The June Meetup this month was our most successful meeting ever. I didn’t count but well over 20 people were on hand at Allegheny Smokeworks. It was wonderful to see some folks who haven’t been around for many months or even a year, and also there were some new faces. We got to smoke some Capstan Blue from Germany, crack open a tin of Mac Baren from the 70’s, and I even got to go home with a new Thomas James Pipe! Quite the successful day indeed.
The May meetup at Allegheny Smokeworks was a success, with the Washington County Pipe Club members all showing up for show & tell with their finds from the annual Chicago pipe show. John’s showpiece was a flame Castello Hawkbill, while Homer showed up with an absolutely beautiful blasted JT Cooke. The talented Tom Richards of Thomas James Pipes made the trek to Blawnox with some absolutely beauties he recently crafted.
We all kicked back & relaxed for well over our standard 2 hours, and I went home with a wonderful cache of tobacco donated by my good friend Tim. An 8 oz bag of Penzance was even spotted at Smokeworks, but I left it there for some other lucky soul to find as I’m already stocked up myself at home with a few tins.
The 1923 and 1933 Dunhill root briar’s that I found recently at an estate sale were finally packed up this morning and are on their way to Tim West via USPS. These pipes were definitely the single best estates I’ve ever come across, and I am anxiously awaiting their return in a much improved state. In my typical fashion, I’m sure I’ll end up smoking english blends in these english pipes, but the big question is which blend? I may have to crack one of my aged Dunhill tins to celebrate their return.
You may remember the freehand pipe in the photo being the Ben Wade that I sold off on ebay to pay for the refurb of the Dunhills.
I just posted a weekend estate sale find on eBay, a gorgeous Ben Wade Freehand Matt from the Preben Holm era. It’s a beauty but I feel like giving this one up to pay for the restoration of the Dunhills I found at the same auction. Happy bidding!
Given the Richmond Pipe Show & my anniversary occurring on the same weekend last saturday, the turnout for pipe club wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. Here’s how we can make up for it:
Let’s all go this saturday!
The washington co. guys are planning to show up with their finds from the CORPS show, so let’s all show up for a relaxing fall morning at Allegheny Smokeworks.
I woke up bright & early yesterday morning at 5:30 to make the trek to Columbus for the annual NASPC pipe show. Joel & Dave came along for the ride to experience their first show. We got there about 10 minutes after the show started and started to browse the selection.
My initial reaction was “woah, there’s definitely less vendors here than last year” and that was a bit sad to see. Smokingpipes.com, the old “bag of pipes” guy, and some other great dealers from last year were not to be found. Another disappointing fact was that many of the returning vendors were selling many of the same exact pipes that I was looking at last year. Again this year I was seeking my first Castello, but there really weren’t that many estates present that weren’t there last year.
Enough with the bad news; I’ll get on to the good stuff. Pipes & Pleasures from Columbus was there, and just like last year she had a pipe I simply couldn’t pass up. I picked up an absolutely gorgeous Charatan Distinction with beautiful straight grain. It is incredibly small, but I prefer a small pipe much to the dismay of many of my colleagues. In my typical fashion, I debated much too hard over the decision of what other pipe or pipes to purchase, and in the end I ended up buying a lovely blasted Parker Poker.
Dave picked up two great estate Don Carlos’, while Joel snagged two estate Parkers and an incredibly tiny Kaywoodie Campus with a screw in tenon. We all came home with our pockets full of tobacco samples from C&D and particularly Hearth & Home, where Russ Ouellette was more than gracious in handing out samples of his fantastic blends. I already tried out his ‘Ten to Midnight’ and was blown away by it.
Overall the show was a success, but I think I may start going every other year to see more of a new selection given my experience this year. Well, it’s time to go try another Hearth & Home blend in the new Charatan.