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These old knives

C Craft

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My wife's Grandfather was 1/2 Creek Indian and quite a character from some of the stories I have heard about him! His name was Travis. I have heard he meant his wife at a social, picnic. Back then they were big doins as they used to say. They would get together and have a picnic and at the end of the day they built a bonfire and everyone  set around and talked or danced. As someone always brought there fiddle, banjo, harmonica or a squeezebox.   I never got the privilege of meeting him, as he had passed by the time I meant my wife!! He loved to go into town for an errand and often ended up across the river at a "dance hall", which usually meant his time in town had been extended by possibly more than a day!

The stories are many and colorful. Such as the time he stopped at the end of the lane in his old pick-up after he had a snoot full as they say. He was hugging a pecan tree he had transplanted to that location. At the time he decided he needed to go on the house, kicked the old model T pickup in gear and forgot, to let go of the tree and as the truck lurched forward, he broke his arm.

Or the time he has sold his prized bull for what would have been a very large sum in those days. The bull had sold for around $800.00 as the story goes. He knew he was going to town and would probably end up at the "dance hall" to celebrate the sale of the bull. He went to my Father in law and gave him about $600.00 of the money, to keep for him from the sale of the bull. Days after his trip to town and suspecting what might be the problem was. My father in law went to Travis, and asked him. What is the matter with you, you have been moping around for two or three days, now what is wrong!!! He looked at my father in law and told him I went to town to buy some supplies and he stops. My father in law playing it out as long as he could, says yep and you brought them back, so whats a matter. Well you know I sold that bull the other day and while I was in town I made a trip to the "dance hall" and,................ well I lost the rest of that money somewhere!! My father in law began to laugh, which he could tell was making Travis angry. He reached in his pocket and handed Travis his wampum bag, (made by his mother, full blood Creek Indian) with the string still done up like Travis had handed it to him. Travis opened the bag and began to hoot and holler. He did not remember giving the money to my father in law to hold!!

One last story, Travis got to town one day and a recent flood had broken the ferry's rope and the ferry had been washed way down stream. The owner was working on getting the barge back upstream and getting the ferry back in service. Travis got to the ferry landing and while waiting for the ferry said to someone. I can't see the ferry on the other side. The fellow told him, nope and you ain't gonna. Its been washed out and it will be several days before they get it back in service with this high water. Travis was not to be deterred about going to the "dance hall" walks several yards up stream. Far enough he could beat the current to the other side where he wanted to come out at! He peels off his going to town clothes, ties them in a ball and bails off into the water in his long john's! Swims across the river holding the going to town clothes in one hand, high above the water!! The man that told me this story said, he got to the other side started him a fire, dried out the long john's and put on his going to town clothes and off to the "dance hall" he went. As he finished the story, as big belly laugh roared from him! He looks at me and starts again, I use to ride horseback with Travis when he went to get the hogs and cattle in from free range and after a snoot ful from the night before he'd ride by the chicken coop, grab up a couple of raw eggs, crack them over the saddle horn, and down the hatch and shot of the hair of the dog from the night before....................... I settled in as I knew it was about to get good!

Like I said, the stories about him are very colorful and there is many more than just these. One thing that seems to be a common factor in these stories was the "dance hall" or the aftermath of a trip there! Even though in his younger days he had quite a colorful life. He lived in a time when the American Indian was not respected but from everything I have heard he was quite a successful rancher and respected as one of the most shrewd men when it came to the art of making a deal, whether it be about land, livestock or anything else he had for sale. I was told he could ride and rope with some of the best, sober or after a snoot ful,  and loved to shoot his pistols while holding the reins of his horse in his mouth. The man that told me this was a good friend of Travis's.  Yes sir, he was a colorful man!

He was a gun and knife fanatic from the what I have been told! He free range farmed here in Fl. and always done his own butchering! Back then butchering was a community thing and so as several families worked together to complete the task he always marked his knives. Some had his initials carved in them and some had his initials burned into them. The one thing that they had in common they were all most all handmade by him. Some were made from an old file, and one was made from and old handsaw I believe! I discovered these knives in an old shed in a box where they had been relegated to after his death! They were in bad shape when I found them. I wanted to do something to clean them up but, I did not want to change them, as that would take away from what they meant to my wife's Grandfather! So basically all I did was to remove the loose rust and let them show their use and age! 

To the standards of most custom makers they don't begin to meet the high quality most would strive for. Some had really bad rivet jobs and one has a bent nail in the handle to replace a rivet that was missing! Another actually has the handle wired to the knife. They all show signs of being sharpened many times. I have been told he had one of the old pedal wheel for sharpening, If not here is a link to one! https://www.chairish.com/product/544341/red-blacksmith-pedal-grinding-wheel?gclid=CjwKEAjw1a3KBRCY9cfsmdmWgQ0SJAATUZ8beO8hDh3AThl2XSwm8diz7FyQy4LhmuasD9cPXA9zVRoC52rw_wcB. If you know what I speak of you know, you could wear out a blade easily on one of these . Especially one that was being touched up over time!

These knives would not mean much to most folks but, to me they represent a man worth remembering and another time!! I didn't take individual pictures! I look at them often and think if these knives could just talk.........................!

Well I have wiled away the day waiting for the feeder bands of this tropical storm to stop and it looks like for the most part it has. So I got to go to town. We still live in that same town. The river is still there but, the ferry has been replace by a big modern bridge and the "dance hall" has long since disappeared and most don't even know the history that far back!! So don't have a reason to cross the river today so my trip may be no where near as eventful as a trip to town as Travis!! These stories while I may have embellished a part or two for the most part are true and are a tribute to a man and and another time! 

Here are the pics of his knives after I cleaned them up some!! Hope you enjoyed the story and a look into another time period!!!



Edited by C Craft

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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Thans for the enjoyable stories of the old feller and showing some very evocative knives. I aggree that they should stay in the "just cleaned" condition that you have shown them in here.

Von Gruff


The ability to do comes with doing.



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Glad y'all enjoyed the stories. There are many more. I never got to meet him but loved his dear wife! When my wife and I got married, and I got to meet her Grandmother. I had to ask her if she minded me calling her Grandmother as I never meant any of my grandparents They were all dead by the time I was born. She told me she did not mind and so that was always how I referred to her. When she passed it was as if she was my blood kin, it hit me very hard. She was a wonderful person and always busy doing something. She was just about 4' 11" and her husband Travis was almost 6' tall. We have a picture of them that was taken shortly after they were first married and the height difference is like the elephant in the room!!

When her mind started getting bad, she sold off a bunch of his knives and guns for near nothing. A friend of my sister in laws got a set of matched dueling pistols in the box with all the accessories for $32.00. The really sad part of that was they knew what they were getting. A nickle plated Colt revolver and holster was sold for $25.00 dollars and countless knives and other guns were all sold before any of the family found out!!! Why folks would take advantage of an old woman who really didn't understand what the stuff was worth is beyond me!!

I have always thought ole Travis and me might have gotten along quite well and am sorry I didn't get the opportunity to meet him!! I might have fit right in with some of those stories in my younger years!! LOL


I am not sure if this post offended someone or what but, I have gotten a message saying it did not belong here. I am not sure if they meant content or where I placed it. If this is indeed in the wrong section please moderators feel free to move it!! If it was the content, well............................... I am not sure what to say but, I ain't taking it down for you! If the moderators feel it is indeed bad content feel free to let me know!

I realize these knives would not be considered custom knives but they were home made I am sure of that, except maybe one! To me it shows a side of knife making that every knife does not have to be a masterpiece. These knives were made for TM uses and use them he did!!!!!

Edited by C Craft

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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