January 2004

January 14, 2004 - 6:00PM

2003: A Year in Review
As we look back on 2003 the event that stands out foremost in many of our minds is the War with Iraq and our nations continuing conflict in that country. We all watched as one of the shortest wars in history progressed from the devastating Shock and Awe campaign to the occupation of Iraq and the breakdown of Saddam's regime. We now find that our troops have turned in their soldiers helmets in exchange for the hats of the policeman and peacekeeper and are engaged in war games like "52 card pick up", "Hide and Seek for WMD" and "Dodge Bullet" however the only game we seem to be winning at so far is cards. These brave men and women serve our country, putting their lives and their families futures on the line to keep us safe at home from future attacks and terrorist threats. This blanket of safety we lie under comes at an unfortunate price of a soldier a day, during which time the whole nation is on constant bio-terror alert.
So while President Bush does what he thinks is right to preserve our future and protect our freedom, and despite our nations turmoil we, the members of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston do what we do each month to preserve the past while clinging to the remaining threads of the one freedom we hold dear.
As we narrow our reflection to the clubs adventures from this past year we find many memorable moments. Highlights include our ever popular mid winter "Meeting of the Mindless" cookout and smokeout at the home of American pipemaker and gracious host Paul Bonaquisti. This year we also made a trip south to Cape Cod for lunch at the British Beer Company then over to the Tinder Box in Mashpee for a visit with store manager and club member Nate "Pen" Davis.
The New York and Chicago pipe shows were also attended by a number of our members and during the year we were visited by representatives of James Norman, LTD and Peterson Pipes. And we can't forget about the Ugliest Pipe Contest and it's winner Ted Blank.
Long time club member Steve Gutz had a new library built in his home this year to hold his mass consumption of books, pipes and tobacciana. In celebration of it's completion Steve invited us all over for a look while entertaining us with plenty of excellent food and drink and continual helpings of our favorite weed.
In early December a few of us met at Peretti's in Boston where Bill Ashton of "Ashton-Taylor" was visiting with some of his new pipes. Bill, the perfect English gentleman, was easy to talk to and with over 40 years in the pipe business he knows just about all there is to know about making pipes. Just recently a few members got together at Mike's Brookline News and Tobacco before heading up to the Gold Leaf Tobacconist in Seabrook, NH. The weather was perfect for the trip North and the Patriots topped off the day with 31-0 win over the Buffalo Bills to end the regular season.
But the event of the year had to have been the clubs invitation to visit Bill Fuerbach of the S.M. Frank Co. (Kaywoodie) in Peekskill, NY for a factory tour, pipe smoking contest and holiday celebration with the Hudson Valley Pipe Club. This was a definite treat for all of those fortunate enough to attend. An account of this event as well as our trip to Brookline News and the Gold Leaf can be found below in this newsletter.

So as 2003 wanes slowly into our memories we look forward to the new adventures of 2004. But regardless of whether our adventures are few or plenty the good comrades of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston will continue to come together each month to celebrate one of our favorite pastimes, the gentle art of smoking tobacco from our pipes. The same gentle art that has been celebrated for hundreds of years by our fathers and fore fathers and one we will continue to celebrate as long as our Country's laws of freedom will allow. A pastime I am extremely grateful to be a part of.

I'd like to wish you all the very best of health, prosperity and good forturne in 2004 and the many years to follow.

Nelson "Rockafella" Pidgeon


Club Info & Events

This Month's Theme - "Your Christmas Pipe(s)"
I sincerely hope each and every one of you was fortunate enough to receive the pipesmoker's ultimate Holiday gift, that's right "a pipe". For those of you lucky enough to fall into this category we would love to see those treasures bestowed upon you at this month's meeting. Whether given to you as a gift or purchased yourself during the holidays we look forward to seeing them all.

A Christmas Wish
by Dock Perry

There are large boxes under my tree,
They hold little interest for me.
My family surely knows my angle,
The ones I want are small rectangles
About eight inches long
and three inches wide,
I know for sure
they're for this lucky guy
No new ties of any type,
What I want most
is a shiny new pipe!

Steve Gutz
As most of you know Steve recently underwent bypass surgery. I am happy to report that his operation went very well and we hope to see him at the January meeting. Welcome back Steve, we've missed you.

Holiday Party Pics
As usual the SHPC Holiday Party was a huge success and we all had an excellent time. The food was outstanding and the conversation titillating (well maybe not titillating but that word has a nice ring to it don't you think). For those of you who could not make it, you were sorely missed.
Unfortunately when I went to look for the pictures I took from the party they were no where to be found. All I came up with were a couple I had started to work on and one that Cyndi gave me from last year. Sorry about that.
Strangely enough, Cyndi lost her roll of film from last years party that she found just in time for this years. (Cyndi, if possible please bring those pictures to the next meeting for other member to see.)

Click here for what's left of the pics >>

Recent Pipe Excursions

The Kaywoodie Trip
I'd like to thank Andy Camire for contributing his narrative of this days events for the newsletter. I'd also like to thank both Andy and Rick Frederics for taking pictures throughout the day so that they can be shared with all of those who were not able to make it. Thanks Guys!

The following was written by Andy Camire...
The day started off leaving Hubbardston, MA the Central Massachusetts location of "Man's World" and residence of Jay "Gavel" Beard. The two of us took our leisurely drive to Vernon, CT where we always stop at the great Rein's NY Deli for breakfast, and then onward to Peekskill, NY the home of S.M. Frank Co. maker of Kaywoodie, YelloBole, and Medico pipes. We arrived around 1:30 pm. and Bill Fuerbach, VP of S.M. Frank Co. greeted us with a smile and a smoke.

Read the Complete Kaywoodie Story >>

Brookline News & Gifts &
Gold Leaf Tobacco, Seabrook, NH
On December 27th, Rick Frederics and I met up with Don Powers at Mikes News and Tobacco in Brookline before heading North to the Gold Leaf in Seabrook, NH. This was my first visit to Mike's and had heard many good things about it from the others who visit often, like the wide selection of pipes including Dunhill, Peterson, Radice, Stanwell and Charatan plus the huge assortment of accessories and tobacco related items, some of which date back many years. But mostly Mike himself was recognized for his generosity towards members of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club.

Read the Complete Story >>

Estate Pipes for Sale
While visiting Brookline News this past month Mike introduced us to Geoff Stern. Mr. Stern has recently been advised that he should give up smoking which he has decided to do. As a result he now has a fair number of pipes that he would like to sell. Being the pipe aficionados that we are and always looking for a good deal, Mike suggested that he talk to us. Mr. Stern explained that his collection consists of approximately 200 pipes which include a few Dunhills, Petersons (Sherlock Holmes Series) and some pre Ehrlich pipes just to name a few. He also said that a number of these pipes were purchased in England. We asked him if he would be interested in coming to our next meeting to allow our members an opportunity to view and hopefully purchase some of these pipes to which he gladly agreed. So if you'd like to see what treasures he may be holding on to be sure to stop by on the 14th. Maybe you'll get lucky.
(If Mr. Stern is unable to bring all of his pipes this month we may ask him for a return visit.)

SHPC hats will be available for purchase at this month's meeting ($14). Don't forget, if you want a name or a pipe embroidered on your hat speak to Dock Perry. If you'd like a hat but won't be making a meeting soon, let me know and I can mail you one.

Pipes and Tobacco News

I found the following article while surfing the web. I assume it's been on the web for a while and may be familiar to many of you but I thought it was a good read and worth posting here.

The Myth of Brand and Maker in Pipe Smoking
by Dr. Fred Hanna, Ph.D.

"Do specific brands of briar pipes provide correspondingly specific flavors? Does a Dunhill pipe, a Charatan, or a Chonowitsch, have a unique taste that separates that brand from all other briar pipes? Does an expensive brand, such as Castello, provide a superior level of smoking experience that is unattainable by more pedestrian brands such as Chacom or Stanwell? There are many pipe smokers and collectors who firmly believe that the answer to these questions is yes. Others only partially subscribe. I refer to the above beliefs as part of the "brand myth" in pipe smoking. The point of this article is that brand is largely based on illusion and I hope to expose both the nature and origin of that illusion."

Read the Complete Article >>

Websites Worth A Look

This is a fairly new site to the web with it's main purpose explained in it's name but it goes way beyond that. In addition to the growing number of smoke shop reviews they already have from around the country they also have reviews of tobacco blends and many different pipe brands. You can also submit your own review by using one of their forms. But that's not all, they will sell your estate pipes for you and have a pipe cleaning service that comes highly recommended by Scott Bendett, owner of PipesandCigars.com. Even more they are also offering three of their own tobacco blends. The first, Ok Bayou is a Scottish type mixture with an extra tough of perique. A very smooth and tasty blend. They will even send you a sample if you ask them. Their newest blend is a virginia/perique mixture called Acadian Coast and although I have not had the opportunity to try it yet, I already have a fond connection to it. Why you ask? Well the name Acadian Coast was submitted by me during their naming contest last month. I chose the name for it's connection to the early days of St. James Parish where we all know Perique tobacco is grown. So be sure to order yourself a couple ounces of this celebrated blend.
SSR's last blend is called Champagne Delight, an interesting sounding aromatic blend that I hear is great to smoke at the stroke of 12 on New Years Eve.
Now as if all this isn't enough information for one website they go even further. You can subscribe to their bi-monthly newsletter and get all the latest info delivered right to your email box.
So weather you'll be traveling around the country and want to take a side trip to a new tobacco shop or if your just like most of us and love reading about all things pipes and tobacco then smokeshopreview.com is definitely worth a look.

Pipedo.com is website out of Japan with great site layout and a very nice selection of pipes from a refreshing variety of pipemakers including some local talent. There is a description of each pipemaker and every pipe has crisp clear images from all angles. The prices seemed reasonable on many of the pipes but you can expect shipping to be at least $15 to the states. I was very impressed with this Japanese site.

Tobacco Raffle
I might be taking a chance offering two aromatics for the raffle this month but I don't think we've raffled off any aromatics blends at all last year. Besides, with the recent release of "The Return of the King", the final movie in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and pipe promoting film, I felt they were fitting choices. Below are their descriptions from www.piperoom.com:

Middle Earth Blend
This unusual aromatic and earthy blend of the finest tobaccos available offers both smokeyness and rich flavor with a pleasant smoothness. Now improved with greater smoothness, better flavor and a hint of Black Raspberry! Blended with smoke ring makers in mind, this blend is both smokey and gentle as a room aroma. The flavor is entirely unique and pleasant to all. Packed well and smoked in a thick walled pipe will give opportunity to get the fires going hot enough to make great clouds of smoke and rings to your hearts content. Smoke rings can be Hobbit forming.

Gandalf - Dark Aromatic
This is by far the darkest, richest and most flavorfully satisfying black tobacco blend in all of Middle Earth! Rich, stoved Black Cavendish Tobaccos stand up and salute in the most flavorful dark sugar aromas imaginable. Thick, mild and flavorful describes this Blend. Even those who travel light will make room for this one.

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