Wow! I got to The Tobacco Hut a little late today and had trouble finding a seat! No complaints though as a few of the chairs were filled with pipe smokers! In fact, I think for a brief time there was an equal number of pipe smokers and cigar smokers. Unfortunately I missed Joe K who left early - hopefully next week buddy!
In attendance were Bret and his son Blake, Ed B, and Ed F and his friend Dan. Dan's teetering on the edge of becoming a pipe smoker so maybe soon we'll outnumber the stogie smokers. Ed F was enjoying the meerschaum I gave him last week, alternating between two of Lou's blends, Keystone and Baker Street. I haven't tried Keystone but it certainly smells good, and everyone knows how I feel about the most-excellent Baker Street.
Today found me smoking some of G.L. Pease's rich latakia blend, Westminster, in a Ser Jacopo Maxima. I bought the pipe when I was working at the Tinder Box in Columbus and has always been one of my favorites. Ser Jacopo is an Italian pipe maker founded in 1982 by master carver Giancarlo Guidi. Employing five full time carvers the company creates roughly 6,000 pipes per year ranging from the "Geppetto" to the "Gem" series, which are characterized by ultra-rare high end models fetching upwards of $12,000. No, my lone Ser Jacopo is not a "Gem" but it certainly is a wonderful smoker and is always a regular in the rotation.
As I mentioned, Bret and Blake were in with Bret smoking Baker Street in a nice looking meerschaum. A couple weeks ago when I first met them, Blake was talking about taking up the pipe. Always great to hear of a young person thinking about joining the Brotherhood of the Briar. And Blake isn't just thinking about it; this man has done his research! He's saving up money to purchase his first pipe, a Peterson, and can't wait to jump in.
I don't know what's come over me, but I'll be giving away another pipe next week. I have a Tinder Box "Beefeater" quarter bent smooth billiard that I plan on bringing to Lou next Saturday to clean and sterilize. I bought the pipe probably twenty years ago and it's been only lightly smoked over the years. I think it's time to deliver it to a new owner, and I think Blake will be the perfect guy for it.
Peter arrived - a welcome sight after a few weeks of being under the weather. His prediction for the Super Bowl tomorrow is Pittsburgh. I probably won't watch the game as my team, the Cleveland Browns, aren't in it. And, unfortunately, they probably never will be. Peter had read on the blog last week about my chess loss to Adrian and asked me about it, causing me to relive the traumatic event.
Speaking of Adrian and chess...he was a no show this week. I think he probably wanted to relish his victory for another week and deprive me of the chance at a rematch. Next week, Adrian, next week!
Nothing overly dramatic at the Hut this week. Just a half-dozen or so guys hanging out enjoying their pipes and cigars. Not too much political talk either (where's Tom L when you need him?). There's a chance Scott R will be making an appearance next week - always good to see him, plus I promised him I'd buy him a cigar for his birthday a couple days ago. Sorry, no cigar for you, Joe (wink, wink).
Until next week...