My typical morning ritual just before I begin my commute into the city includes making sure I haven’t forgotten any essentials. In addition to what I carry in my computer bag (notebook computer, keys, paperwork, cell phone, headphones, etc.), I slip my wallet into my back pocket (always the left side), strap my twenty-year-old Seiko watch to my left wrist and then the replica Viking bracelet, a gift from my wife, to my right. Can’t forget my wedding ring. I put that on, as well. For many years, that was it. Until I found an old jackknife in storage box. And now it is one of my daily carries. This particular jackknife was once owned by Sandy’s uncle, Rolland (Pat) Patterson. He’s been dead a number of years. How we ended up with it, I have no idea. I always liked Pat. He was a genial, big-eared guy with an ever ready grin, chuckle, and joke. I never saw him without a glass of Pepsi in one hand, and it took me a long while before I realized that it wasn’t just soda in the glass. After getting reacquainted with his son, I learned the grin and the jokes were just camouflage that hid a much uglier side. Oddly enough, I still think fondly of him, but now those thoughts are like a song that has gone slightly out of tune.
Wallet? Check. Eyeglasses and sunglasses? Check. Wristwatch? Roger. Rollie Patterson jackknife? Absolutely.