2003: A Year in Review
As we look back on 2003 the event that stands out foremost
in many of our minds is the War with Iraq and our nations continuing conflict
in that country. We all watched as one of the shortest wars in history
progressed from the devastating Shock and Awe campaign to the occupation
of Iraq and the breakdown of Saddam's regime. We now find that our troops
have turned in their soldiers helmets in exchange for the hats of the
policeman and peacekeeper and are engaged in war games like "52 card
pick up", "Hide and Seek for WMD" and "Dodge Bullet"
however the only game we seem to be winning at so far is cards. These
brave men and women serve our country, putting their lives and their families
futures on the line to keep us safe at home from future attacks and terrorist
threats. This blanket of safety we lie under comes at an unfortunate price
of a soldier a day, during which time the whole nation is on constant
So while President Bush does what he thinks is right to preserve our future
and protect our freedom, and despite our nations turmoil we, the members
of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston do what we do each month to
preserve the past while clinging to the remaining threads of the one freedom
we hold dear.
As we narrow our reflection to the clubs adventures from this past year
we find many memorable moments. Highlights include our ever popular mid
of the Mindless" cookout and smokeout at the home of American
pipemaker and gracious host Paul Bonaquisti. This year we also made a
trip south to Cape Cod for lunch at the British
Beer Company then over to the Tinder Box in Mashpee for a visit with
store manager and club member Nate "Pen" Davis.
The New York and Chicago pipe shows were also attended by a number of
our members and during the year we were visited by representatives of
James Norman, LTD and Peterson
Pipes. And we can't forget about the Ugliest
Pipe Contest and it's winner Ted Blank.
Long time club member Steve Gutz had a new library built in his home this
year to hold his mass consumption of books, pipes and tobacciana. In celebration
of it's completion Steve invited us
all over for a look while entertaining us with plenty of excellent
food and drink and continual helpings of our favorite weed.
In early December a few of us met at Peretti's in Boston where Bill
Ashton of "Ashton-Taylor" was visiting with some of his
new pipes. Bill, the perfect English gentleman, was easy to talk to and
with over 40 years in the pipe business he knows just about all there
is to know about making pipes. Just recently a few members got together
at Mike's Brookline News and Tobacco before heading
up to the Gold Leaf Tobacconist in Seabrook,
NH. The weather was perfect for the trip North and the Patriots topped
off the day with 31-0 win over the Buffalo Bills to end the regular season.
But the event of the year had to have been the clubs invitation to visit
Bill Fuerbach of the S.M. Frank Co. (Kaywoodie)
in Peekskill, NY for a factory tour, pipe smoking contest and holiday
celebration with the Hudson Valley Pipe Club. This was a definite treat
for all of those fortunate enough to attend. An account of this event
as well as our trip to Brookline News and the Gold Leaf can be found below
in this newsletter.
So as 2003 wanes slowly into our memories we look forward to the new adventures
of 2004. But regardless of whether our adventures are few or plenty the
good comrades of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club of Boston will continue
to come together each month to celebrate one of our favorite pastimes,
the gentle art of smoking tobacco from our pipes. The same gentle art
that has been celebrated for hundreds of years by our fathers and fore
fathers and one we will continue to celebrate as long as our Country's
laws of freedom will allow. A pastime I am extremely grateful to be a
I'd like to wish you all the very best of health, prosperity and good
forturne in 2004 and the many years to follow.
Nelson "Rockafella" Pidgeon
Club Info & Events
This Month's Theme - "Your Christmas Pipe(s)"
sincerely hope each and every one of you was fortunate enough to receive
the pipesmoker's ultimate Holiday gift, that's right "a pipe".
For those of you lucky enough to fall into this category we would love
to see those treasures bestowed upon you at this month's meeting. Whether
given to you as a gift or purchased yourself during the holidays we look
forward to seeing them all.
A Christmas Wish
by Dock Perry
There are large boxes under my tree,
They hold little interest for me.
My family surely knows my angle,
The ones I want are small rectangles
About eight inches long
and three inches wide,
I know for sure
they're for this lucky guy
No new ties of any type,
What I want most
is a shiny new pipe!
As most of you know Steve recently underwent bypass surgery. I am happy
to report that his operation went very well and we hope to see him at
the January meeting. Welcome back Steve, we've missed you.
Holiday Party Pics
As usual the SHPC Holiday Party was a huge success and we all
had an excellent time. The food was outstanding and the conversation titillating
(well maybe not titillating but that word has a nice ring to it don't
you think). For those of you who could not make it, you were sorely
Unfortunately when I went to look for the pictures I took from the party
they were no where to be found. All I came up with were a couple I had
started to work on and one that Cyndi gave me from last year. Sorry about
Strangely enough, Cyndi lost her roll of film from last years party that
she found just in time for this years. (Cyndi, if
possible please bring those pictures to the next meeting for other member
here for what's left of the pics >>
Recent Pipe Excursions
The Kaywoodie Trip
I'd like to thank Andy Camire for contributing his
narrative of this days events for the newsletter. I'd also like to thank
both Andy and Rick Frederics for taking pictures throughout the day so
that they can be shared with all of those who were not able to make it.
The following was written by Andy Camire...
The day started off leaving Hubbardston, MA the Central Massachusetts
location of "Man's World" and residence of Jay
"Gavel" Beard. The two of us took our leisurely drive
to Vernon, CT where we always stop at the great Rein's NY Deli for breakfast,
and then onward to Peekskill, NY the home of S.M.
Frank Co. maker of Kaywoodie, YelloBole, and Medico pipes.
We arrived around 1:30 pm. and Bill Fuerbach, VP of S.M. Frank Co. greeted
us with a smile and a smoke.
the Complete Kaywoodie Story
Brookline News & Gifts &
Gold Leaf Tobacco, Seabrook, NH
On December 27th, Rick Frederics and I met up with Don Powers at Mikes
News and Tobacco in Brookline before heading North to the Gold Leaf in
Seabrook, NH. This was my first visit to Mike's and had heard many good
things about it from the others who visit often, like the wide selection
of pipes including Dunhill, Peterson, Radice, Stanwell and Charatan plus
the huge assortment of accessories and tobacco related items, some of
which date back many years. But mostly Mike himself was recognized for
his generosity towards members of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club.
the Complete Story >>
Estate Pipes for Sale
While visiting Brookline News this past month Mike introduced
us to Geoff Stern. Mr. Stern has recently been advised that he should give
up smoking which he has decided to do. As a result he now has a fair number
of pipes that he would like to sell. Being the pipe aficionados that we
are and always looking for a good deal, Mike suggested that he talk to us.
Mr. Stern explained that his collection consists of approximately 200 pipes
which include a few Dunhills, Petersons (Sherlock Holmes Series) and some
pre Ehrlich pipes just to name a few. He also said that a number of these
pipes were purchased in England. We asked him if he would be interested
in coming to our next meeting to allow our members an opportunity to view
and hopefully purchase some of these pipes to which he gladly agreed. So
if you'd like to see what treasures he may be holding on to be sure to stop
by on the 14th. Maybe you'll get lucky.
(If Mr. Stern is unable to bring all of his pipes this
month we may ask him for a return visit.)
SHPC hats will be available for purchase at this month's meeting ($14).
Don't forget, if you want a name or a pipe embroidered on your hat speak
to Dock Perry. If you'd like a hat but won't be making a meeting soon,
let me know and I can mail you one.
Pipes and Tobacco News
I found the following article
while surfing the web. I assume it's been on the web for a while
and may be familiar to many of you but I thought it was a good read
and worth posting here.
The Myth of Brand and Maker in Pipe Smoking
by Dr. Fred Hanna, Ph.D.
"Do specific brands of briar pipes provide correspondingly
specific flavors? Does a Dunhill pipe, a Charatan, or a Chonowitsch,
have a unique taste that separates that brand from all other briar
pipes? Does an expensive brand, such as Castello, provide a superior
level of smoking experience that is unattainable by more pedestrian
brands such as Chacom or Stanwell? There are many pipe smokers and
collectors who firmly believe that the answer to these questions
is yes. Others only partially subscribe. I refer to the above beliefs
as part of the "brand myth" in pipe smoking. The point of this article
is that brand is largely based on illusion and I hope to expose
both the nature and origin of that illusion."
the Complete Article >>
Websites Worth A Look
This is a fairly new site to the web with it's main purpose explained
in it's name but it goes way beyond that. In addition to the growing
number of smoke shop reviews they already have from around the country
they also have reviews of tobacco blends and many different pipe
brands. You can also submit your own review by using one of their
forms. But that's not all, they will sell your estate pipes for
you and have a pipe cleaning service that comes highly recommended
by Scott Bendett, owner of PipesandCigars.com.
Even more they are also offering three of their own tobacco blends.
The first, Ok Bayou is a Scottish type mixture with
an extra tough of perique. A very smooth and tasty blend. They will
even send you a sample if you ask them. Their newest blend is a
virginia/perique mixture called Acadian Coast and
although I have not had the opportunity to try it yet, I already
have a fond connection to it. Why you ask? Well the name Acadian
Coast was submitted by me during their naming contest last
month. I chose the name for it's connection to the early days of
James Parish where we all know Perique tobacco is grown. So
be sure to order yourself a couple ounces of this celebrated blend.
SSR's last blend is called Champagne Delight, an interesting
sounding aromatic blend that I hear is great to smoke at the stroke
of 12 on New Years Eve.
Now as if all this isn't enough information for one website they
go even further. You can subscribe to their bi-monthly newsletter
and get all the latest info delivered right to your email box.
So weather you'll be traveling around the country and want to take
a side trip to a new tobacco shop or if your just like most of us
and love reading about all things pipes and tobacco then smokeshopreview.com
is definitely worth a look.
Pipedo.com is website out of Japan with great site layout and a
very nice selection of pipes from a refreshing variety of
pipemakers including some local talent. There is a description of
each pipemaker and every pipe has crisp clear images from all angles.
The prices seemed reasonable on many of the pipes but you can expect
shipping to be at least $15 to the states. I was very impressed
with this Japanese site.
I might be taking a chance offering two aromatics for the
raffle this month but I don't think we've raffled off any aromatics
blends at all last year. Besides, with the recent release of "The
Return of the King", the final movie in the Lord of the Rings
Trilogy and pipe promoting film, I felt they were fitting choices.
Below are their descriptions from www.piperoom.com:
Middle Earth Blend
unusual aromatic and earthy blend of the finest tobaccos available
offers both smokeyness and rich flavor with a pleasant smoothness.
Now improved with greater smoothness, better flavor and a hint of
Black Raspberry! Blended with smoke ring makers in mind, this blend
is both smokey and gentle as a room aroma. The flavor is entirely
unique and pleasant to all. Packed well and smoked in a thick walled
pipe will give opportunity to get the fires going hot enough to
make great clouds of smoke and rings to your hearts content. Smoke
rings can be Hobbit forming.
Gandalf - Dark Aromatic
is by far the darkest, richest and most flavorfully satisfying black
tobacco blend in all of Middle Earth! Rich, stoved Black Cavendish
Tobaccos stand up and salute in the most flavorful dark sugar aromas
imaginable. Thick, mild and flavorful describes this Blend. Even
those who travel light will make room for this one.