September 2011

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 at 7:00 PM or meet early at C.B. Perkins at 5 PM Cobb's Corner, Canton.
Dinner at 6 PM - Location TBD

Club Info & Events

Details of the August Meeting
Not a whole lot to report from a quiet August meeting but hopefully, what we lack in meeting content we will make up for this month with some interesting newsletter items. We had a mild turn out at the August meeting partly due to the absence of a few regulars who were on vacation and one regular who has been missing in action for about 3 months now. You know who you are and your contribution to the evening's entertainment is missed. But August tends to be a quiet month anyway.
Topics at the meeting involved a vote on the purchase of a memorial plaque for our fallen comrade Steve Gutz that will be placed at the Temple next to his wife's. That vote was approved. Eric also announced that date for the yearly Barbeque at his house needs to be moved from Sept 11th to Sept 18th. Looking forward to getting back in the swing of things for the September meeting.

Virginia is for Smokers ....... by Horace Harker

Last month my wife and I took a trip to visit her sister in Floyd, Va. What? You've never heard of Floyd, VA? Well I'm sure if you were a fan of possum stew, herbal remedies and flat foot dancing you would definitely know the place.. But all joking aside, the main reason for our trip was to visit FloydFest which is "a 4-day celebration of music and art nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia! Bridging the gap between genres, generations and cultures, the festival features over 50 performers on 8 stages!" It was a little like King Richard's Faire in the 21st century but 3 times bigger. FloydFest is in its 10th year and was extremely well run. We had VIP passes which included unlimited free craft beer (probably the best part of the fair). Hundreds of vendors were lined up for what seemed like a mile selling their wares and lots of great food. You could buy a tie dyed anything, test your skill on the flying trapeze, see if you remember how to hoola-hoop, or get a massage for a dollar minute (I enjoyed 15 wonderful minutes of that). But the main reason for the fair is the music and there were many really good bands playing primarily what I'd call American type rock. Sounds like John Mellancamp and Melissa Etheridge. But is all this what your really want to hear about? Why is Virginia for Smokers?
Ok, so we get there and get a tour of the grounds on a golf cart driven by my brother-in-law who was in charge of parking and the one responsible for the VIP passes. At the top of the hill we drove through a wooded area and our tour guide points out the Beer Garden on our right behind a tall fence. This was a main point of interest for me so I was trying to peek through the fence to see if I could see what types of beer they had to offer. Then I noticed two of those tall advertising banner flags towering over the top of the fence that read "CIGARS". My interest grows. They allow smoking? In close proximity to other humans? This can't be for real. But it was real my friends. As soon as we had the opportunity, we made our way back to the beer garden, filled our stainless steel (no need to keep fillin' that landfill with plastic cups) beer cups with some delicious ice cold craft beer and headed over to the cigar tent. The cigars available were from the Flatbed Cigar Company out of Pennsylvania, makers of Panacea cigars. We went to the fair three days and I made it a point to continue the ritual each day. The cigars were all pretty good but the best part was that no one scoffed at me, coughed at me, or told me to move away. What really amazed me, and this is 100% true, was each time I lit up a cigar, within five minutes someone came up and commented favorably about the smell, chatted with me about cigars for a few minutes, then usually headed over to the cigar tent to get one for themselves.
At the far end of the fairgrounds by the main stage, another vendor booth was also advertising cigars. The small stand had four or five wooden barrels on display, each containing a bunch of cigars flavored with scotch, rum and other spirits. They all smelled great but I decided to pass on these and was just happy to see tobacco being promoted. So by our third day of FloydFest we were pretty much worn out, so the last day we spent most of the time in the Beer Garden listening to the bands and enjoying a fine cigar. It was a lot of fun and highly recommended if you're ever in the area.
So, continuing on with the tobacco theme... whenever I go to a different state I like to visit a new tobacco shop if there are any in the area. Fortunately for me, Milan Tobacco was in downtown Roanoke, about ten minutes away from Roanoke airport which is where we were leaving from. I managed to convince my brother-in-law to stop by for a few minutes to to let me check it out. We purchased the Luchiano pipe that was raffled off at the December 2010 meeting from this shop. Because of time we only spent about 10 minutes there but long enough to check out their decent selection of pipes and cigars. They had a lot of house tobacco blends but they were all behind the counter on a shelf and I wasn't able sniff them all like I would normally do. I picked up a couple of cigars and a tin of tobacco and chatted with the salesperson for a few minutes before leaving.
So we had a great trip and if I'm not mistaken, I don't think it will be too long before FloydFest will put Floyd, VA prominently on the map. And if FloydFest doesn't sound like your bag, at least you know, for now anyway, that Virginia is for Smokers.

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

Tobacconists and Consumers! Let's Keep Up the Momentum! Tobacconists and Consumers! Is Your Congressman Representing You on HR 1639?
Take Action Now

Federal legislation has been introduced to prevent the FDA from regulating premium cigars in the future. This historic legislation will protect the premium cigar industry!
Why is this important to you? Because we don’t need the FDA saying you may not be able to touch or select your own cigars! Why is this important? It will prevent the FDA from defacing cigar boxes with black & white warning labels!
Why? FDA regulation would mean higher cigar prices--someone has to pay for all that regulation and control and the government will not-- YOU WILL!
Your efforts are making the difference and we cannot stop now! Contact your U.S. Congressmen and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 1639! Simply click on the "Take Action" link to make it happen. We need your continued support to keep our momentum going!

Protect Your Liberty!

Other Important Links for smokers:

Websites Worth A Look Blog
This may be old news to some of you but check out this blog put out by It contains a lot of good information about pipes, tobacco and industry trends.                                   Check it Out

This Month's Tobacco Raffle

McLelland Blue Mountain Pipe Tobacco
Take a journey Back to Yesteryear
Rich with the finest Mountain Latakia, a classic full Balkan pipe tobacco mixture, smoother and deeply fragrant. The inspiration for this elegant mixture was a 21-year old tin of the legendary #759

Dunhill Early Morning Pipe
I guess it's time to give the new Dunhill blends a try. Sweet Oriental carefully blended with Bright and Red Virginias, pressed and lightly stoved. Great as the first pipe arousing the palate for the further pleasures of the day.

A New Short Story of Hate, Mystery and Intrigue
 by Ernie Whitenack
Those of you who follow this newsletter may have already become members of the Ernie Whitenack fan club. I know I have. For the past few years Ernie has been a big contributor to this newsletter with both fiction and non-fictional pipe centric pieces. This time Ernie's back with a new piece of non-fiction.
The story takes place in 1934 during the depression and leading up to World War II. Boston Lawyer, Scott Wadsworth, follows a lead on his missing friend which could lead him into a tangled web of foreign intrigue, murder and counter-espionage.

The Crooked X - Prelude to War
A Short Story of Hate, Mystery and Intrigue
                                              By Ernest N. Whitenack

... About the time he made Beacon Street he was usually, as he did this morning, fishing his suit pockets for matches to put a fire to a bowl full of Peretti's Royal blend.
As the flame touched the tobacco Scott thought, if Frank Gray were here he would undoubtedly start the argument he always does that Royal Blend isn't worth the cost of the match it takes to light the pipe. A devoted Ehrlich and Levitt& Pierce customer, He insists L&P's Cake Box is the best in the world and continually wants me to change my favorite.

Discarding a second match he noticed the Common was starting to attract more and more vagrants. Five years into the Great Depression and the poor and homeless ranks were growing at an accelerating rate. Scott thought how fortunate he was to have escaped the worst of the crash thanks to his father's far reaching influence and solid advice. Although there was little business entering the door of his law office, he made a point to open most mornings promptly at nine A.M.

The door housing the frosted glass window, emblazoned with Scott Wadsworth, Attorney at Law – Notary Public, stuck as usual when he tried to open it.

Read Chapter 1 >> 

Kahn's Korner

The Pipe & Tobacco Shop, Little Rock, Arkansas
It's been a long time since I had to travel for MEDITECH, the company for which I work. I've been with them for more than fifteen years. During my first eight on nine years I must have flown almost every week or every other week. And each time I traveled, no matter the destination, I always sought out the tobacconists in the area. If it was Phoenix, AZ, I found the local tobacconist, where I got my Old Boy lighter. In Pueblo, Colorado...there was a cigar shop (That's a story I've told many times before.) Cody, Wyoming, New Orleans, Louisiana, Amarillo, Texas (an oversize meerschaum of the head of Jesus...No, I didn't. It wasn't for sale.) I won't even start with my visits on business to London, Scotland and Ireland, and the tobacco induced treasures I found there. Each of these stops, and countless others brought me the reward of travel .I got to meet and greet others with the same interest, seeking the same pleasures of the briar.

Recently the opportunities to travel for the company have been limited. Right after 9/11 it was decided to seek other non-traveling avenues to train the sites. And from my vantage point, that was OK. Yes, I missed the interesting folks and the enticing adventures seeking out pipes in flea market 'antique' stores, but I got to be home with friends and family more, and didn't miss any of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club meetings. But just recently, I've had to make a couple of trips for the company. One was to Myrtle Beach, last year. Yes, there was a tobacconist there, if you consider the Tinder Box a tobacconist. But my real fun in Georgetown, SC, was attending a rehearsal of the local theater company's new Broadway tribute, that was opening in a few weeks, and I was asked to join the cast. Sadly I was leaving the next day, and was due back in the office, it didn't pay anyway.

But this August, I was sent to Little Rock, Arkansas. I wasn't really looking forward to the trip. Temperatures in Arkansas were reaching 103 degrees. The day I landed it was 109, and it wasn't 'dry' either. Worse than that, the hotel I was staying in was a NON-SMOKING hotel. No smoking rooms. But they were kind enough to let me smoke out on the 109 degree
heat, bless their hearts...If you have experience in the south, you know what 'Bless your heart' really means. At any rate, it's just a good thing I am not addicted to the pipe or it would have been murder. So, the first day seemed to get cooler a few hours after I got there, and I decided to venture out on the patio. Of course the clouds were rolling in, and they were dark menacing ones, But I was determined that I would manage just a small bowl out on the patio. I got out there, ready to light my pipe. I had just struck the match and at the same instant, lighting lit up the sky, and then someone squeezed real hard on those clouds, because the water came down hard. I was just five feet from the door of the patio, and I got wet, I don't mean dripped on, I mean wet. No, not drenched, but definitely wet. So much for my pipe that day.

The next day I was to go to one of the local hospitals to train them. Even though I was in a non-smoking car..hell, OK, I cheated. I lit my pipe and smoked on my way to the hospital. It was a five minute drive. I barely got the Comoy going with my Condor when I had to set it down and park the car. See you at lunch, pipe. The morning training went well and soon enough the lunch hour was upon us. I called the break, and suddenly lunch boxes appeared. One for every one of the attendees, and for the How lucky can I get? My pipe is patiently waiting for me out in the car in 100 degree heat. I wondered if it would start to smoke all by itself. Oh well, guess I'll have to wait until class is over and I go back to my hotel. As usual, I start asking about tobacconists in the area. One of the attendees comes over to me and says, "You want the Pipe and Tobacco Shop on South University." He then gives me directions. It's not far really, just a few miles. "Thanks," I said. And soon my day long lecture ended, and I was in the car on my way to the tobacco shop.

I really didn't know what to expect. I pulled into a strip mall and looked for the Pipe and Tobacco Shop. When I spotted it, I knew it was going to be the perfect shop for me. How? It's logo. It's the same image I use on my Ex Libris stickers for my library. It had to be perfect. I walked in and sure 'nuf (as they say in Arkansas) it was as good a setup as one 'cud want. I'll let the pictures I took describe it for you. But as to the folks. they were as friendly as they 'cud be. Five or six of 'em were settin' down round a table just smokin' their stogies and jawin'. This trip I had a sidekick with me. Matt, my new co-worker, joined me to see how I do a training, as he may do some of them, too. So he tagged along. I was so happy to find this place I was feelin' down-right generous. So I bought Matt a Punch cigar for him to enjoy. I spotted a Macanudo. It was a maduro with a big metal ring on it. Looked like it would be a nice smoke so I chose that for me. I paid for the cigars,and we lit up.

Then Matt and I introduced ourselves to the owner, and he intern introduced us to the six smokers at the table. One of them, Eric, (yes, another Eric) had worked for Lane Limited, in his youth, and had also done some staining of pipes that were either for Dunhill or Charatan. We spoke a great deal, and he reminisced about his days going to Las Vegas for the big smoke show and meeting with so many of the now famous pipe makers, including the Savinelli and Brebbia families. I'm going to keep in touch with him.

After a wonderful two hours of conversation and smoking, Matt and I excused ourselves and headed back to finish up the day working at the hotel, answering emails, etc. I will forever remember this trip.

See the pictures I took at the shop.

The Pipe & Tobacco Shop
2908 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204

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