Tuesday, July 05, 2011


On a hot July 5th evening in 1961 I met the girl who would become my wife just shy of 7 months later.  The photo here was taken in 1984 so I must admit she's just as pretty but there's a bit more of me with a bit less hair.  Bit, being considerable.

Two rather home-spun kids took the plunge on February 10, 1962.  For the 7 months before that date and continuing through almost half a century, I've put pencil and pen to paper of all descriptions and I've written rhymes of love, appreciation, and fun to this lady who inspires me daily.  Oh, she doesn't get a new issue every day but the collection has come to fill a couple of file drawers.

Today marks a significant milestone since that chance meeting at the Dairyette in Hugo, OK.  I penciled a poem, about that evening, on a legal pad that she'll get later in the day.  May share that one here later down the line.

Since this is a little corner of my day that will have my attention somewhat regularly, I'll share some of my reams of rhymes from time to time.  (Sorry, it just comes out that way.)

Often, these things eek out of my head the night before the day of celebration or the newest milestone.  Sometimes they've cooked during the night and wake me at 5:00 a.m. the morning of.  On occasion, they're almost completely formed.  I must scurry to get them recorded on the nearest napkin or shred of paper before they evaporate.

The one below was my Valentine edition in 2010.  If I did one...and I'm sure I did...for V 2011 I don't know where it is.  But it's in a drawer somewhere waiting to see the light of day again in this space one of these days.

Meanwhile, from February 14, 2010.

If I were Johnny Mercer,
I'd pen a masterpiece
To say in clever verse and song
Just how our love has moved along
An it would never cease.

If I were legendary Cole,
The Porter known so well,
I'd write and play a melody
Filled with love to you and me
And all the world I'd tell.

If I were Oscar Hammerstein,
Lyrical and in love,
I'd fill a thousand lines or more
And I'd have Richard write the score,
A songbook of passion from above.

But I'm just Ken of average skill,
Blest, and thankfully, 
I found the girl 'neath heaven's sun,
An angel for me, two hearts in one
And the best is yet to be.....

Forever Valentines and Sweethearts.....2010

©2010 Ken Brown

Monday, July 04, 2011


It's July 4th. It's hot in Texas. Probably where you are too unless you reside at 9,000 feet somewhere in New Mexico or Colorado or your address is in the Andes.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Below is a letter from this young man.  It's an idea for anyone with a teen-ager needing extra cash for high-shool or college.

This is Micah from Tennessee. His Mother enrolled herself and Micah in my engraving seminar in the spring of 2006. His parents knew of my seminars and foresaw the opportunities their son would have with a special skill in college. Needless to say the ability to personalize gift objects would pay far more than flipping burgers or washing cars.

Micah, like most young people who catch on quickly, amazed me. His work was simply incredible by the end of the third day in the class. He had no previous experience with any of what he did and he outshined most of the adults from almost the beginning.

Oh, if I had only had the skill when I was at college. I flipped burgers. In 1960, the going rate in dorm's snack bar was .40 an hour. Yes, forty cents an hour. But I did get free food while on duty!

Recently, I got a letter from Micah and I'm sharing it below.

        Hey Ken!
I attended your engraving seminar in May of 2006. I was fifteen at the time. I engraved at Belk during the Christmas/Valentine's/Mother's Day seasons at our local malls in 2007 and 2008. The women working at the fragrance counters were very supportive--they marketed it everywhere from the loudspeaker to fliers to their most loyal customers. But the mall I engraved in was in Johnson City, a town about the size of Waco or Wichita Falls. I know there are larger opportunities out there.

Later I thought about engraving at spring wine sampling events in Asheville at the Biltmore Estate, the largest private home in the United States. It is now open to the public, and its winery is the most visited in the nation.

Next semester, I plan to start my freshman year at Cedarville University. Almost providentially, that college is just 66 miles from Kenwood Town Center, which will welcome Cincinnati's first Nordstrom September 25th. It seems like the perfect opportunity. But since Nordstrom in Cincinnati on opening day will be a much higher caliber than Belk in Johnson City, I would deeply appreciate any tips you could offer.

Thanks you so much,
I gave Micah some suggestions and tips and he's earned from $50. to $75. per hour at the events. Pretty nice income for a college kid.

So, here's my idea and special offer to you.

BRING A KID TO CLASS. Maybe you have a son or daughter, or grandchild, who would love the chance to learn a wonderful new skill to help with college expenses. It works. What a great high-school graduation gift it would be. Or a birthday gift. It's a cliche but this is truly a gift that keeps on giving....for decades to come.

If both of you take the PROFESSIONAL course, the published $1500. per person fee will cover BOTH of you. Student comes FREE.

The same deal goes for a spouse or a friend if you enroll at the same time.  Offer is available for a limited time.

Call us at 214.250.6958 to reserve your seat(s).



Meet Joanne, from southern California, who became my FIRST Ken Brown Certified Engraver. Not the best digital photo from 2001 but the best I have. Joanne not only was the first to certify, but the first one to enroll in my first seminar. She's a gorgeous lady who has made her engraving pay rich dividends through the years.

In addition to engraving items for individuals, she's a regular at several major department stores in the Los Angeles area where she does fragrance bottles at their special events near holidays and other special occasions.

Gail and I still have a wine bottle, unopened, that Joanne sent to us for a wedding anniversary several years ago.

By the way, in that first class, we had another lady from Memphis, a lady from near Austin, Texas, a man from southern California, and a lady from Atlanta who produced videos for a large manufacturer of crafts materials. We held the class in the conference room of a small hotel in McKinney, Texas, over the Memorial Day weekend.

Let us hear from you if you have an interest in attending one of our Seminars.


Monday, March 29, 2010


Have been working on a feature story to promote my engraving seminars and it hit the internet this past Tuesday. Had a lot of help from a talented lady who is an expert at these things. She did a masterful job of getting me 'out there' so I'll share the link with you.

Well, it's done and in cyberspace so take a look. As you've seen on the bottle in the previous post and a zillion other items on my site, hand-engraving is simple a phenomenal way of providing a universally-popular service that renders a nice income stream. I've proven time and time again that if a person has desire, patience, and some hand-eye coordination, this can be learned. I'm totally self-taught, but it took me a lonnnng time to get it right. The seminars I teach are the fast-track to learning and you CAN do it if you want it badly enough.

Great fun here in the engraving world......you should come join us!



Last September I attended the 15th Anniversary of the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Thousands of Vette drivers caravanned to the place from every corner of the country. It was an amazing sight. Had a grand time in my little booth there engraving Corvette parts, along with some knives and other goodies I took for the crowd.

There was an auction for some worthwhile cause, so I purchased a bottle of Kentucky bourbon, wrote a poem, engraved it on the bottle, and then donated it to the auction.

It brought a nice price and gave me a bit of buzz at the show, so it was certainly worth the time, effort, and cost.

The glass bottle was of high quality. Same as the bourbon, I'm told but I didn't sample any of it. I engraved it with a number 2 round carbide and filled with gold Rub 'N Buff.

Remember, if you're an engraver, this kind of gift is always a huge hit. If you're not, and want such for your own gift or presentation, I know where you can find a good hand-engraver of calligraphy. If you'd like to be taught to do it yourself, I can certainly arrange that too.


Monday, March 22, 2010


One of my three readers wrote and asked whether graphite golf club shafts can be engraved.

No. It weakens the shaft and makes a dark black cloud of ugly dust in the process. Stick to the metal on the head, steel shaft, or hosel. He also asked if engraving a putter head would change the balance and affect his score. Well, unless the letters are huge and deep, I'd bet not.

Here's one more tongue-in-cheek rhyme for a golfer. Include it with a nice bottle of wine the next round there's reason to celebrate.
Hole-in-one a fantasy,
Eagles extremely rare.
Three-putts foul your final,
But with good wine you won't care.

-Ken Brown copyright 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010


In 1953 I discovered golf in Hugo, Oklahoma. I was a 6th grader earning .50 a round for toting clubs and chasing errant golf balls for the likes of Bob Grant, Tom O'Dea, and I may have carried them a time or two for Art Harris.
We had a 9 hole course with sand greens. Yes, I hear you now, 'What are sand greens?" Instead of the burr-haircut-short, perfectly manicured grass greens of today, we had a big, perfectly round hole, about 10 yards in diameter, gouged about 6" deep at the other end of the fairway. You could usually see it from the tee box. Looked like a big ugly smudge where a rocket was launched and burned off the lush green grass around the adjacent fairway. The hole was filled with nasty, oily sand. In the dead center was the cup holding the flag. The idea was to knock the little white ball from the tee box in as few strokes as possible to sink it in the hole in the center of the big brown spot. Big order.
Well, from wherever your ball landed after the tee-off, was where you wanted your next shot to stop. Somewhere on that ugly, scarred place in an otherwise picturesque spot on the golf course. I'll spare you most of the details except to say that once on the 'green'....and why in God's name did they call it that? It was a greasy 'brown!' When your ball landed somewhere in the sand, you were allowed to step off....not exactly accurate in all cases....the distance from your ball's place to the edge of the....green. You'd then, walk around to the 'putting drag' which was the only smooth place in the sand. It was a strip of finely-packed sand about 18" wide from the edge of the green to the cup. You placed your ball on the drag at the same distance you stepped off earlier, perched over it like Tiger Woods....O.K, like Arnold Palmer....and gave it a healthy swat with the putter, hoping it could make the trip all the way to the cup. I've seen Al Alexander and a couple others use a two-iron just to make sure it got there.
Fast-forward a few decades and, occasionally, I'm on the #1 teebox at some Dallas-area country club, often sitting under a nice shade tree with someone fetching me a cool one every now and then. As the golfers parade up to the tee, I ask if I may put their name on their driver, putter, chipping wedges, or whatever else they may have in the bag. Depending upon how many cool ones they've already had, it can be quite interesting what they decide to have permanently etched into their sticks.
After sundown one evening, at the big dinner party following the tournament and during the 'putt-off' on the practice green at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas, an attractive woman, who had been through the martini line at least 4 times, sauntered up to my table. She had her putter in one hand and martini...I'm guessing at least #4...in the other. She fashioned herself as being a movie star from a James Bond movie as she announced, loud enough for all in 20 feet to hear her, "Hi Ken Brown. I want you to engrave 'Pussy Galore' right here on the top of my putter!
I gulped. I kept my composure and merely smiled like it was all routine, while all around laughed hilarously. I took her putter and gave it her requested name. I've wondered, in the light of a new day, if she wished she could erase it. Probably not. Maybe it cut a few strokes from her game, but we won't go there.
Bottom line is this: A big chunk of the golfing crowd loves to have their name and, sometime a phone number, engraved on their clubs. Not uncommon to sink a 40 footer (on a grass green!) and walk away, leaving a chipping wedge on the lip of the green after the celebration. When it has the golfer's name on it, usually it ends up in the pro shop and can be retrieved there.
In the photo above, I engraved 'Snake Eyes' for a sober golfer. The titanium head engraves magnificently, although showers of white sparks shoot from the letters as they're being made each time I do titanium. Quite a pretty sight.

Prettier, is the 20 bucks the golfer hands me for the work.
Now, as long as we're on the subject, here's a little ditty you might include with your next gift of a golf item. I was asked to create a round of poems for a set of golf glasses, so I'll share one of them here. If you know ANYTHING about golf, this will make perfect sense. Enjoy!

Your best wood is your pencil,
Your best number is FORE!!!
Your best round hasn't happened,
Your best lie is your score!

-Ken Brown copyright 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010


When I was in 5th grade I discovered golf. At first, from the perspective of a rookie caddy, chasing golf balls in the rough, bobbing for balls in the creek, and toting a bag of clubs for the golfer who was paying top fees for 9 holes. A fat fifty cents. That included all the above and about 2 miles of walking behind the guy blasting balls everywhere but inthe fairway. We got our drinking water from garden hoses strewn around the greens. There were no golf carts back then! It was all quite primitive. But I got the fever and eventually got my own clubs.

Well, all that went away as I became an adult and got busy with other things. I still have an affinity for the game but now I find myself not toting the other guy's clubs but engraving his or her name on them. Can't say it's as much fun as playing the game but it's a bit more profitable unless I gambled and that's surely not my game.

The photo shows a driver with a black titanium head onto which I engraved the owner's nickname. I think he thought this would help his game but have no idea that it did. However, he loved the personalization and probably made bets beyond his limit, thinking this cool club would shave strokes.

I hustled all the Dallas area country clubs several years ago and engraved enough clubs, put end-to-end to stretch from the first tee to about the 5th green! The golfers love them. The women love them even more. One lady, after a long hot round of golf and about 4 martinis at the bar one July afternoon came up to my table and