to an SHPC Icon - Steve Gutz
learned late last week that our good friend and a founding member
of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club had passed away from complications
of kidney failure. Steve Gutz, nick-named "Mass Consumer"
for his vast collection of anything related to pipes and tobacco,
rarely, if ever missed a pipe club meeting up until the time he
got sick. We're talking from 1989 until early in 2007. That's a
pretty good attendance record. Steve was always a focal point at
whatever table he was sitting at. He was a wealth of knowledge and
loved to tell a story. Steve was also the 2004 winner of the Kaywoodie
Pipe Smoking Contest (his tongue will never forget it). Years ago
he started the annual SHPC barbeque at his home which was always
well attended and a great time. His house was like a pipe
& tobacco museum. At one of the barbeques he had bought
a bunch of different blending tobaccos for everyone to try their
hand at creating the "ultimate blend." That what a great
idea and everyone loved it.
After he got sick and was confined to a wheelchair his passion for
pipes never faded. He'd have Francis his driver or a family member
drive him around to antique shops and book stores looking for old
pipe related items and books and he continued to buy pipes on Ebay.
He would always bring his new acquisitions to the club meetings
to share them with the others. He was a key component to the Sherlock
Holmes Pipe Club and if there is one thing we can do for him now,
it's to keep the club going strong. Steve you will be sorely missed.
what others had to say about Steve....
of the April & May Meetings
like the April meeting was a long time ago now, and my memory's
not getting any better. I do remember we had a good turn out although
Neil missed his first meeting so I had to drive to the meeting alone.
Don't do it again Neil.
Bob brought a friend with him but did I remember to write down his
name. Of course not. Well, hopefully he'll be back again and we'll
let you know his story.
In May the major topic of conversation was the 2011 club pipe. We
had been communicating with Erik Nording which seemed promising
but the communication broke down and then we were told that he wouldn't
make small number of pipes but we could use one of his production
pipes if we wanted. Unfortunately, the selection was very limited
so we've decided to look elsewhere. This was a disappointing endeavor.
Mike has taken on the task of talking to Mastro Beraldi and Neerup,
both of which are interested in doing a pipe for us. Mike's done
a great job with this and we will discuss it further at the June
meeting and make a decision. Right now we're leaning towards Beraldi
and can set up Neerup for 2012.
as you may remember JR, our friend and honorary SHPC member from
Bremerton, Washington purchased one of Ken Collin's Boswell pipes
a couple of months ago. He wanted to let us know he has been enjoying
and feels more connected with the club. Here is a picture of him
We're glad you're enjoying the pipe JR as I'm sure Ken is also.
The Importance of Living (1937)
a book by Lin
…Now the moral and spiritual benefits
of smoking have never been appreciated by these correct and
righteous and unemotional and un poetic souls. But since we
smokers are usually attacked from the moral, and not the artistic
side, I must begin by defending the smoker’s morality,
which is on the whole higher than that of the non-smokers. The
man with a pipe in his mouth is the man after my heart. He is
more genial, more sociable, has more intimate indiscretions
to reveal, and sometimes he is quite brilliant in conversation,
and in any case, I have a feeling that he likes me as much as
I like him.
I agree entirely with Thackeray, who wrote:
The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and
shuts up the mouths of the foolish; it generates a style of
conversation contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected.”
William Makepeace Thackeray, from "The Social Pipe"
& Tobacco News & Info
Help Fix the Biggest Threat to Pipe
We need the TTB (Tobacco Tax Bureau) to to adopt
the Pipe Tobacco Council’s proposed definition to differentiate
Pipe Tobacco from Roll-You-Own (RYO) cigarette tobacco as
proposed in rulemaking Docket TTB-2010-0004. Without this
definition, pipe tobacco is in danger of having it’s
tax rate equal that of RYO, which threatens the very existence
of pipe tobacco.
Many of you may be aware of this situation,
and some may not, but this is an URGENT update
regarding the biggest threat to pipe tobacco and our beloved
hobby. There are myriad details that will be left out of this
post for the sake of brevity and expediency.
more at PipesMagazine.com]
Legislation You Should Know About
On February 4, 2009 CRA
called for the ousting from office of Boston Mayor Thomas
Menino. It was the right thing to do.
Well, here we are in 2011, and some patriots in the Massachusetts
legislature are working to unravel Mayor Menino's handiwork.
Representative David Torrisi, D-North Andover, Senator Anthony
Petrocelli, D-East Boston, and Representative Aaron Michlewitz,
D-Boston, deserve our thanks. These members of the Massachusetts
House and Senate from the Mayor's backyard, are attempting
to ‘right a wrong' by sponsoring H 1541 and S 1159.
More at Cigar
Rights of America ]
Worth a Look
UPCA National Slow Smoke Championship
This year’s United Pipe Clubs of America (UPCA)
US National Champion and Overall Champion is Mike “Doc”
Garr. Doc is president of the Pocono Intermountain Pipe Enthusiasts
(PIPE) in Wilkes Barre, PA. He has been competing nationally
and internationally since 2002 and was the Northeast Regional
Champion in 2007 and 2008 and the Southeast Regional Champion
He might be tough to beat at Kaywoodie this year.
Nice going Doc.
Month's Tobacco Raffle
Gawith & Hogarth-Dark Flake Aromatic
More fondly know by some as "Caramelized Creosote"
this was one of Steve Gutz's favorite blends.
Flavor: Full/Strong Comprised from the same tobaccos as unflavored
Dark Flake, this strong, full-bodied flake is augmented with
the addition of traditional British flavorings, as well as
tonquin, maple, and licorice. Designed for those experienced
smokers who want the full strength of Dark Flake but enjoy
a more traditionally flavored British Flake. (2 oz)
John Aylesbury Finest British (50g tin)
is a blend I haven't seen before. Looked interesting.
Red Kentucky, Virginia, Turkish, Carolina Black,
Some of Steve Gutz's Collectibles
After hearing about Steve's passing, I was in a depressed mood,
as you can well imagine. He's been a friend for many years. Probably
the first to befriend me when I joined SHPC. A number of years ago,
he gave me a tin of Condor Ready Rubbed. It was old, and when you
shook it you could tell that the contents had dried out. But the
tin was pretty rare these days. He'd given it to me as a birthday
present. When I got home, just for yucks, I put in in my refrigerator
humidor and let it sit. I never really thought it would rehydrate;
figured that it was past dust. I'd truly forgotten about it, completely.
But that evening I wanted to have a special smoke to his memory,
and I keep some special tobaccos in the humidor. So I opened the
humidor, and because it was so packed, I had to pull out a few things.
And there it was, the tin he'd given me. Could it be smoked? I shook
it, and there was no movement like I'd heard before. I thought I'd
give it a try, I had nothing to lose. The can was rather corroded
and pitted. The lid was not a twist off, you had to place some coin
or leverage against it to open it. The tobacco was perfect. Just
right for smoking.
I placed some in a bowl. Thinking to myself how appropriate it
was that I smoke some of this Condor. Steve and I both loved Condor.
I would always make sure I got some for him when I was in the UK.
So I imagined Steve sitting next to me, and sharing a bowl, deeply
regretting that it can never again be. I lit up the tobacco, not
knowing what to expect after years in the humidor. It was wonderful.
Smooth and rich in complexity. Round and deep. Just like my friend