I have bought my first P51 some 15 yrs ago, used. It was an Aerometric, for little I knew the P51 comes with a vacumatic filler, at the time. To be honest, even if I knew that, I would have bought that pen, too beautiful to miss. I got charmed by its appearance instantly
Now, I have to say that the reason (well, the first one at least) was that it stirred memories from my childhood: living in the communist Romania, I did not get Western pens in the stores. Some of those more fortunate, such as the children of people who had a chance to travel outside the country, had some Czech, Hungarian, French, Italian or even English/American- made pens. However, as said, these were not available in stores, for the import of Western goods was almost nil, and in any case, the imports were altogether scarce and little. Anyways, as a child of the "proletariat", I could hardly get one; my parents had no such opportunities, And you know what? Never felt the need for a fancy pen at that time, I was too busy living fully my childhood, such as it was during those dark years.
So, one had to make do, and the Romanians made do with the Hero fountain pens, or other Chinese brand ( Hero was quite well known, especially the 10K gold nibs, much sought for). And I got one of these as a gift, while in the elementary school. It wrote like a charm, and it was a good pen, burgundy with steel cap.
Later in the high school years, got myself another Hero, steel nib, India black with lustraloy cap. That was the most I could aspire to, given the times and circumstances. As luck would have it, this one was a good writer and I enjoyed having it, using it, and flaunting it . I considered myself fortunate to have a pen which was coveted and scarce (yes, even those Hero pens were not in enough supply, no idea why was that. But then again, in the communist Romania, nothing seemed to be in sufficient numbers).
Years passed, and when I got the chance, I have purchased an aero P51, because it was looking like a Hero from my past. Interesting isn't it? To buy a genuine item, for the sake of the copy you once had. I believe this to happen the other way round too. Life is such, I guess.
I do now have several Parker 51's, all vacumatics from the 40's. They're nice and I do enjoy to take one out and keep in the rotation for a while, for the sake of the old times. Looking at them, makes me feel good, and the fact that I have lived to see so many Western pens in my cabinet is a good feeling. And I no more discriminate against knock-offs or replica or copies...somehow this just doesn't seem to be important. They're just there. I do not buy such copies, but I manage to acknowledge their existence and live with it.
What about that first aerometric ? Well, it sits and enjoys tales of old in the same case with the two Hero pens. I guess they have a lot to reminisce about, East and West (or East vs West, as it was during those years), the 60's, and whatnot.
I do hope this text makes sense, I just felt I should use this opportunity to say things aloud
Melissa, whatever Parker 51 you'll get as your first, do enjoy it. They are wonderful tools !!!
Edited by PenThing, 21 December 2019 - 08:20.