Times have changed and lifestyles have too

vintage_boy_scou1Weekend Edition

Times have changed, at least that is what my wife tells me anyway. So, while thinking about what she said, I’m still trying to figure out how get a national whittling contest organized and how to interest one of the knife manufacturers to sponsor it.

At this point in my thinking I’ve come to this conclusion-

Since the late 1800s pocket knives have been as much a part of everyday life, as was marbles, hiking, camping and baseball. I doubt up until about the 1980s there wasn’t a young boy who didn’t carry a pocket knife. Coincidentally, it was in the mid- 1980s Nintendo, SEGA & Atari were fighting it out for the top “video game” system. Super Mario Bros was released in 1985. Then the handheld gaming systems started about 1989. You remember the Game Boy?creek2

We used to spend a lot of time outside as kids. We’d cut walking sticks. We’d hike through the woods, play down at the creek and go fishing at the neighbor’s pond with worms we dug up.

Times have changed

My 3 kids still at home (ages 13- 17) don’t play outside like we used to when we were kids. While they all lead active lifestyles, each playing three sports a year, but other than sports, they mudday1don’t play outdoors much. And when they do, it is on machines.

Otherwise, they play on the computer, which really means they’re checking their MySpace page or playing multi-player Internet games, like running raids on WOW. They do watch TV, but not much.

They don’t use or carry knives, and can’t, in most cases, if they wanted to. The truth is kids’ lifestyles have changed.

Does this mean they won’t become pocket knife aficionados? Not now, it seems. I have given each of my kids pocket knives and they keep them in their drawers (not breeches, but chester drawers- for you Northerners, that is chest of drawers, sorry).

I don’t know if my kids are typical or not-

For Christmas we gave my son a nice Leatherman to keep in his car, and I doubt he can even find it now. I know it never made it to his car.

And just last night I was cutting a string off my 13 year old daughter’s bag when she told me the knife I had given her several years ago had fallen between her bed and the wall. It takes three people to move her bed over in order to get it, so I offered her the one still in my hand as its replacement. She said, “No thanks.”

Where does this leave us? Are the traditional pocket knives simply items of nostalgia and that is it? From most young people this is probably true. So, we have our work cut out for us. We are up against pressures from society and the fact that young people’s lifestyles have changed.

These factors don’t mean the end of pocket knives, only that we must go to work to change how they are perceived.

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