Uncle Henry

Here's an interesting story that was shared on the Toe Valley Trail Facebook page from The Natural South

I've usually carried a knife of some sort in my pocket. I have owned knives made by Case XX, Old Timer, Buck, Gerber, Shrade and Uncle Henry. I had a nice Boker Tree Brand that I bought and lost during my first tour in Germany. I replaced that knife on July 4th, 1992 at Smoky Mountain Knife Works.

One of my favorites is the one in the picture. I recall paying $10 to a friend of mine for that Uncle Henry in March, 1991 while I was in Iraq. Most of the mayhem was done by then.

What I saw in that knife was potential. It was just as nice and new as one right from the store, but in it I could many see hours of contemplative reflection as I worked on the knife handle. 

With a small file, a good bit of sandpaper and several large barrels of imported U.S.A. made elbow grease, I carved the finger grooves into the handle. That's no biggie on its own, but the hours/days of sanding offered an introspective time for me to sit with and to think about war, killing, dying, living, and twenty other associated and interlocking thoughts.

I was also reading Henry David Thoreau's "Walden Pond" and "Civil Disobedience." That was the "Perfect Storm" in my head that changed a lot about the way I think and the way I feel about these things.

If you ever notice bare spots on my arm, you'll know my knife is sharp.


Old men, pocket knives,

Apples pared, wood carved, hours whiled.

Traded among Friends.


Peace, Y'all!


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