Easterbrook said “there is nothing worth keeping and

more important in this life than a journal!. Before there was all these gadgets and

the internet, people of all strata kept a journal.! This was your mark in this world”.

Not only did they keep journals, school’s taught penmanship and cursive writing.

“There was a certain pleasure in writing the events of the day and the thoughts in

your mind” Leroy would be regurgitated over and over. “And when I fell in love I

always melted their hearts with my love poems and letters, who does that

anymore?” he proudly would say.

Mr. Easterbrook taught us the history of the writing instrument, from the days of

bird quills to the refined gold-plated nibs fountain pens that were hand tuned and

polished on some the pens he owned. He talked about his favorite brands from the

U.S. Those were Schaefer, Parker, Conklin (Made famous by Mark Twain), Bexley,

Wahl-Eversharp, and the one American Fountain that he frequently carried and

used the “Menlo”, manufactured by Edison Pens of Edison Ohio. From German

made examples to the artistry of the Italian pen makers such as; Visconti, Aurora

and the now defuncted company “Omas”. The Italians pens had a unique celluloid

material in rich colors and the Germans had intricate piston filled mechanisms. Our

heads exploded, we and by we, I mean all of us went to the only store in New York

City left that had these fine attractive and precise writing instruments. And that is

The Fountain Pen Hospital down on 10 Warren Street. On occasion I would go with

Leroy to Pennsylvania's flea markets looking for real old pens from the 30’s, 40’s

and 50’s. But these instruments required frequent maintenance, i.e. their rubber

sacs to be replaced and bodies restored with buffing on a polishing wheel.

The importance of all this was not Easterbrook or the pens, it was the

intelligence level it brought out in all who eventually caught this pen habit. The

profound curiosity that it took all of us into. No iPad or iPhone or computer

sparked our intellect quite uniquely. At first, we got affordable fountain pens,

usually it was a Japanese brand: “Pilot”. These are two dollars disposable

fountain pens with steel nibs, then came the Lamy Safari for about forty dollars

they are a great bargain. But after initially doodling and noticing the feel between

a disposable ballpoint, and these fountain pens gliding through the paper, one

starts to write serious things, and sign like a diplomat. Furthermore, I started to

notice other writers’ writings, and thoughts. The eventual turning point was about the journal writings of a turn of the century doctor practicing medicine in Key West

Florida. This doctor wrote about fugitives hiding there, as well as retired pirates

and buccaneers from the 1890, s to the early 1900’s. He wrote in his private

journal about their lives in seclusion. Memoirs are important but so are new ideas

above all else, or what we think about new ideas turn out to be the ideas that pass

one generation to another. So, to Mr. Easterbrook your swordsmanship and your

swords will live in this generation of young men and women. Even though the

remaining members of the Easterbrook clan, his sister still writes with a cheap

disposable ballpoint pen which she takes them from the banks, and sign in events.

I appealed to the environmentally conscious heart she has, and I even gave her a

Cross rollerball pen, but she still doesn’t listen. “I want to make Leroy’s ghost

happy “I told Wanda. “Fuck Leroy’s ghost” she said. “I, isn’t paying no three

hundred dollars for no pen, you hear me”. “The only time I’ll do that shit is when I

divorce that cheating mother fucking husband of mine, I’m going to show up in his

face with my lawyer and the divorce papers, and make him sign it with a five

hundred-dollar Mont Blanc pen, then I’m going to stick it up his ass”.


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