(Yes, this blog still has a pulse however faint. Work’s been hectic but I hope to get an occasional entry posted once in a while. Thank you for your patience.)
I once read that if you sent your Parker “51” to finishing school, you’d end up with an Ottantotto. Having owned a “51”, I’d have to agree. The iconic Parker was certainly sleek but its nail of a nib prompted me to pen a Dear Janesville note.
The 88 on the other hand, has everything I could want or like. Three materials drape this dapper Don. The barrel is wrought from glossy piano black celluloid with subtle clear slots cut near the section to provide an ink view window. The piston knob and hood are crafted from black ebonite, which is less lustrous vis-a-vis the barrel but just as warm in feel. The striated rolled gold cap provides just enough bling without making the pen look like a Soprano in a track suit.
Then we have the nib. Apparently, stiff wasn’t cool in late 1940s Torino. The Fine is intoxicatingly supple and the ebonite feed insures that ink is always on tap. In fact, the only time it stops is when it hits the bottom of the tank. If you hate firm tips but need something more usable than a wet noodle, this may well be your poison.
My copy is not pristine but its small nicks and scars hint at a storied past. It is honest wear draped in finery and despite its age, it looks a lot better than many of the newer pens out there. (How do you spell M-o-n-t-e-g-r-a-p..?) Its original cork seals expired in December 2012 so I asked Ron Zorn to help me out. I knew he had a long queue, but he built his name by doing things right more than fast. Eight months later, my faith was amply rewarded and he even cleaned her up for me while he was at it. Old was made new once again and my usually confident Vacumatic Long Major inexplicably started to sweat.