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 Pipe Tales

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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Pipe Tales   Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:34 am

Please do not post in this thread to say good post, etc etc etc...tobacco storys only. Storys of why you smoke, memorable experiances, storys of old pipe smoking heros...you get the idea.
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Pipe Tales   Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:38 am

My apologys for poor grammer and impoverished spelling. Very Happy



I grew up dirt poor on the side of a hill off of Fighting Creek in Knox County Kentucky, the type of location and poverty the comedians and stereotypes thrive on. My father left when I was two, so it was up to Mom and my grandparents to raise me and sis. Hand me down or homemade clothes were the norm. Food was what we grew, usually taters, meat was considered a delicasy. We heated with an old 'Stokermatic' coal heater. One of my jobs was to insure the heater always had a full bin of coal, I hated it, on real cold nights I usually had to carry four 5gal lard buckets of coal up that hill.
I walked about 2 miles to catch a school bus everyday. I hated school. I loved the books,still do, but I hated the other kids. Until sometime in the 6th grade when I realized I was bigger and stronger than most,they made fun of me. Work boots,old man shirts, homemade pants.. I admit I was an odd ball. There were other kids like me,lots of us, but for whatever reason we never realized we had the numbers to torture the 'rich kids'. (Of course they weren't rich, they were almost as bad off as us, but to a kid it doesn't appear that way)
The one thing I hated worse than school was Tobacco, I loathed the stuff. See we grew tobacco, that was our only income besides Papaws disability check from the mines. Till it, set it,fertilize it,spray it, top it, cut it,stick it,hang it, bail it,Over and Over and Over. I suppose the worst part was fertilizing it, we'd take the 40lb sacks and set them on our shoulders,someone would cut the edge off and we'd walk the rows. As I grew I'd carry one on each shoulder and get two rows, then Papaw, being the smart man that he was, started getting 80lb bags. It was twice the load but half the walking, it worked. The weight of the bags wasn't what I hated though, it was the burn. When you'd walk bits of the fertilizer would trickle onto your back,when you started sweating it would stick and melt, at the end of the day you'd have couple 3 inch wide burns down your back, sometimes the stuff would get in your britches, no need to elaborate.
The one joy was the nicotene buzz. When you'd top it you'd get some leafs, wad em up and chew it, the first few times I tried it I got sick, but nicotene sick was no excuse, get to work. When it was bailing time Old Man would smoke it 'testing for quality', yeah right, I never did really get to where I could do that without turning green.
I am a tobacco/nicotene junky though. Chewing,dipping,english snuff,Snus,Pipes,cigars. I have done it all, still do all of em occasionaly but my favorite is the pipe.
Pipes have a certain high Status to them that other forms of tobacco use doesn't. Anyone can smoke a cig or a cigar, stuffing a chew or a dip in doesn't require much,english snuff is a little difficult at first but still fairly simple. Pipes require a certain amount of patience,a bit of knowledge,and a tinkerer's heart to enjoy, but once the basics are mastered there is far more flavors to enjoy, a certain brotherhood, and a calmness of spirit.


Keep em lit Bro's and someone tell me a story.
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Doc Manhattan

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Age : 39
Location : Land of Steady Habits
Registration date : 2008-05-26

PostSubject: Re: Pipe Tales   Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:19 am

(This is copied almost wholesale from my blog, about a year ago. I had just read Phil Webb's "Why I Smoke a Pipe," reprinted on the GLP website, and I took a stab at it myself. N.B. I was teaching high school at the time, so "school" means my place of employ.)


My first personal exerience with a pipe was at the arts camp where I spent so many happy summers as a teenager. (I had, as many people do, fond memories of the smell of pipesmoke, usually some sticky-sweet cherry cavendish that old Italian men in my neighborhood smoked, but that was the extent.) I was playing the eponymous role in a scene from Billy Bishop Goes to War, about a Candian flying ace from WWI. With four days to prep, memorize, rehearse, and perform, you need to quickly set aside yourself if you want to do a decent job of acting, so my friend-teacher-hero Joey suggested I build the role around a prop. He loaned me his pipe.

I am naturally a fidget, and the pipe quickly became the focus of all my energies. I never smoked it, but just tapping, gesturing, holding it between my teeth felt right: somehow both productive and relaxing. I stopped chewing pens, briefly. In the performance, it was a pipe, a general's pointer, and the stick of a biplane. But then the week ended, and Joey got his pipe back, and the modest briar was too tied up in its fiction for me to really make the connection.

Pipes didn't cross my mind again, except for an inexplicable impulse purchase of a beautiful Meerschaum pipe. I told myself it was an objet d'art, but perhaps it was a secret longing, a phantom limb. The best reason I had for not smoking a pipe was simply that I didn't smoke at all--no furtive cigarettes in high school, no celebratory cigars, not even a curious puff.

That changed with a very fine Montecristo Corona one summer in college. A rare treat became a passing infatuation with cigars, which I see now was more about attempting to be happy with solitary living. But I am no more a cigar person than I am a bachelor--both things are good fun when they're alight, but they linger sadly in the room for days after. Cloves were nicer, but too pretentious even for me, which is a high bar. A social cigarette and fresh air and conversation with friends was more myself; it still is, on rare occasions.

Then, last summer, in the Adirondacks, my teacher buddies thought it would be fun to drive to town and buy corncob pipes and a pouch of Captain Black from the general store. The rest of the crew used their pipes for other purposes, which shall remain nameless (but can be passed upon the left-hand side.) But for my part, standing in a drizzle, struggling with flimy paper matches, spilling that thick, bakery-sweet cavendish, I fell in love again with my pipe.

I smoke a pipe because of its harmless eccentricity. I smoke a pipe because it makes the most critical among us forgiving of blessings we have been forced to call vices: not just smoking, but also meticulous care for detail, proud individuality, and generously spending that most hoarded asset, time. I smoke a pipe because of the warm stories I hear from total strangers, kindled by the smell of smoke that once came from a grandfather's pipe. I smoke a pipe because I truly enjoy the flavor and the feeling. But mostly, I smoke a pipe because it fits me. When I first brought my pipe to school, to smoke when I had the time and the fancy, the people who knew me best said (with no condescension,) "That's so you." But more telling were the dozens--friends, colleagues, students--who just spoke as if I had always smoked a pipe. The only other time that has happened was when I got glasses the summer before my junior year of high school; people just assumed I had worn them all my life. The glasses completed me then in a way that my pipe does now. I do not need these things to survive, nor even to enjoy life. But it feels good to see see the world clearly, and better still to have the world return the favor.
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morleysson

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Location : Pennsport, Phila PA
Registration date : 2007-12-22

PostSubject: Re: Pipe Tales   Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:30 pm

I posted this comment earlier in the year, on another site, but I'd like to share it with the BoBs here.
"If there is an icon for Codger Burleys, I nominate the late Beecher Gwinn. And, of course, I'll explain the nomination. You know there's a story, there's always a story, absolutely true and no hyperbole. I was a VISTA volunteer in Beckley WV in 1973, working with the Raleigh County Commission and the local community action group on environmental health problems. Through another local Volunteer, I had the good fortune to meet the Baileys, Russell Ray (memorialized by 'Bailey's Front Porch' blend) and his wife Marie. Mrs Bailey was probably in her 60s then, the closest person I ever knew to be a saint on earth. Her father, for whom Mrs Bailey was the only care-giver, was Beecher Gwinn. He was in his 80s then, a partially disabled and bed-ridden former saw mill owner and timber cutter. Beecher Gwinn was a prodigious smoker of only 5Bros in a beat-to-pieces KW large billiard. Because of a number of industrial accidents impairing Beecher's hands, one of the Baileys would tend to some of his immediate needs, including filling his pipe, w/ 5Bros. As far as I knew, Beecher might smoke 4-5 bowls during the day.

The few times that I visited w/ him before his death in late 1973 or winter 1974. He welcomed me into his home w/o question or comment. Mr Gwinn would recount his 80+ years w/ great clarity and humor, but never a word of pity. There was regret and loneliness for his wife who had passed a few years earlier, but never for himself. Beecher was quite a man, until the day he passed away, and it was a brief but enjoyable friendship. Certainly, it was my pleasure to know him. Therefore, Beecher Gwinn is my nominee for codger burley icon."

I look back over these comments, and I realize that I have always been drawn to the company of old men. They weren't saints, and they were flawed. They lived, they suffered, they died; their lives were transparent, no hidden agendas and no whining. Their only rule for acceptance was for you to hold up your end in life, without complaint or excuse. And, they smoked, mostly in silence but they smoked as a means of communality. We are better for knowing them.
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PostSubject: Re: Pipe Tales   Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:28 pm

I think it's seriously neat that you preserved his memory like that cheers

What a Face
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