I have inherited several dry and once beloved fountain pens from my father, Timothy Deeks. The pen once filled with green ink is my favorite, but alas I have not been able to successfully refill it, or any of the others. Watching an interview with Neil Gaiman (love him) I noted he spoke at length about using fountain pens and how they are sloooow/flooooow and give an experience to writing. Gaiman does his first drafts in fountain pen. First drafts are meant just for the author he points out and goes on to talk about the value of writing longhand then later editing as he types the story into a word processor. Gaiman recommends the Fountain Pen Hospital in New York, which on name alone I had to look up.
What a synchronicity that I was two blocks away from this place last month. My dad worked for months after 9/11 on rebuilding the subway system and since I was traveling in New Jersey I veered to see the World Trade Center memorial and Manhattan for the first time. I had a lovely wander revisiting sites I remembered him mentioning. I'm sad I missed the Fountain Pen Hospital. According to their website, "The Fountain Pen Hospital has been restoring fountain pens ever since 1946-- an era when the only pens being used were fountain pens!" The exclamation point is theirs. We've gone from from fountain pens to ballpoint pens to keyboards. This change is especially poignant considering today the death of handwriting/cursive are hot button topics. I certainly type significantly more than I write but deeply enjoy putting pen to paper.
My first attempt at restoring my Dad's fountain pens was to purchase, and then regret purchasing, generic fountain pen refills at a big-box office store. I was glad they had refills, but alas, they did not fit. Despite fiddling with the refills and disassembling all four pens, I was no closer to actually writing with them. Hearing Gaiman, an author I respect, wax poetic on the fountain pen, I think I will take another stab at refurbishing my father's pens in honor of the 10 year anniversary of his passing. Rest in peace dadoo!!
Interview: "Neil Gaiman — The Interview I've Waited 20 Years To Do | The Tim Ferriss Show" start at 14:15min.
The Fountain Pen Hospital, 10 Warren St, New York, NY 10007
BONUS https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/wax-poetic.html I grew up with this phrase, but it is slightly arcane. Yay words.