The 2007 Northeast Regional Pipe Show
“Signs“ by The Five Man Electrical Band

By Tom Martin


And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply." So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why. He said "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do." So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

I heard this song by The Five Man Electrical Band on my way to the Northeast Regional Pipe Show, and it couldn’t have been more appropriate, even prophetic.

The show was co-sponsored by The Best Damned Pipe Club, and Habana Premium Cigar Shop. I love doing business with those guys ( and figured why not take a road trip from Boston. The drive up the Mass Pike couldn’t have been easier, and the Clarion is right off the Highway.

The pros: I’d have to say the pipes were priced very affordably. I couldn’t decide on four, so I bought none (duh!). Buying them all was not an option. There were deals from Bjarne Pipes, Ardor, Savinelli, Peterson, and CAO Meerschaums. There were also deals on the tobacco of course, but it was the innovative tampers that caught my eye, and I don’t even use tampers. Blacksmith Rick Gross ( ) was there with an interesting array of wrought iron tampers and stands.

Pen maker Mr. Frank was there with his tampers born of his pen making skill and creativitiy and based on suggestions from Scott Bendett, owner Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe. These tampers have a clip to slip them into your shirt pocket as you would a pen (of course). They were quite nice and reasonably can call Habana for more information @ 800.494.9144.

It was good to see some people who I met in Newark, and beyond the pipes and tobacco, it was the comraderie that made this event. The people from the shop could not be nicer. They treated me like a king as they did all their guests. And guys from The Best Damned Pipe Club are awesome. They want to plan a get together with the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston sometime this summer. They truly appreciated everyone’s participation an did their best to make the show enjoyable. Mission accomplished!

The cons:
Nowhere in the ad was the time of the event listed, something helpful when planning a road trip. Also, I thought I saw several places that it was co-sponsored by Capital District Pipe Club. I could not find their website and can only assume they now call themselves “The Best Damned Pipe Club.” I’m not sure. Neither has a website (yet) and no mention of the event was mentioned on Habana’s website which forced me to call the store. It was nice to talk to Russ, but I can only imagine he was very busy preparing for the show.

In my humble opinion, smaller shows such as this, should take a lesson from the larger ones and have some sort of value added beyond the ability to smoke in public, something beyond commerce: seminars, lectures from pipe makers, tobacconist, a dinner, a smoking contest if possible. Which brings me to the bad news; a smoking contest wouldn’t have been an option since, similar to the New York Show held in Newark, smoking was not allowed this year .

Sign of the Times?
And the sign said, pursuant to a decision by the Albany County Department of Health on April 20, smoking will not be allowed at this event. We appologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you are able, you should attend these events simply because they are there. Regardless if smoking is, or is not allowed. If you do not attend because smoking is not allowed you are letting “the man” bring you down, letting the “establishment” force what is effectively becomes a boycott. Can’t you read the sign?

If you do not attend, shows like this will no longer be held and it will be yet another step toward the end of what Dock Perry calls “The Golden Age of Tobacco.” Don’t let it happen.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

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