October 2007

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 - 7:00 PM or
** Meet at X & 0's in Stoughton at 6:00 PM **

Club Info & Events

Details of the September Meeting
All of our club meetings are usually great fun but a few things can make some even better than others, like a visit from a special guest, an old member returning or new members joining, or any meeting where we leave with more than we came with. Based on this criteria I can tell you that we hit the jackpot at the September meeting. Not only did our old friend Ted Blank return for a visit but we also welcomed new member Bob Fazekas to our ranks.  


The crowing jewel of the evening however, was the presentation of the SHPC 2007 Club Pipe by pipe maker and a good friend of the club, Joe Skoda.

Joe made the long trek from the Hudson Valley to be able to present to us this year's club pipe. He laid each one out on the table still concealed by its sock bearing the Skoda Pipes name. The anticipation was too much for many of us who were chomping at the bit to get a look at the newest edition to their pipe family. Those of us who had elected to buy a club pipe this year came forward to draw a number from the lottery pool that would decided the selection order and the pipes were unveiled.
The exciting thing about this year's lottery was that whether you picked first or last it really didn't make a difference because all of them looked almost identical.
Before we each made our choice Joe talked a bit about his experience making his first ever club pipe. He said it was more challenging than he expected to be able to make ten pipes with the same shape, similar graining and intricate texturing. Joe brings a variety of refreshing new shapes to the pipe market but he wanted to make a pipe that was a reflection of our club so he started with a shape that resembles the Calabash, a shape that will always associated with Sherlock Holmes. The rounded rim of each bowl had a smooth finish and contained beautiful graining. Skoda pipes are also quite notable for their interesting and intriguing bowl texturing and this one was no exception. Joe patterned the bowl texture for our pipe from the cobble stone streets that are a familiar part of old Boston. One look at this pipe and it was easy to see the time and care it must have taken to carve this texture into all of our pipes. As a final touch Joe added a green acrylic band which was meant to represent the Irish influence of the Boston area. A perfect embellishment to round out this truly beautiful work of art and one I'm sure Mr. Holmes would be proud to clench between his teeth. I for one am truly proud to be able to add this amazing new pipe to my collection.

On behalf of the entire club I'd like to thank Joe for all the time, the thought, the hard work and the attention to detail that he put into creating the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club's 2007Club Pipe.

Click to Enlarge

Our old friend Steve Gutz
Just a note to those of you in the pipe smoking community who know Steve Gutz that our old friend could use your prayers (if you pray) or get well wishes (if you don't). For the past few months Steve has been dealing with some pretty serious health issues and it has been a real uphill battle. I'm sure he would benefit from knowing you are thinking about him. Those of you who need his home address can send us an email and we'll get it to you.

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

Cigar & Tobacco Tax

So far most of the talk about the potential new tobacco tax has been around the effects it will have on the price of large cigars like Ashton, Fuente, Montecristo, Macanudo, etc. because they will be taking the biggest hi t. But if this tax goes through all smokers will feel it's effects. Here are a few examples of how the tax could effect us:

  • Large Cigars: a 6,154% increase.
  • Pipe Tobacco: from $1.097/ lb. to $2.81/ lb.
  • Cigarettes: from .39 cents to $1.00 per pack
  • Chewing Tobacco: 19.5 cents /lb to50 cents/ lb

President Bush has promised to veto this bill when it crosses his desk but there is still a chance that it could receive enough votes to become veto-proof. I guess only time will tell and we should have our answer before too long. I hope you all took the time to notify your representatives.

Click here for more detailed examples of how this tax will effect the tobacco we buy.

Click here for the text of the bill. Tax details start on page 288.

Bonacquisti on the Cover of P&T
Yes you heard me right. Our good friend Paul Bonacquisti can be found smack dab on the front cover of Pipe Smoking's most prestigious magazine (Fall 2007). In the height of the anti-smoking age Paul boldly goes where many will not by opening not one but two Park Lane tobacco shops in two years. Just wait until you take a look at the pictures of his new Saratoga Springs store. Absolutely Awesome! If you didn't write your Congressmen to oppose the new cigar tax then you'll be kicking yourself in the ass at the thought of him possibly having to close his doors on this beauty if it passes!
I don't know if P&T will put Paul's article online (the new issue is not up yet) but if they do, here's the link. Way to go Paul!

Read about our visit to Paul's Clifton Park store.

Other News & Information for smokers:

Websites Worth A Look
Since many of us smoke cigars as well as pipes, here are a few great websites I found. Enjoy.

A great resource for everything stogie. Podcasts, interviews (one with Richard Carleton Hacker) and tons of cigar and drink pairings.
                                                 [Check it out]

StogieGuys.com is the go-to website for daily cigar news, reviews, and commentary on the average guys’ search for the next great smoke.
 [Check 'em out]
This Month's Tobacco Raffle

Brebbia Balkan
Full bodied blend of the finest Oriental tobaccos, dark-fired Kentucky, Louisiana Perique, and 40% Syrian Latakia - delicious.

Ferndown Black and Tan
Toasted Virginias with Mild Orientals. The cut is broad and wonderful, the color varied and beautiful. A remarkably cool smoking this mixture

From the Telegraph Office
Attention Sherlock Holmes fans!! We received the following from Jeremy Goodwin, Marketing and Press Associate from Shakespeare & Company.

Hi. I just came across your Web site, and it looks like the “pipe" part may be more prominent than the “Sherlock Holmes” part of your organization, but just in case I thought I’d drop you a line to let you know about a show we have this fall that could be of interest to your members. Here at Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires, we are putting on The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, a play originally written by Jeremy Paul for Jeremy Brett to play Sherlock in London ’s West End . It doesn’t seem like it’s been performed much, if at all, in these parts.

Here is a portion of the press release to whet the appetites of your inner detective....

Just when you thought you knew him…uncover
The Secret of Sherlock Holmes
this fall at Shakespeare & Company

“There are certain people to whom one cannot lie. My friend is one of them. And yet there are certain truths which cannot be told…easily.” The Secret of Sherlock Holmes.

[Lenox , MA]—Shakespeare & Company presents a fascinating new look at two old friends with the Berkshires debut of The Secret of Sherlock Holmes. Directed by Robert Walsh and featuring longtime Company actors Michael Hammond and Dave Demke as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the play runs in Founders’ Theatre September 28 through October 28. Press opening is Saturday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m.

Founders’ is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Performances of Sherlock in the evenings run at 7:00 p.m. and in the afternoons at 2:00 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $38 for one scheduled preview performance on September 28th, and $20 through $57 thereafter. For a complete listing of productions and schedules or to inquire about student, senior, group and Rush Tix or to receive a brochure, please visit the Web site at www.shakespeare.org. Box office phone number is (413) 637-3353.

As a special offer to the local community, the Company’s popular ‘ Berkshire residents’ half-off discount’ will be expanded to apply to any performance of The Secret of Sherlock Holmes. (During the summer season, Berkshire residents receive 50% the regular ticket price for any performance except Friday and Saturday evenings.)

Sherlock Holmes is thought to be the most-filmed fictional character, and this play uses the forum of the theatre to look into dark corners that have been overlooked by television and film interpretations. The Secret of Sherlock Holmes is written by acclaimed Holmes expert Jeremy Paul, who wrote eight episodes of the celebrated Granada Television series that ran from 1984 to 1988 and 1992 to 1994, beginning with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The play made its debut in London ’s West End in 1989 with the late Jeremy Brett, whose celebrated portrayal of Holmes in the TV series is considered by many to be the definitive dramatic representation of that character in the title role.

In this fascinating piece, Paul has combed meticulously through the Sherlock Holmes canon and refashioned bits of dialogue and interaction between Holmes and Dr. Watson—meant in the original stories to flesh out their relationship, but often cut from filmed adaptations to make way for the plot—and, in so doing, has pointed the magnifying glass at this enigmatic and complex friendship.

To read more or to purchase tickets online visit:

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