Sunday, July 28, 2013

VPC Summer Dinner

The summer dinner for VPC members will be held on Thursday August 15. Space is limited, so VPC members please RSVP me no later than August 7th, as per the instructions in the members' group email I sent on July 21st. Please note: this is not a regular meeting...We will return to our regular "themed" meetings at Perks on Thursday September 19th. Have a great summer, everyone!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pacific N.W. Regional Pen Round-Up! a smashing success!!

The first annual Pacific N.W. Regional Pen Round-Up! (of which I wrote about in this blog post) was a great success, according to organizers & attendees... and the folks in charge are already working on preparations for next year's Round-Up!
VPC member Charles (back to camera, light blue shirt) talking to pen seller Alan Brooking. Charles was one of two members of our pen club (Dave M. was the other) to attend the Round-Up... (Photo by Mike Rosen)

Co-organizer Michael McNeil posted a report on the event on various online pen boards, and allowed me to repost his thoughts here. In Michael's words:

We had the event Saturday July 13th at the Lucky Labrador Brewing Co., in N.W. Portland. I would like to thank all those who attended, including the vendors! We had a very good cooperative effort for our 1st attempt at the Pen Round-Up!

We had some pretty good local advertising and I saw a lot of faces that I did not recognize. We had a good turnout for the event. There were people who attended from British Columbia, Washington state and of course from around Oregon. There were vendor/collectors from B.C., California, Washington, Wisconsin and Iowa and several of us from Oregon.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I enjoyed talking with everyone who wanted to chat and look at pens. I think I bought about six pens and did trades for a couple of others. There are three that will go into my own collection. I also bought nine pens and a mechanical pencil the day before, at the big local antique show.

Here are a couple of comments from people who attended Pen Round-Up: "I thought the event went very smoothly. It was friendly, relaxed, casual, and I have the feeling that people who came were satisfied. I really liked the fact that there was no admission charge, and only a very modest table charge too." And, about the location, "... it was truly perfect for this event. Location, food, parking, the room itself, access to the freeways, etc."

Ingrid Hansen wrote on her blog: "I had a fabulous time at the Portland Pen Round Up on July 13, 2013. It was a small as far as what I’ve heard of fountain pen shows, though it was not a pen show, and I liked it very much because of that. I met an old friend, Bill Sexauer and several new friends: Michele, Larry Jones, John Strother, Michael McNeil, Jim Leonard and Stuart Hawkinson. I bought some pens and was able to try many more. I’m impressed with the mid-80s Omas Paragon that Jim let me try. Larry has an extensive pen collection that he’s selling. Jim and Stuart spent the last hour talking pens, pen shows and drinking beer. What a perfect day." You can view her blog at:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Many thanks to all who organized the show (esp. Stuart Hawkinson and Michael McNeil), to Mike Rosen for the photos, and to Ingrid for her blog post. I'm already looking forward to the 2014 Round-Up!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Déjà Vu All Over Again...

Many thanks to all who showed up for our July meeting, which featured fountain pen "knockoffs", "look-alikes" and "tributes" ("homages"). This time, I remembered to snap some photos *before* the meeting got really busy! (click on photos to enlarge)

Dave M. brought in some fine examples, including: a Waterman Expert look-alike, MB Copernicus LE and MB StarWalker "clones", a cloisonné Hero fountain pen with a Parker '51'-like hooded nib, a Morrison lever-filler with an overlay reminiscent of a vintage Waterman, a vintage no-name Parker Duofold look-alike, a very Parker-like pencil made in Japan, some lovely Parker Duofold replicas (in colours not used by Parker) made by Chris Thompson, and a Parker '51' "homage" in rippled ebonite created by Howard Levy (of Bexley pen company fame).

Dave also brought in a Parker '61' mark II set (made in Argentina, I believe) with two small metallic "dots" on the fountain pen's shell, in place of the traditional "arrow" for this particular model.

To demonstrate how vintage pen design has carried over to modern pen design, Bruce R. brought in part of his amazing Italian fountain pen collection (including: an OMAS Paragon with its Wahl-Eversharp Doric-inspired Art-Deco styling, a Visconti Wall Street made of Parker Vacumatic-like striped celluloid, a Visconti Metropolis with retractable nib that harkens back to the safety pens of the early 20th century and some cool vintage-inspired Visconti Voyagers), a lovely green Retro 51 'Double Eight' model (with faceted body, reminiscent of Art Deco-era fountain pens), a Bexley Americana (undoubtedly inspired by the Doric model), a TWSBI Diamond 540 (or was it a 580??) & CONID Bulk-Filler, pens which, Bruce claim, remind him of the iconic Pelikan M800 model.

And on the cheaper side of things...I brought in some inexpensive examples for our topic (original---non-knockoff--- model names in parentheses): Left column (top to bottom): a Foster "High Class Pen" model (Parker Vacumatic), Baoer 388 (Parker Sonnet), Hero 200A (Parker '75'), Hero 336 (Parker '61'), Rainbow 231 (Parker '61') and the ever-popular Hero '616' Jumbo (Parker 51). Right columnn (bottom to top, this time): Baoer "Skywalker" (Montblanc StarWalker), Nine Rings Green fountain pen---no brand name on it (Montblanc Nicolaus Copernicus LE), no-name pen (MB Meisterstuck Solitaire), Wing Sung 237 (a variety of Sheaffer Triumph-nibbed pens). The top pen is a lovely Ariel Kullock-made Parker 51 'fantasy' in an iridescent blue finish (a colur never made by the Parker Pen Co.). Ariel makes these pens in a variety of finishes and sells them in his eBay shop here (no afilliation with his store, just a happy customer :)

Important note: Our August meeting will be our annual summer dinner for VPC members (info in group email to be sent to VPC members within the next few days). Regular (themed) meetings will resume on September 19, 2013 at Perks pen store at 5844 Cambie Street (our usual place).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Portland + Pens = FUN !!

For those of you who can't make it to the Miami Pen Show, here is a cool pen-related event being held in Portland, Oregon in mid-July:

The 1st annual Pacific Northwest Regional Pen Round-Up!

Time: Saturday July 13th, 2013 - 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Place: The Lucky Lab Brewing Company, 1945 N.W. Quimby Street, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

As described by co-organizer Michael McNeil, the event is an opportunity to "buy, sell, trade, show, inform, talk, listen, learn, mingle, have fun and share our collective addiction to pens and other writing instruments"

The Pen Round-Up! will be held the same weekend as the Summer Palmer Antique (Expo) show, the biggest antique show in the Pacific Northwest (more details here, on their official website) so it's a good chance to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak (and take advantage of Oregon's tax-free shopping!)

If you are interested in reserving a table at the Pen Round-Up! please contact Michael at or Stuart Hawkinson at as soon as possible, as table space may be limited! For further details on this event, please check out Michael's post on Pentrace about the event here. The organizers hope to make this an annual event, so I hope you can make it there!