As a retired U.S. Navy Reserve Master Chief Corpsman, I was compelled to visit the U.S.S. Constitution when I was in Boston. “Old Ironsides” was dry-docked for repairs and I wanted to explore every inch of her. Talking to a young sailor at the entrance, I mentioned my Navy experience and must have said something about making pens, too.
“Stop here before you leave the ship, Master Chief,” he said. I did. There he stood with two grocery bags of oak from deep inside the hull, pieces that were being replaced and discarded. I carried those bags on the flight home like they were gold.
There were enough chunks for 48 pens. I designed a certificate for them, which includes a limited edition number, a composite graphic from the ship’s website, my Navy title and the date I was given the wood. I’ve only made nine, because I only make them for people with a strong Naval heritage.
The first one was given to a WWII vet by his daughter. When he opened it, he cried. I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction.