March 2004

March 10th - 6:00PM

Club Info & Events

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

"A leprechaun stands about two feet tall and looks like a little old man, his face wrinkled, but his eyes bright with mischief. He is clothed in green, wears a leather apron, a cocked hat, and shoes with buckles. Leprechauns are all male—which might explain their tendency to be grumpy. These mischievous pranksters enjoy drinking beer made from heath (a secret recipe from the Danes), and smoking their stump pipes, called dúidíns."

This Month's Theme
A motion was made and carried to forego choosing a specific theme for our meetings. If there is a surge of interest to bring back the theme idea at a later time we can always vote on it again.

RD Field and Watch City Cigars
At our last meeting Don Powers informed us that Steve Willet of Peretti's was interested in sponsoring a visit from RD Field at an upcoming meeting. RD Field is an importer of Ardor, Radice, Armorelli (not Armellini), Barbi, Becker, Il Ceppo, Jorgen Larson (Jorgen-L) and Joura pipes. A majority of the members present were in favor and RD Field and Peretti's have been scheduled to attend the April club meeting (April 14th).

Watch City Cigar of Framingham is also interested in coming to one of our meetings. They had originally suggested bringing their supply of Tsuge pipes for our perusal, however the general consensus of the members present was to have more of a variety of both brand and price. I will contact Watch City and try and set something up for the June meeting.

Geoff Stearn's Estate pipes.
I'm sure you all got the response from Geoff about being on our email list... he doesn' t seem like a very happy fella. I replied to him after that message to find out if he thought he would be able to make the March meeting. He has not replied as of yet (not a good sign). Unfortunately, I am no longer feeling optimistic about him coming to one of our meetings (at least not any time soon). I guess it's harder to part with your pipes than I thought and obviously money isn't an issue for him right now. I have removed him from our email list and will wait until he contacts me.

Ken Mecklenburg....Revisited.
A request was made at this past meeting to reconsider having Ken Mecklenburg of James Norman, Ltd. return for another visit. Late last year a vote was taken to not have Ken return because a few bad experiences members had with both the quality of some of the pipes, Design Berlin in particular, and also with some customer service issues. Personally, I thought Ken brought a nice selection of pipes that were reasonably priced but the Design Berlin pipe I purchased took longer to break in than any pipe I've owned. So long that I almost gave up on it. But at long last, it has started to smoke better. (I give myself and A+ for sticktuitiveness).
Dock Perry's Design Berlin exploded while he was smoking it. I know that sounds crazy but it really happened. A possible explanation may have been that a plastic wood type filler had been used inside the bowl. After reading the instructions on a tube of Plastic Wood it said "may explode under high heat". Hello, we're smoking a pipe here!!! Anyway, Steve Gutz's concoction of honey and ash seemed to take care of the problem... at least for now (Ebayers beware!). The fact of the matter is, you might expect something like that to happen to a pipe you get on Ebay or maybe at a flea market but you don't really expect to go through that kind of aggravation for a new pipe made by a reputable company.
Now were was I... oh yeah, taking another vote. Pros and cons were expressed by members and the vote was taken. The final vote, which had to be taken twice, was 7 to 6 in favor of not having Mr. Mecklenburg return. Since that time however, there has been a new development. Dock Perry who was originally opposed to Ken's return has had a "change of heart" and has submitted the following explanation for inclusion in the newsletter.

"The long drive home from Mansfield while driving a car with a broken radio gives one ample time for reflection. I pondered over the nights controversy surrounding the possible visit from Ken Mecklenburg of James Norman Pipes. True it was I that objected loudest about the presence of the man at our club. My own dealings with his company have been less than satisfactory as many of you all know. My own fear was that another member could also have a similarly bad experience, should they have a problem with a pipe they purchase. My Italian upbringing instilled in me the rare ability to hold a grudge like Joseph Stalin. The thought being never give someone a chance to screw you twice. However, as I saw at the meeting there are a substantial group of members who want to purchase from Mr. Mecklenburg. As "Brother Editor" pointed out to me, "It's capitalism at it truest." "If he's there, just don't buy his pipes." I totally appreciate the solidarity I received from my club friends but I wish to change my vote in favor of James Norman's return. There's little sense in black listing them forever. That wouldn't be in the club's best interest, in my opinion. Perhaps we can take another vote at our March meeting.       Sincerely, Dock J. Perry

SHPC Pipe Smoker / Club Member of the Year
With the recent discontinuation of the "Pipe Smoker of the Year" award which was given each year by the Pipesmoker's Council of Great Britain (see last month's newsletter) it was suggested by Dock Perry that we institute our own Pipe Smoker or Club Member of the Year Award to keep the tradition alive. In my interpretation, the recipient of this award would be someone who's contributions to the club and/or the hobby as a whole were beneficial to the morale and prosperity of the club or in some way instrumental in allowing the art of pipe smoking to prosper. This idea was welcomed by the majority if not all of the members present and an agreement was made to clarify the details of how to choose the winner and what the award would consist of. Great suggestion Dock!                           


Pipes & Tobacco News

Mass: Smoking ban hits a snag
BOSTON (2/18/04) -- The push for a statewide smoking ban hit a snag in the state Legislature yesterday when a senator successfully blocked the formation of a committee charged with drafting a compromise version of the legislation. The Senate was poised to name three senators to serve on that "conference committee" yesterday, until state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, objected to the move. Because the motion was made in an informal session, instead of a formal session, a single senator's objection was enough to block the move. read the article

Maybe there's hope for us yet.
While killing some time earlier this month I happened to pick up a pamphlet about losing weight called "They laughed when I said I would lose 30 pounds this month." by Dr. Victor Marchione. Flipping through the pages I stopped at a section heading that read "When smoking is healthier than over-eating..." here's what it said.

"Fat is today's leading health threat. It causes more disease, disability and death than anything else. Even smoking. So much so that it's healthier to be a skinny smoker than an obese non-smoker."
"It isn't the fat in our food, but too much fat on our bodies, that causes the most high blood pressure and other deadly heart problems. The most strokes. The most cancer. The most diabetes."
Too much body fat causes the most of just about everything, including the excruciating osteoarthritis in the hips and knees that eventually makes many unable to even walk. And too often the standard solutions, hip and knee joint replacements, don't work."

At least somebody gets it. Unfortunately, I don't think the world will listen.

Websites Worth A Look
With RD Field coming next month I thought it might be a good idea to list their website. Although not one of the flashiest websites I've seen it does give some information on their pipes and has a some tips and tricks for pipe smokers as well as a few interesting articles. Take a look...

The London of Sherlock Holmes
"James Leavey dogs the footsteps of one of the most famous smokers in the world"
"So, suitably garbed, with a magnifying glass in one hand and some dog biscuits in the pocket of my Inverness cape, I set of across London in search of the Great Detective's haunts."

This is a great read for Sherlock fans and pipe smokers alike. Off to Baker St.

This Month's Tobacco Raffle

Hopefully there won't be too much disappointment for only having one tobacco to raffle this month. You can only buy this in Europe and the cost was a bit steep due to shipping and other charges. I hope the smoke is worth it.

St. Bruno Flake
In a word, St. Bruno is a classic. And deservedly so. It never fails to provide me with a very cool, satisfying, long-lasting smoke that tastes and smells like no other blend out there. Having enjoyed St. Bruno Flake for over 25 years, it is on my very short list of desert island tobaccos.
(Taken from


In the Spirit of St. Patty's Day, a story about Ireland and the good ol' days
Below is a picture that was taken at the Peterson Factory in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. A time not so long ago, when you could still smoke in the bars in Dublin, in fact you could smoke just about anywhere in the world. A time when, if someone talked about Anti, they were talking about their mother's sister and not some tobacco activist. A time when people were a bit less anal and the world was a better place.

Allan Rosenfield, who we reintroduced to the club last month, was fortunate enough to be a part of this historic shot (he's the one sporting the curly do) and thought it might be an interesting addition to this month's newsletter. Here's a little history that lead up to the taking of this picture.
Allan, started smoking a pipe at age 16, a time in his life he will never forget because he also lost his father that same year. On his 17th birthday Allan's mother handed him some money and said "Go to Boston and buy yourself a nice pipe." (Bless that woman!) Until now, all Allan new about pipes he learned from Kay Woodie and a Dr. Grabow. He took the money his mother gave him and ended up at Peretti's in Boston where he purchased his first Peterson, "The Thinking Man's Pipe". It was a shape 124 Killdeer Canadian, and it's been a love affair ever since. In 1987, at New England's first Pipe Show in Westborough, MA., Allan won first place for Best Pipe Brand for his collection of Peterson's. He was encouraged to take his collection to the National Pipe Show in Los Angeles which he did later that year and won first place for Best Pipe In Show for his Peterson Gold Banded Canadian Straight Grain. No Peterson pipe had ever won this contest and he was invited by the Peterson Company to visit their factory in Dublin.... all expenses paid.

During the time Allan was in Dublin, visiting and touring the factory, reporters from the Dublin Times stopped by. They were doing a story on businesses in Ireland that were 100+ years old, of which Peterson was one. Allan was asked to join them in this photograph that would be printed along with the story in the Times. Something I'm sure would be a memorable moment for any of us. Allan describes the collection of pipes behind them as " A unique statement of the craft and art of Peterson Pipes."

Pictured from left to right: Jimmy Nicholson, former President now retired and living in Wexford, Ireland. Tony Dempsey, Marketing Director, only smoked Canadians, passed away a few years ago. Allan Rosenfield, SHPC Founder, Paddy Larrigan, Master Pipe Maker, just turned 80 and living in Black Rock just outside of Dublin.

On an end note. Those of you who don't already know Allan (or even if you do) he'd love to hear from you. Especially if you have questions about Peterson Pipes and have a lot of time on your hands. He is a veritable cornucopia of Peterson information and would love to share it with you. Feel free to give him a call, his telephone number is (508) 529-4711.

I'm always looking for new items for this Newsletter. If you have an interesting article, or would like to share your knowledge on a particular pipes and tobacco related subject, please send it along (preferably in email).

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