Hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends.  This one was sad as it was the first without my dad.   Unfortunately, he passed away this past fall after a long battle with cancer.  Unbeknownst to us, we found out at his service that my Dad was a very spiritual man, which may explain this awesome present I feel I received from him.

Bfdad and j

While in college my Dad was a competitive fencer.   You know – with swords, helmets and such.  I always thought that was kind of cool, so I decided to try fencing during my college years.  I competed for a year or two, but decided it was not my thing.  I tend to lean more towards endurance sports (i.e. one foot in front of the other) than the cerebral sports.  Not sure what that says about me.

Anyways, while going through Dad’s stuff we found his old fencing bag.  The bag was somewhat moldy and a little stinky.  I guess sitting in a damp basement for 60+ years will do that.  I knew I wanted it, but, being short on time, with a lot to organize and clean, I placed it in a tall kitchen bag without ever opening it up and tossed it in the back of the truck for the long drive back home.

So fast forward to three days before Christmas.   I finally decided to open the bag and look inside.  Mind you, for over two months the bag sat in my garage.  I must have looked at it every day, never once tempted to open it, until now.  Well lo and behold inside was a treasure for any lover of vintage items- my Dad’s fencing mask, in all its metal, leather and duck cloth glory.  I love it.

dad's fencing mask side (4)

dad's fencing mask front (4)

The swords are cool and I have those displayed also.  The large handled one has a million (slight exaggeration) nicks, scratches and gouges- wonderful patina!

dad's fencing swords (4)

Here is the spiritual part, and whether you believe or not, this definitely spooked me.  Inside the bag, along with the helmet, the three swords, and the protective vest, was one other item – a comb.


Yes, that says “Merry X-mas & Happy New Year”.  Thanks Dad.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Holiday.  Be safe.