Pencil Rescue.

Something that pops up fairly often on the Erasable Podcast Facebook group is the idea of rescuing a pencil. Folks find abandoned pencils in school yards, on the ground, on public transportation, and in other people’s houses. I like the idea of taking something that’s been reduced to a stick of wood and returning it back to its intended purpose as a useful object.

With that in mind, I rescued this pencil last night from my favorite restaurant. Our kind server brought a cup of crayons for my kids to color with, as she does almost every week when we go there. This time, there were two beat up old pencils, with no eraser left, in the cup too. I rescued the one pictured above, in return for three new pencils that I left behind.

So far as I can tell, this Mirado is at least 15 years old. It is made in the USA and still smells good. A few years ago, I found some other pencils at my parents house which were branded by Sandford, before the company changed over their wooden pencil branding to PaperMate. The box from those pencils says 1999.

Of course, a few turns in my key chain sharpener, and this old Mirado is ready to resume its service. I love that about pencils; they are always ready to re-enter service, with just a small amount of attention, if not affection.

Do Comrades have stories of pencils rescued?

Capped Pocket Pencil.

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I have a Magic Box of Awesome. (I should really do a post about it and stop my Lazy Blogging, but think of David Rees, and use your imagination.) Looking through this box is a staple request from Charlotte. Recently, she opened it and asked to have this very tiny pencil. I told her it can be her Pocket Pencil, and she liked this idea. Then I told her, in a very Parental Fashion, that she needed to use a point protector. A miniature argument ensued. This argument could only happen in my house, and perhaps some select other Outposts. I only won, I think, because one of the runs of General’s protectors had sparkles in it for some reason.

“I don’t trust pens.”


I was in the storage area of the department in the university where I work yesterday with another lady in my office.  We were talking about the archival quality of the creepy basement and ink and paper.  When we got back upstairs, I had to check-out certain archived materials with her so that I could take them to my office to peruse them.  She wrote down everything that I took with a pencil bearing our university’s logo.  I noticed a yellow pencil by her keyboard that she had been using earlier.  More in cups.

J: R, do you like pencils?

R: What?  Oh, yes.

J: Me, too (in a whisper).

R: I don’t trust pens.  They never work when you need them to.

J: I’m taking some boys camping this weekend, and I told them to bring a notebook and pencil because it’s likely to be too cold for ink to flow where we’re going…

And I went back to my office glad that I’m not quite the only pencil geek at work.