Don’t ask me how four middle class white boys in
I spoke to my brother a few days ago. I haven’t heard from Keith or Kevin in over 27 years. 26 years after the disbanding of The Black Panthers of Elida,
I went looking for them on Ebay. There were none. What’s the deal????? None on EBAY???? Are they rare, or something? Some Googling told me they were rare. One website went as far as to estimate there were only 30 in existence. Obviously, there are probably more than 30 of them around, but I like how some people vehemently disagree with that total. I’ve seen bulletin board posts that say things like, “Oh, he’s full of crap if he says there are only 30 in existence. The total is probably closer to 50!!!! There could even be 100 of them if they were all dragged out of the barns and basements.”
I couldn’t find one. Gail and I went down to John Sindelar’s last year and there were four of them mocking me. I asked John about them, and he said, “I’ve had a few of them through the years, but I kept these because they were unique. These are weird ones…” (Friends that is a man after my own heart. His collection is so extensive he only collects “weird” Panther Saws.)
A year or so ago a Panther Saw finally showed up on Ebay. It was beat to death, and it went for about $600. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t even bid. A few weeks ago another one showed up. It wasn’t in Sindelar Condition. It had a couple of issues. It had a blade that had seen so many sharpenings it was only about an inch and a half tall at the toe. Also, it had a big nasty drip of latex paint on the handle. Even though I felt my background as a black panther (Elida, Ohio white guy pre-teen chapter from 1980) entitled me to own this saw, it was actually my Ebay bid that made it happen.
So, even though I spoiled this story a week and a half ago by showing Gail pruning trees in the backyard with my Panther Saw, I am officially on record as being a panther owner. I have described my Panther Saw as being like a Gutenberg Bible that is missing Psalms. Sure, given its condition, it is not the most desirable sample in the world, but why don’t you show me yours before you say anything bad about mine.
A couple of weeks ago a Panther Saw in really good shape turned up on Ebay, but the final $1800+ bid did not meet the reserve.
How many are out there? There have to be at least 30 Panthers. I think there are still more than 50 Panther Saws in the world. There could be as many as 100. Mine isn’t perfect, but owning it does make me feel like I am special. And I haven’t felt this special since the Nigerian Government sent me that email asking me to help them move some money around through the use of Money Orders...