April 2011

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 at 7:00 PM or meet early at
C.B. Perkins at 5 PM -
Cobb's Corner, Canton

Club Info & Events

Details of the March Meeting
The March meeting was great meeting for a number of reasons. First, we enjoyed a great turn out including the return of 2 recently MIAs Joe and Mike and a surprise visit from our old friend Ted who we haven't seen in a couple of years. But the reunions started a little earlier at CB Perkins when the lean and not so mean Dock Perry (remember him?) walked through the door sporting a mid summer tan and an even sportier hairdo that I think he may have gotten at the local recruiting office. Dock, once a very active member of the club, had discovered that the fountain of youth could not be found at the bottom of a pipe bowl. So his quest continued and it seems he may have found what he was looking for at the local gym, tanning salon and laundromat somewhere along the Jersey Shore. But Dock's return to Stoughton was not in search of anything this time, his visit had purpose, he was here to pass on the memory of our good comrade Ken Collins to those who's company he truly enjoyed the most.
Dock brought close to 100 of Ken's pipes with him ranging in price from $20 to $150 of which the proceeds would go to Ken's wife Mary. Many of these pipes were worth much more but Dock priced them in a way that Ken would be pleased with. I think we all felt Ken's presence there that night and I'm sure he was smiling from ear to ear because Ken was as generous a man as he could be and loved to make people happy.
I think everyone bought at least one pipe or jar of tobacco, many bought much more. We even had one of our honorary long distance members, JR from Bremerton, WA. email me and ask me to pick out one of Ken's Boswells or Petersons for him and he'd send me the money, which I was happy to do.
When the dust had finally settled, Dock had sold around 85 pipes and most of the tobacco. The left over tobacco was added to our monthly raffle. This was a great way to carry on the memory of a good friend and help out his family at the same tiem, I hope we did Ken proud. I know I will always think of him while smoking his Savenelli Autograph.

Holmes and Me........ by Ernie Whitenack

As one ages nature plays tricks on the mind. The past and its memories, long dismissed or at least filed away, often spring to the forefront with the least provocation. And yet the memory of just yesterday, for many, can be almost impossible to recall. So it was as I listened to the BBC radio recordings of Holmes and Watson. The suspense in the recorded voices and the smell of my own pipe as I listened in the dim light of evening suddenly carried me back some seventy years to an earlier Holmes and Watson.

This tale of horror and apprehension started in the late 1930s when I was a young lad, nine or ten years old. It was the weekly radio visit of Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson to our humble, depression-depleted, home that often set my heart to pounding and my skin to erupt periodically with cold, tingling goose bumps. The two episodes, most causing these physical anomalies, hang vividly in my memory.

The old Philco radio sat on a side table spanning the space between two windows of our large dining/family room. The room was seldom used for dining as we, and most folks of the time, took meals other than holidays and special occasions in the kitchen. The round oak table with its massive base was however relegated to homework for my sister and me and, a place for Dad to spread out the daily newspaper. At these weekly visitations I would pull one of the ornately carved dining room chairs as close to the radio as possible and await the spooky organ music that heralded the arrival of Holmes and Watson.

The Speckled Band, with the feared Gypsies, assortment of dangerous animals and the intense suspense at the end as the two heroes sat in the darkened room awaiting God knows what, kept me fidgeting on the edge of my chair for most of the broadcast. And, to say nothing of the trepidation felt for weeks to come, however unjustified, while walking through high grass and taking shortcuts through wooded areas. I was always watchful for any sign of a yellow object with brown spots; just waiting for the dreaded Swamp Adder to strike.

The Hound of the Baskervilles holds court on an even plain with the dreaded snake for lighting the fire of fear in my young mind and body. However, the hound found help in my friend George who lived just down the street. I was once again on the edge of my chair anxiously awaiting the next macabre attack of the hound. Smoke from Dad's pipe trickled through the room adding another sensory element to the event. Sir Henry and Watson were stealthy crossing the moor, checking on a signal light seen from the Manor, when the ghastly mournful howl broke forth.

At that instant there was repeated loud pounding on the window in closest proximity to my chair. I jumped to my feet and felt the adrenaline rush of fear serge through my body. This was followed by gales of laughter emanating from the now visible face in the window of my friend George. Upon the realization that I had once again been had by my prankster friend, I wanted, in retaliation, to beat him up. The knowledge of his being a couple of years older and several inches taller quickly put that ambition to rest.

To the surprise of my family, who never imagined I could have such dedication, these weekly visits continued for several years with seldom a miss. The obvious change in plots and dialog, as the supply of original stories waned and new writers began emulating Sir Arthur's style, brought disappointment and disinterest and almost an end to the weekly visits of my friends Holmes and Watson.

My sister, on my fourteenth or fifteenth birthday, presented me with a hardbound copy of the Complete Sherlock Holmes. I passed the book on to my son at about the same age with the hope he would enjoy and cherish it as I had.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack, 2011

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

It never seems to end does it? More legislation on tobacco. Speak Out Against FDA Control of the Premium Cigar Industry. If this happens, this is what you can expect to see at your local B&M:

  • Your cigars could be behind lock and key, or, worst case scenario, behind black curtains. You would have to make your selections from a binder of black and white photos.
  • Detailed artwork that grace many cigar boxes—gone and defaced by health warnings covering 50% of the box.
  • If the FDA gets its way—the word “cigar” or “tobacco” could be illegal.
  • Manufacturers would have to submit new blends to the FDA for testing, analysis, and eventual approval (or denial).
  • Flavored cigars could be banned by FDA regulations.
  • FDA regulation means higher cigar prices because manufacturers will be forced to pay user fees to the agency

Do nothing and this is what may very well happen to your local premium cigar and tobacco shop if cigars are brought into the FDA’s regulatory control.

There's no mention of pipes and pipe tobacco. Great! So we WILL be able to go into a smoke shop, look at all the pipes and pretty artwork on the pipe tobacco cans right? I don't think so. What's to stop them from doing the same thing to us? Why doesn't the Cigar Rights of America want to include the pipe community in their fight? It's true, the CRA has been approached by members of the pipe community asking to be included but they have received no response and no explanation. Why? Do they have this situation under control? What ever happened to the old adage... "There is strength in numbers?" I have been looking into this and will report back when/if I hear anything.
But in the meantime we still need to do our part. Please contact your elected officials and let them know you are against further legislation or before too long we will need to change our Country's motto from "Home of the Free" to "Home of the Oppressed!"

Click Here to Show your Support!

Other Important Links for smokers:

Websites Worth a Look

What is a Balkan Blend?
I once went into a tobacco shop and asked if they had any house Balkan blends. The tobacconist looked down at me and smugly said, "There's no such thing as a Balkan blend." But my mind heard him say.... "You stupid fool, if you don't know anything about tobacco, why are you even in here?" Not exactly the response I was expecting and probably one of the reasons I don't frequent that shop much any more.
Well it seems the folks at PipesMagazine.com are also a little interested in finding out the story behind the Balkan blend and have put out an interesting article that may satisfy the curiosity of some of you but may also leave the skeptics, still skeptical. Either way, it's still worth a read.
                                      Take me to the Balkans

This Month's Tobacco Raffle
Here are a couple of Captain Earle's Blends by Cornell & Diehl

Captain Earle’s Mystic Blend
Sailors and land-lubbers alike will appreciate the complexity of Mystic Blend. Nine separate tobaccos are blended in a harmony so perfect only a true Mystic's touch could have concocted this medium bodied English masterpiece. Named in honor of Mystic Seaport, Ct., present day berth of Capt. Earle's Lady of the Sea, the Charles W. Morgan.

Capt. Earle’s Stimulus Package Pipe Tobacco
A new release from Hermit Tobacco’s Capt. Earle Series! Capt. Earle’s Stimulus Package is a true delight for the Latakia lover! Rich and full-bodied, Stimulus Package is pressed to deliver a perfectly balanced blend to the true aficionado of full English blends.

Pipes in the Movies
I received a couple of responses to last month's piece about pipe smoking in the movies. Here they are:

The Stranger -- with Orson Wells, Loretta Young and Edward G. Robinson -- 1946
Pipe smoking Robinson tracks down a vicious Nazi war criminal who is posing as a professor at a U.S. prep school. A high quality suspenseful movie.

Spaghetti Westerns
Lee Van Cleef's had major supporting roles in For A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in which he smoked an African Meerschaum. He continued to star in spaghetti westerns for much of his subsequent career. I haven't seen many of these westerns but from the way he lit and handled his pipe I doubt that it was just a prop but part of his life.
In the film Barquero Van Cleef smoked a Peterson

What's your favorite pipe smoking movie? E-mail us.

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