Unwanted Gift Becomes a Treasure
It was Fathers Day 2001 and I had taken my son to see dad at work. With barely contained excitement, our 6 year old son had just presented daddy with a flame orange Juice S2. Like any great dad who loves his kids, but just received something he really didn't want or like, he put on a smile, gave his son a great big hug and said thank you and let him climb into the driver’s seat of a big rig. My husband who is a truck mechanic, body man and painter then turned to me, said this had to be expensive and told me to return it and get him a "good old fashioned pocket knife that won't get in his way" and not spend over $20 this time. I told him to give it a try for 5 weeks and if he really didn't like it I would exchange it then.
Getting him a knife had become an annual tradition and sometimes more than once per year as he would use them as intended or as crowbars, scrapers, screwdrivers and who knows what else. I had been eyeballing the Leatherman multi-tools for several years and no matter what I said he would not budge from a plain 3 bladed pocket knife claiming multi-tools to be too bulky, heavy and flimsy. A few weeks earlier I had read a newspaper article showcasing a local company that was making a big name for itself and introducing a new product line. Yes, it was Leatherman and the new Juice series of multi-tools made just for those who wanted something smaller, lighter and designed for the pocket with some very cool colors. I saw my chance for a conversion and freedom from buying so many knives and it was made by the kind of company we like to do business with. Being recent transplants to the Portland, OR area I now had the local business and American made card to play on him as well. I showed the pretty pictures to our son and read the description of each one to him. At the store he had all kinds of knives and multi-tools to pick from and I let the salesman do his job, but my work had paid off and he picked the Juice S2 because it fit in his hand and was "cool". He had $50 from grandma to spend and I happily chipped in for the balance.
One year later we HAD to stop by the Leatherman Company because my husband had broken the pliers on a stubborn nut and couldn't go a day without his Juice S2 and wanted to see if they would fix or replace it right away. They did! In 2004 it was lost and he whined every day for 8 weeks until we could replace it. This year he went to snow camp with our son's boys scout troop and one of the boys lost it again. This time he insisted he was naked and lost without it. For the 3 weeks it took the boy to replace it, several times a day something came up where he needed it and we all heard about it too. He uses his juice for everything from cutting out coupons to removing splinters, cutting and stripping wires, opening bottles and cans, tightening screws, nuts, bolts and cutting everything under the sun. Once he used it to remove a long piece of metal someone had lost and fit a piece of wood and some putty into the fuel tank on a woman's mini van so she could get safely off the freeway. He was so pleased with his Juice S2 that in 2002 he bought me the Juice XE6 for Christmas. Both of us have used our Juices for vehicle, tool and gear repair during fishing, camping and hunting trips. My son and I also own the Leatherman Kick and he used his to build an emergency shelter.
My husband now counts his Juice as one of his most prized possessions, but I think I got the best gift of all... I haven't bought another pocket knife since that fateful Fathers Day in 2001! And, I got to see how much it means to a young boy to know he chose and gave his hero something that is now treasured.