Hello! My name is Oscar Rodriguez, The Penthusiast. I live in Northern Virginia, and am currently a student at George Mason University with a passion for accumulating knowledge. I'm most commonly known as the founder and president of the Pay-it-Forward Project, and a former host of the BYOB Pen Club podcast.
I found my love for fountain pens in 2011 while working on a school project which required that I use a Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen. Once I put that pen to paper I was hooked and, as they say, the rest was history. Since then, my nature for tinkering took over and I began to repair, restore, and learn all that I could about fountain pens, which eventually led to me offering repair services publicly.
In 2017 I also decided to host a Pay-it-Forward (PIF) "Table" at the Washington D.C. Pen Supershow after I was inspired hearing about a friend doing something similar, on a smaller scale.
My goal was to give away as many "Fountain Pen Starter Packs" to children and new members to the fountain pen community by operating solely from donations, with a not-for-profit basis, while also hosting giveaways and re-homing stationery supplies to ensure that I involved other members of the fountain pen community and made them feel appreciated. The PIF Table was a huge success, and soon I found myself sending supplies to the San Francisco Pen Show, organizing similar tables at the show. Shortly after, the Pay-it-Forward Project was born.
Nowadays, when I'm not studying or working my day job, I'm at Bertram's Inkwell on the weekends helping out however possible. I spend my time under Bert Oser's tutelage meeting people in the community and absorbing as much knowledge as I can about writing instruments. I have had wonderful opportunities through Bert, both directly and indirectly, to meet and learn from people such as Tim Girdler, Bill Enderlin, David Silberman, Richard Binder, Linda Kennedy, and many other wonderful pen enthusiasts.
The fountain pen community is full of such amazing and caring people. Ever since I became immersed in the social aspect of fountain pens, I've found nothing but love, support, and encouragement from others. As a result, I always try to be an active member in the community by helping others whenever possible, and paying forward all of the kindness that was given to me. This community has made such a strong impact on my life, becoming a second family to me, and I am as grateful as can be to be a part of it.
No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted - Aesop