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 Strange pipe sighting............

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Martin Romijn

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Age : 48
Location : the Netherlands
Registration date : 2010-07-14

PostSubject: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:56 am

As a stonemason I am often working at cemeteries to place tombstones or, as was the case this morning, for restoration activities. It is a beautiful spring morning; light dew lingers on the grass as the sun begins to show itself. I am busy repainting the letters of a tombstone and enjoying the peacefulness. The birds are in full song while just a few steps away from me, I see a rabbit hopping.


Like always with this kind of activity, I have my pipe in my mouth. This time I have chosen a curved Big Ben and have loaded it full of Amphora Full Aroma, or Amphora Red. It’s nice to be working outside while enjoying the pleasure of a pipe.

While painting, I let the little scented blue clouds rise as I become wholly engrossed in my work. “That smells good!” I suddenly hear from behind me. I was so lost in my work and thoughts that I did not notice the man come up from behind.”‘Thank you”, I answered as I turned around to see the gentleman that had given me this compliment.
There stood an older man with a bowler style hat, wearing a three-piece suit. The man sniffed a little bit more air and said, “Amphora Red, if I am not mistaken?”
“Ah, you are a connoisseur,”’ I answered with surprise as I revealed my pouch of Amphora to him. “I like smoking a pipe every now and then,” the man said with a smile as he reached into his inside jacket pocket to reveal a magnificent Peterson, already loaded full and ready to be smoked. “Let’s have a smoke and get to know each other a little while we relax on that bench over there,” I said as I put away my brush.
“Unfortunately, that is not possible, as I am expecting someone, but maybe another time… would be nice. My name is Willem by the way,” As I extended my hand to shake his and answered, “Martin, nice to meet you.”’ he instead tapped his fingers against the brim of his hat and chuckled as he turned and walked away. “Goodbye,” I called after him. I stood and watched him as he held up his hand for a second with a slight wave goodbye, without looking back, crossing over to another path and heading off to another part of the cemetery just beyond my view. Did I see a little cloud of smoke coming from under his hat, just before he went out of my sight or did it just look that way?? I tamped the tobacco in my pipe a little, before putting the flame to my bowl, relighting and continuing my work. “Always nice to meet another pipe smoker,” I thought, “too bad he had to go so soon.”

With maybe a half hour or so of work still remaining, I refocused on my work so I could hopefully make my scheduled coffee back at the bank masonry. When I arrived at the last line of text on the stone, I heard the wrought ironed entrance gate to the cemetery open with a loud creaking sound. An older woman walked through the gate and down the path of the cemetery, pushing her bicycle. She left her bicycle standing in the path and walked to a water faucet a couple of yards away from me. As she gently filled a watering can she had brought with her, she smiled and nodded to me as I nodded back to her. When she walked past me, she paused for a moment. “What a nice smell coming from your pipe,” she said. I smiled, as I was a little surprised by the second compliment this morning regarding the aroma coming from my pipe. “The smell always reminds me of my husband. He died about ten years ago, but still when I smell the aroma of pipe tobacco, it feels like he is still close to me.” I wanted to say something but was at a loss for what to say. “He enjoyed his pipe so much that before he died I had to promise him that, when it was his time, I would put his favorite pipe and tobacco in his coffin with him. The night before his funeral, as he lay in state in our home, I sat next to him and filled his pipe, in the same way I had seen him do so often and laid it next to him with a pouch of his favorite tobacco. I even put the matches with it.” “I think he would have found it very pleasant,” was the only thing I could answer. “Hmm, I am now going to put some plants at his grave, blue violas, he liked them so much.” She nodded in the direction of her bicycle and I saw the box with the plants standing in the basket on her bike. I saw that the woman struggled to hold back her tears as she walked back to her bicycle. “Goodbye madam,” I managed to say, as I thought what a loving memory she had of her husband. “Well, back to work,” I thought out loud, as I relit my pipe. As I put my lighter back in my pocket, I watch the woman, with her violas in the basket and watering can hanging from the handlebars, walk the bicycle in the same direction as I saw Willem going. Hmm… what a coincidence I am thinking.

My curiosity was peaked somewhat as I turned to finish up my work. “Too late for coffee,” I thought as I looked at my watch. So, I decided to take on another tombstone in another section of the cemetery, taking advantage of the beautiful weather. As I busied myself for a while, mainly scrubbing work, a bit of smoothing and so on, I see the woman passing by with her bicycle again. She doesn’t notice me as she closes the entrance gate with its creaking sound behind her. With my curiosity peaked, I decide to follow the path where I had seen her come from, the same path where I had seen my fellow brother of the briar “Willem” wander down. As I go around the corner, past the bushes, I stand still in front of a vault with a beautiful granite tombstone. There are the blue violas placed neatly in front, just planted and watered. Then, as I read the text on the stone, I feel goose bumps pop up on the back of my neck. “Here lies my beloved husband, Willem de Jong.” I am speechless. And then, maybe it is just my imagination, but at that moment I swear I heard the sound of the striking of a match. Is that the smell of tobacco?? I have to laugh at my own imagination as I turn to walk back to the main path. I turn halfway around; breathe out a big puff of smoke and say, “Goodbye, Willem!”

Martin

Just wanted to share my first attempt to write a story, I hope you enjoyed it...
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Hermit

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Age : 64
Location : Ascension Parish
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:05 am

Great story.
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Muddler

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Age : 61
Location : Pretoria, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-05-22

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:06 am

Great post, Martin - thanks for sharing.
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bluedigital

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Age : 47
Location : Cape Town, South Africa
Registration date : 2010-09-07

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:13 am

Nice story Martin, you had me transfixed there ..... keep on writing, perhaps some follow-ups on the BoB..
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PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:15 am

Mooi So Martin, baie goed broer! cheers cheers cheers
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velveteagle

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Age : 63
Location : Allegan Michigan
Registration date : 2010-07-13

PostSubject: Strange pipe sighting........   Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:42 am

So well done Martin.. I saw the whole story in my head.. You did it spot on man.. cheers cheers cheers
Chuck..
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Martin Romijn

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Age : 48
Location : the Netherlands
Registration date : 2010-07-14

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:47 pm

Thanks for the kind words gents !!
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jhuggett
BoB's Pioneer & Founding Father
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Age : 45
Location : Olympia, WA
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:53 pm

Glad you posted that here. I read it over on SF and was very impressed. Thanks for sharing!

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Centurian 803
Long Arm O' The Law
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Age : 67
Location : Oak Ridge, TN
Registration date : 2008-09-10

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:21 pm

Nicely done, Martin. You have talent.
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Trout Bum

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Age : 49
Location : Anchorage, Alaska
Registration date : 2008-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:36 pm

Martin,

Your story was well crafted and quite enjoyable -- thanks for posting it.
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RonA3597

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Age : 68
Location : Lawrenceville, GA
Registration date : 2008-03-15

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:09 pm

Martin, thanks for posting your story - it inspired beautiful mental pictures.
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Justpipes
The Duke
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Age : 58
Location : Randolph County, NC If you don't know, you wouldn't understand.
Registration date : 2007-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:49 pm

Awesome story Martin! Could it be..............absolutely!
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Martin Romijn

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Age : 48
Location : the Netherlands
Registration date : 2010-07-14

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:16 am

I've received an e-mail from Pipes and tobaccos Magazine... they will publish my story !!! It will take a while but they will let me know when it's in.
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mark
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Registration date : 2008-07-02

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:56 am

Great news Martin, P&T is the perfect place for it,,,,,,it's a well crafted story and easy to visualize while reading it ,,,

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Handsome Dynamite

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Age : 27
Location : Hamburg, NY
Registration date : 2009-12-31

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:26 am

Fantastic
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PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:39 am

That's great!
I Love It!
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beebiz

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Age : 57
Location : McKenzie, Tennessee
Registration date : 2010-09-12

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:43 am

Martin Romijn wrote:
I've received an e-mail from Pipes and tobaccos Magazine... they will publish my story !!! It will take a while but they will let me know when it's in.
Congratulations, Martin!! Is this the first time you will have had anything published? I remember my first time. Though it was only in a local publication with a few thousand readers, it was one of my most humbling, yet proud moments!!! And, I still have a copy of it!

That was a beautiful story! It shows that you have heart!! And, you did a wonderful job of using words to "paint" the scenes! I was able to envision everything... with no more trouble than it was to read the verbiage!!

EXCELLENT job!!!! And, good luck to you!!!!!!

Robert
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LAEarl

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Registration date : 2010-07-23

PostSubject: Re: Strange pipe sighting............   Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:45 pm

cheers Wonderful! cheers
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