I don’t remember using anything special to write with though high school. The only thing you could really get was a #2 pencil and a Bic. I do remember preferring a retractable ballpoint rather than a capped Bic. But in the year of our nation’s bicentennial I graduated from John Marshall High School in San Antonio, Texas and received a silver Cross pen and pencil set with my name engraved on them. They are nice looking and feel good in the hand, but the ballpoint never wrote very well and my angle with the pencil tended to break the lead. So I didn’t use them much.
A few years later when I graduated from Texas A&M University, I received a gold Cross pen and pencil set. My father like traditional gifts. This set had pretty much the same performance and result – not used.
I recently tried to resurrect both sets. The newer ball point refills definitely write better but so far I have not found a good fit. The silver pencil will not accept lead. I suspect the mechanism is not retracting. The gold pencil works fine. I will keep an eye out for the proper refills for the pens even though I will rarely use them.
So these are the first “nice” pens and pencils I remember having but despite them I managed to catch the pen bug. And it started in the office supply cabinet – a story for another day.
Thanks for reading,
p.s. Write someone a letter.