Novice, exitedly returning to pipe tobacco smoking!

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Jul 6, 2018
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Hi there, hope some are ready for a rather storied introduction! :)

Pipe smoking goes way back for me. When I was little (about 6 or 7) my Dad, who was a Structural Engineer, after many years of pipe smoking gave it up. I had always loved the smell when he did it & was fascinated with his tobacco & the pipe he had. A while after he stopped, he let me have the pipe cause I wanted to at least pretend to smoke out of it! This was in our house in Whittier.

I remember it was probably a freehand bent billiard or similar shape, red stain, some sort of natural rough finish with a HUGE bowl, basically the size of some small coffee cups! He would put a ton of tobacco in there & smoke the thing forever!

At some point either my Mom didn't like the thought of me wanting to smoke & took it away or I broke it. My interest in it dropped after that & after we moved from Whittier to La Habra Heights Dad's old pipe was never to be seen again. :-(

Fast forward several years & I saw a tobacco pipe in a drugstore we had nearby that I thought looked awesome - a weird rusticated medium straight zeppelin like shape with a pointed, metal, bullet like embellishment on the front. I smelled some of the tobacco they had & really wanted to try it. I had a friend who had just turned 18 so I had him get it & some tobacco for me & remember summer vacation days eagerly waiting to be left home alone so I could sneak some puffs! Well like a lot of things your into when your young the interest faded after a short while.

Now, many years later - amazingly I still have that pipe even though the stem is broken. I was looking at it this last fathers day fondly, smelling it, & remembering how much I loved that sweet smoke! Hardly knowing anything about the hobby I thought a stem could be easily replaced & started going to different Tobacconists looking to have my weird old pipe fixed. Well after stopping by 3 or 4 places a customer at one right off the The Circle in Orange recommended I take a trip to Tobacco Barn in Lake Forest.

Although they couldn't help me fix my broken pipe directly, Jacob did recommend someone I have yet to get ahold of. While there I perused their shop a bit & decided to buy an old KBB YelloBole straight Bulldog they had in their basket pipes assortment that has an attractive reddish tint with some really nice grain & some of their own house tobacco - Grandfather & Treasure Chest. I really loved the pipe & the tobaccos, especially the Grandfather.

I bought another used (I don't like using the term "estate" if its just an old drug store type) pipe, bent Tomato stamped Winston & Imported Briar with a screw on aluminum mortise & tenon fitting that I can't find much info about on ebay a week ago, seems at least 30 or 40 years old. Although it has a quite wide bowl & the previous steward didn't build much cake it smokes great, better than my KBB Bulldog possibly due to the lack of a condenser like that in the Bulldog. I know the idea of a condenser is to help with moisture but it seems to create more problems than it solves, often gurgles, & needs stem separation & condenser cleaning after every bowl.

Well ever since Fathers Day I've been obsessed with the world of pipe tobacco & it's pipes. I've absorbed a lot of info about it & been blabbing my wife's head off, who is a cigarette smoker who likes pipe tobacco & whatnot but isn't nearly as into yet as me.

Well to alleviate her burden she started looking into local pipe enthusiast groups for me & found the first meeting of the OC Pipe Club near us at The Outlets at Orange restaurant Saddle Ranch Chop House, this last Thu July 5th.

I went & it was awesome!

I met some great guys that were very accepting of me despite my excited, overly enthusiastic attitude that must have been like a young lad with a sweet tooth who just stepped into a real candy store for the first time! I was graciously invited to try any of a very large number of tobaccos everyone had brought despite the fact I had hardly brought anything to reciprocate with. There was great conversation had, I discovered some amazing leaves & met some solid characters. I will be back next time with something to bring to the table proper.

I'm pretty bad with names but just want to thank those I remember for making it such a comfortable environment for a newcomer, something I can't often say about joining a new social group: Loren, Neal, Wyatt, Mike & George were the names I can recall, but faces I never forget so whoever wasn't named thanks as well. Hopefully I'll see you all again next month. (And I'll try to contain my excitement a little better next time!)

Looking forward to meeting any new fellow pipe tobacco friends in this here forum, learning valuable info on pipes & blends, & maybe reading some interesting stories while smoking a bowl of some good flake.

Thanks, Sincerly Ben Camarillo


Staff member
B of B Supporter
Council Member
May 4, 2011
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Helluva great intro and bio there Ben. Glad to have you and your enthusiasm aboard. We could use a little here!




Well-known member
Jun 21, 2010
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Welcome, enjoy all the great blends you will be trying in the future.


Well-known member
Nov 8, 2016
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Glad you made it here, Ben! It was great meeting you at the meetup. Your excitement and enthusiasm for the hobby is refreshing. There's so much to learn, and in my opinion, the joy is the journey rather than a destination.

There are some great men and women here on BoB with a wealth of information about pipes and tobacco. I hope you join us regularly, and feel comfortable asking any questions you may have as well as searching our current library of forum topics that contain a ton of information.

Look forward to hearing from you, and to getting to know you better at Future OC pipe Club meetups.

Best regards,