May 2009

Next
Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 - 7:00 PM or meet early at
** Bertucci's ** - Cobb's Corner, Canton 6:00 PM
Meeting

Club Info & Events

Details of the March Meeting
We hit the jackpot this past meeting with the addition of four new members. We always enjoy meeting new members but to have four join in one day is quite a treat and I believe is also a first for the club. From left to right they are Tom, Joel, Neil and Sean and all seem like a great fit for the club. Could this be a sign of a resurgence in the pipe smoking? In February there was a non-negative article about pipe smoking in the Wall Street Journal and now this. Seems like a positive sign to me. Hey... do any other Massachusetts (and neighboring area) readers want to continue the trend in April?? You're all welcome.

The New SHPC Club Blends
Members got a chance to sample the prototypes of the two new SHPC Blends that are due to come out very soon. Although sitting in my cold car all day didn't do them much good the initial reviews were positive. We're all very excited about having our own club blends and I personally cannot wait to order a few tins of the VR Blend which has already become one of my favorites. Keep a watch out on the PipesandCigars.com website for your chance to pre-order yours before they are available to the public.

Second Round of 2008 Club Pipes - Update
The second round of 2008 club pipes are in. I will try to get them out to their new owners in the next week. Thanks for your patience and thanks for supporting SHPC Boston.
Member Contributions

The New York Pipe Show - March 14th, 2009
This month we have two reports from the New York Pipe Show. The first by Dock Perry and the second by Rick Frederics. Thanks to both of you for sharing your report for those who couldn't attend.

Dock Perry writes....
After checking in and seeing my room I headed down to the lobby where I almost immediately met up with friends and show promoters Sam Barnett and Rich Esserman along with Don Seatter of The James Island Piper, Ardor Distributor Steve Monjure and Washington DC Estate pipes dealer and collector Ron Colter. As has been the tradition lately, we along with SHPC member and friend Andy Camire all went to lunch. A great discussion was had about pipe buying now as compared to 25 years ago. Things were so much different before the Internet. It may take you weeks and months to find a certain pipe that you were after by calling various folks looking for leads as to that pipes whereabouts.   
Many friendships were built up in the process though something that isn't quite as prevalent in today's pipe buying world. It seemed to be a much more organic/grass roots approach. I personally came to this hobby only a decade ago and missed out on all of it's early history. Hearing how it was then gives me a glimpse into the past that I'd never otherwise get. This for me is the true benefit of attending these shows...
                                                      Read Dock's full Report

Rick Frederics writes....
It had been several years since I last attended the New York Pipe Show. No real reason – most of the times there were previous commitments that I had made on the show dates, and I just didn’t want to change my plans. This year, however, was different. I had the opportunity to accompany my good friend and pipe-maker Tim Hynick; and I am very glad I did.
We left quite early on the day of the show. It was a four-and-half hour car ride and we needed to be there by 9:30 - Tim was displaying several pipes he had made – and with the doors opening to the public at 10:00 we did not want to be late. We talked a lot about pipe smoking, reminisced about our pipe club, talked about things we’ve been up to lately, just had a great ride down there. We arrived in plenty of time and I helped Tim set up his table.
While Tim was with prospective customers, I renewed some old friendships with pipe smokers I haven’t seen for awhile. Two great pipe makers, Rolando Negoita and Joe Skoda had a table right behind Tim’s. I had a nice conversation with Steve Monjure, distributor of Rinaldo and Ardor pipes among other items. I saw Louise and Jay of Hermit Tobaccos and discussed what we hoped to do with our gardens if this winter ever leaves us. Doc Perry from our pipe club, the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club, was also there. Doc talked about some great buys he made. Doc always has a knack for finding some great pipes and this show was no exception. It was great seeing Andy Camire who also had a table of some great looking pipes. But the best part of the show was being there with Tim and watching pipe smokers marvel at his pipes. Tim had a very good show, but who would be surprised as his pipes are great looking and an excellent smoke. Members of the Capital District Pipe Club from Albany came down to the show and stressed an interest in doing some things together with our club which would be nice.
The day went by quite fast. Most of the tables were filled – some with good deals to be had. Tim not only sold several pipes but also bought a couple. I did not go to the show to buy a new pipe since I have a number still waiting to be smoked. But I found some tobacco and some miscellaneous tobacco items that had it not been for the show I would never have gotten. But that is not why I went to the show. I went to support a friend and reacquaint with some old friends. And from that perspective, it was more than I could have asked for. It was a very memorable time and I am looking forward to the next show.

From the Cybershire
I found this article online at the British Medical Journal's website (www.bmj.org) and thought you might find it interesting.

A memorable patient - Protective pipe smoking
When I first started in general practice in 1946 a man of about 80 came to see me and, as it was my first contact with him, I asked a few leading questions about his health and his smoking habits. He replied–"I smokes a pipe and it's all the fault of you doctors." Sensing a story, I asked for an explanation. At the start of the century he was running a daily carrier service with a horse and cart between Tewkesbury and Gloucester, a distance of about 12 miles.

Unfortunately in 1901 there was an outbreak of smallpox in Gloucester, and some of the inhabitants of Tewkesbury became worried about the possibility of this daily carrier service, which at the time was the only regular contact between the two towns, bringing the contagion back to Tewkesbury. As this service was his sole means of livelihood, my patient consulted the doctor who acted in the capacity of medical officer of health to the borough and put the problem to him. This learned doctor advised my patient to buy a large pipe, fill it to the brim, and light up as soon as he approached the toll gate on the outskirts of Gloucester. If he kept it going all the time he was in the city he "would be all right." He never did contract smallpox, and my patient continued with his carrier service and with his smoking. I was privileged to receive an invitation to his 100th birthday party, where I observed that he was still happily puffing away on his pipe
.
BMJ 1997;314 (15 February)©
Robert J House, retired general practitioner in Twekesbury

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

We Remember Don "The Colonel" Powers
We received the unfortunate news last month of the passing of Don Powers. It's always hard to lose a member whether it's because they've moved away from the area or life became too busy for them too attend. It's even harder if they leave because they've decided to stop smoking the pipe. But in these cases there's always that chance, however slight, that they may return at some time. The hardest ones to handle though, are the ones that leave and we know they're never coming back..
Don Powers was the first official member of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club and was the President of the club when I joined back in 2001. Here is an excerpt from the very first newsletter put out by club founder Allan Rosenfield:

"On Sept. 1, 1989, I went to the Post Office and rented a box. Later that day I called a friend and fellow pipe-collector (it was Don) and told him of my idea for the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club, Ltd. USA. His response was "Great! I'll send in for my twenty five dollar life membership today.""

And a life member he was and dedicated right to the very end. Even when he was much sicker than we thought he was he still wanted to buy the 2008 LePeltier club pipe, saying to me "I don't really like clay pipes but I want to buy one for the club." And speaking of dedication... I don't know about you but it strikes me as a little odd that the meeting following Don's death we end up with four new members. Seems like a little more than a coincidence to me?
It wasn't until after sending Don his club pipe and receiving no call from him that I found out how sick he actually was. I got a chance to talk to him briefly but he was very weak and had not even had a chance to look at the pipe. I had been attempting to get a group of members together to go up and visit him but waited a little too long to make it happen. Something that still bothers me and a good lesson we should all learn. Don't wait too long to visit a sick friend.
You were a good friend to many Don and we'll all miss you. Here are some of the responses that came from members who knew him.

 

This is truly a sad day folks. Donald was always the consummate gentleman through and through. When I first joined our club he was responsible for my joining "The Universal Coterie of Pipe Smokers" as well as the NASPC. He was a wealth of information about anything relating to pipes and was always willing to answer the questions of a young newbie. Some of my happiest memories of belonging to the SHPC were from the days when met at the Holiday Inn when He, Steve Gutz, Andy Camire and Bob Kiess were all there
Don loved our club dearly and once told me that the members of the SHPC were among the finest gentlemen he had ever had the pleasure to know. I for one am glad to have had the chance to know him too. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.... Dock Perry

I am very saddened to hear about Don's passing. He was the first person that I contacted years ago to learn about the club's existence. Don spoke very positively about the club and and the members. It was his words that persuaded me to attend a first meeting. I am thankful that I did because that paved the way for a host of excellent friendships and many good times. I have Don to thank for that. I experienced him as a true gentleman who was always nice to others. Don was a pleasure to speak to. He was quite knowledgeable about pipes and always had may interesting stories to tell. Some of you may know that he devoted much of his years to caring unselfishly for a friend who was ill. Don was a class act. He will be missed by all..... Tim Hynick

A broken pipe of great value. A friend of great insight and a mentor to all the club members who new him. A kind and gentle man who dismissed much of the technoworld we live in because it took him from his books and the pleasantry of living life a little on the slow side. He paid attention. When you talked to him, he listened. He was also a great listener to what you didn't say. His interests were varied and wide. Always, well read, and worldly, I could have easily imagined him on some comfortable directors chair with an ascot, martini and pipe. See ya' Don. Bon Voyage.... Eric Kahn

This is a sad time. When I wrote my article on Nostalgia in NASPC, I referred to our club and certainly Don gave me many memories. It was always a pleasure to talk to him at the meetings as he had a wealth of pipe information and was a true gentleman. To us "younger" pipsters, Don was a great connection for us to the wonderful "good ole days" of the pipe world. I still moistening the tar on the top of my bowl and wipe it clean with a tissue as I caught on to how he did it. Funny little things we pick up! His devotion to Rose was commendable. He was a unifying presence and I missed him a lot after I left Mass. for Vermont. Hopefully some of us will be missed like him after we are gone.... Bob Kiess

If it were not for Don I would never have joined the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club. I was introduced to Don by Mike of Brookline News and I gave in to Don's persistent and persuasive calls to have me come to a pipe club meeting - and for that I am ever grateful to Don. That was a long time ago and over the years Don and I became very good friends. I enjoyed not only getting together at meetings, but also looked forward to our frequent and long phone conversations - talking about pipes, books, jokes - just about anything. Don was a great man and a great friend and I will truly miss him. Rest in peace, my dear friend.... Rick Frederics

Other News & Information for smokers:

This Month's Tobacco Raffle
And now for something completely different. I know this may not go over well with everyone but it's new and I figured it might be good to smoke when you have a cold.

Von Eicken Piccolo Pipe Tobacco Plugs
Honey & Rum
(Pack of 15)
Von Eicken Pipe Tobacco plugs. Von Eicken Pipe Tobacco plugs are a convenient way to transport and store pipe tobacco. Each plug is sealed in its own sealed stay-fresh pouch. Remove the plug and simply push the tobacco out of its casing and into your bowl! Each plug is sufficient to fill a standard, large, group 4 sized bowl.

Gawith & Hogarth Balkan Mixture (50g)
The finest Virginia, Turkish and Oriental tobaccos expertly blended with Latakia to give the smoker a unique taste and aroma.


Kahn's Korner

It's that time of the month again. Time to get Kahn's Korner into the newsletter. This time I'm actually going to write about something to do with smoking.

Now we've all sought after the perfect dry smoke. Pipe makers have been touting their system pipes that help keep the dottle to a minimum. For years some of us have been using screens at the bottom of our pipes to stop that horrible buildup of moisture that causes us to toss out so much of our tobacco. The gurgling sound that we so despise keeps coming back. The buildup of well, for lack of a better term, tobacco sludge at the bottom of the bowl, that you scrape out with your spoon tool.

Well, a few years ago, I bought something that seems to really do the trick. These little pellets of clay that, when placed on the bottom of the bowl, keep the tobacco from collecting the moisture that ruins so many of my smokes. I did a little research on the product and found an old article in Smoke Shop magazine. Here is a quote from the article:

Nørding also offers Keystones, which Nørding describes as “ice cubes for hot-burning pipes.” They are small pellets of naturally-occurring mineral clays, found only on a Danish island that cool and dry the smoke, sweeten the pipe, and extend its life, due to their heat- and moisture-absorbency.

I've been putting these in my pipe the last few weeks, and been pleasantly surprised at the results. These are little pebbles of clay that form air pockets at the bottom of the bowl. Each is only a millimeter or two in size. I put three or four in the bowl and then pack it in the usually method. I tried this with several tobaccos, and some moist ones, too. The smoke was dry and pleasing. There were no gurgles. The tobacco smoked all the way down to the stones, and sure enough, only dry ash was left.

Of course, now that I've rediscovered the stones, I can't find them anywhere. One of the local shops suggested that I sacrifice an unwanted or broken meerschaum and break it into tiny pieces. Funny man. I contacted local shops, shops in Georgia and the Internet to no avail. Nording Keystones were sold in matchbook size boxes and in 100gram bags. That's a lot of bowls when you only use 4 for a bowlful. The good news is that they are reusable. So I fish them out of my ash, and pop them back in the box. But it would be nice to get them again. So if you know a shop still carrying the product, let us know.



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