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  1. The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games start in a few days, which is a good time to write about a pen that celebrates the last city to host the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro. In August 2016, I led an award-winning program in digital storytelling to Rio, for 25 students from the United States, Brazil, Germany, and Italy. The students, mostly journalism majors, collaborated on multimedia stories about the impact of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on the host city. To commemorate this adventure, I asked several people for ideas on a Rio-themed pen. Among them were Prithwijit Chaki, Ian Roberts, Lakshminarayanan Subramaniam, and a half-dozen moderators from the Fountain Pen Network. A design emerged that incorporated iconic elements of Rio: the green of Guanabara Bay, where Olympic sailing events took place, the color of sunsets at Ipanema and the Red Beach near Botafogo, where our program was headquartered, and a clip based on Christ the Redeemer, the monument overlooking the city. We decided on a Conway-Stewart material called pistachio for the pen, which was based on Prithwijit Chaki's Halwa design. L. Subramaniam, who runs ASA Pens in Chennai, India, created it. The pistachio acrylic supplies lush versions of green and red, but I havent completely followed through on the clip. I found a lovely silver demitasse spoon based on the monument, called Cristo Redentor in Portuguese, but havent had the heart to have the spoon cut, twisted, and soldered into place. Instead, a silver peacock serves as a roll-stopper, inspired by the peacock headdresses of carnival in Rio which is taking place as I write this review. The pens 1.9 mm music nib from Franklin-Christoph, headquartered in my home state of North Carolina, supplies a Sailor ink called tokiwa matsu in exuberant quantities. The ink is evergreen, but sheens in the color of brownish-red pine cones. The nib's "FC" imprint mirrors a statue of the composer Frederic Chopin at Red Beach -- Praia Verhelma -- created by the Polish community of Brazil during World War II, after a statue of Chopin was torn down in the invasion of Warsaw. The Rio pen is delightful to write with, and bears the craftsmanship of ASAs custom projects, which are remarkable, understated, and attentive to detail. It's large, about the diameter of a TWSBI Vac 700, but a little longer. Dimensions are on Prithwijit Chaki's account of making the Halwa. The barrel contains a cartridge-converter and bears an imprint to celebrate the city where the Olympic project took place, the date, the pens maker, and the city where the pen was made. Imprints document the creation of a pen for this generation and the next. Imprints are underrated, and I love them. One of the key lessons our students learned in Rio was that an event like the Olympic Games makes a permanent impact on both the topography and the residents of the host city. These individuals take pride in the celebration, and they pay for it. A corollary is that city residents make an unforgettable mark on Olympic history and on everyone who takes part in the games. Its like a positive version of the Locard exchange principle, the basis of forensic science. Every contact leaves a trace. L. Subramaniam shipped this pen to me in May 2017, which means this review is long overdue. I have been thinking about the excitement and anticipation of creating the pen, of the emails, drawings, and photographs exchanged in the spring of 2016, and of the ideas and contributions of Ian Roberts, in particular. Ian, who passed away recently, was an enthusiastic participant in the Rio pens creation. Known on FPN as Ian the Jock, he was Scottish, hilarious, articulate, irreverent, joyous, and generous. Ian teased me about my affection for green pens, which he disliked. But he loved red, and he enjoyed pens with nautical and ocean themes. Ian brightened this little pen community much like the people in cities who host the Olympics, or like the students who trained hard for month after month in the spring and summer of 2016, and then made a success of our adventure in Rio. Every contact leaves a trace.





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