December 2005

Tuesday, December 6th - 6:00 PM

Club Info & Events

Well the holidays are officially upon us. I hope all of you enjoyed a plentiful Thanksgiving and are gearing up for a month of holiday madness. In addition to the usual festivities of the season don't forget we have our regular club meeting on Tuesday, December 6th and the Hudson Valley Gathering on Saturday the 10th. I haven't received an official head count of who will be going this year but I'm guessing it'll be the usual suspects. Hopefully this year a few more will have the opportunity to find out what they've been missing............ excellent company, pipes and tobacco to buy and try, a pipe smoking contest with great prizes and a delicious spread of food. Don't forget, the fee of $25 must be post marked by November 30th otherwise it'll be $40 at the door.
Also, you must be an SHPC Member if you want to attend this event. If you are interested in attending and are not an SHPC member it's not too late, just come to our December meeting and decide if you'd like to become a member. If you like smoking pipes I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Send an email if you would like more information on becoming a member or attending a meeting.

Bill "Ashton" Taylor's Annual Visit to Peretti's
To avoid the holiday traffic, the endless search for a parking spot and the potential parking ticket, I decided to take the T into Boston to attend Bill Taylor's annual post Thanksgiving Day visit. I always enjoy walking through the City this time of year and today was no exception. Exiting Boylston Station a blast of crisp air reminded me that winter was not far away and I buttoned an extra button on my coat. It was easy to see from the flurry of activity of the downtown shoppers that the Christmas season was definitely under way.
I entered Peretti's to find Greg Maniero, one of our newer members, chatting with one of Peretti's regular customers but from this point on the faces I saw were not so commonplace. After a hello and a handshake I headed 'round back to say hello to Bill Taylor and walked into what looked like SHPC Alumni Day. Not only were Don Powers, our President emeritus and his trusted companion Paul Dunn here, but Ron Lau was visiting from out of state and John Millholland I just learned, had moved back to MA in August. I was so surprised to see Don that I almost forgot to say hello to our distinguished guest. I introduced Greg to everyone and we all caught up on the latest goings on while perusing the current offerings of the Ashton and Taylor Made lines.
Neither Greg nor I had eaten lunch so we decided to grab a quick bite to eat around the corner at Remington's. Shortly after our return, Andy Camire showed up to join the Alumni party. Seeing all these former or should I say, less active members, made me realize how much the club has changed over the past couple of years. Although we are still going strong, I miss our days in Mansfield and would have loved to have been part of the club during it's heyday in the early nineties.
While in the back room one of the Taylor Made's, a pebble shell sitter with a smooth top, would scream my name out every time I walked by. But with the holiday season just around the corner I was trying my damnedest to keep my personal spending in check. Fortunately for me I lost the battle and the pipe is now sitting proudly in my rack and home. Unfortunately for everyone else, I guess it'll just be Dunkin Donuts gift cards and scratch tickets this year. After all, we do have to set our priorities... don't we?
A can of Ashton Sovereign was opened and I helped myself to a bowlful which turned out to be an enjoyable smoke, but the day was waning and there was still much to do back at home.
Greg had also taken the train into Boston so after making a stop at a nearby Spirits Shop for a bottle of Single Malt Scotch; we pointed our feet in the direction of the Red Line and the South Shore.

The Great Northeast Pipe Show - Albany, NY.
On Sunday, Nov 6th, 2005 Tim, Dock, Steve, Kenny and I headed out to Albany, NY to attend the First Annual Greater Northeast Pipe Show which was sponsored by the Habana Premium Pipe Shoppe (HBPS) a.k.a. Although our trip planning was erratic and sometimes confusing we all did finally make it up there to enjoy a great show.
Since Dock had decided go up on Saturday and spend the night, our plan was to meet at the shop before the show to do some browsing and pre-show tobacco sampling. I met Tim at our usual rendezvous location on Rt 128 near the Mass Pike and in a mere two and a half hours we turning into Habana Premium's parking lot. I couldn't believe how quickly we got up there. I expected to see Dock already at the store when we got there but I don't think any of us realized we'd get up there as fast as we did. He walked through the door about 10 minutes into our bowl of Russ Oulette's Sunjammer blend (which is supposed to somewhat mimic Dunhill's 965.... the 'real one"). We both were enjoying the blend and Tim remarked that it did reminded him of 965.  [Full story and photos]

The NASPC Newsletter
As many of you are aware, due to health issues, Tom Dunn will no longer be able to produce the "The Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris". This was an outstanding periodical and its discontinuation will be a major loss to the pipe smoking community.
With the end of The Ephemeris only two major pipe periodicals remain, "Pipes & Tobaccos Magazine" and The North American Society of Pipe Collectors newsletter "The Pipe Collector".


Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

Anywhere Except Inside and Outside
                                 Nov 16, 2005 by Jacob Sullum
If you've gotten used to smoke-free bars, here's a new concept to wrap your mind around: smoke free cigar lounges. This innovation comes to us courtesy of Washington state's voters, who recently approved an initiative that bans smoking in nearly every indoor location except for private residences. [read more]

The Gold Leaf Tobacconist's New Location
Those of you who have visited the Gold Leaf in Seabrook, NH already know that this is a great place to hang out and enjoy a smoke with friends. And you'll be hard pressed to find a more knowledgeable tobacconist like owner Joe Noradaki. Well what was already great has gotten even better. The Gold Leaf has moved to a bigger and better location which is just up the road from the old store. The new address is: 692 Lafayette Rd. It's just past McDonalds and closer to Rt. 95 than the old store.
Improvements I'm told include additional leather chairs and more sitting area plus they now have a walk in humidor. I hope to get up there soon to check it out for myself... maybe I'll see you there.

Other Information for smokers:

Websites Worth A Look

The Pipe Tobacco FAQ
I wish I had found this link to go along with last month's piece on tobacco cellaring but here it is nonetheless. This site is extremely informative and answers many of the questions you might have about tobacco fundamentals, aging (stoving your own tobacco) and storage. [worth a look]

Sherlock Holmes in the Strand - Recreated
Sherlock Holmes fans - from January through April 2006, Stanford University's Rediscovering the 19th Century group will be republishing, free of charge (however donations are accepted) four Holmes stories as they were printed in the Strand Magazine.
If you would like to receive paper facsimiles of the original magazine releases or view them online when they are released, you can visit their website and sign up.  [check it out here]
This Month's Tobacco Raffle
This month we have two new blends from Ashton.

Consummate Gentleman
A proper English mixture composed of only the finest Virginia, Maryland, and Burley tobaccos with a pinch of Latakia. The result is a remarkable blend that is medium-bodied and traditionally English in character

Artisan's Blend
This full-bodied English mixture is carefully crafted for the experienced pipe smoker. Virginia and Turkish tobaccos harmonize with Syrian Latakia and a touch of Perique to create a taste that is resound- ingly rich, spicy and satisfying.

The NASPC prints their newsletter six times per year and they generally run between 25-30 pages long. They're always packed with interesting information about pipes and tobacco as well as member's contributions from folks like Rich Esserman and Regis McCafferty. Membership is just $12.00 per year which also enters you into several yearly contests sponsored by the club.
The void that was left with end of The Ephemeris can begin to be filled by subscribing to the NASPC's "Pipe Collector."
Watch for the article about the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club in the first issue of 2006.
For further information visit their website at: or e-mail them directly at: Their mailing address is: NASPC - P.O.Box 9642 - Columbus, OH   43209-9642

The Dancing Man-agram Update
We got a very quick solution to the first Dancing Man-agram mystery. Our own head sleuth Dock Perry had the answer in my Inbox within 12 hours of posting the newsletter on the web. A second correct answer was submitted within 24 hours by Brad O. and two others came in last week, Alfred R. from France and Cliff B. who solved the puzzle while enjoying a bowl of Marlin Flake in Peterson Sherlock Holmes Squire. A commendable effort by all of you. Now, let's see how you do with this month's challenge.
One thing I had overlooked was that all SHPC members are notified in advance that our newsletter has been posted on the web. This gives them an unfair advantage over our other readers who may be interested in solving the puzzle. Therefore I have decided that I will not except solutions to the Dancing Man-agram until after 12:00AM on the first of each month. Our meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month and I try to get the newsletter out one week prior, so keep that in mind. If for some reason the newsletter is late, an extended date will be posted on the Dancing Man-agram page. The winner will be chosen by the timestamp on their email so make sure the date and time are correct on your computer before you send in a solution. Any email with a conspicuous date/time will be disqualified.
Now, click on the Dancing Man-agram graphic in this newsletter to begin solving this month's puzzle. All information, including prizes, instructions and answer to last month's puzzle will be listed on the Dancing Man-agram page. Good Luck.

Dock's Corner

More Accolades for Mastro Beraldi
The majority of the pipes in my collection range in price from $150.00 to three hundred dollars with the most expensive being a Rolando Negoita which was a little less than $500.00. I'm fairly comfortable spending $300 but have to really love the pipe to spend much more. The brands vary but are almost all either English, American or Italian in make. If someone had told me that I could purchase a brand new, well made, nicely grained and wonderfully smoking pipe for around $90 I would have thought that person to be insane! Surprisingly this pipe exists...

While at the Great Northeast Pipe Show on November 6th, I came upon a group of pipes made by the Italian firm of "Mastro Beraldi". I was unfamiliar with the brand but exceedingly impressed by the styles, fit, finish and grain which these pipes displayed. Perhaps most surprising was that the most expensive pipe on the table was just over a hundred dollars with most hovering around the $80.00 mark! This absolutely "blew my mind". Several SHPC members who also attended thought the prices were a mistake and even asked the man running the table to verify this. We did discover a couple of them to be drilled slightly "off center" but the majority of them were dead on perfect.

I've smoked my "Mastro" perhaps a half dozen times with stellar results. The first bowl was a bit harsh but it calmed down nicely. They use a rather thick carbon bowl coating which could be sanded down a bit with a fine sand paper before smoking. To do it over again I believe I would have done so.

I highly recommend others to search this brand out and give them a try. I know that I'll be adding more of these to my collection after the bills of the Holidays are paid off and my financial life returns to normal. - D.J.P.

Occasionally I'm looking for a news item to help fill out this newsletter. So if you have some interesting
pipe, tobacco or smoking related news, or would like to share your knowledge on a particular
pipes and tobacco related subject, please send it along and maybe I'll use it. (Preferably by e-mail).

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