A Father’s Day Anvil

We weighed the anvil on the bathroom scale to find out that it weighed 195 pounds. We thought that 1-2-27 stamped on the side was the date it was made, but that turns out to be the weight in hundredweight notation. Inputting the numbers into an Internet calculator confirmed that the anvil was 195 pounds. More research suggested that this was a “London-patterned” anvil made by Peter Wright between the 1860s and 1920s, often used as ballast in sailing ships when being delivered to the United States. Dad found it in a blacksmith shop on an old farm in Boise, Idaho, in the late 1950s.  It’s at least 100 years old since it was on the farm for 50 years and he had it for 50 years after that. An anvil collector would pay anywhere from $400 USD to $1,000 USD.

When I was a little child, I sat on the anvil one night to watch Dad work around the garage. I was rocking back and forth when I fell off backwards. The back of my head stuck the lawnmower blade, leaving an inch-long scar that I didn’t know about until I got a crew cut as teenager, and I blacked out. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the truck with my parents as  pulled up to the hospital. Then I blacked out for good when I was put on the operating table and a gas mask was put over my face. I woke up in a recovery room that had six tables. The only other patient was a Hell’s Angels biker with a broken arm and stitches for multiple knife wounds who was handcuffed to the table. That was the beginning of a very interesting childhood for me.

Ever since then I wanted to have that anvil, which was customary handed down from father to son through the ages. Dad knows I want the anvil but he haven’t given it to me yet and keeps mentioning that he wants to sell it. I think he fears that I’ll stop visiting him if I took the anvil home. Not true but I’m not pressing him for it. I did made it very clear that the anvil was the only possession that I wanted from him if he kicks the bucket. My brother can have everything else. Knowing my luck, I’ll have to pry the anvil out of his dead hands when the time comes.