Spud's Addiction

By Constant Latakia

spudsaddictionIt was late fall in 1938, a Saturday afternoon, to be exact, and the neighborhood boys were coming home from the movies along a path running between the railroad tracks and the river, something their fathers suggested they not do. For safety, fathers recommend the sidewalks, even though it isn’t near the fun.

Along with the boys is Spud, an odd cross of several canine breeds resulting in a joyful and friendly forty-two pounds of pooch. Spud somehow knows when the show lets out and manages to meet the boys each Saturday, primarily to run back and forth from the front to the rear as they walk home along the narrow path. As the boys get closer to home, they move off and go their separate ways, but Spud always stays with his boy.

At that time of year, the neighborhood is often gray with the smoke of burning leaves on a Saturday, and the smell is everywhere. Spud always walks with his nose in the air, smelling the smoke as if trying to detect the individual species of the burning leaves.

But then, Spud knows that he is only looking for one smell amid the many; leaves of the old man who lives in the house with Spud’s boy. He burns leaves all year round, puffing to keep his leaves burning in that piece of wood he holds in his mouth. It’s Spud’s favorite smell, after that of raw meat, naturally.

Spud followed the same Saturday routine for many years. But the day came when the boys were no longer going to the movies on Saturday. Spud hung around the house most of the time, reclining next to the old man and smelling the leaves burning in his piece of wood. Spud’s boy wasn’t around much lately.

For the third day in a row, Spud awoke, walked into the kitchen for some water, said hello to all there, and then looked for the old man throughout the house. Spud couldn’t find him or smell his burning leaves and ran outside, hoping he would be in the yard or taking a walk. Unable to understand why he couldn’t find the old man, Spud entered the house at the first chance, went to the old man’s chair, laid his head on it, and felt lonely.

Spud’s boy became concerned and tried to pay more attention to Spud, to play with him when he could, but Spud had lost all interest and felt very old in his loneliness.

One day Spud’s boy came home and saw that Spud hadn’t eaten his food. Deciding Spud wasn’t getting enough exercise, he got Spud’s leash from the hook on the back door, attached it to Spud’s collar, and forced him outside.

With his head down and his tail between his legs, Spud walked along next to his boy. Sped knew he should because that’s what his boy wanted. Somewhere near the middle of the next block, Spud’s ears stood, his tail wagged, and he started sniffing the air. Tugging at his leash, Spud struggled to cut across a lawn. He excitedly started up the steps to a porch where an old man, sitting on a porch swing, made clouds of smoke with his piece of wood.

Spud’s boy started to apologize for Spud’s actions, telling the man he didn’t understand what got into Spud, but the man held up his hand to stop the apology and started rubbing Spud’s head. Spud stood there sniffing and wiggling like a puppy. Spud’s boy told of Spud’s decline since the death of the boy’s own grandfather, speculating that it might have something to do with pipe smoke. The man agreed and said that Spud is welcome any time.

From that day on, until Spud passed away and went to join his boy’s grandfather, Spud would trot to the house a block and a half away and spend the day with his new old man and his pipe. However, Spud always got home each evening in time to greet his boy when he drove into the driveway.

COVID-19 Lockdown: Pipe Habits

CovidPipe SMI asked the guys to let us know how the COVID-19 Lockdown has changed their pipe smoking habits. Al was lonely and needed a pipe smoking companion so he made one out of nearby pipe smoking acoutremont. It doesn't have a name yet so lets have a contest for who can come up with the best name. Post your answer on the SHPC Facebook page when you see this post appear. We will select a winner at the next Zoom meeting.

Here are a few more responses:

I've been enjoying my pipes in my new place-no need to go outside to smoke here. It's a nice change of pace. I finally got around to mixing up some cigar leaf i brought home last year. The blend is ok, but nothing special. I think I'll leave the blending to the professionals. I look forward to hearing the names you've come up with for my new friend.

Sean: As I have been sheltering in place/working from home for the last two weeks.  I have taken to setting up my laptop on the back porch on days that it is not raining, which allows me to enjoy a pipe in the middle of the day.  See  a photo of my afternoon office included with this article..

Kevin:  As I primarily work from home, much has not changed for me. Although what I do find myself doing is rotating pipes after one or two bowls. I normally smoke the same pipe all day.

Eric: Smoking more because I'm working at home. Done lots of baking, which seems to become a new hobby. Ceil wanted anisette cookies...one hour later she had two dozen. Had to make another batch this week. Bought some cob pipes (see attached). Also, cleaning up a bunch of old pipes.

Ernie: Not much at all. I'm cleaning the stem a little more thoroughly inside and out, and being careful not to touch it with my hands. I wash so often and use sanitizer, the bugs must think I'm a plague in their world.

Matt: As all the COVID-19 precautions have restricted movement, I find myself working from home (and am thankful to be able to do so). My desk happens to be in the living room where the air purifier is; a smoking zone! Alas I find myself enjoying a pipe whilst dealing with conference calls and an endless array of emails. This does seem to make them more tolerable and has been a silver lining for me in all of this craziness.

Tony: Not much I have been working so much I have not had the time to smoke.

Nelson: Same as Tony. First time working from home and working more that when I'm in the office. Not really much time to enjoy a pipe. I did sell a bunch of tobacco on PipeStud.com and have had more time to surf the web for what I will replace what was sold.

Tim: Doing some school work, seeing some clients through telehealth video, watching the news regularly, you tube, playing poker on line. Drinking some scotch and smoking pipes.

2019 Kaywoodie Holiday Event

If you've never been, you gotta go at least once. Depending on where you live it could be a long day if you decide not to stay at a nearby hotel but it's worth it. SHPC has been attending this event since around 2004 except for a couple years where the weather suggested it might not be prudent to make a journey of that distance. Prior to that we had attended the Meeting of the Mindless at Paul Bonaquisti's shop in NY and then it sort of transitioned to the event we know now which was held at the S.M Frank (Kaywoodie) factory for a number of years and is now being held at the Southern Dutchess & Putnam Sportsman's Association in Peekskill, NY.

This year's active member group consisted of Kevin, Tim, Nelson, Matt, Tom and JP. We were also happy to reunite with a blast from the not to distant past Bob Ormon (remember him??) and long time SHPC alumnus Andy Camire (who never misses this event).
Most of us met up at the Park and Ride in Auburn. Kevin was our driver for the 3rd year in a row and his willingness to drive is greatly appreciated and makes the drive so much more enjoyable for the rest of us, which is why we didn't bother him while he caught a few Zzzzs before the ride back. ;-)

As has become our custom, we stopped at the I84 Diner in Peekskill, NY for lunch and met up with JP. With bellies full we made the remaining 20-minute drive to the event.

Turnout was about average but there were less people selling their wares this year. It was good to catch up with all of the folks we've come accustomed to seeing each year. Tim and Kevin shared a table and made a few sales. I personally did plenty of perusing but only a little buying. There was plenty of McClelland tobacco for sale at premium prices (as you can probably imagine). None of us won the 50/50 raffle but the pot was over $300. We also opted to pass on the slow smoke contest this year in order to make it home a little earlier than usual. The short video included with this article is just a small sample of the fun you'll have at this event. If you'd like to see more, check out our YouTube channel for more indepth videos from other years.

Thanks to Bill Feuerbach and all those who help put this event together. It's always lots of fun.

Pipe and Tobacco Podcasts

Country Squire Radio
countrysquirelogoA weekly podcast about all things pipes and tobacco.  Beau and Jon David have a great chemistry and keep you entertained every week. Check their website for show times. They mix it up a lot YouTube  |  Website
(1:00 PM Eastern Time)

PipesMagazine Radio Show
PMag radio show logoA different interview every week with Brian Levine a well known member of the tobacco industry.  Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!       iTunes  |  Website
(Live Tuesday evenings 8 PM )

Pipe and Tamper Pipecast
PMag radio show logoA Podcast for the Tobacco Pipe Enthusiast. Interviews with pipe carvers and industry influencers. Quick tobacco reviews and segments on pipes and tobaccos. New episodes are available on the 1st and 15th of every month.     iTunes  |  Website

Sherlock Holmes Podcasts

I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere (IHOSE)
IHOSElogoA delightful way to spend an evening with Holmes as your affable co hosts Scott Monty and Burt Wolder share their unique perspectives and sense of humor. Find out more than you ever thought possible about the greatest pipe smoker that never lived.

Shows come out twice a month. iTunes  |  Website

Sherlock Holmes: Trifles
Trifles Cover smFrom the producers of the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcast, Trifles is a 15-minute, weekly audio program where Scott & Burt discuss something related to the Canon.
Have you ever stopped to wonder about why Dr. Watson was called James by his wife? Or of Sherlock Holmes's dining habits? Or what happened when he let a criminal escape? Answers to these questions and more await in Trifles, a weekly podcast about details in the Sherlock Holmes stories. iTunes  |  Website

Pipe & Tobacco Episodes:    Episode 71 | Episode 83

Trifles artwork created by Tom Richmond

Keeping the smoking lamp lit since 1989