By Horace Harker
I guess you could say I have a thing for clay pipes. I'm not a fanatic or anything but their is something intriguing about them that draws me in. Maybe it's the history behind them, I can't quite put my finger on it. But over the years I have purchased a few and found that although I'm fan of clays, most of them don't smoke well enough to keep in the regular rotation. Back in 2004 I took a trip to Virginia and while there I purchased two clay pipes, a long handsome churchwarden style pipe that I found at the Blacksburg Tobacco Shop and on our way home I we stopped at Colonial Williamsburg where I found a simple clay pipe around 7 inches long. What drew me to this pipe was the size and shape of the bowl and the stem was long and slender enough that it would probably smoke comfortably. From what I can tell without doing a ton of research is that it is a 1900s style clay pipe. So I laid down a whopping $8 and brought it home. I never really had intentions to smoke the churchwarden clay, I bought it mostly because I liked the way it looked but I was looking forward to trying my Williamsburg purchase.
Unlike some of the other colonial tavern type pipes that have smaller, thicker walled bowls and thicker stems and are not all that comfortable in the mouth; the bowl on the Williamsburg was oval shaped, fairly deep and the seven inch stem tapered to a comfortable diameter that was easy on the mouth. It looked like it could hold a decent amount of tobacco and had a waxed tip. S I loaded lit it up and found that it was as easy to smoke as I suspected.
By Horace Harker
I met Tim at our usual meeting place near the mass pike and soon we were on our way West towards Agawam and Dock Perry's place. The weather and the roads were clear and we arrived at our destination in an easy ninety minutes.
We pulled into Dock's driveway to see what the directions had described as a big brown Swiss Chalet, and that's exactly what it was. Just like the ones you see up in the ski communities of Maine and New Hampshire. With a huge wrap around porch that afforded a great view of the Connecticut River across the street, I could picture myself sitting out there on a warm summer night with my pipe and a pint of ale, enjoying the fresh river breeze.
Dock occupies the entire lower level of this estate and as we passed through the door we were instantly awestruck. There's was definitely a theme here but it was hard to put a name to it. Was this a hunting cabin or a pipe shop, an English den or an antique store. Whatever you want to call it, it was blended perfectly and an absolute pleasure to see.
For me, getting to Peretti's is always a battle which is a shame because once I get there I'm always happy I went. Last Saturday was no exception. Tim and I made plans to attended the Castello trunk show at Peretti's which Nate had shared with all of us on our Facebook page. I'm didn't want to pay Boston's parking prices so I drove as close to Boston as I could then took the train into Park Street and walked across the Common to Park Square hoping the rain would stay away. I don't the take train or get into Boston very often so it's usually a refresher course on what it's like to live life in the big city and by the looks of it, things are moving pretty fast. They were having a Japanese Festival in town and the Common was packed with a wide variety of different characters and cultures.
December 13, 2003
The day started off leaving Hubbardston, MA the Central Massachusetts location of "Man's World" and residence of Jay (Gavel) Beard. The two of us took our leisurely drive to Vernon, CT where we always stop at the great Rein's NY Deli for breakfast, and then onward to Peekskill NY the home of S.M. Frank Co. maker of Kaywoodie, YelloBole, and Medico pipes. We arrived around 1:30 pm. and Bill Fuerbach, VP of S.M. Frank Co. greeted us with a smile and a smoke. It was my first visit to the factory, and must admit it was a super experience to view the displays in the office area that go back to the late 1800's and the KB&B days. Bill had a superb collection in showcases on the floor; walls covered with some old prototype Kaywoodie pipes, along with many other brands that the company manufactured in years past. It was a history lesson on the brands we all enjoy today and Bill also had a terrific display of recently made HandMade high grade Kaywoodies for viewing or purchasing. Along with Bill Fuerbach, noted funny man and pipe crafter extraordinaire was Paul Bonaquisti. You know that the day is going to be spectacular when you match those two guys together in one room. LOOK OUT!!!! Altogether I believe there were about 20 people in attendance. After enjoying some fine hors d'eouvres. We all lit our pipes, filled the room with fragrant aromas of latakia perique, burley, Turkish, Virginia, and many others.delectable fragrances of fine leaf.
The March 2004 New York Pipe Show is the Kentucky Derby of Rich Esserman's annual Triple Crown of pipes shows and took place this year on March 12 & 13 at the Ramada Inn at the beautiful Newark Airport. The Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston had a strong showing at this event with 11 members present, many of which were clad in their colors of green and tan. But although these shows have been running for many years it was this pipesmoker's first show and I was a bit anxious to get started. They had no trouble getting me in the gate but when the bell rang I got off to a slow start.
Taking advantage of the Friday night pre-show viewing, another newcomer Dock "Junior" Perry took an early lead and gained substantial ground throughout the day Saturday. Also out in front but a length or two behind "Junior" were Dick "The Pusher" Morse, Eric "Eveready" Kahn and Dr. Bob "Grabow" Kiess all vying for second.
Several Years ago, Eric and I were talking about air cleaners for smoke and we both purchased one about the same time; his from Amazon and mine from Walmart. They looked and worked identically but for the name. Ours had different brand names. The same unit is used at the club. This prompted me to do a bit more searching and found several of the same units, all with various names and prices, and from different internet dealers.
The unit has served me well and does the job as advertised in my three, moderately sized, four-room apartment. Where I am here the majority of the time, I keep the unit running most of the time and the electro-static generator does a good job keeping the smoke odor down, as well as cooking smells. I do not use the Ionizer when I am home but turn it on when going out or expecting guests. The odor of the ionized oxygen (O3) is prevalent when I return. It quickly reverts to normal oxygen (O2) when the ionizer is turned off, leaving the air quite void of odors.
Naturally, as with any device, maintenance is necessary.
Ernie found this op-ed piece from the New York Times that was written in 2015 and thought it was a good fit for the Gazette. He was right (as usual).. It is a nice story about a man's memory of his grandfather, his corn cob pipe and how it became part of his own life. Definitely worth the 10 minute read. Here is something to whet your appetite...
BUSHKILL, Pa. — EVEN now, when I conjure him and he deigns to come, I always see him the same way. He’s encircled in sweet blue smoke, standing on the cool stone of the walkway around midnight. A little man, ancient, almost swallowed by the vivid articles of clothing that his devoted daughter always bought for him. They were nothing like the slate-colored clothes my grandfather would have chosen for himself. But they covered him and kept him warm.
Pipe and Tobacco Podcasts
Country Squire Radio
A 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
A 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
A 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)
A 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
From 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
Other Important Links for Smokers