Thursday, July 26, 2007

How *I* Came to be a Collector

9/10/2001 I was working for an Ad Agency specializing in Human Resource advertising.

9/11/2001 USA Attacked.

10/7/2001 I was unemployed.

Seeking solace in the pipe, I took an old Dr. Grabow from the tackle box bought some drugstore tobacco and lit up. I was hooked. I learned you need to rotate smoking your pipes which is hard to do when you only have one!

Online, I found a program at alt.smokers.pipes operated by Bear Graves. He would clean and polish pipes and send out a handful to people like myself. In fact he shipped out over 3600 pies worldwide! When my box arrived I was amazed. There it was a "Racing Green ~ 268 Dublin" with a silver band.

I loved it then and love it even more now (despite its flaws and fills). The pipe just seems to want C&D's Snug Harbor Flake, a blend I only like in this particular pipe. This combination of pie-tobacco-and history makes for the best smoke ever. True Synergy- Magic! It is "the working man's pipe" as well as the "thinking mans pipe." Its all that's good.

10/7/2006 Employed, and "finally on my feet again." It was my time "Pay it Forward." Another internet search tells me that Bear no longer operates the program so instead I shipped out a box of my favorite tobaccos and a pipe to someone I me online. I was glad to do it.

07/23/2007 I believe Bear works for one of the top US retailers of Peterson pipes, Thank you Bear. Thank you Peterson.

How did you come to appreciate and/or collect Peterson Pipes? Please comment:


Anonymous said...

For years I'd been intrigued by the idea of smoking a pipe. I'd never had any desire to smoke cigarettes, but a pipe... hmm... something about it attracted me, in a manner analogous to taking long walks in the woods.

After a couple of fruitless attempts with mediocre pipes long since lost & forgotten ("tastes OK but not what I expected..."), some years later I went looking again and quite by accident ended up with an Irish Seconds (Peterson Seconds). This was an absolute revelation: pure joy from the very first puff. It was an utter delight to the senses in all ways.

(Note to any antismoking zealots who may be reading this, the effects of nicotine take a few minutes to occur when smoking a pipe because one doesn't inhale, and any attempt to inhale is as pointless as slupring tea through a straw that bypasses the tongue. The delight of those first puffs had everything to do with taste and aroma and nothing to do with nicotine. If you can remember it, think of the first time you ever ate something that became an instant favorite food. If that happened to be something sweet, the taste came long before any "sugar buzz.")

Fast-forward a few years from there. A bit more experimenting with different pipes, and the pattern emerged that Irish Seconds were always good and usually great pipes. When I figured out that they were Petersons-in-disguise, I also started looking for Petersons-as-such and found a few. These proved to be consistently excellent. The P-Lip made for a pleasant difference in the feel of the pipe and the taste of the tobacco, and the "system" moisture trap worked even on those humid days when one might otherwise be going through pipe cleaners during each smoke.

Fast-forward to present. Somewhere between eight to ten each of Irish Seconds and regular Petersons (don't make me run around the house looking for all of them to count them!:-), out of a total collection of about fifty pipes in all. I tend to favor the larger sizes and traditional shapes that fit well in hand, with wider mouthpieces that distrbute the weight of the pipe evenly when held between the teeth. Most of these are dedicated to specific blends or groups, of which my tastes run from the common (cavendishes) to the sublime (a number of G.L. Pease blends).

Ahh, yes. The perfect combination of sensual and reflective, and the best aid to meditation ever devised by humans.

Dallas S. Volk said...

To the person who likes C&D blends:You are one of my kind of pipesmokers. Funny you should say "Snug Harbor Flake". There is no Snug Harbor FLAKE unless you ask Craig Tarler to specifically press Snug Harbor for you. I made a similar goof myself. I ordered Safe Harbor Flake (which is what I think you smoke) and I was sent Sunset Harbor Flake by mistake. I emailed the company who sold it to me late one night, and as I was rather weary, I accidentally said I wanted "Snug Harbor Flake". Well, being just as confused as I was, they sent me ANOTHER tin of Sunset Harbor Flake and corrected me about the "Snug Harbor". Finally, I ordered the SAFE HARBOR FLAKE again and prayed. They got it right this time. I'll probably end up docking my Petersons in all the C&D ports! I like my Safe Harbor Flake in the 31 straight system pipe. Like its counterpart, it tends to be muddy. But with the right combination, Peterson and C&D cannot be beat!

Dallas S. Volk said...

otzHow did I come to be a collector? That's an interesting story. When I was little, I loved Popeye. When I got a little older I fell head over heels with Mark Twain stories and the character Huckleberry Finn. Sure enough, I was going to the creek with a cob pipe long before I was supposed to. Then my reckless teenage years set in. I started making pipes and collecting pipes that were intended for something which got me into a lot of trouble. Long story short, after the police confiscated my impressive oddities I decided to start collecting pipes that could not be taken from me by the law. I have been a collector ever since. My first two Petersons were an old unsmoked 6 and a Centennial Edition full-bent rusticated House Pipe, also unsmoked. While all the Stanwell antique handmades and Barlings and Savinellis and Bjarnes gather dust, the Peterson collection grows and is used exclusively each day. Over years I have also collected hundreds of tobaccos. The best I'd have to say is made by Cornell & Diehl. Anymore, nothing else will do.