Club Info & Events
Details of the April Meeting
We had a treat at the April meeting by having New England pipe maker Kurt
Huhn (pronounced Hune) pay our club a visit. Kurt is a very
down to earth guy and blended into the group like he's been a member for
years. But when you think about we're all really part of the same club
anyway aren't we? Kurt brought some
of his pipes for us to paw over which we did. He does some really
nice work. After getting the formal part of our monthly meeting out of
the way Kurt told us a little bit about himself and how he got into the
business. Originally wanting to craft knives he soon found out that his
tools and skill was better
suited to making pipes. Being a pipe smoker himself everything seem to
work out nicely. Before long he was making pipes for other people and
the rest is history. Kurt's been making pipes now for almost two years.
After his presentation he fielded many questions from our members and
found there was quite a bit of interest
in his briar calabash model with the removable briar bowl. Kurt said it
took some time to perfect this shape but the final product has been well
The subject of brand vs. briar came up and although Kurt has his own theory
on that, there's not enough space (or time) to get into it here. But he
did mention that good briar is very important.
I'd like to thank Kurt for taking the time out of his busy schedule to
stop by and pay us a visit. You're welcome anytime. If you'd like to see
more of Kurt's work be sure to check out his website.
What's in store for the May meeting?
We have a busy schedule planned for the May meeting. Starting with
the First Annual SHPC Swap & Sell of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe
Club. If you you have any unwanted pipes, tobacco, accessories and tobaccania
that you would like to sell or trade with fellow members now's the time.
This is an excellent opportunity for those of you who have been considering
coming to your first meeting to finally make it a reality. For that matter
it would be a great time to see some or you we haven't seen in a while
(ahem... Editor, Decoy, Andy, Jay, Paul, and Suit...). If all goes
well, hopefully we can make this a yearly event! Hope to see you there.
MacBaren Tobacco Sampling - At the May Meeting
Castello Trunk Show at Peretti's - Just a few days away....
mentioned last month, SHPC has agreed to help MacBaren review some of
their new tobaccos. Along with two of their new
blends, Solent Mixture and the "Cube", they've sent us a box
full of free gifts for helping them out. There's plenty to go around so
come on by and help us out. Just another great reason to be part of the best
pipe club on the Eastern seaboard.
On Saturday, April 29th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Marco Parascenzo, the distributor for Costello Pipes will be having a Trunk
Sale at Peretti's. Marco
will be bringing many Castello's, including rare and difficult to obtain
pieces. Whether you're a Castello collector or are contemplating your
first Castello, you won't want to miss this!
A Sherlock Holmes
Pipe Club Adventure
The Adventure of the Brookline Tobacconist
you were a kid did you ever get a chance to play with one of those scrambled
picture puzzles? You know the ones I mean, it had a scrambled picture
broken into squares with one empty space that allowed you to move the
picture pieces around one square at a time until you were able to put
the picture back into its proper order. The one I had featured the gang
from Popey (another famed pipe smoker I might add). Well, visiting
Brookline News reminds me a lot of being in one of those picture puzzles.
This place is packed floor to ceiling with just about every kind of novelty
item (past and present) you can think of, magazines, greeting cards, games,
lottery items, cigars and more importantly, lots of pipes and tobacco.
Magazine racks, display cases, turnstile stands and shelves filled with
merchandise take up about 90% of the shops retail space. It is so packed
with goods that if more than a few people are in the shop at one time
you may have to move to the empty square of floor space just so that someone
else can get by. But its so amazing to walk in there for the first time
that you almost can't believe it. To help avoid this confusion, Mike the
proprietor of Brookline News agreed to open up the shop for us exclusively
for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. This was great, now we wouldn't
have to dodge customers while trying to concentrate on the pipes. However,
the idea was so popular with the club members that 10 of us decided to
go... so much for beating the crowd.
I met Joe in Weymouth and relied on his navigational skills to get us
to Brookline. Joe had been to Brookline News once before while in the
area running errands but has had an itch to get back ever since. After
a quick lunch we walked a few doors up Harvard St. to where the shop was.
I cupped my eyes with my hand and pressed them to the door peering through
the only space on the glass that wasn't covered by some type of sticker,
decal or flyer and knocked quietly.
& Tobacco News & Info
Fair Winds to you brother Jack
Kobak also known as Sailorman Jack left this world on April
20th in a Columbus Ohio hospital. Jack had been quite ill for the
last few years which was seriously perpetuated by the death of his
brother. Jack was a fixture at New York pipe shows where he was
lovingly considered the Master of Ceremonies. His voice would boom
"Attention! Attention!" before he would read off the numbers on
a raffle prize ticket or make an announcement. Although Jack was
considered a lovable eccentric he was also an extremely knowledgeable
pipe historian and knew more than most about pipes, especially old
Dunhills. He was also a loyal member of the Internet pipes group
alt.smokers.pipes where his "Morning Watch Posts" were eagerly
awaited by all each day. A couple of years ago Jack left his beloved
New York city to take a job at the famous Smoker's Haven in Columbus.
He was incredibly proud to be a tobacconist and Jack's friends thank
owner Premal Chheda for giving him that opportunity.
Fair winds to you brother Jack.... D.J. Perry
NH Defeats Smoking Ban
6 , 2006
"Of 14 senators who spoke-out of a total of 23 present-I heard
only the last two, both of whom were eloquent. One attacked the
junk science and the politics of the nanny state while the other
stood for individual freedom and responsibility. It was refreshing
to hear legislators brave enough to speak their minds and also not
to hear ban opposition based only on its effect on business. When
the vote came after two hours we had prevailed 12 to 11." [Read
Worth A Look
A veritable cornucopia of Sherlock Holmes links and information.
The website of a true Sherlock Holmes enthusiast. Lots of info.
[Check it out]
Month's Tobacco Raffle
For this month's tobacco raffle we have
two blends from McLelland's Blakeney's Best Series.
Flake is a distinctive full English mixture, rich with smoky Cyprian
Latakia and fragrant with exotic Xanthi Yaka. Toasted for smoothness,
then pressed in cakes to age and marry the flavors. Result: exceptionally
smooth, cool-smoking, full flavored little Levantine flakes ready
to rub out.
Slice is sophisticated small slices of the smoothest Louisiana Perique
aged in cakes to mellow with sweet, zesty Matured Virginia. Rich
and satisfying, with Perique's uniquely mysterious and compelling
aroma, enhanced by Blakeney's exclusive toasting process.
I couldn't help but think that this is what life might be like in the
future, secret meetings and special knocks just to sit around and smoke
with friends. A very sad thought indeed. Once inside we were instantly
overwhelmed. There was so much stuff to look at you didn't know where
to look first. You'd find yourself looking every which way until your
eyes finally set on those familiar carved wooden objects and at last your
gaze could steady. Like overgrown brush can shroud a woodland walkway,
years and years of increasing inventory has shrouded the many pipe displays
and cases at Brookline News. The counters are piled high with cases filled
with lighters, trinkets and other items, sometimes things were stacked
so high that you couldn't even see Mike standing on the other side of
Behind the counter filling the back wall were seven foot tall cases filled
with a variety of pipe brands. Some may even have been there anywhere
from 5-10 years. Just inside the front door to your right was a glass
case under the counter, it also was filled with pipes
including a half a dozen each of Peterson's, Stanwell's and even some
Tinsky's. Another, smaller case sits on top of this case with even more pipes. My quest this day was to find a couple of Stanwells which
have always proven to be an enjoyable and reliable smoke for me. I also
wanted to pick up a few tins of Boston Harbor tobacco, a Virginia mixture
blended specifically for Brookline News (and a very tasty blend at
that). A few steps further down the narrow path towards the back of
the store was the rest of our clan pawing over a pipe filled table supplied
by RD Field, a nice collection of Estate Pipes and a dozen Dunhills that
Mike had arranged for our visit. We all participated in the picture puzzle
game jockeying for position in front of another section of the table.
Our President-retired Don Powers and Paul Dunn who we haven't seen for
quite some time were also able to be here along with the other usual suspects,
Dock, Tim, Rick, Ted & Sid. And our old friend Jon "Gadget"
Cohen even turned up around 2:30.
After looking over all the pipes again and again we were able to stop
and take in everything else around us (sort of). We were surrounded
by racks, displays and more racks of novelties like you've never seen
(or haven't seen in quite a while). Like Nunzilla,
a toy that looks like a Nun and breathes fiery sparks as she walks. How
about a huge Gummy Heart, this could be just the right gag gift
for that special someone getting ready to undergo heart surgery (just
in case things don't work out). And we can't forget the "Whoopee Pen"
toy that not only writes like a pen but it also makes life like farting
noises when pulled (which just happened to be a favorite of Sids ... no
surprise there). It's just like I said, they have something for everyone.
I had also heard that the store room below the shop looked very similar
to the shop itself.... filled wall to wall with games, toys and other
inventory. Well I got a chance to see it for myself and the stories were
true. Dock and I ventured down the dark stairway to the dimly lit supply
room. Around the perimeter of the supply room boxes and boxes went from
floor to ceiling and down the center too. I would hate to have to be the
one to do the inventory for this place.... that is unless they gave me
a few choice selections from the pipe stock.
So a couple of blissful hours passed before the excitement began to wind
down and our numbers began to dwindle. We took one last look around to
make sure there wasn't anything we missed (but I bet there was). As
we paid for our purchases we were all pleased to receive a nice discount
that Mike was offering for this occasion. So you see... it pays to be
a member of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club....in more ways than one. If
you happened to be one of the ones who wanted to come but couldn't make
it, you may be in luck as we hope to make this a yearly event. But until
then, if you're ever in the Coolidge Corner area be sure to stop in and
say hello to Mike, he'll be the one you can't see behind the counter.
More Photos from Brookline News
(Sorry... but the puzzle above will only work properly in Internet Explorer)