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I came to the United States in 1989. As I consider that move to be the most important event in my life, the tenth anniversary of arrival was a happy day, indeed. Much to my surprise, people whom I have never seen in my life joined in the celebration. They were not complete strangers, for we have corresponded actively on The Firing Line. However, I had no reason to expect them to care much about my private anniversary. Little did I know...

A truly exceptional tool

A fine Chris Reeve Sebenza showed up in the mail shortly after my anniversary. The card enclosed with the parcel proclaimed that it was a gift from the Firing Line regulars. Being ignorant of knife-making, I also endeavoured to investigate the particulars of this great tool.

Protective cheath for a valued tool

That princely gift was a collaborative effort of 4V50Gary, ATM, Spartacus, Elchimango, Erick, Fal.308, Flyer M14, Grayfox, HS, James V, Jeff thomas, JHS, longhair, Michael, Mike, Mykl, Nan, Q, Rich, Rob, Spectre and Terry.

The idea of commemorating the occasion came from Spartacus. Rich Lucibella organized the effort, including a coincidental donation to charity. He also picked out the design.

I posted my thanks immediately. However, the full significance of the gift took a while to register.

Chris Reeve Sebenza

Until that day, I had not owned any knives. A cheap Russian pen knife was taken from me by a Carabinero in Italy; I had not bothered to replace it. In the past, I had been clumsy with tools and had little appreciation form them. Since then, I developed a desire to learn. My tool-box and my skill set have expanded accordingly.

Always close at hand

A pleasure to use Hi-res

The vikings were reputed to say: "A knifeless man is a lifeless man." However, the reason why I treasure the sebenza is sentimental. Hopefully, its main purpose is trimmer flower stems and candle wicks.

A little Gerber folder

unfolded

Locking mechanism
The blade

A gift from Bernie White
In late 2000, I visited my friend Bernie White. I did not have my knife with me.

Bernie decided to correct my oversight and generously presented me with a Gerber folder. Now I am truly rich: both of my knives were given to me by friends. I hope that using the Gerber as a tool would teach me not to over-protect the sebenza.

Betty's talons are sharp
Hi-res

This Benchmade AFCK came from my friend Betty.

Belt clip

Right side of AFCK Left side of AFCK
Liner lock, thumb hole

Lock details

I was speechless. Just as Rich Lucibella and Bernie White have done, Betty picked the knife that was good enough for her as a gift for me.

A lovely design

Closed Stryker

Open stryker

Hinge closeup

Half-serrated tanto

Both sides at once Hi-res

Not content with merely surprising me, she also gave me a Benchmade Stryker. Such gifts are splendid tokens of friendship.

As much as tools, these blades are jewelry. They are gifts bespeaking of trust, appreciation and goodwill. In that spirit, I began giving knives to my friends as well...

Stryker lock detail
Hi-res
clip
Hi-res
on a bush hat
Hi-res
blade open
Hi-res

closed Hi-res

Alex, one of my many net-friends, presented me with this Kershaw folder when I came to live in Nashville, TN. That was a splendid welcome gift and I've put the knife to good use.

Point Guard Closed
Hi-res

Point Guard Hi-res

The next blade came from Tamara and Marko, fellow moderators at The Firing Line. A fine liner-lock folder with an extra lever for securing the blade in the open position, it ought to be a useful and durable tool.

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