Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whip It



When I was a lad, my great-grandfather had a ten-foot-long black bullwhip that he told me he had used on the mules on his farm in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He had hung it up long before I was born, after he could afford a Ford tractor. This one was looped over a nail on the back porch, and you could smell the oiled leather before you were close enough to touch it.

Just out of curiosity, I went to check on the replica bullwhips made by David Morgan -- the guy who made 'em for the Indiana Jones movies. You can buy one if you want, here.

That is, if you have happen to have an extra $865 laying around ...

Ten feet long, 12-plait, kangaroo hide -- just the thing to liven up your next backyard barbecue: "Give me your car keys, Ted, you've had too much beer to drive home. Gimme. What? What will I do if you don't? Oh, I'm so glad you asked ..."

For the record, I enjoyed the latest Indy outing, The Crystal Skull. Yeah, it was silly, but so what? None of the Saturday morning serials I saw down at the Paramount back in the late fifties ever made any realistic sense, either. And you have to love watching the 65-year-old Harrison Ford doing so many of his own stunts -- no cutaways, you can see his face. Man deserves an Oscar, funny and fast isn't easy ...

7 comments:

Edwin Voskamp said...

David Morgan's whips are mostly made for him by independents. Joe Strain is generally considered the best whip maker (http://northernwhipco.com/). I've handled his whips, as well as some by some of the top Australian whipmakers, including the gent who made the whip for Harrison Ford for the fourth movie. For my money, Paul Nolan (http://www.midwestwhips.com/) is the best whipmaker around. He makes whips for David Morgan, but if you want a masterwork, come up with something that really grabs his interest. He's also a very, very cool guy. Cheaper and better than David Morgan's whips. His knotwork is phenomenal: I have several 24-plait whips that are unbelievable.

I'll bring my collection to silat show 'n' tell.

Steve Perry said...

You have too much money, Edwin.

I love it when Indy swings on the whip, a thing that might not be the best idea ...

steve-vh said...

Jeff Finder just blogged about Anthony de Longis and the whips.

http://escrima.blogspot.com/

Once saw Tom Meadows do a double whip sayaw. Way cool.

Carissa said...

I enjoyed the movie too, expecting it to be pulp fun and it was exactly that.

I understand that they have replaced the old "Jumping the Shark" reference to "Nuking the Fridge." I love to see pop culture references updated.

Edwin Voskamp said...

Well, I used to have too much money. That problem is fixed now, mostly thanks to HR and recruiters in the Portland area and the fact that being overqualified and having an entrepeneurial spirit are considered a negative in hiring decisions.

Swinging on a whip is a really bad idea: if the whip holds, it'll pretty much destroy it. When done in the movies, it's a steel cable and a hook, over which a whipmaker braids the outer layer of a whip.

Bobbe Edmonds said...

"being overqualified and having an entrepreneurial spirit are considered a negative in hiring decisions."

Preach it, brother!!!

Give me a call, Edwin. Lets make some money in the game industry, utilizing midgets, porn, kung fu and Tolkien.

I've got an angle...

Dan Gambiera said...

Hmm. Edwin, that makes me think of what Brandt calls the "Daddy Quirt" because it's what his father carries...

* 18-20 inches long
* Core is thin wire rope
* The business end of the rope is divided into smaller strands capped with brass
* These partially hidden by the braided cover
* The handle is a shotbag ending in a 3/4" ball bearing covered with a turk's head or globe knot.

It's a horror and a half.