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 Ian Walker of Northern Briars. Ian makes the Northern Briar Pipes in his small shop in Stockport England. The business was started by his grandfather, George Walker in 1958. In the "Pipe Parts" segment, Brian will talk about some quite interesting tobacco history from the La Palina cigar family / brand, which relates to radio as well as tobacco. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
Marshall "Butch" Armstrong
Over this past Winter, my wife Ann has been busy painting. She’s an amateur artist who likes to paint nature scenes. Her paintings show the graceful lines and shapes of our natural world. Recently I watched nine Eagles on what’s left of our lake ice, fishing for minnows. As one of them suddenly lifted off into the air, it’s wings showed the beautiful rounded arching shapes of the individual feathers. Works of art, especially taken from nature, always enhance a persons life, whether they are paintings, sculpture, or a finely crafted smoking pipe. Looking at my own pipes, and those of pipe makers online, you can easily see the graceful and even sensuous lines carved and shaped into many of them.
The smoke from my pipe was drifting over to the next table where a couple sat, smoking cigarettes and chatting over drinks in the backyard garden of a local watering hole in Brooklyn. We were there to enjoy the first glimpses of spring and sunlight, I with my notebook and pipes in hand to fill out my tasting notes, he and his girlfriend with their beer. "That almost smells like a cigar, only spicier," he continued, and explained that he smoked cigars but had never tried a pipe, though they intrigued him. I explained to him that it was a Virginia / Perique mixture that was custom blended by my friend at Nat Sherman; at that point the well-dressed couple was more than politely intrigued as we went on to chat about all things tobacco for the next several rounds. I had fortuitously brought along an unsmoked Missouri Meerschaum, and was able to gift them their first pipe experience—she enjoyed the occasional cigar with him, she said, and was as eager to try it as he was—which made for one of those chance meetings that new friendships are made of, and possibly new pipe smokers.
Ah, Sazerac. Honestly, does it get much better? Not only is this a delicious drink, but it appeals to the cocktail-geek in all of us by utilizing some rare ingredients and featuring an unusual yet defining method of preparation. First, a little bit of history on this beauty.
The Sarerac originated in New Orleans at the Sazerac House, formerly known as the Merchants Exchange Coffee House. The former owner of the establishment, Sewell T. Taylor, had just gone into the imported alcohol business. Among the many items that he sold was a cognac brand called Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils. The new owner of the Sazerac House made use of this cognac in the establishment’s eponymously name signature cocktail. It is claimed that the bitters used in the cocktail at the time were those being made just a little ways down the street by a druggist named Antoine Amedie Peychaud.
G. L. Pease
From the "That Never Happens" department: I just realized that I missed last month's column. Completely. Really. Fact of it is that I very nearly missed January every other way, too. I remember that it arrived, something about New Year's Day, and then a flurry of stuff from every corner occupied my days until, right, February, and then some. I'd love to claim that I slept through it, but judging from the generally weary condition of somnambulation that only barely passes for my waking state, it's clear that didn't happen. In the midst of general commotion and chaos, I do know that I've been working on some interesting projects that I can't yet talk about (such a tease), but they've kept my brain distracted enough to clobber any notion of tempus's fugiting. And, tempus really do fugit. It was a note via email asking if I was still alive , a note that I could not be cruel enough to leave unanswered, that broke the trance, and, here we are. During my apparent absence, a lot of blending thoughts have been perpetually percolating in mine own kopf, so as I dug through the mail bag, I grabbed some contextually apropos submissions to start the first column of the year, a month late. Did you miss me?
In this, our current winter of storms and tantrums and the solid silence of ice and snow, and as the years advance, it has become more and more apparent to me that my pipes are more comforting than I have ever imagined.
Especially since I have been manacled by ice and covered by weather customary to more northern climes. This New Ice Age has locked me away, unable to smoke my beautiful pipes. Blessedly, spring is not far away. Not all hope is lost through these wicked, cold portals.
The White Shirt - Virtually every man has at least one. Some men love them, some men hate them and some men are ambivalent about them. Depending on the shirt and the circumstances, one might feel shifting combinations of those attitudes wearing this most ubiquitous of garments.
But wear them we will, almost without exception, at various times in our lives. Some guys may wear them twenty or more days a month. So why not make the most of it?
In my last lighter review and un-boxing, I spent some time comparing the Kiribi Pipe Lighter to the "im corona" Old Boy. So now it’s time to take a look at the “original,” so to speak, and take it for a spin. But first, if you have learned anything from my articles, it’s that I like to dig into a subject a little bit deeper, so lets talk a little about where this lighter came from.
A few years back Google made headlines for deciding it was going to index the world's books. Authors and publishers roared over their content being searchable and posted online. Some of their fears were probably well founded, and Google has proven itself to be anything but void of evil. Nonetheless, Google Books is something I've grown to love over the years.
I've always had a fascination for old books. In college I would roam the archives of our massive school library and pick out the volumes that were two hundred or four hundred years old. Sometimes the thoughts of people back then caused me to laugh because their worldview felt so foreign. And other times I would shudder at the familiarity of their thinking—how little had changed in so long of a time.
Fridays tend to be rough, and this one is no different. I spend the whole day walking around a massive warehouse and studying new manufacturing techniques. I make copious notes about the complexities of laser cutting steel and welding aluminum. Then, after a long day of courting new clients in an uncomfortable environment, I'm thrilled to jump in my truck, grab dinner, and head to what I was really looking forward to all day.
The smoke from my pipe was drifting over to the next table where a couple sat, smoking cigarettes and chatting over drinks in the backyard garden of a local watering hole in Brooklyn. We were there to enjoy the first glimpses of spring and sunlight, I with my notebook and pipes in hand to [...]