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Bowie Knife Show impresses weapons enthusiasts

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Joe Bassi examines some of the antiques on display at the Bowie Knife Show at the Natchez Convention Center Saturday afternoon.

NATCHEZ — Vidalia resident James Herd has been a fan of Bowie knifes since he was child.

“I don’t know what it is about them,” he said. “There is just something about the style and shape that sets it apart from every other one.”

What started as a fascination with one style, turned into a lifelong obsession with antique knives, and Herd was able to enjoy that obsession Saturday at the Natchez Convention Center when Miss-Lou residents gathered for the Bowie Knife Show.

“Walking in the door was like being a kid all over again,” Herd said. “There was something at every booth that caught my attention.”

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Joe and Sheryl Bassi take a look at some of the antique knifes on display at the Bowie Knife Show at the Natchez Convention Center Saturday afternoon.

Herd and the rest of those in attendance browsed the many booths at the convention center, looking for the right item to buy, sell or trade.

“It’s like living in olden times,” Herd said. “If you have the right tools, you can trade for whatever you want.”

Natchez resident Kevin Crestin said the amount of collectors and collectibles at the event was enough to make any weapons fan salivate.

“You just don’t see this type of selection of guns and knives anywhere,” he said. “It almost feels like Christmas morning for us, but instead of running to the Christmas tree, I was running from the parking lot to the door.”

Crestin brought a few of his personal Bowie knifes to the show, but wound up not being able to part with them.

“I did manage to pick up a few more pieces for my collection though,” he said. “And I am fine with that.”

While the majority of the crowd was there to buy or sell their items, a few residents, like 15-year-old Vidalia resident Nathan Jordan, were just there to view history.

“I haven’t seen weapons like this before,” he said. “It’s almost like walking back through time.”

Jordan said the array of weaponry kept him busy the entire three hours he spent at the show.

“Just when I thought I had seen every type of knife there was, I would see something else that was different,” he said.

With many top collectors from around the country in attendance, Jordan said he was amazed at the depth of knowledge they had about each weapon.

“Every one had a story,” he said. “It was just incredible to know the history behind each weapon, and too see how things started.”

Crestin may not have found every weapon he was looking for at the knife show, but he said the experience of being around others with his interests was enough for him.

“I try to talk guns and knives with a lot of people I know, and they never seem to care,” he said. “It was nice being able to just relax and have some conversation.”

Crestin said he will spend the next year looking for more knives online while he waits for the 2012 Bowie Knife Show.