Thank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show—the only radio talk show for pipe smokers and collectors. We broadcast weekly, every Tuesday at 8 pm eastern USA time and are available on nearly all podcast sites and apps. Listen on your computer, tablet, phone and even in the car! Our Featured Interview tonight is with Dr. Bob Kiess. Dr. Bob is a general practitioner, family doctor, and an artisan pipe maker. He has been making pipes for about 15-years, and he is a medical doctor that says pipe smoking isn’t bad for you. In "Pipe Parts", Brian will talk about Latakia tobacco, and specifically go over an article by Steve Fallon published in the recent version of The Pipe Collector. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
Pipe makers had discussed it for years; a world class pipe show again in Nashville.
Almost two decades have passed since Uptown’s Smoke Shop sponsored a large pipe show in Nashville. During the interim, the Nashville area became a hub of artisan pipe making with no less than a dozen or more well known pipe makers – some of them among the most successful and talented in the business.
As Nashville is already a major destination city in the U.S., it was a no-brainer to mount a great new pipe show. And great and new it was, thanks to Grant Batson, Chris Merkle and Drew Estate.
It’s been a long day, the longest one in a string of long weeks. When there’s work to be done and some passion behind it, you don’t give it too much thought—the show must go on, after all, and the reward of a job well done and appreciated by the masses balms the spirit admirably. At least that’s what I keep telling myself, day after grueling day, in defiance of the obstacle course of life.
A long ride home in the gloaming gives my mind a chance to sift through the day’s detritus, filing away the important bits and winnowing away the chaff. Climbing up the stairs is a cruel reminder of just how physically exhausted I am, how various parts of me ache, parts of me that never used to ache. Toss my keys and wallet on the desk, take off the tie, feed the animals. Tonight calls for a mug of hot tea with just a touch of brandy … okay, maybe two touches of brandy.
With pipe in hand, supermodel Irina Pantaeva is turning heads in Hollywood. She’s one of the world’s most sought-after supermodels, an exotic beauty who came to New York four years ago from her native Siberia. A brunette Eskimo, she sought to leave her mark on a profession still dominated by Scandinavian blondes. And leave her mark she did — she’s been photographed for the world’s glossiest fashion publications, and was profiled in The New Yorker by no less a scribe than Jay McInerney — and her lyrically-written new book, Siberian Dream (Bard/Avon, $23) poignantly tells the tale of how she made it happen.
It's Saturday, 4 October as I sit down to scribble out this rather late edition of this column, and as I do so, I'm caught up in a mistral of thought blowing loudly through my head, matching its speed with the activities of the previous month. In the small winery at which I am seasonally employed, we've just taken in the last grapes we'll process this year. It's been exhilarating, exhausting, challenging. Harvest came early for the Pinot Noirs that we do, and the grapes, always on their own schedule, following the whims of nature, came fast. What took place over six or seven weeks last year happened during just under four weeks of September, leaving only some Zinfandel stragglers to arrive on the first day of October. The month was filled with long days of dark to dark early risings (which, as a nocturnal creature, is not in my nature) and late homecomings, sorting, fermenting, punching down, babysitting, temperature monitoring and adjustment, testing sugars, sealing, barreling. I'm often amused by the reaction of people when they learn that I work making wine, thinking it a glamourous thing; the stains on my nails, my hands, my jeans , the aching muscles, the constant fatigue are anything but that. It's satisfying work, though. At the end of a day, there's something real that can be pointed to. That. Over there. That's what we did today.
We pipe enthusiasts are an odd lot; at once an anachronistic bunch who cling to rituals and relics of the past, while simultaneously reinvigorating the hobby via the power of the Internet—we are, right now in fact, engaging in our collective pastime on the web's #1 Source for Pipes and Pipe Tobacco Information. Enjoyment of fine tobacco is a hobby that spans generations, and across these generations, the new technological paradigm has been enthusiastically embraced. It will make interesting study for future historians to explore the ways that technology shapes communication in this century. The marvels that have allowed us to hold conversations across the world at the speed of light have also saddled us with the chaff of pop culture—"reality" television comes to mind.
Since hunting season is upon us now it might be fun to look at some hunting gear. I chose the hunting jacket, pipes and a special watch to limit what could become volumes of material. My father was an avid hunter, pipe smoker and a watch aficionado, so I was introduced to these subjects quite young. Now my Dad, Harry, God rest him, loved to hunt fowl. Mallard, canvasbacks, doves, grouse, quail and crow were his usual quarry. He did not hunt larger game animals. Shooting fowl on the wing meant he was a shotgunner. He did hunt deer once with solid slug loads, but decided he disliked sitting in a blind for long periods having to be silent and motionless, mostly.
"Capstan." To say the name amongst pipe smokers invokes one of those hallowed blends that form the cornerstone of our collective history. Originally produced by the W.D. & H.O. Wills company well over a century ago, the mantle was picked up by Orlik / STG until recently, when MacBaren assumed production of the marque. Importantly, MacBaren re-introduced it to smokers here in the States after an eighteen year absence, offering both the stronger blue-label and this, the milder-bodied gold label.
What do you have when you take the best piece of briar you can find, cut it and shape it by hand, buff it to ultimate smoothness, fit a hand-cut mouthpiece individually crafted to complement the bowl, and polish it with pure carnuba wax to enhance and protect the wood grain with a brilliant luster? Most likely a fine quality handmade briar pipe that will please any smoker. But will it satisfy the demanding standards of Richard Dunhill, who alone decides which of the top-quality pipes his company produces deserve the highest accolades? That is another story, as Dunhill's rigorous grading process determines the following designations for the famed line of Dunhill pipes:
A few months ago a friend of mine took a look at my pipe collection and furled his brow slightly. "You know," he said, "You wouldn't burn the rim of your pipes so badly if you loaded them less full, smoked inside, and altogether avoided the wind."
True. And my nicer briars would prefer I stuck to those rules. However, I'm the kind of guy who hates to feel owned by the things I own. I almost exclusively smoke outdoors and I don't ever want to say no to a bowl just because it's windy. And while these reasons are certainly all good reasons to smoke primarily cobs, I smoke corn cob pipes because nothing, in my opinion, offers as consistently good of a smoke. My cobs never gargle, stay clean almost by themselves, and forgive me when I drop them on the road. Every time I see a friend take out a pipe cleaner and use it to clean out moisture mid-smoke, I remember why I love my cobs so much. You can therefore imagine my excitement when Missouri Meerschaum recently released new pipes.
With pipe in hand, supermodel Irina Pantaeva is turning heads in Hollywood. She’s one of the world’s most sought-after supermodels, an exotic beauty who came to New York four years ago from her native Siberia. A brunette Eskimo, she sought to leave her mark on a profession still dominated by Scandinavian blondes. And leave [...]