Weekend Open Thread: Happy Birthday America

Happy Birthday America.

You are as battered and bloodied as I have seen you in my 44 years on this Earth, and it breaks my heart. I know that we have had our back to the wall many times before, but I am not sure that there has been a time where so many of our own citizens and politicians have been working so hard to tear away the very foundation of that wall. It doesn’t leave me in a very celebratory mood this year.

But I owe it to my children to try to give them as much of a sense of normalcy as we can, this year of all years. We will be taking them to the annual Anvil Shoot at the Museum of Appalachia, making ribs, and setting off fireworks. We went hiking in the GSMNP today, had a picnic, and  spent some time playing in the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. I am doing my best to keep on living each day to the fullest, but my morale is flagging a bit to be honest. I care deeply for this country, and it seems like each day brings a new gut punch.

On a lighter note, I had a great phone call last night with Ben Petersen. I am writing a review of the Banter for this month’s print issue, and it was great to catch up with him. I really like the knife, and have been putting it to good use.

The top photo of Mount Rushmore was taken in 2002, when a couple of newlyweds drove across country to their new home in Idaho. It was take on the 4th of July during our move. Ironically, the fireworks were on the 3rd. We were treated to a performance of patriotic songs by the glee club from a military unit whom I would gladly credit were I able to remember. I think of that evening every time I hear “When the caissons go rolling along…”

I don’t have a knife to give away this week, I am still waiting on the knives from Artisan, and I didn’t grab something from the shelf on Wednesday. We are getting low on knives at the moment. David M. is our winner from last week, and this week I will be giving away a copy of Goins Encyclopedia of Cutlery Markings, which is the go to reference for dating production knives. Premium Online Members can access the complete book online as well.

Goins’ Encyclopedia of Cutlery Markings (Second Edition) by John and Charlotte Goins

So open thread away. Up to 5 comments/replies count as entries.

What are you doing for the 4th? Are you as pessimistic as I am? Or conversely, tell us why you are hopeful. Again, I am sorry about that. I didn’t mean to follow my muse in that direction, but anything uplifting coming from me right now felt phony. So I will leave you with the words of a man more eloquent than I to ponder. Have a good one everyone. God Bless those who stand watch over our freedom, and God Bless America.


I have back-dated last week’s post. You can find it here:

Weekend Open Thread: Fantasy vs. Reality