By Bob Resch: Purple Walrus Press.
In my lifetime I've never spent much time thinking about a ball point
pen. For me, it always had just one function. Writing. Pure and
simple. It was either blue or black ink, and I carried one
throughout all my school and working years. No big deal. But, as I
watched President Donald Trump signing his executive orders recently,
a whole new level of interest in the pen came to mind.
History tells us that ancient Egyptians in 3150 BC discovered that
they could convert bamboo stems into a primitive form of a fountain
pen. They formed a nub on one end and pushed a writing fluid through
the stem and were able to communicate. In 1888 Jon Loud, a American
leather tanner patented a roller tip marking pen that had too many
problems for it to be mass produced. In 1935, The Biro brothers from
Hungry hit on the idea that would become the modern day marking pen.
Today the "Ball Point" pen is about 5 1/2 inches in length and comes
in a wide variety of makes and models with tons of colors to boot. The
"feel" of a pen is a function of it's weight, thickness, length and
balance. A "Technical Pen" is used by an engineer, architect or
drafter because lines have to be consistent. Back in the day we all
remember the fabled "Fountain Pen". God forbid it leaked in one's
President Obama used a black lacquer Cross Townshend rolling ball pen
when signing official documents into law. He used 22 of them to sign
the Affordable Care Act in 2010. He used so many because he would
give them away to members of Congress or Foreign Dignitaries. George
W. Bush, however, never used more than one pen, and it appears that
President Trump is a one pen man as well.
So, now we have this innocent looking little instrument. How could
something so small have such a powerful impact on all our lives? Glad
you asked. We can't buy a house, a car or get married without the
Power of the Pen to sign the contract. Great songs have been "penned'
by Lennon and McCartney, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Ashford and Simpson,
Bob Dylan and the list goes on. In the hands of a screen-writer, the
Power of the Pen brings us classic Movies like The Wizard of OZ,
Citizen Kane, Star Wars, and a host of others.
But, without a doubt, the pen IS mightier than the sword. More lethal
than an AK-47. More powerful than a B2 Bomber. Faster than a rocket
ship. More devastating than a nuclear bomb. WHY?? Because In the
hands of a thinned skinned, impatient, defiant leader of a country,
the Power of the Pen can start wars that kill and devastate. It can
build walls. It can separate families. It can prosecute and
persecute. It can bring pain and suffering. So Sad!!
However, it's nice to know that on the other hand, a respectful,
fair-minded, tolerant and benevolent leader can use the Power of the
Pen to bring Peace, Prosperity, Hope, Salvation as well as Love and
Kindness. A simple signature can unleash The Power of the Pen tearing
down walls and building bridges. It can bring enemies together. Yes,
The Power of the Pen can create a bright future where there's plenty
of Harmony, Joy, and Happiness!! Awesome!!
Good things DO come in small packages. This little writing instrument
called a pen represents far more than just ink on paper. The pen
creates an expression of words and ideas that leave an impression.
The Pen can reveal heart and soul. Good or bad intentions. When one
places his/her signature on a document, it represents approval or
disapproval. For most of us when we sign on the dotted line it's for
just us or our family. But, when a President of a country signs on
the dotted line, he/she is knowingly stating that this order or law
will affect millions of people. Getting it right is of great
The Pen will continue to be one of the most powerful instruments on
this earth. With that in mind, we can only hope that this generation
and the ones to follow will learn to use it prudently.
Bob Resch Purple Walrus Press.