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Thread: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

  1. #21
    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    ...the $25 entrance fee....
    Um, it's $5 a day. $25 is for early admission for three days which is admittedly longer than a trip to the local flea market. And I assure you, the show floor is free of gang activity.

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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Due to some financial hoops that I needed to get through earlier this year, I was unable to make it to the SF show, but am planning 100% to be there for the next one.

    I've thought, due to proximity, of doing the monthly meetup at Karas Kustoms in Phoenix, but think I would prefer a larger venue that isn't as...brand specific. Maybe its not a big deal, but a meetup that isn't in a business sounds more appealing.

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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    I once toyed with the idea of attending the pen show in Columbus, Ohio. Then I thought about the two-hour drive and the $25 entrance fee. I don't begrudge the fee; I know hiring the venue costs money. It is just that, for that much money, I could go to the local flea market and buy 5 well-designed pens and spend the drive time (and more) restoring and testing them. Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    As both visitor and now vendor, I've seen (and was able to purchase) pens that I would never see in the flea-market.

    My point is this, unless you have been to a pen show and it was a let down, how could you make a one-sided comparison with the flea-market trips?

    Also, after meeting a few different groups of "pen freaks", I found that I enjoy meeting them.
    - Will
    Sketches with restored vintage fountain pens: Redeem Pens

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  6. #24
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    At this point, you'll never know.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member ethernautrix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    I was a solitary "pen freak" for a coupla decades until I accidentally tripped over fpn during a Google search.

    I'd been a member for ten months when an Australian member mentioned he would be visiting the States (same old saw for the Old Timers of these forums), so I PM'd him, asking if he'd enjoy a meet-up with local (San Francisco) pen freaks. He said SURE! And Pen Posse was born.

    There were quite a few Pen Posses where it was just me and one other (different) person, but the common denominator was: We had plenty to talk about. Weirdly, it was never weird.

    That was ten years ago.

    I'm an introvert. I can do social -- and love it! -- but I'm an introvert. And I love pen meetings and pen shows -- there's no pressure. Just... talk about your favorite pens or nibs or inks. Papers. Show your notebooks, if you want. Don't, if you don't.

    Recently, here in Wrocław, we had a Pelikan Hub Do-Over (cos the swag got tied up elsewhere), and it was fun! (Thank you, Polish people who speak fluent English. Naprawdę -- dziękuję bardzo.) But even with my halting, tortured Polish... it was fun. Why? Cos pens.

    it's... X-Files territory, right? Something about our shared interest in fountain pens and peripherals makes it super easy to converse and feel... good.

    TL;DR - Go meet some pen people, for the love of all that is sacred.
    _____________
    To Miasto

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  10. #26
    Senior Member Paddler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    I once toyed with the idea of attending the pen show in Columbus, Ohio. Then I thought about the two-hour drive and the $25 entrance fee. I don't begrudge the fee; I know hiring the venue costs money. It is just that, for that much money, I could go to the local flea market and buy 5 well-designed pens and spend the drive time (and more) restoring and testing them. Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    As both visitor and now vendor, I've seen (and was able to purchase) pens that I would never see in the flea-market.

    My point is this, unless you have been to a pen show and it was a let down, how could you make a one-sided comparison with the flea-market trips?

    Also, after meeting a few different groups of "pen freaks", I found that I enjoy meeting them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    At this point, you'll never know.
    Oh, but I think I can make the comparison and I will know.

    I used to be a ham radio enthusiast. I built my station using parts scavenged from junked TVs, flea market finds, and WW II military surplus electronics. When I was able to reliably talk to people on the other side of beyond, the Dayton Hamvention, with its 20 acres of flea market, manufacturer presentations, and workshops, was a complete waste of time.

    Guns? When you can manufacture your own ammunition from components and hit the 10-ring at will or bust 100 clay targets in a row, a gun show is an extremely boring event.

    Bees? When you can make your own equipment from plain lumber and raise your own queens, a beekeeper moot will put you to sleep.

    Canoes and kayaks? Go on a couple of wilderness canoe trips and visit some islands in Nova Scotia or some fjords in Alaska. After that, a canoe or kayak workshop will glaze your eyes over.

    Photography? Musical instruments? All the same.

    Oh, you can go for the social aspects of these hobbies or even make a living at them, but you will have to endure the clubs with officers and a book of by-laws. There will be the fifth-grade playground politics and the gossips who whisper about who spent last night in which tent. I no longer have the patience for that carp on a cracker.

    I can put a new sac in a Snorkel pen and a new diaphragm in a P51 and I can grind a nib to my own satisfaction. A pen show has no attraction for me.
    Last edited by Paddler; November 20th, 2018 at 11:52 AM.
    Written on a real computer and real keyboard with capital letters, punctuation, and everything.

  11. #27
    Senior Member Paddler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    I once toyed with the idea of attending the pen show in Columbus, Ohio. Then I thought about the two-hour drive and the $25 entrance fee. I don't begrudge the fee; I know hiring the venue costs money. It is just that, for that much money, I could go to the local flea market and buy 5 well-designed pens and spend the drive time (and more) restoring and testing them. Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    As both visitor and now vendor, I've seen (and was able to purchase) pens that I would never see in the flea-market.

    My point is this, unless you have been to a pen show and it was a let down, how could you make a one-sided comparison with the flea-market trips?

    Also, after meeting a few different groups of "pen freaks", I found that I enjoy meeting them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    At this point, you'll never know.
    Oh, but I think I can make the comparison and I will know.

    I used to be a ham radio enthusiast. I built my station, using parts scavenged from junked TVs and WW II military surplus electronics. When I was able to reliably talk to people on the other side of beyond, The Dayton Hamvention, with its 20 acres of flea market, manufacturer presentations, and workshops, was a complete waste of time.

    Guns? When you can manufacture your own ammunition from components and hit the 10-ring at will or bust 100 clay targets in a row, a gun show is an extremely boring event.

    Bees? When you can make your own equipment from plain lumber and raise your own queens, a beekeeper moot will put you to sleep.

    Canoes and kayaks? Go on a couple of wilderness canoe trips and visit some islands in Nova Scotia or some fjords in Alaska. After that, a canoe or kayak workshop will glaze your eyes over.

    Photography? Musical instruments? All the same.

    Oh, you can go for the social aspects of these hobbies or even make a living at them, but you will have to endure the clubs with officers and a book of by-laws. There will be the fifth-grade playground politics and the gossips who whisper about who spent last night in which tent. I no longer have the patience for that carp on a cracker.

    I can put a new sac in a Snorkel pen and a new diaphragm in a P51 and I can grind a nib to my own satisfaction. A pen show has no attraction for me.
    Written on a real computer and real keyboard with capital letters, punctuation, and everything.

  12. #28
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    I can put a new sac in a Snorkel pen and a new diaphragm in a P51 and I can grind a nib to my own satisfaction. A pen show has no attraction for me.
    Ok then, point made. I happen to enjoy meeting the people involved in all this, the social side of pendom, and you obviously don't. Fair enough.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    I have just received a notification from PayPal about a returned donation from a scholarship programme. I find it exceptionally disappointing that the potential beneficiaries of a charitable donation are denied that resource because of, I presume, a grudge held by the organiser. I have donated to this scholarship on multiple occasions previous to this (because I believe it to be a worthy cause) without any such prejudice.


    This thread, and some other messages, including such as the above, are kind of adding weight to the argument for me to steer well clear of the SF pen show next year.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; November 20th, 2018 at 01:53 PM.

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    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    I must admit to feeling a little less than gruntled about this thread. Probably not intended, I'm sure. But not all of us have ready access to a pen show. Not all of us are in a state of health to even access one. Not all of us are free agents who can indulge our personal whims and fancies. I dare say some of us, without the interaction perceived by some as less, might have no human interaction beyond their nearest and dearest at all if it wasn't for the internet. It might even be behoven on the better blessed to make internet interaction less dehumanised and make more of an effort to make an online community of real people. It's just a thought.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    It might even be behoven on the better blessed to make internet interaction less dehumanised and make more of an effort to make an online community of real people. It's just a thought.
    I'm open to suggestions, so what would you propose?

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that online experiences are some form of low-class thing that one does if they have no access to non-virtual connections. I happen to believe that both kinds are important and each has differing strengths. I've been involved in, administered and moderated online discusion groups since the early 1990s, so it isn't like I don't value these interactions.

    Pointing out the value of attending a pen show is not to denegrate the activity we have here, merely pointing out what one can do and experience there. I understand not all can attend, but enough can that a pen forum is the perfect place to discuss the reasons one should consider attending.

    Circling back to the top: I don't want to come off as unsympathetic, so I'll ask: what would you like to see happen, in this particular site, to enhance your experience?
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    I once toyed with the idea of attending the pen show in Columbus, Ohio. Then I thought about the two-hour drive and the $25 entrance fee. I don't begrudge the fee; I know hiring the venue costs money. It is just that, for that much money, I could go to the local flea market and buy 5 well-designed pens and spend the drive time (and more) restoring and testing them. Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    As both visitor and now vendor, I've seen (and was able to purchase) pens that I would never see in the flea-market.

    My point is this, unless you have been to a pen show and it was a let down, how could you make a one-sided comparison with the flea-market trips?

    Also, after meeting a few different groups of "pen freaks", I found that I enjoy meeting them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    Meeting a gang of pen freaks can't compete with that.
    At this point, you'll never know.
    Oh, but I think I can make the comparison and I will know.

    I used to be a ham radio enthusiast. I built my station, using parts scavenged from junked TVs and WW II military surplus electronics. When I was able to reliably talk to people on the other side of beyond, The Dayton Hamvention, with its 20 acres of flea market, manufacturer presentations, and workshops, was a complete waste of time.

    Guns? When you can manufacture your own ammunition from components and hit the 10-ring at will or bust 100 clay targets in a row, a gun show is an extremely boring event.

    Bees? When you can make your own equipment from plain lumber and raise your own queens, a beekeeper moot will put you to sleep.

    Canoes and kayaks? Go on a couple of wilderness canoe trips and visit some islands in Nova Scotia or some fjords in Alaska. After that, a canoe or kayak workshop will glaze your eyes over.

    Photography? Musical instruments? All the same.

    Oh, you can go for the social aspects of these hobbies or even make a living at them, but you will have to endure the clubs with officers and a book of by-laws. There will be the fifth-grade playground politics and the gossips who whisper about who spent last night in which tent. I no longer have the patience for that carp on a cracker.

    I can put a new sac in a Snorkel pen and a new diaphragm in a P51 and I can grind a nib to my own satisfaction. A pen show has no attraction for me.
    I for one want to meet other pen people. For no reason other than, while the pen is the center, its hardly the sole topic. I spent hours with Gerry Berg a few years ago after he repaired one of my pens. We talked coffee and our favorite French pastry, we talked about our careers, we just talked like two people do, but we had never met each other. I have a standing invitation to come visit whenever I'm in the area.

    The person to person goes beyond the simple nuts and bolts of doing business. It can also go beyond just geeking out (see our forum's name) over pens.

    Go or don't go, that's up to you, but don't bemoan those that do because of how below you those events seem.

  18. #33
    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    I must admit to feeling a little less than gruntled about this thread. Probably not intended, I'm sure. But not all of us have ready access to a pen show. Not all of us are in a state of health to even access one. Not all of us are free agents who can indulge our personal whims and fancies. I dare say some of us, without the interaction perceived by some as less, might have no human interaction beyond their nearest and dearest at all if it wasn't for the internet. It might even be behoven on the better blessed to make internet interaction less dehumanised and make more of an effort to make an online community of real people. It's just a thought.
    You can be the person who organizes the first gathering of the West Country Pen Society, or some such. I did it for south-central Pennsylvania. People are doing it right now for Surrey. There's a friend in Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose health details would bring you tears, but he regularly organizes one of the best attended regional pen clubs in the USA. He even discussed arranging a pen show! Yes, it will happen and people will come, if you want it to.
    Last edited by FredRydr; November 20th, 2018 at 07:09 PM.

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    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    I'm open to suggestions, so what would you propose?
    I've been on FP forums for several years now, tried to be friendly, and still don't feel like I'm part of the FP community, so clearly I have absolutely no idea. Once upon a time I used to be part of a UK woodworking forum, and we made an effort to make sure every single thread got a response, which seemed to help. A real response, not a rubber stamp "pull up a stump" or whathaveyou. It's really easy to inadvertently discourage someone early in their forum "career" and lose what might have been a very valuable member. (Why don't you do that yourself, I hear you ask. Because I haven't felt that it's my place to do so. But if no-one objects, I can make the effort to be the change I wish to see, I guess.)

    Perhaps it's just me, but this thread gave me the vibe that wanting to know more about a fellow Geek by clicking on their profile was somehow a bit weird. Arguably it is a bit weird if there's nothing on the profile to see. Again, my profile is not a good example of how to do it, mainly because I don't know what to write. Well I can't be the only one. In the same spirit of the drive to post something every day that Will, I think it was, tried, could we try a thread where members suggested and answered questions that could be used as prompts for profile bios? Silly stuff, nothing necessarily heavy - favourite French pastry, for instance. Just to get a bit more of a flavour of the person, not just the FP Geek, and make profile clicking socially acceptable.

    Yeah, as ideas go probably worth what you paid for them, but there we are.

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    You can be the person who organizes the first gathering of the West Country Pen Society, or some such.
    I'd love to. The problem is I'm primary carer for two elderly parents, the net result of which is I live in the dangly-off end of nowhere (which is even more isolated than the middle of nowhere) with no transport and no surplus energy available to even want to go anywhere. Haven't even managed to meet up with datainadequate yet, and he's only a few miles from me. It sucks, because I used to live in London and could walk on my own two feet right into Westminster and the West End - the contrast is bloody depressing, I can tell you.

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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Itís an odd thing, to me at least, that people should quite so publicly shy away from meeting others with the same interests.

    Iím a geek, a nerd, both in my personal and professional life. I work with software, I used to write it, now I consult. Itís a solitary life with lots of head-time and little interaction with others. I have few friends, a very small number I have been friends with pretty much all my life, and a few others Iíve acquired along the way.

    I have my family, who I love, and I have my hobbies. I like to write, I write short stories, I keep a journal and I write novels, some of which have been published and the royalties buy a lunch for my wife and I each month. I like to fish, I fish with vintage tackle and thatís a very closed world. I repair and restore vintage watches and I like vintage motorcycles and bicycles. Then thereís the pens...

    Guess what? All of my hobbies are very insular. I am very insular. Iím a loner and perfectly happy with my own company, and each of my hobbies has a forum or two, similar to this one, populated by characters and individuals with their quirks and foibles. Watches are the absolute worst - there are some lovely people on the main forum I use, but the vocal minority are very shouty and brash. Arguments, vendettas and banning are almost a daily occurrence. I do often wonder how these people would interact with each other if they met in a pub (which is my golden rule for dealing with another person on the internet - imagine they are in front of me, and itís my round!).

    The fisher-folk seem to have nothing to prove and are, to a man, pleasant, generous with time and advice and always happy to learn something new, regardless of their expertise.

    The other thing about all of these fora is that they have regular meet-ups, where the hobby becomes real. There are bike shows throughout the year, vintage tackle shows once a quarter and a watch show every month. I go to some, some I miss.

    Then there are less formal meetings - bring some watches to a pub, ride your BSA to a pub (thereís a theme here!) and the fishing people meet most months by a ricer, fail to catch anything whilst admiring one anotherís tackle, then go to a pub.

    On the surface, these are anti-social people, in reality they are as different to one another as the people youíd see in the town centre on Saturday afternoon.

    If you can make a pen show, if itís reasonably easy to get to, if you are of a mind to meet people with a common interest and learn more in an afternoon than you would in a week of internet surfing, and are open-minded enough to take the information in, then Iíd heartily recommend it. Most of my watch, fishing and bike contacts have been made at shows or other meetings, you never know, you just may meet people who you genuinely like also - I have. At the very least, you will realise that your ďeccentricitiesĒ are far less pronounced and visible than you may think, and that there are many people out there who share your passion.

    I accept that there are people (grainweevil for instance) for whom the distance and time commitment make it difficult, but this online version of a pen show isnít second-class at all, far from it. In the times where I havenít been able to partake in my favourite pastimes, maybe Iíve been working in the Middle East, or somewhere equally far from home for weeks or months at a time, gaining access to ďfriendsĒ in this way is invaluable to me.

    The beauty of the forum as a method of communication is that it fits in with your needs and adapts to them. You can type as much as you want, air thoughts and experiences, swap ideas or just talk rubbish, which I do quite a lot. It doesnít demand time from you but will consume all you throw at it, it teaches and entertains.

    Personally, I enjoy both real world and online versions of interest communities, you may not, thatís your choice, if you donít want to meet, donít. If you do, do. If you want to but canít, donít feel short-changed, this is like a conversation that can be recalled at any point in time you want to revisit it. And itís free, for us users at least. Whatís not to love?
    Last edited by DickBrowne; November 21st, 2018 at 02:54 AM.

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    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    I'm an introvert.

    This doesn't mean I'm shy; I'm not. Or unfriendly. I'm very friendly, in my quiet, reserved way. It DOES mean that I find crowds draining and a little intimidating, due to the noise level. And crowds. Have I mentioned crowds?

    I'm fine one-on-one, or even a few-on-one. Back when I first attended the LIPS, it was much smaller, much less crowded, and, I dunno, differenty. It was fun. I got some vintage pens for $2-10 each, some of which we actually restored. Met some great people. Went just about every year. It was good putting a face to a name. And there is cake!

    But I pretty much now have all the pens I want or need. And I'm averse to, not socializing, but pushing my way through noisy crowds.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    ...Back when I first attended the LIPS, it was much smaller, much less crowded, and, I dunno, differenty. It was fun. I got some vintage pens for $2-10 each, some of which we actually restored. Met some great people. Went just about every year. It was good putting a face to a name. And there is cake!....
    Yes, The Long Island show is a favorite, too, even though it is not a big show. Perhaps that's part of the reason why. I go for one day. Sailor, I know you had fun seeing the smiles on the girls' faces when we handed them free fountain pens, too!

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  27. #38
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    I want to thank all the people who are sharing their personal viewpoints on the matters of virtual/real experiences, and I want to give special mention to Grainweevil for sharing with us a pretty private area of life. It isn't easy to open up to 'strangers' but it has deepened my understanding of one of my fellow correspondents and I am grateful for that.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

  28. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Jon Szanto For This Useful Post:

    azkid (November 21st, 2018), Chemyst (November 22nd, 2018), DickBrowne (November 21st, 2018), FredRydr (November 21st, 2018), grainweevil (November 21st, 2018), penwash (November 21st, 2018)

  29. #39
    Senior Member Sailor Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    ...Back when I first attended the LIPS, it was much smaller, much less crowded, and, I dunno, differenty. It was fun. I got some vintage pens for $2-10 each, some of which we actually restored. Met some great people. Went just about every year. It was good putting a face to a name. And there is cake!....
    Yes, The Long Island show is a favorite, too, even though it is not a big show. Perhaps that's part of the reason why. I go for one day. Sailor, I know you had fun seeing the smiles on the girls' faces when we handed them free fountain pens, too!
    Yes, that was wonderful to see.

  30. #40
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    Default Re: Internet versus Reality - pen forums versus pen shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddler View Post
    I can put a new sac in a Snorkel pen and a new diaphragm in a P51 and I can grind a nib to my own satisfaction. A pen show has no attraction for me.
    You know what, I could respond on that statement in 10 different ways

    But let me just say this. No matter how much knowledge I have accumulated so far about pen restoration, I will still find a few individuals at pen shows who know a lot more than I know now, plus they have been doing it for decades. And I learn from them, and benefit from the interaction with them.
    - Will
    Sketches with restored vintage fountain pens: Redeem Pens

  31. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to penwash For This Useful Post:

    AzJon (November 21st, 2018), azkid (November 22nd, 2018), Chemyst (November 22nd, 2018), NibsForScript (November 24th, 2018)

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