February 2011

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at 7:00 PM or meet early at C.B. Perkins at 5 PM or Five Guys at 6PM
Cobb's Corner, Canton

We'll Miss You Ken Collins

Ken Collins loved the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club and everyone at the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club that new Ken, loved him too. His wife Mary said, he always looked forward to the first Tuesday of the month so he could spend time with the guys and do the thing he loved best.... smoke his pipe. A week ago we were all shocked and saddened to hear that Ken had passed away from complications of a medical issue. We were all aware that Ken had some medical issues but he seemed to have them pretty well under control. After undergoing routine cataract surgery on one eye he had a set back that was unrelated to the surgery which put him in the hospital and then into a rehab.
Ernie and I stopped bye to see how he was doing and the first thing he said was, "How are the guys?" He was a little tired but seemed comfortable and in pretty good spirits. How's this facility?" I asked him. "Not bad... the grub's ok," he said. Now that must come as pretty high praise from someone who was know to be somewhat of a chef himself. I heard someone say as they were leaving the funeral home on Sunday.... "I'm really going to miss his cheese cake."
We spent an hour or so with him and caught him up on all the SHPC news. He had missed a couple of recent meetings and was itching to get back and I truly thought he would be back. But I guess in life, you never really know. A week or so later I called to see if he had received the print outs I sent him of a couple of SHPC Gazettes and and a few pages of posts from his favorite online hangout The Brothers of Briar. But he didn't answer the phone. I decided to call his home only to receive the sad news.
Ken was the guy to talk to about pipes. He's probably smoked more bowls of tobacco than most of our active members put together. I asked him once how he packed his pipe, he looked at me and said "stuff and puff," no ritual, no method, just fill your pipe and light it. He also loved to collect and store all kinds of tobacco. Flakes were his favorite. He had shelves of tobacco that he had put in jars and was aging and saving for the day when it would become illegal to sell tobacco. Hopefully we'll never see that day.
His wake was on Sunday the 23rd. Seven of us met up at around 2:30 to pay our respects. We stayed and chatted for about an hour, then a few of us had a memorial smoke in Ken's honor outside the funeral home. Ken was definitely with us in spirit.

If you would like to read some additional thoughts and memories from others who had a connection with Ken, please click here.

The MacArthur Corncob Pipe

General Douglas MacArthur, as we all know, was known for his large corncob pipe and a magnificent military career (however flamboyant it may have been) and, in the brilliant reorganization of Japanese government after the war. He was always on stage from his retreat to Australia to the return to the Philippines.

When asked what tobacco he favored he replied "What ever is on sale at the PX". The fact is, he much preferred cigars and smoked cigarettes as well. It has also been said the super-sized pipe was a prop supporting his often theatrical approach to the people and the "bigger than life" image he preferred to put forth.

."MacArthur and Truman had become enemies over MacArthur's disdain for Truman's attempts to tell him how to do his job and Truman's fear of a third world war over MacArthur's belief that the UN troops should storm through North Korea and into China, the imagined next big enemy of the US.

It is said that during the McCarthy anti-communist Congressional investigation into the Army, MacArthur was asked what he smoked in his large pipe. "Whatever the hell I put in my pipe is my own business," snarled the Commander of the Armed Forces in the Pacific Theater. The pipe was confiscated by the Military Police and MacArthur was detained for further questioning and given a substitute pipe considerably smaller than the corncob pipe.

MacArthur made allegations in his defense that the investigation was a ploy by President Harry S. Truman to further discredit him after his removal from command. He is quoted as saying "I'd like to blow the son of a bitch off the map".

The General's pipe was tested chemically to determine what had been in it as hints at drug use were also made. The reports indicated nothing unusual had been in the pipe.

The now infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) intimated that the capacity of the pipe (8 fluid ounces) was large enough to hold folded blueprints of United States nuclear technology and accused the general of the same.

No such paper work was found in the pipe at the time of confiscation and evidence was never produced that the General used his pipe for the purpose of espionage. McCarthy remained firm in his suspicions.

Please note:
I have been unable to substantiate the part of this story dealing with the McCarthy Congressional Hearings. However, having watched much of the hearings on television and observing McCarthy's ridiculous antics and charges, I believe the story to be totally plausible.

Smoking a New Pipe ................. by Rick Frederics
What is the proper way to smoke a new pipe? I have heard that you should first fill the pipe halfway and smoke it all the way down.

I have heard you should fill the pipe all the way to the top of the bowl and smoke it all the way down.

I have heard that you should add a little water to the tip of your finger and wet the inside of the bowl before adding the tobacco.

I have heard that you should add a little honey to the inside of the bowl and then add the tobacco.

I have heard .............

You know what I think. You should enjoy the pipe and do what feels best to you. Yes, talk to fellow pipe smokers, look online, read about it in a pipe book – but the bottom line is don’t do anything that will take away from your enjoyment of your new pipe. The way to smoke a brand new pipe … smoke it the way you feel most comfortable. If it becomes a chore you will begin to find something to take its place. A new pipe can become your best friend and therefore treat your pipe with dignity and affection it deserves. In other words, smoke it the way you will want to come back and smoke it again. Most importantly, enjoy.

Club Info & Events

Well it was standing room only for our first pre-meeting smoke at CB Perkins for 2011. We had the pipe guys on one side of the circle and the cigar guys on the other side. But we managed to get on of those guys to cross over, if only temporary, to find out, what pipe smoking is all about. It's all about baby steps, and believe me, this was a baby step.

Everyone seemed to be in very good spirits, especially Bob who wasn't in the shop five minutes before he added a brand new "tree man" Meerschaum Pipe to his collection.
On another positive note, we started off 2011 with the addition of one and possibly two new members, Chuck and Reuben are from the New Bedford area.

Chuck is the pipe smoker, he's a musician and plays the oboe, he's also a woodworker who likes to make fine furniture and is an avid shooter and re-loader.

Reuben is originally from Arizona and is a veteran of Desert Storm. He is currently a cigar smoker but if he continues to hang around with us I think we can convert him. However, he's welcome to come and smoke cigars anytime.

I promised a short intro on our two new members from last month so here they are:

Ron is from Warwick, RI. He's been smoking a pipe since about twenty years of age. He used to work as a radiation control monitor for Electric Boat (part of General Dynamics) and is an avid Sherlock Holmes fan.

And last, but definitely not least we have Andy. Andy was raised in Rhode Island, he is a building contractor in Boston and loves to ride his Harley Electraglide.

We were also happy to welcome back Adam who has recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan.

We had dinner yet again at Five Guys Burgers and Cholesterol Transfusions which is starting to get a little old (to me anyway). I think we need to start mixing it up again guys. The meeting was well attended and everyone had the usual good time but we miss Joe Miller. Hope to see you next month Joe.

Vintage Condor Pipe Tobacco Commercial

Other Important Links for smokers:

Websites Worth a Look

Sherlock Holmes & The Edmin Drood Mystery
Attention All Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens Devotees!!!
Please help support the effort to get this play produced. Check out their blog for more info, buy one of their shirts, mugs or cards from Zazzle or donate some money.                                             [Check it out]

A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure - Pt. 1 Online
If you are a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, you might want to check out this new story Cold Hearted Murder - Part 1, by Stephen Gaspar a high school teacher from Windsor, Ontario.                             [Take a Look]
This Month's Tobacco Raffle
Here are the final three tins left over from the Christmas Tobacco Raffle. Maybe you'll be a lucky recipient.

Orlik Golden Sliced (50g)
A touch of Burley adds zesty new life to the flavor of flue-cured Virginia tobacco. Tobacco cut: Traditional flake slice cut.

Butera's Royal Vintage - Dark Stoved (50g)
A single, zesty lemon Virginia leaf, picked at its peak, aged to perfection, is carefully slow-stoved under pressure until the cakes turn to beautiful chocolate brown. Cut to flake form,

G.L Pease Westminister - (50g)
The very essence of the Traditional English mixture: rich, elegant, refined, and exquisitely balanced. New World red virginias are enhanced with a gentle caress of bright leaf, then lavishly seasoned with rich oriental tobaccos and generous measures of noble Cypruss mountain Latakia.

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