Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Write Stuff

August is always a tight month, financially, for those of us with children who are still in school. Backpacks, clothing, school lunches...it seems the list is never ending. It's even more difficult for those of us who have opted out of state education for private institutions, as tuition now starts becoming due. And then there are school supplies- which don't seem like they would cost that much, but by the time you total up that bill, you're in the hole again.

Speaking of being in the hole... the final purchase of my July hobby money was spent on school supplies. Or rather, a pencil. A Dale Murphy pencil.

Growing up, the only sports-themed pencils I saw were of the NFL variety. The first ones I remember had the primary color of the specific team, with stripes running along the edges from the eraser band to the tip. The stripes and team name were done in another of the team colors, giving the pencil a very nice look. The second pencils from the 70s/early 80s that I remember were similar, but did not feature the stripes and had helmets next the team name. The helmets did not feature logos, but were a solid color. Other brands came along later as I entered adulthood, but they were jumbled and don't have that clean, classic look to them.

As far as today's featured oddball- it's part of a two series set from 1984 and was manufactured by the National Pen and Pencil Company of Shelbyville, TN. I haven't seen an exhaustive checklist on the pencil sets, but I have seen the Murphy's from each series and from what I can tell the only difference between the Series 1 and 2 Murph's is the pencil number; in the first series (the pencil I bought) he is #33 of 36, while he is numbered 17 out of 18 in the second series.

Perhaps I might be more inclined to work on new material if I were to use this pencil. But then again, sharpening it and watching Dale's name, image and signature might just kill all inspiration.


  1. I had a couple of the NFL pencils. I remember the Bears and Rams. That's about the last time I cared about sports pencils (or really pencils in general).

    1. Would you try to get a Cey if they produced one? I would think either he or Garvey would have been produced.