I walked into The Tobacco Hut today and the first thing I saw was a gleaming white Dunhill My Mixture tobacco jar atop one of the humidors. An example of one of these highly collectible jars is shown at left. I wasn't sure where Lou got it, but I was hoping it was for sale, but alas it was for display only. Then Lou pointed out a half dozen Peterson System estate pipes for sale and a whole bunch of pipe racks and ashtrays. Lou hit the mother lode! Apparently he was approached by an agent of a pipe shop owner in Vermont who was closing his shop and he purchased a couple dozen estate pipes from him and a ton of pipe furniture.
He's in the process of cleaning up and sanitizing the pipes and has put some out for sale. Lou is only asking $45 apiece for them, which is an excellent bargain as new System pipes typically run anywhere from $95-110. Naturally, I selected one from the rack and was soon smoking it. Wow, what a cool dry smoke it is. The reservoir that traps the moisture in a System pipe really did its job and brought out the flavors of Lou's new tobacco blend very nicely.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention some more changes at the Hut. Lou has introduced a Virginia-based English blend of tobacco and he let me try a bowl of it in the Peterson. We talked about how the amount of Latakia in it should be tweaked ever so slightly and he has given me the honor of coming up with a name for his new blend. Since it's an English blend, he wants some sort of reference to the British Isles, and below is a list of possibilities for him, in alphabetical order, with the reasoning behind the names:
- Baker Street (Sherlock Holmes' address)
- Castledown (Castles are an obvious English feature)
- Celtic Dream (More Irish than English, but I like how the two words flow together)
- Falconer (Although originating in the Middle East, the sport of falconry was widely popular among the royalty throughout England's history)
- Foghorn (Maybe not British per se, but certainly nautical and England has a long maritime tradition)
- Mallory's Summit (Early Mt. Everest mountaineer George Mallory was an avid pipe smoker, and died on the north slope in 1924)
- Norman Conquest (Well, technically the Normans were from France when they invaded England in 1066, but it's a pivotal point in England's history)
- Parliament (The British governing body is an appropriate name I think)
- Sweedlepipe (A character from a Charles Dickens novel, Martin Chuzzlewit. I don't know if he smokes a pipe in the book, but I love the name)
- Wessex (Named for the Kingdom of Wessex in southern England, from ca. 600-1015 CE.)
Hopefully Lou likes one of these names and uses it for his new tobacco. Hope I helped Lou!
In attendance today were Joe K, Peter G, Steve B, and Darryl G. We were hoping to see Adrian but he must have spent the $12 that he lost last weekend and later recovered!
Lou was very gracious and at 1:00 changed the TV to the Rays-Blue Jays game. Unfortunately, the Rays took a beating, ultimately losing the game 17-11. Even with the loss, it was better than watching golf. Darryl might have disagreed with me, but I know Joe was on my side. Joe (and others) are anxiously awaiting football season, which starts in a couple weeks.
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Last week I didn't get a chance to write the blog, but I have to make a remark or two about my choice of wardrobe then. I ordered a very special T-shirt for myself just for Joe's pleasure. I know how much Joe is a fan of National Public Radio, and I'm sure he donates a sizable amount of his discretionary income to the worthy cause, so I was quite puzzled when he wasn't enthusiastic about the shirt I wore just for him. In case you can't make out what the says, it reads: "NPR - Radio For Your World". Can't figure out why Joe didn't ask me to order him one after he saw it.
I think Scott R and Paul V will be at the Hut next Saturday, so I'm looking forward to seeing them. My son Ryan comes down for a two week visit next Monday, so we'll fit a Tobacco Hut visit in to the schedule, probably that first Saturday he's here, Aug. 21.