As the Old School traditionalist guys (like me) age out, the more event reporting is done by whippersnappers, upstarts, and tadpoles. And that lot uses SnipChit, Instant Granny, BookFace, and so forth more than threaded forums to advance their subversive agenda. :lol:
In short, no worries: the show was held and everything went well. Good times were had by everyone from what I could see, from Thursday afternoon's pre-show VIP meet-up to the Carving Contest seven day set raffle-off Sunday afternoon. The weather could have been a bit cooler, but since the smoking tent was mostly an evening and into the night thing, it didn't really matter.
A few old-timers might post some pics and write-ups after they get home and recover a bit, but otherwise SnipChit, BookFace & etc. are probably your best bet for coverage.
As always, the Greater Kansas City Pipe Club went out of its way to make the show special. It was well attended and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves from start to finish. It is always one of my favorite shows to attend and I've only missed a couple of them since I started going in 2002. I sure highly recommend this one. And the Argosy Hotel and Casino is a world class hotel with large rooms, all the amenities, friendly staff who seem genuinely friendly and welocming. The show room area is roomy and there's a huge balcony just outside where folks can grab a smoke. As Arnold would say, "I'll be back!"
I was there for a few hours late Saturday afternoon. And, of course, it was the usual pipe porn.
Saw several old friends, made several new ones, purchased a bit of this and that and just enjoyed the give and take that goes along with events like this.
My first highlight was meeting Ryan Alden. What an exceptionally talented young man he is. I've watched him evolve over the years and, one of these days, he will make my first commission pipe. I know, I know, that's nothing to some of you cats, but I've been an estate guy since God invented dirt, and this will be a huge leap of faith for me. BTW, Ryan is a big guy. When he stands up, he's Steve Balboni big. This guy blocks the sun, but what a gentle giant he is.
The 2nd best highlight was meeting the Wild Hairs from, I think, the Wichita Pipe Club. They were my kind of guys: super friendly, outgoing as hell, "Look at our stuff!" but nothing aggressive. When I told them I liked larger burners they immediately introduced me to their club president who, oddly, offered me his tin of Samuel Gawith Black Coffee snuff. I indulged, blew off the back off my head and they kindly steered me to the Slater's table.
Chris Slater runs a hookah bar in Springfield, MO but attended the show with some of the most extraordinary snuffs I've ever tried. His significant other was in attendance, a lovely young lady whose parents grew up in my hometown of Joplin, MO and my wife and I attended high school with her folks a gazillion years ago.
Nathan Rimkus of Los Alamos, N.M. is one the finest young men I've met in years. His commitment to well engineered pipes is just amazing and his old man, Victor Rimkus, is no slouch either. Nathan is an engineer by trade and is fully devoted to passing double pipe cleaners through his stem. He's a great guy and I wish him tremendous success.
Finally, the crew at Missouri Meerschaum. FWIW, what great ambassadors for your product! I visited with this lovely woman, grey haired like me, and we discussed our favorite bourbons. I suggested Four Rose's re-introduction into the US market and she ran with Maker's Mark. Of course, I bought a pipe.
It's a great show and I look forward to it every year.
Every year at the KC Show, I take the time to peruse all of the tables and check out the pipes in order to select my personal KC Show Pipe of the Year. There were a ton of great pipes to choose from but the decision for me was not difficult. Since my collecting theme is American handmade sandblast pipes in classic shapes, that narrowed the field, and the pipe I wound up purchasing was a no brainer; a wonderfully sandblasted Ryan Alden Lovat. I lit it up Saturday evening after the banquet in the smoking tent and got the smoke of my life. I then smoked it twice on Sunday, once on Monday, twice on Tuesday.... well, you get the picture. Thanks Alden!
Sounds like it was a great show. Plus my favorite carver, Clark Layton, is on a roll. Two years in a row he was picked. I commissioned his winning pipe from last year, Serpentade Cavilier, might have commission this years winner also. Great guy to work with and is genuinely a nice person.
I have to do the photos so that will take a while.
The winner of the Seven Day Set was Devyani Sethi of Bellevue, Wa. She bought the tickets as an anniversary gift for her husband.
We were glad to see Scottie Piersel get in the Seven Day Set. She has continued to get better every year.
Jesse Jones became a three time winner in making the Seven Day Set.
Here are some pics from the KC Club's Thursday evening gathering that's become the tradional starting gun for the weekend's festivities.
There are a number of VIP collectors, pipe makers, and some industry reps in the mix. Things kicked off with a BBQ dinner at a nearby restaurant, and those interested then moved to the Cigar & Tabac pipe shop for conversation and catching up. A half dozen bottles of fine scotches and bourbons were opened, glasses were supplied, and out came the pipes, tobacco, and related accoutrements. A fine time was had by all.