Cool Custom: John Dennehy’s Model 1 Alpine

Cool Custom: John Dennehy’s Model 1 Alpine
Personalized for Kristi Noem by John Dennehy, the DAN-D Model 1 Alpine has a 3.5-inch blade of 440C stainless steel, a nickel-silver guard, and red, white and blue spacers on each end of a stacked leather handle with an aluminum buttcap. John handcarved the governor’s initials on the sheath and added some turquoise. He’s incorporated turquoise in his leather carving since 1989 when he worked in the shop of his father, BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Dan Dennehy. “These stones are left over from Dan's stash,” John noted. “Just a simple story and carrying on a family tradition.” (SharpByCoop knife image) 

John Dennehy carries on a family tradition with a Model Alpine 1 for Kristi Noem.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and her leadership skills have captured the imagination of many Americans, including Colorado knifemaker John Dennehy.

John’s been looking for a place to retire, and Noem’s handling of the pandemic put South Dakota square on his list of places to consider. “The state stayed open and came out of the pandemic with a strong economy,” John noted. “I like Kristi’s no BS approach and her conservative Christian values.”

Kristi Noem
Kristi Noem with her custom Model 1 Alpine.

As a result, Dennehy decided to carry on a family tradition started by his father, BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame member Dan Dennehy, of making knives for notable individuals that he admires. John reached out to Kristi’s office and offered to make her the knife of her pick of his DAN-D models. One of Kristi’s aides got back to John and told him Kristi wanted the Model 1 Alpine general-purpose field knife.

John completed the knife and personalized the handsome leather sheath with Kristi’s initials and turquoise from King’s Manassa Turquoise mine near Manassa, Colorado. Though John didn’t get to talk to Kristi directly, she had a picture made of her holding the knife and had it sent to him. The smile on her face speaks volumes of how pleased she is with her sharp new gift.

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