Blackwing sighting: The Glenn Miller Story

Usually this is something that Sean would post over at The Blackwing Pages, but this time I thought I’d scoop him, respectfully. My friend Stephanie at Rhodia Drive, a blog about one of my favorite paper products, sent me this screen capture from the 1954 movie The Glenn Miller Story.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it, but Jimmy Stewart is perhaps my favorite mid-century actor, and I was that wierd kid who used to listen to swing music as a teenager, so I’m quite familiar with this movie.

I don’t quite remember him using a Blackwing to compose, but I wasn’t hyper-sensitive to on-screen pencil choices at the time. I’ll have to re-watch it and find it again.

Sean is much more knowledgeable about the classic Blackwing than I am — perhaps he can perform some forensics and figure out which version of the Blackwing that is.

Thanks, Stephanie!

UPDATE: Sean at Blackwing Pages found another screencap with Jimmy Stewart’s face and the unique Blackwing ferrule. I want to make that my Facebook picture.

Checking in

The brand-new Palomino Blackwing gift set. I got a good look at it during my visit. See end of post for a link.

Whew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks for this humble blogger. My blog silence is not an indication of having nothing to talk about, but merely me not having much time for anything! I went to California for a few days last week, to visit a friend and also to visit someone I’ve wanted to meet for a long time, WoodChuck.

I was fortunate to be in Stockton and hang out a little bit with Charles Berolzheimer, President and CEO of California Cedar Products. We all know the organization as the maker of California Republic-brand pencils, like the Golden Bear, the Palomino, and the oft-talked about Palomino Blackwing. They also own and operate Pencils.com, which sells products as well as maintains a large resource for pencil enthusiasts.

He showed me their offices, warehouse, some products we don’t see every day, and even took me to the Duraflame offices (his brother is the president and CEO), which are on a decommissioned ferry boat!

I even got a look at his amazing pencil collection. When your business is to supply cedar slats to many pencils companies globally, they send you lots of awesome samples. And since his family has been doing this for at least three generations, he has some incredible old pencils.

Of course, bad blogger that I am, I have no pictures to share with you. I told him that I want to spend two hours in his office with a DSLR camera, and I’d be set with blog posts for a year. Maybe that’ll happen next time I’m in Stockton.

I also went to San Francisco, rode some cable cars, ate some great food, and bought a few pencils and notebooks I can’t find in the midwest. Look for that soon!

I wanted to link to the Palomino Blackwing gift set, but apparently WordPress doesn’t let me place a link in a photo caption. Here is that link.

WoodChuck in the flesh!

Well, on video at least. Charles Berolzheimer from California Cedar and Pencils.com made a short video about the Palomino Blackwing! It’s short and sweet, though nothing a faithful reader of this blog probably doesn’t know already. Still, I think you’d be interested in seeing it.

Pencil geeks: If you are trying to explain to someone what you’ve been blathering on about for the last two months (like people have asked me), or someone simply wants to know what that cool pencil you’re writing with is, this is the perfect video to show them.

Don’t just use your pencil, LISTEN to it.

Sean at Blackwing Pages just posted about report that some of the softer lead varieties of the Eberhard-Faber Microtomic (what a great name!) looked and felt like the über-smooth writing experience of a Blackwing. Go to that post to see the review, but one thing he said really stood out to me:

… [B]eing as objective as possible the first thing I noticed was how things sounded. Yes, you read correctly, how things sounded. Continue reading