Info & Events
Details of the August Meeting
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
& Tobacco News & Info
Tobacconists and Consumers! Let's Keep Up the Momentum!
Tobacconists and Consumers! Is Your Congressman Representing
You on HR 1639?
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!
Worth A Look
This may be old news to some of you but check out this blog
put out by PipesandCigars.com. It contains a lot of good
information about pipes, tobacco and industry trends.
This Month's Tobacco
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
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
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.
Chapter 1 >>
The Pipe & Tobacco Shop, Little Rock,
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
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 patio....in 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 presenter...me. 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
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
the pictures I took at the shop.
The Pipe & Tobacco Shop
2908 S University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204