Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 - 7:00 PM or
** Meet at X & 0's in Stoughton at 6:00 PM **

Club Info & Events

Happy New Year
To all of our members and our readers the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston would like to wish everyone all the prosperity, happiness and good health in 2008 and the years ahead. We also wish you luck in your search for the perfect tobacco. Enjoy the journey.

Details of the December Meeting
Our December meeting was a little light as far as attendance goes but somewhat expected due to the fact that many of us would be meeting again the following Saturday for the 2007 Northeast Regional Pipe Smoking Contest (formerly known as the Hudson Valley Holiday Gathering). It was nice to see some new faces from the NY and Balitmore pipe clubs. Thanks especially to Dom for sending me his pics. It's been a busy month so I'll try to get more of them up as soon as I can. See Kahn's Korner below for details and a few photos.

Dock Perry made the treck east for the December meeting bringing with him some newly acquired GBD Prehistorics he won on Ebay.

We received some good words on Steve Gutz's recovery only to hear at the Kaywoodie event that he had suffered a set back and was back in the hospital. An update as of 1/1/08 tells us he is doing better but will still require quite a bit more rehabilitation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Steve that you are able to make a full recovery and enjoy peaceful health in 2008.
Member Contributions

The War on Tobacco: Is the Pipe Community Doing Enough?
By Horace Harker

If you are connected to the pipe smoking community in any way, PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ THIS ARTICLE.

In the past few years I’ve increased my smoking pleasure by adding cigars to the weekly rituals I employ to help give closure to the end of a long day, to keep me company when there’s time to kill or to keep me entertained through periods of boredom. I’ll always be a pipe smoker first, I love the nostalgia and history that comes with pipe smoking but it’s nice to be able to add even more variety to an almost overwhelming variety of tobacco choices. Cigars offer many of the same pleasures, and history, that pipe smoking does but with a different ambiance, so to speak. For example, you might compare it to the difference between vacationing in Europe as compared to the tropics; you enjoy the scenery, the culture and the relaxation of each but in uniquely different ways.
But this article isn’t about smoking cigars; however it was my recent renewed affair with cigars that drew my attention to an issue I feel needed more awareness in the pipe smoking community. It has to do with the harsh reality that our liberty to enjoy tobacco is in seriously jeopardy and it doesn’t appear to me that the pipe smoking community is doing its part in defending that liberty. I’m not sure how much we can actually do but as the saying goes ‘there’s strength in numbers,” and our numbers are needed. I believe there’s still time.

I’m always on the lookout for current tobacco news to include in the SHPC Gazette so when I heard all the commotion about the “cigar tax” I began researching it a little more. Good friend Paul Bonaquisti alerted me to the fact that it wasn’t just a tax on cigars it was a tax on all tobacco but because cigars were to be the hardest hit (up to a 6,000% tax increase) many called it the “cigar tax”. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this bill here is a brief summary:

H.R. 3963 is a bill to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) which currently provides 6 million low income families with free healthcare. The funds for the extended program would come from increasing the taxes on tobacco. The premium cigar industry would be the hardest hit with a potential tax increase of up to 6,000% but it wasn’t only cigars that would be taking the hit, pipe tobacco, roll your own, snuff, chewing tobacco and cigarettes would also be hit with a tax increase of 256% - 814%. [More on tax breakdown]

Think about this bill for a minute… does it make any sense to you? Let’s see… they want to wipe out tobacco use in America but they also want to help children get the health care they need. What a brilliant idea! Let’s tax the beJesus out of tobacco users so we can fund the children’s health insurance program.   

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

SCHIP Program to be Extended to 2009
Veto Override Attempt Appears Unlikely

As you know, the President vetoed the current SCHIP legislation on December 12. The House leadership has scheduled a vote for January 23, 2008 to attempt to override that veto. It appears that the House will not be able to muster the 2/3 vote necessary to override the veto.
Late last week there was talk regarding a short term extension of the current SCHIP program through March 31, 2008. However, on December 17, negotiators agreed to extend the current SCHIP program through March 31, 2009 with a small increase in funding necessary for the states to maintain their current enrollment through that date. There will be no increase in tobacco taxes to fund that modest increase.
While it is always possible that the Democrats will introduce another SCHIP bill in 2008 to force the Republicans to vote on the issue, it now appears likely that the issue will be pushed into 2009.

To read more about tobacco legislation in Massachusetts and other states [Click Here]

Other News & Information for smokers:

Websites Worth A Look

No More Tobacco
Stand Up and Be Counted is this websites slogan. This is a great website to find what's happening with legislation around tobacco takes. Add it to your favorites and check it often.             [Take me there]

Pro Smoking Web Links
This page has a number of informative links for those of us who enjoy tobacco.                   [Take a look]

The Mind of Men - Blog & Podcast
This is a blog site and podcast "For Guys, By Guys and About Guys" and is put together by Mike and Jim, a couple of guys from Central Massachusetts. This is a great podcast to download to your mp3 player and listen to on the way to work. They discuss a wide variety of topics including cigar smoking, whiskey, beer, politics, the latest in electronics, home ownership and lots more. I highly suggest you check these guys out.
Here's a link to the blog.
Here's a link to their first episode.

Listen once and you'll be hooked. [Check 'em Out]

This Month's Tobacco Raffle

Skandinavik Red-Full Aroma
Mature Virginia tobaccos are blended with toasted Burley tobaccos. The blend is pressed into cakes that are left to age before cutting. after cutting, the tobacco is rubbed up to facilitate easy filling of the pipe. Skandinavik Full Aroma is flavored with full and sweet notes that enhance the flavor of the high-grade leaf tobaccos.

Nat Sherman #307
Tabac Sherman # 307 Tin A rich burley tempered with cashmere smooth toasted cavendish; mild, earthy and natural aroma and flavor. Conveniently packed in a 2 oz vacuum tin for the frequent traveler.

Kahn's Korner
Last month one of the most important annual regional events for pipe smokers happened with the wonderful regularity we've come to expect. No, I'm not referring to the various shows in New York, Richmond, Chicago, none of which I was able to attend. But then you can't smoke at all of them, thanks to the new laws. No, the event I'm writing about, is the annual Northeast Regional Pipe Smoking Contest in Peekskill, NY. This meeting is special. The attendees are not there to buy new or used pipes, not there to try new tobaccos and not there to spend money hand over fist. Oh, of course all the above occurs. Some of the finest carvers in the country attend, Rolando Negoita, Joe Skoda, Paul Bonequisti and our own Tim Hynick. Then, Mel Feldman, the ever present purveyor of estate pipes made his showing. As far as trying new tobaccos, well let me just say I was very impressed by several of the tobaccos that were there, my favorite was Christmas Morning, a new blend by Park Lane and Paul Bonequisti. What really happens at this event is the camaraderie of three or more clubs and some regulars getting together to talk, and take note of one another. And you can smoke there!

Special thanks to the Hudson Valley club for the invite and in particular to Rob Denholtz, who does a magnificent job organizing each year. How he does it I can't fathom. I'm sorry to say that next year Rob won't be there. He's moving to smoking hell, a.k.a. Kalifornia. I hope he can find a little corner to smoke his pipe without harassment.

I'm very pleased the SHCP once again had a great representation at the gathering with ten members attending the event. Only a few of us were missing, Ken, Tony and Steve. Ken and Tony plan to be there next year, Steve is still re-couping and most likely will not. The good news is that two new members came this year Derek and Merek (no they’re not a team). I have to stop here and say that both of them accounted themselves extremely well in the contest.

Then there is the location of the event. Not some hotel ballroom, not the private rooms for the treasure hunts before the show begins, but the S.M. Frank & Co. factory, also fondly known as Kaywoodie. I can think of few places that are more perfect for the gathering. S.M. Frank & Co. is the premier volume pipe manufacturer in the U.S. It is the St. Claude of France nestled in the mountains of Peekskill, NY. The charm, the area, and the factory create the perfect milieu. Bill Feuerbach added to the time by giving the usual and creative tour of the factory. Bill and the company supplied us with the pipe for the contest. Each year he comes up with 40 or more identical pipes. They're not the bubble pack pipes that you find in the drugstores either, no, these are wonderful smokers. In the three years I've attended, the pipes have become regular smokers for me. Not only do I find they smoke great, but they have the added pleasure of memory. Thanks Bill, many times over.

We all like to talk about the great deals we’ve come across while adding to our collections. If I were to tell you that you could get a sixty dollar pipe with tons of tobacco to sample, dinner, great conversation, make new friends and have a fabulous memorable gathering for a mere $25.00, wouldn't you consider that a "great deal?" Next year, I hope all the SHPCers will make it...................... Eric "Eveready" Kahn

But Eric... you forgot to pay tribute to this year's contest winner....
Unfortunately, SHPC's reining champ Rick Frederics gave up his title to Dave Bull from the Pocono Intermountain Pipe Enclave (PIPE) of Pennsylvania. Dave won back in 2005 then gave it up to Rick in 2006 who in turn gave it back to him this year. Hey guys... if you're through playing around maybe you can let the rest of us have a shot at it. Seriously though everyone did great. Even our own Dock Perry took fifth place after being the first one out three years in a row. Nice job Dock, congratulations Dave, thanks to our Sponsor Vernon Vig, and an excellent job to everyone. Time is short this month so I'll try to get more pictures up as soon as I can but here's a few for now. NP.


Here are the contest results.

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