Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A man and his pocket knife.

Some wise words, wisdom and Johnson history By Larry W. Johnson, Sr.

Not edited by my mother (so he says). Okay, Maybe a little.
A lot can be learned about a man by knowing something about his pocket knife.

The pocket knife tells a lot about the man who carries one. A man who does not carry a knife may not be a real man some folks say. Pocket knives come in real handy almost every day. Johnson men have carried them since I can remember. A.D. Johnson, your great-great grandfather, was known for cutting his Brown-William plug with a knife. He was a Primitive Baptist preacher and a merchant in Coats and whittled. John Lewis (Papa) Johnson a carpenter and your great grand father used his for cutting plugs, fishing, and carving little boys wooden toys. I remember the little wooden man who danced on a board. Then there was the one toy that defied gravity.

A man whose knife is dull means he is sort of lazy. A sharp knife means a man is smart and quick witted. A well worn knife means the man is dedicated. If he carries his knife in his bib overalls top pocket that means he is a caring man. If he puts it on a string and ties it to his button hole he is thinking all the time. If he carries his sharpening rock in his pocket he is a perfectionist. If he oils his blades he is conscientious. If he loans his knife out he is just plain stupid. When he wears out his knife he doesn't throw it away but puts it in his little "keep sake" box to remind him of the good times they had and places they've been.

A man who carries a pocket knife likes people, especially children, kitties and puppies. He wouldn't allow a child to use a knife until a certain age and not without a lot of instruction from an expert teacher... himself. He meets all the high standards of the Johnson men and is a God fearing pondering Abraham and Peter and living out his Christian beliefs. He knows that his pocket knife is a symbol of responsibility, honesty and useful living.

It can help him earn a living, bring pleasure, save his life and reminds us of our obligations. I didn't mention Granddaddy Johnson who cut strings on rolled roast, dressed fish and opened "sidemeat" salt bags at our store. It was L. M. Johnson's Meat Market where he sold "the best meat, fancy groceries and fresh seafood." On summer days too hot to work he cut cane reeds, fishing strings and removed hooks from the mouths of fish for yours truly at Popes Lake near Coats. Days of great memories of growing up.

There's a lot more but I can't rmember them right now. So, Son, I'm giving you this "Buck" and all that goes with it. Love, Dad

I'm putting that here because words here will probably outlast the paper letter. I hope they last long enough to be read long into the future.

Thanks dad.

Larry Jr.

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