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Dead Man's Cellar

(49 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by aldecaker
  • Latest reply from atskywalker
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    aldecaker

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    The way I see it, we are all kind of a family here, united by our love of piping, and quite small in number. Sometimes dysfunctional, but a family none the less. Sometimes, a family has to have discussions about serious, even grim subjects. This is one.

    I know there are restrictions on offering items for sale on the forum, number of posts, etc. This is to keep out the opportunists and grifters, and is well-needed. But what should happen if one of our esteemed colleagues should suffer an untimely demise and leaves behind a substantial cellar?

    I will speak only for myself here, as always. If I were to pass suddenly, my wife would be stuck with a pretty valuable cellar, and no clue what to do with it. It twists my guts to even think of sealed tins of excellent tobacco going to the landfill instead of being enjoyed by fellow pipers. Not to mention, the passing of a loved one can be difficult financially, and sometimes every little bit helps. This is the only place I know of where someone looking to get rid of a cellar would not be taken advantage of. I am only speaking of members who would already meet the requirements of buy/sell/trade on the forum, not complete strangers. But is there any mechanism in place where a member's spouse or family could dispose of the cellar in a manner humane to the tobacco, and possibly beneficial to the member's survivors?

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    framitz

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    Since many of us are retired aks( alte kockers. Old farts). This actually is of consequence. Shel Ps 100's of pipes also

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Funny you should mention it, framitz. My forum name is a corruption of Alte Kocker. Pipe smoker, so more of a Caker than Kocker!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. jmill208

    jmill208

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    Like any other asset, due diligence should be employed. Make your heirs aware of the value of not just your pipes and tobacco, but all of your possessions.

    Just like you wouldn't want your widow to sell your rare 1969 Corvette Stingray for pennies because she wants "that old dusty Chevy" out of the garage to make room for her quilting supplies, the same goes for your tobacco and pipes. If it's worth a lot, write that shit up in the will!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    I've told my wife that if anything were to happen to me, that she should contact Steve Fallon (Pipestud) to dispose of my pipes and tobacco stash.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    But who would you will it to? I can see my children or nieces and nephews possibly wanting one of my pipes as a keepsake, but not the tobacco. Interesting possibility, though- PipesMagForum could be the beneficiary, and there could be a whole new (although slightly macabre) Dead Man's Cellar Box Pass! That would be pretty damned cool, too. Smoking a bowl in memoriam, as it were.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. seacaptain

    seacaptain

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    My greatest fear is that my wife will sell my collection for what I told her I paid for it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Pipestud is a good option I had not thought of. From what I can see, his reputation around here is absolutely impeccable. Thank you for the suggestions, guys. Of course, keep 'em coming!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. jmill208

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    My greatest fear is that my wife will sell my collection for what I told her I paid for it.

    I didn't think about that. Full disclosure may be impossible for some of us....

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. shaintiques

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    One of the guys at our club inhereited a cellar awhile back. He was a friend of the deceased. He kept what he wanted and sold the rest, I actually helped him sell a bunch of it. You can put anything into a will, even item by item. Do so with your cellar.

    I know what I need, smoke, I can't recall the last time I tasted it....Gandalf in the mines of Moria.

    "we shall have to share pipes, as good friends must at a pinch'....'I keep a treasure or two near my skin, as precious as rings to me. Here's one: my old wooden pipe. And here's another an unused one...He held up a small pipe with a wide flattened bowl, and handed it to Gimli. 'Does that settle the score between us', said Merry. 'Most noble hobbit, it leaves me deep in your debt."
    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. zitotczito

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    I have all my cigars and all pipe tobacco and pipes specifically earmarked in my will. Now who wants in my will?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. davet

    davet

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    This has crossed my mind, my sudden demise and what would become of my cellar and collection.I think a note with the website, user name and password left inside my cabinet may help her contact someone. Pipestud first came to mind but as always that border would be a hindrance.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. tslex

    tslex

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    Specialty items should be specially provided for in a will. Beyond simple bequests ["To my son-in-law James, that cerain meerschaum pipe in the likeness of a sea captain which he so often admired."], your will can and should contain whatever instructions you wish your heirs and personal representative to have.

    For example: "Those tins and bags and jelly jars in the closet of my den are valuable cellared tobacco. My family may select from them anything they wish to keep, and the rest can be liquidated by contacting John Smith at main Street Pipes and Cigars. Mr. Smith will liquidate the balance of the collection and is entitled to a fee of 25% for his services."

    Or whatever you like. This is a wise approach for any valuable, but esoteric collection, whether it is guns or pipes or pocket watches. By designating a person with knowledge to handle the collection, you give your family a lot of peace of mind, and you avoid expecting your personal rep (executor) to be omniscient or clairvoyant. It's not enough to tell your wife, "Honey, if I go, tell Smitty at the shop to handle my collection." Get it into the will.


    DISCLAIMER: I am a lawyer but I am not YOUR lawyer. Free legal advice is worth what you paid for it. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. seacaptain

    seacaptain

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    "To my son-in-law James, that cerain meerschaum pipe in the likeness of a sea captain which he so often admired."

    Awwww shucks. Thanks James.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. tslex

    tslex

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    LOL

    I don' write wills for a living, but I always believed that, where clarity isn't compromised, there's no reason not to have them contain a nice turn of phrase or two.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. darthcider

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    Perhaps we should all sign up to a last man standing situation, where the longest living member ends up with one hell of a cellar?

    Education is important, but motorbikes is importanter.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. newbroom

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    What? Me? Worry?

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    The more responses I see, the more I am thinking a posthumous donation to the forum at large would be a great idea. I'm not sure of the mechanism we would use for it, though. I know quite a few members are involved in providing pipes (and presumably tobacco as well) to new pipers, vets, members here who are weathering rough times, etc. I would be proud to have that type of generosity be part of my legacy.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Keep it simple. Your family will have enough to deal with without any complicated plans. Steve Fallon is a good choice, 4 Noggins also sells vintage tobacco. At the West Coast Pipe Show last year, the widow of a deceased collector set up a table and disposed of his collection.

    Just make sure that they know that the cellar is valuable. Inventory it with suggested prices. Just don't leave any mysteries for them to figure out.

    And if worse comes to worse, bubbellah, you can always leave it to me.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    That would be the simplest solution, wouldn't it?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. settersbrace

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    I'd think the very last thing my family would have on their minds would be my pipe and tobacco collection/stash but I suppose it is something worth adding to my final wishes. My brother would most likely end up with some of my firearms and hunting/fishing gear as well as a close friend and hunting partner. My pipes and tobacco stash I'd like to see donated to our pipe club that meets in the shop once a month. They could in turn help out some newb by hooking him or her up with something of mine. I'd rather a beginner get some of my briar than to have them go off to the highest bidder. This is actually a very provocative thread topic and I'll be smoking a few bowls pondering some things.

    De gustibus et cloribus non disputandum.
    'There is no arguing about tastes and colours.'
    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. phred

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    Full disclosure may be impossible for some of us....

    Meh. You're already dead at that point. What's she going to do - dig you back up to yell at you?



    "De gustibus non est disputandum."
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I'm taking mine with me, haha.

    Seriously, I think there are some that actually believe that. My wife knows what's up so it's all good. If something were to happen to her first, God forbid, I'll take care of it and my son myself.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. seacaptain

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    I'm taking mine with me, haha.

    It might be possible. Have the mortician stuff you with 30 lbs of your favorite blends, then cremate you. They can tamp and relight until you're a nice white ash. If you go this route, I recommend aromatic blends.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. cortezattic

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    I have often wondered what I would do if Mrs. Cortez (aka Shoe Lady) preceded me in death. Any market for estate pumps?

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. matches

    matches

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    Whatever the best route to take on this, someone should definitely make a blend called "Dead Man's Cellar".

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. wyfbane

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    My 10 yo already has a 7 day set of my pipes picked out for his 18th birthday. He's spent more time in the Tacoma Tinderbox than most of the members of the Seattle pipe club and has kibbutzed with Erik Stokkebye. He will get my pipes and cellar (and a 12 place setting of noritake China and a 8 place setting of depression dining set known as Patrician Spoke). Being in the Army and knowing his bio mom is Satan on the hoof, I have prepped him for such possibilities. And it's all in my will.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. peckinpahhombre

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    My plan, after loading my pipes and tobacco on board:

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    Philobeddoe:

    I've told my wife that if anything were to happen to me, that she should contact Steve Fallon (Pipestud) to dispose of my pipes and tobacco stash.

    Yeah, but what happens when Pipestud kicks the bucket? Anyone responsible for selling my pipes is probably going to have to be younger than me, and what if I live longer than most? They may need to be younger by more than a few years.
    Does anyone have a 10 year old son with a future in salesmanship and a nack for pipe restorations?

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    @seacaptain-"... Matt is survived by his wife and two children. He burned to a fine white ash with no relights, didn't gurgle, and caused no tongue bite..."

    @matches: Who could ask for more? (Come on, somebody was going to jump on that one sooner or later!)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  31. warren

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    I'm with Peck on this discussion only I'm gonna make 'em pay. Even the anti-tobacco folks residing in the neighborhood of the incinerator.

    No-one's gonna make money over my dead body. It all goes into the incinerator with my remains. The neighborhood round the crematorium will be reeking of latakia for weeks. That'll show them. Put me in a home will they!

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  32. hiplainsdrifter

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    contact Steve Fallon (Pipestud) to dispose of my pipes and tobacco stash.

    This. But this is an interesting thought. I was just organizing my fly tying supplies tonight, and the same logic applies there- just the stash of flies that I have tied up and ready to go are worth hundreds, but my wife would have no idea what to do with them. Same for my ski gear, etc. I guess it should be an encouragement not to sink a bunch of money in possessions that we are going to get little use out of.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  33. settersbrace

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    Whatever the best route to take on this, someone should definitely make a blend called "Dead Man's Cellar".

    POSTED 6 HOURS AGO #

    C&D already does, sort of. They have the Cellar Series that mature anywhere from 10-20 years, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking many of us might never crack a tin.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Have you ever had an idea that you thought would be a smashing success, only to see that idea brought to fruition by someone else first? Think, "Damn, I thought of that three years ago!"? Me too, and I hate it. Sablebrush52 was the first to think of it, and to the victor go the spoils. (Besides, he's a mensch.) My cellar goes to him. If for some reason he's no longer on the forums (if you know what I mean), it will go to the free pipe project, or whatever iteration of it is in place at the time. Davet, thank you for the suggestion of leaving the website, username, and password with the cellar. I am going to use that.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  35. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Sablebrush52 was the first to think of it, and to the victor go the spoils. (Besides, he's a mensch.) My cellar goes to him. If for some reason he's no longer on the forums (if you know what I mean), it will go to the free pipe project, or whatever iteration of it is in place at the time.

    Well, I am well and truly gobsmacked. You do realize that a small army of beginning pipe smokers will now be shadowing me and that I'll have to hire a food taster and constantly check under the hood of my car before turning the key in the ignition.

    I suppose it's worth it.

    Thanks!!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  36. buster

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    I am in a fly fishing club. We have an annual swap meet. A woman was there this year who's husband passed away. She was nice and I bought some things from her. I came back to chat and mentioned I was starting a fly fishing project for our local 4H. She said her husband was in 4H and handed me two boxes of flies with hundreds of them! Give these to the kids she said with a smile, and I will. Not a tobacco story but a story about a loss and a small kindness in some ones memory.

    Think slow, act fast.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  37. maxx

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    I think about this concerning my library. My firearms and blades would probably be snatched up by nephews, the oldest currently in the Marine Corps. My guitars - maybe a nephew-in-law, who's a musician. If I go at the rate of building a cellar that I've done so far, there won't be any tobacco to distribute. Pipes - I don't know. There's no other active pipe smokers in the family. I don't have any kids of my own.

    "Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect."
    ~ Samuel Johnson ~
    Posted 3 years ago #
  38. fnord

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    I love the idea of a Dead Man's Cellar Box Pass. I jar everything so the resale value is a notch above worthless. Sending the tobacco off to fellow pipers is just a splendid idea and if any of you bastards end up smoking some 15 year old Penzance, Old Ironsides, Montford Point Marine or Lancer's Slices please think of me kindly.

    The pipes, well, the pipes are another all together different story. My collection has been winnowed down to forty five "very good to great" smokers and there's a half dozen or better burners that would fetch more than a few bucks. (The various production pipes would tickle the shit out of any beginner or even seasoned puffer.) This issue will require some serious parsing.

    My much more valuable Boy Scout patch and neckerchief collection has already been resolved. Most of my compilation is kept in three ring binders. Inside of each binder is the name, address and phone number of a trusted fellow collector who will be allowed to choose one item per binder gratis and then move the rest on the Bay. He can charge his expenses against the sale: PayPal fees and Postage plus take a 15% override for services rendered before he cuts a check to my estate. (Believe it or not, BSA collectors will shell out the coin for the right item. I've got a friend whose current collecting passion is acquiring first issues from Order of the Arrow lodges - an honor society for Boy Scouts. He'll fly around the country to attend auctions where one first issue patch might hammer down for 15,000 clams.)

    You've got to be prepared and I've overlooked my pipe & tobacco accumulations for far too long.

    Great post, BTW.

    Fnord

    It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says - like dumb - I'm smart and I want respect!
    Fredo Corleone
    Posted 3 years ago #
  39. fnord

    fnord

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    Jeez, Maxx. I never thought about the firearms and sharp steel.

    Arghhh....

    Fnord

    Posted 3 years ago #
  40. tuold

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    I'm hoping these canopic jars will keep my tobacco fresh for the next 2000 years or so until a curse awakens me.

    Actually, I've given word to my sons that they can do whatever they want with my pipes and tobacco. I'm starting to catalog everything now so they will know the approximate value of everything. In my case it's probably around a thousand dollars at this point. Not so much.

    My will is already drawn up and burial arrangements have been made. I like to be prepared. I hope my sons appreciate this because my mom and dad had made no preparations before they passed. It took years to straighten everything out. In fact, the state of California is still holding on to some of my Dad's Disney stock because we can't find one of the heirs, my youngest brother. We'd have to hire a lawyer to deal with the state and the cost is too high. Moral of the story get you stuff in order!

    The pipe is an instrument of civilization.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  41. pappymac

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    "My greatest fear is that my wife will sell my collection for what I told her I paid for it."

    Put the actual value in your will with instructions that it not be opened for seven days after your passing. At that point nothing she can say or do will hurt you.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 3 years ago #
  42. puffndave

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    If you are so concerned, I would leave a letter for your wife to be opened after your death, disclosing login details for your account. I hope that would not be a problem with this site, if she can post your death notice, but then I suppose this would only work if you registered with your legal name.

    Current favorite 'baccies:

    Peterson Irish Oak, MacBaren Navy Flake, H&H Classic Burley Kake
    Posted 3 years ago #
  43. puffndave

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    If you are so concerned, I would leave a letter for your wife to be opened after your death, disclosing login details for your account (not in the will, you wouldn't want some untrusted person profiting off your stuff). I hope that would not be a problem with this site, if she can post your death notice, but then I suppose this would only work if you registered with your legal name. Or perhaps you could will the collection to this forum, if it could establish a permanent program for the distribution of donations?

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    puffndave, love your twist on my signature. This forum is nothing if not thought-provoking! As I posted earlier, should Sablebrush not be in a position to appreciate my cellar, it will go to the forum as a whole. The members here are notorious for their generous nature, and a great many of us have fallen on hard times here and there. I would like it very much if we could start a program wherein a well-established, participating member could look at a comforting bowl of his favorite tobacco as the last of his worries in hard times. If you can think of a way we could make it happen, I would love to hear any suggestions!

    Regards,

    Aldecaker

    Posted 3 years ago #
  45. sablebrush52

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    puffndave, love your twist on my signature. This forum is nothing if not thought-provoking! As I posted earlier, should Sablebrush not be in a position to appreciate my cellar, it will go to the forum as a whole. The members here are notorious for their generous nature, and a great many of us have fallen on hard times here and there. I would like it very much if we could start a program wherein a well-established, participating member could look at a comforting bowl of his favorite tobacco as the last of his worries in hard times. If you can think of a way we could make it happen, I would love to hear any suggestions!

    And this is the heart of it. My first thought, when I read adlecaker's intent to send me his cellar, was Holy Cats! My second thought was, "and it will need to be distributed". Because, one of the great pleasures in having tobacco is sharing it.

    There are a number of members here who quietly share from their cellars. I really enjoy doing that. For example, I have a few pounds of Penzance, and it's not for smoking, as I don't like that blend. I enjoy sharing it with others who do like it but can't get it due to the hoarders. I have enough tobacco to last me many years, perhaps more than I will live long enough to use as I'm no spring chicken.

    I very much like the idea of a tobacco program similar to shaintique's pipe project, assuming that aldecaker decides against monetarizing it for his family. Such a program would be a fine legacy.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    aldecaker

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    I think distributing it to people who would enjoy it is more important than any monetary value it would have. I received many thoughtful responses to my OP, with many great suggestions, which I appreciate. I just had to digest them all, and decide what was right for me. Settersbrace's comment particularly struck a note for me: Dad's cellar may well be the last thing on anyone's mind, and my choice might have the added benefit of being "one less thing" they have to deal with! Thanks again to all who responded.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  47. wyfbane

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    Does anyone have a 10 year old son with a future in salesmanship and a nack for pipe restorations?

    My son, will likely fit that bill.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  48. snowhill

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    I remember seeing a posting on Craigslist not too long ago. An amazing cellar was being sold off by the children of a man who recently past away. Man, it was an impressive cellar, deep DEEP with some amazing blends. I reached out to the person, only to find out that I had been scooped.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  49. atskywalker

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    I guess pipe smokers are more mature than the rest of the world or maybe we're just all old and have made our peace with death :-). The tone and lightness of the conversation regarding one's own demise is refreshing. I'm almost 40 and the majority of my friends never want to discuss death (which I discuss a lot :-)).

    It might be possible. Have the mortician stuff you with 30 lbs of your favorite blends, then cremate you. They can tamp and relight until you're a nice white ash. If you go this route, I recommend aromatic blends.

    I almost fell off my chair laughing at the above :-).

    I would leave mine to fellow Canadian pipe smokers given the prices here. If I can continue to put smiles on people's faces even after I'm gone I'd say I lived a life worth living. Who better to make smile with pipe tobacco than a fellow smoker!?

    Cigarettes are the Chicken McNuggets of tobacco!
    Posted 3 years ago #

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