My friend and fellow Heritage blogger Eric Bradley wrote a really cool book called “Mantiques: A Manly Guide to Cool Stuff”, and we have a great time discussing various types of unusual artifacts.
Eric recently sent me an email titled “Funny What We’ve Sold”. It contained a link to an Ethnographic Executioner’s Knife & Indian Ancus Elephant Tool along with a speculation that the decorations on the items might imply they were ornamental and not intended for practical use.
The conversation reminded me of my sister’s trip to Egypt.
Before leaving she asked me what I wanted as a souvenir.
I asked for a Jambiya (Middle Eastern style dagger).
I had visions of a finely polished curved steel blade set in exotic wood similar to the gorgeous jambiya Peter O’Toole had in the movie “Lawrence of Arabia”.
She brought me a curved bladed knife that looked like it was hand ground to shape with a belt sander and epoxied into a hand carved wooden (ebony?) hilt. The steel rings like spring steel, so I suspect it was made from an automobile leaf spring. It has a wood scabbard covered with some kind of thin leather.
After I stoned off the rust scale and pitting, it sharpened up to a really nice edge.
I cold blued the blade to prevent future rust, so now it is a wickedly curved dark blue blade with an almost “black” wood hilt.
It looked great hanging on the wall with my tomahawks, powder horns, and other pieces of my collection of male jewelry. Then I got married again.
The jambiya has been in a box out in the garage ever since, along with most of the other mementos from my bachelor days. Items that shall never see the inside of the house again, but things that are too personally valuable to part with.
When I mentioned this to Eric he admitted to having his own “Guy Box”, and we realized that most married men have a Guy Box stashed away somewhere.
My box contains:
- Hockey puck caught at a minor league game played by the Fort Worth Fire.
- 1800s vintage leather shotgunner’s shot pouch with brass pouring spout.
- Great Grandparents’ Eagle Scout lapel pins.
- U.S. Army Artillery collar insignia from WWI and WWII belonging to my Great Grandfather and Grandfather respectively.
- The previously mentioned jambiya.
- Old Boy Scout manuals.
- Nonfunctional derringer paperweight.
The list could go on.
The Guy Box contains the memories of boys who became men. As we move through the uncertainty of life to become responsible adults, husbands, and fathers, more items find their way into the Guy Box, and serve as anchors to ourselves.
So, what’s in your Guy box?