I attended the Miami Pen Show last weekend. It's great to have a show that I can drive to in half an hour, even if it isn't the biggest show in the country. Maybe it's not the biggest, but it is growing. There were significantly more dealers this year. For example, Swisher was there, as well as Bertram's Inkwell, the show's promoter.
The venue has changed. For the last few years, it was held at the Biltmore Hotel, in Coral Gables. The Biltmore is a beautiful old hotel and a national landmark, but may not have the best venue for a show like this. This year, the show moved to the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay. There was a lot more room for the show and the lighting was was much better. The only real problem was parking. The hotel was supposed to provide $10 all day parking in their garage, but when I arrived shortly after the doors opened, there was no available parking (and there were only a couple of dozen collectors there at that point). I had to search for on-street parking several blocks from the Marriott. This wasn't so bad, but I had to go out and recharge the credit-card driven meter after a few hours and hope that I didn't get caught in one of Miami's frequent summer thunderstorms. I think most of the issues were due to the hotel's renovation. If the show is held there next year, those issues should be resolved.
Did I come home with any new pens? Well, this is one acquisition I got from Paul Erano. It's a Streamlined Senior Duofold in the Burgundy and Black pattern. Mike Masayuma, well-known nibmeister, was in attendance and he adjusted the nib for me. In his meticulous fashion, he ultrasonically cleaned the nib and feed, heat set the nib to the feed and smoothed the nib. This Duofold has the older Lucky Curve style feed, which has a wetter flow than the combed style nib that superseded it. Parker first used the Burgundy and Black pattern in April, 1931, when the combed feed had already been released, so Parker was probably using up their supply of older style feeds when they made this particular pen. All I can say is that this is my new favorite pen. For those who are interested, the main difference between the older style Duofold and the streamlined version is mainly in the taper at the end caps and the section. While the pen is slightly smaller than the previous version, it is quite a substantial writing instrument.