My first pen show was a unique experience.

First, a bit of background.

I discovered the new world of fountain pens (at least the world that wasn’t confined to the calligraphy set I received when I was 8 – the one that never did work) three years before while searching for a nice journal. Writing is akin to breathing in my life. I can’t seem to do without either for very long. But I reached the place of moving beyond spiral notebooks, legal pads, and Moleskine journals. Then I came across a video explaining fountain pens.

This fascinated me. Here were pens that could be filled with any number of various inks. The writing styles varied from scribbles to beautiful script but always seemed to look nicer with a fountain pen. The most amazing feature, however, was the community. A group of people who all felt the same pull (even obsession) that I felt. A group of people who were constantly active in showing and talking about their experiences. A group who freely shared knowledge with anyone who showed interest in the hobby. I was hooked.

I was also stuck there. I tried talking to family and friends about my new hobby, but their responses, though kind, were usually accompanied by a glazing over of the eyes. No one could understand why I would pay more than a couple of dollars for a pen. From their point of view mankind had advanced past fountain pens years ago.

Then I found a store carrying fountain pens along with an employee who was also obsessed with the hobby. He told me about the pen show that would be held nearby. There would be others there who were like us.