Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Purple Flair.

By Gerry Wendel, Groovy Reflections Founder and Team Member

I never enjoyed writing with ball point pens. Sadly, there wasn't a choice when it came to school work. Sometimes they leaked and spewed ink on your hands. Combine that with my tendency to press really hard which could make my hand and wrist sore if I wrote too much. 

In my household growing up we always had Flair pens around the house. Not blue. Not black. Not red. Not green. Purple. It was my Dad’s signature pen. Nothing fancy for him. No 19 cent Write Brothers pen. No Bic. Nope. It was all about the color and the ease of writing. I took a keen observation to little things like this.

While my dad always told me to “be a leader, not a follower” there’s always an exception. In this case it's "like father, like daughter". My dad passed away many years ago, and I carry on a tradition he started today. Seeing purple Flairs makes me think of my dad. So in this case, I follow.

Dad would scribble on just about anything with his purple Flairs. He wrote on the inner walls of the garage. He’d also scribble in the top drawer of the ancient, unused desk in the basement. I found some powerful thoughts there that made me cry (that’s another story). He would write thoughts up high on the floor beams in the basement too. He wrote “Vaya Con Dios” there; one of his very favorite songs by Freddie Fender.

My dad even wrote on a brick. Yes; he wrote words all over a brick that we used to keep a door open. Well, okay, not all of his writings were with a purple Flair. It's almost impossible to write on a brick with one, so it had to be a Sharpie!

My dad never had a pocket protector but a purple Flair was often found in the pocket of his Dickies work shirt.  I usually don’t have pockets on my shirts so that doesn't work for me. So where do all of mine wind up? yesterday I grabbed a handful of "stuff" out of my purse that was making it too heavy and lo and behold, FOUR purple Flairs emerged.

No, they’re not the same as the ones that my dad had. They don’t even have ridges on the casing anymore and they don’t feel as nice when you’re writing with them. And you can’t even buy purple ones at a brick and mortar Staples; they're only available by ordering a box (12) online. Of course my last order was for three boxes of them; 36 in all! If they were edible I’d probably eat them, but even better every time I use one I have memories of my father. 

Flair was so groovy! 

And if you don't remember them, here's the 19 cent Write Brothers pen. Write On!


Anonymous said...

I remember the Flairs but more importantly I remember the little things that bring back the sweet memory of loved ones lost. Thanks for the story, Paul

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the story - it reminded me that my dad also loved Flair pens, though not purple. We had them all over the house! Tim

Robyn said...

Now you have me looking for a Flair Pen!! Love the memories you shared.... And the story that must be behind some of the writings. Your Dad was DEFINITELY Groovy!!

Guy Sharwood said...

I was first introduced to Flair pens back in 1968 when one of my parents brought one home. I was already drawing cartoons every chance I got and I loved how they made everything bolder.

I continue to use them and love the variety of colors, inasmuch as I miss the ridges you mentioned, Gerry. My wife got me this big assortment from Target a while back.

Gerry Wendel said...

Wow! Thanks for all the great comments. Obviously I'm not alone feelin' the love for this product!

Lorri Wyndham said...

My Dad still uses a green flair..I don't think his signature is official if it isn't in green.

Gerry Wendel said...

Lorri, sounds like you have a green flair story to tell! Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm using a red Flair to write my memoirs.