September 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 - 7:00 PM or meet early at
** The Halfway Cafe - Cobb's Corner 6:00 PM **

Club Info & Events

Details of the June Meeting
I'm having a busy week and getting ready to going on vacation. Couple that with a fairly uneventful (but always enjoyable) meeting last month and that doesn't leave you with too much to write about. Thankfully, Dock submitted a short article for me to post which you will find below.

We did try out the Halfway Cafe and the six of us that showed up seemed to like it well enough. I guess we'll give it another shot next month and see how it goes. The food was decent, the beer was good but the seating was a little cramped. Might need to pick a different spot to sit next time.

Our old friend Steve Gutz was back for another visit and according to Eric, he's got some good news to share with us at the next meeting. Also, Steve's remaining pipes (of the ones he's not keeping) are being sold on Ebay by Jay and Louise from Hermit Tobacco. They're being sold under the name "hermitfarm" but I'm not sure if they're described as being part of Steve's collection so you may not know whether they are his or not.

Dock gave us an update on the 2008 Club Pipe. Initially it looked like we'd be getting them in September but it's looking more like October now. We give you more details once we get the final word from Bill Feuerbach.

Member Contributions ...... by Dock Perry

I read Tom Martin's excellent article on Dr.Grabow in our last newsletter. I immediately thought back on my very first pipe experience well over a decade ago now. On a warm summer’s day while at a local flea market I bought my first pipe a dark rusticated Grabow silver duke complete with p lip stem and faux silver band for the princely sum of $5.00. Later that Sunday I stopped by my local tobacconist at that time and bought a three way check pipe tool and a couple of oz's of their cherry house blend. My first few bowlfuls didn't go so well! I badly scorched my tongue as I had packed the bowls much too tight. In the following weeks I switched over to Captain Black as my standard blend and my smoking technique improved substantially after buying a copy of Rick Hacker's "Ultimate Pipe Book". In the month's to come I purchased a Stanwell and various tins of Dunhill blends. I never looked back and "the rest as they say is history".

At our last SHPC meeting I brought along my "silver duke". The pipe hadn't been smoked in years. I filled it full of 20 year aged Dunhill's Standard Mix Medium and gave the pipe an objective evaluation. The first thing I noticed was just how bad the stem tasted. The plastic just didn't agree with my taste buds and it greatly affected the taste of the smoke. The next thing I noticed was how hot the bowl got even though I smoked it as slowly as possible. Likely the heavy varnish they use clogs up the briar sufficiently. All and all it was a very bad experience with my old friend and one I probably won't revisit again....

The moral of the story for me is that even if your pockets aren't flush with cash there are still plenty of inexpensive pipes out there far superior to these. a good used Stanwell can be picked up for under $30.00. If this is too extravagant one can buy a Stan second like a Scandia or a "Made in Denmark" for less. Also available are countless quality American made pipes from the 40's-50's made out of good old Algerian briar. Brands like Custom-Bilt or even Wally Frank are a good choice....

Best, Dock J.Perry

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

Pipes Stuff on the Net
At the beginning of this year I went on a bit of a rant about the pipe smoking community not doing enough to protect our hobby from the War on Tobacco. Since that time I have noticed a couple of pipe related podcast (one that was mentioned here already) have started and I'm even starting to see some useful content on YouTube.
I'd love to be able to say my article is what got people motivated to get things going but I'm pretty sure it was only read by about twelve people. That's ok with me, just seeing an increase in this type of content is encouraging. Now let's see what they do with it and how long it'll last.
In future newsletters I hope to highlight more of these new shows, videos and blogs so stay tuned.

For your viewing pleasure, here's one of my favorite pipe smoking scenes from the Lord of the Rings.

Other News & Information for smokers:

Websites Worth A Look

New Sherlock Holmes Book
Sherlock Holmes - The Montana Chronicles
... these cases were recorded by Dr. John H. Watson, Holmes’ affable companion and chronicler, but Watson’s accounts were lost for more than a century. They were recently discovered in an old safe in Anaconda’s Hearst Free Library by researcher John. S. Fitzpatrick, who edited the manuscripts for publication. Not only are the actual crimes unique and challenging, but the stories are filled with fascinating details of life in early-day Montana—details that amply illustrate Holmes’ superb powers of observation.
Find this book on
and other fine bookstores.

This Month's Tobacco Raffle
This month we have a couple of blend from Russ Oulette's Hearth & Home Series.

Heritage (2oz)
A combination of matured Burleys, red Virginia, Turkish and a touch of Latakia, this blend will be mild and cool-smoking with just a little spice. Definitely an all-day type of smoke.

Rolando's Own (2oz)
Named for renowned pipemaker Rolando Negoita, this is a Virginia / Perique blend with Rolando's artistry in mind. A mixture of lemon, red and stoved Virginias is enlivened with a moderate dose of wonderful Perique, for a sweet and flavorful all-day smoke.

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