Lost a fountain pen nib, shared some Janesville stories
I was looking for a medium nib for my Parker Centennial Duofold this morning and I stumbled upon a Duofold set that my Great Aunt and Uncle gave me for graduation. My daughter was interested so I played a bit of trivia with her. She wasn't overly impressed that the set was made in the 1920s but she was amazed that the pen set was made in Janesville. "That's crazy, we made pens here!?!" Yes Hun, Janesville did…and still does make 'stuff'.
Since we went into Janesville history mode I also mentioned that the Gidion's started their bible distribution right here in Janesville. I received a head turn on that one. I also mentioned that Janesville produced their share of vehicles for the world in the form of many GM brands. I reminded her that she spent one of the last days of production with Grandpa at the plant and things dropped into place with that one.
Janesville doesn't just make stuff, it also distributes stuff. I reminded her that I worked for Blain Supply and Lab Safety…two families who ended up calling Janesville home, growing businesses and offering thousands of jobs for those in Janesville and in the Midwest. I didn't want to get into the whole Farm and Fleet versus Fleet Farm thing :)
Rotary Gardens wasn't always a garden. I let my daughter know that I would fart around on the BMX track as a kid and that the trout pond was much easier to fish and swim in when I was younger. Thanks to my orthodontist Dr. Yahr, Janesville now has one of the most beautiful gardens in the region. Another 'wow' moment for my daughter.
Will Janesville be a part of my children's plans as they move into adulthood? I'm not sure since that's still a ways off. Either way, I want to make sure that they have a basic understanding of what made Janesville - Janesville.
I'm not a local historian but I have my fair share of useless Janesville trivia that I can throw around. What other tidbits of Janesville history should we share with the next generation of kids in town? Oh, does anyone have a medium nib for a Centennial Duofold they'd like to sell? I still can't find mine! Email me if you do.
Steve Knox was born, raised and landed back in Janesville. He encourages you to participate as he writes on Janesville and beyond as this Generation X guy supports his Janesville mission, global vision. Steve is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.