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How or Why Did You Start Smoking a Pipe?

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  1. pagan

    pagan

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    Weather its as simple as "I grew up watching my grandpa smoking a pipe" or the long detailed stories, members speak up.

    Me? a friend gave me 2 pipes and got me started, The long version:

    In late 2001 and 2002 I was assigned to 3rd Infantry Brigade (RAKKASANS) 101st ABN DIV deployed to Afghanistan, after the initial hostilities had calmed and base camps were established a friend of mine would routinely sit outside the TOC and smoke his pipe, I would sit and talk with him about whatever and drink coffee. One evening as we sat he handed me a box and said “the mail came through” I opened it to find 2 Cob Pipes, (MM Country Gentlemen, 1 straight and 1 bent) a pouch of Captain Black White Label and a pouch of Half and Half, he explained that I seemed interested in his pipe and asked his wife to send some stuff to “get me started”. So our nightly ritual consisted of pipe smoking 101, he became my mentor and our last 4 months more bearable. I learned a lot about pipe smoking basics, tobacco, blends, cuts and so on. After we returned to Ft. Campbell I continued smoking pipes and ventured to other pipes and blends and continued to enjoy pipe smoking.

    As fate would have it a short time later in early 2003 we found ourselves in Kuwait awaiting the Invasion of Iraq, siting in base camp with my friend caring on our ritual with a few new additional members of our group. Over time we found ourselves in Baghdad, Mosul, on to Tal-Afar and places unknown on the Syrian border, we got together whenever we could until we all came home.

    After my Army days and I had moved on, I was going through my old stuff and found the Straight Country Gentleman and an open pouch of Half and Half and it took me back to my early days, turns out I prefer bent pipes and didn’t care for Half and Half, but I realized that is the only tobacco I smoked in that straight cob that my friend gave me, so I loaded it up, enjoyed a smoke and looked up some old contacts, that is when I learned of the passing of my friend. That pipe and pouch was placed on the shelf with some other memorabilia from my Army days, I smoke Half and Half in that straight cob on the anniversary of my friends death and the anniversary of the presentation of that gift that started my pipe smoking, the other days they sit in honor on that shelf.

    In my years I have made friends and lost too many, I realize how a simple gesture could have an impact on a life, I believe; it’s the little things that count the most, in Karma, and paying it forward. Now it’s time to have a bowl of Half and Half.

    Rest In Peace Gordon (March 1965-July 2007)

    Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes
    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. jeepnewbie

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    Thanks for sharing that with us Pagan, I understand your feelings and will fill a bowl too in your friends memory.

    A friend introduced me to pipes back in 01 I think it was, and I purchased my first pipe shortly afterwards. Since then I have tried to learn as much as I can and stared crafting them too.

    I take about five or six with me on deployments. The crew I was flying with even bought some pipes and wanted me to show them how to get started, so we would spend the evenings filling our bowls and smoking price Albert.

    "Keep it Classy"
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. travelergypsy

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    Pagan: Thank you for sharing. Here's a bowl to your friend.

    "For all those who've been down range, to us, and those like us -- damn few." - Act of Valor
    I've never been down range, but many of my friends have; and no man has greater respect for those who have than me.

    I was always interested in pipes, even from a young age. Though, I don't really know what it was, something subconsciously drew me to them. I picked up a simple hardwood from a cigar shop in 2013, which I smoked for a little less than a month. My fiance (now my wife) carefully communicated that she prefer I didn't smoke. So I quit.
    After joining the Coast Guard, everyone has some vise or another, and I found myself smoking cigs, or spitting dip, more and more. I don't care for cigs, or dip, and my wife cares for them less. So I sought out a way I could relax in the afternoons that would agree with both of us. Along came the pipe. She conceded. And here I am!

    "Responsibility, sacrifice, hard work, patience, compassion, love. This is manliness." - BGM
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    gmjabsky

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    Great story Pagan! I started because I was a physics student and, well, it seemed to fit. I'd seen my grandfather's pipes and heard stories, but only knew him "at the end" without smoking.

    I smoked occasionally in the Air Force. I' ve since fired up more often, and introduced my son and his friend. The latter is now a Nation Guardsman and deployed. Sharing time for a pipe creates bonds and conversation.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. leacha

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    I had an uncle who smoked and a friend whose Dad smoked. I was always enamored with it. In '89 I was walking past a Tinder Box. Went inside and that was all she wrote, except for a brief stint with cigars.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. tmb152

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    I had an uncle who smoked a pipe which intrigued me somewhat, but really, for me, when I was finally a teen, had just started experimenting with cigarettes since I was "grown up" now, and happened into a pipe and cigar shop one day. I tried some cigars and immediate saw the pipes on the walls as something really beautiful and cool--- there was obviously a lot going on there, another world that I knew nothing about, so I bought three, a Peterson, a Meerschaum and a Preben Holmes Ben Wade and some MacBarens tobacco. I gave up the cigs after about a year or two as really nasty, will still smoke a cigar once in a while when the mood strikes but it is so much trouble taking proper care of them in a humidor, but I still have one of those three original pipes and haven't looked back since. The pipe is the thing.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    I was a cigar smoker when I started college. In those days you could smoke in class (not lecture halls, just small classrooms). I caught major flak, mainly from the girls. I had no intention of taking up cigarettes, but they all said how they loved the smell of a pipe. So I stopped at a B&M just off campus, intending to get some typical-smelling pipe tobacco (aka, aromatic). Whiffing over the house blends in large apothecary jars I happened on one that almost made me retch. I asked the owner what it was and he said "It's called an English blend, it contains Latakia". I asked him if it smelled as bad lit, and he replied, "Worse, but it tastes surprisingly good to the smoker". That was all I needed to hear. Walked out with a baggie of the foul stuff and a grin on my face contemplating the reaction of those girls in class. They almost turned green. It was epic.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    pappap

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    I watched my Grand dad with a pipe in his mouth all the time he was awake, burning or not burning I always like the smell ,He died when I was 7 years old in 1959 and I started smoking a pipe off and on in the early 70,s ,I guess it's in my blood

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. fafnir

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    My Grandad had this awesome pipe collection which I believe is now in the hands of a none smoking family member and as a child I used to admire the different pipes and enjoy the smell of his pipes. Although I must admit that I have never seen him smoking a pipe he was a chain cigarette smoker. Now my uncle used to smoke a pipe and we used to spend our holidays with him in the country, so for me the smell of pipe smoke always brought a nostalgic experience for me.

    Now late last year I was walking in a carpark of a mall and this old gentlemen walking behind me smoked a pipe, I turned to him stared him in the eye and I had to admit that I probably intimidated him (Gym rat here) and told him that that is one of the best smelling aromas I have ever smelled, he just smiled and jokingly laughed and said thank you. That is when I decided to make a point of getting a pipe.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. warren

    warren

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    Coeds! The pipe smoking profs appeared to be getting more than their fair share.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. slownumbers39

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    I was a non-smoker for 40+ years. Wife was coming home from a business trip in the USA and saw a Tobacconist at the airport. She stopped in and purchased me a Savinelli pipe and some cherry flavoured tobacco for Christmas on a whim. I never said or thought about pipe smoking until I got that pipe. Now I have about 30 pipes and a growing stash of pipe tobacco.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. blueeyedogre

    blueeyedogre

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    My Grandda smoked a pipe and I bought him a small meer for Christmas one year. After he passed my Nana gave me the pipe back to remember him. One day on a whim I bought some Middleton Cherry and tried smoking the tiny meer..... Burnt the hell out of my tongue something fierce but never gave up on it, trying again every few months. Now 50 pipes later I have learned that pipe smoking isn't cigarette smoking, I prefer virginias over aros, and that I will never smoke cherry tobacco again.

    That little meer is still going strong and is great for rope tobacco and every time I light it up I think of Grandda puffing on his pipe.

    "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." - Corinthians 16:13
    "Let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians." – Sir John A MacDonald
    "The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine." - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. perdurabo

    perdurabo

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    So I could laugh at the Prog. Pipe Smokers.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. sailortodd

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    I'm not really sure who turned me on to pipe smoking. As my origin story posted on here some four years ago would have it ("Why I Smoke") I happened to be in a tobacconist in Old Town San Diego (Racine and Laramie for those familiar) and wandered into the pipe section from looking at cigars. I got a basket pipe (a straight acorn with a natural matte finish), some house blend semi-aromatic, and then took it with me on deployment. Nowhere in there does it mention other inspiration, but I have foggy memory of discussing pipe smoking with a friend.

    As my origin story also mentions, my early pipe smoking filled a void in my life left when I couldn't pursue my passionate hobby of beer brewing.

    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream?
    -poe
    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. condorlover1

    condorlover1

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    Everyone in my family smoked a pipe with the exception of the women! Given that the average date of birth for most of my Uncles when I was growing up was between 1895-1901 my taste in tobacco and pipes is just an extension of what they smoked all day long.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. jvnshr

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    What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

    Javan
    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. newbroom

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    Long story short, I started to avoid inhaling burnt paper.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. ahmadothman

    Ahmad Othman

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    Well, After my father passed away, I found a box with some of his stuff.. among them were two pipes A Falcon extra straight with an apple bowl and a chimney Pierre Morel.. I was fascinated by both and thought of keeping them as a memoir. A couple of months later, I started digging online on how to clean pipes, and then went to a local tobacconist and got the blend he used to smoke "Captain Black Cherry" and gave it a try.. and I instantly fell in love with baccy.. I started getting more baccy and trying it out.. Then I knew I was hooked.. And since,I have bought three more Falcon bowls and 4 more pipes..And a considerable amount of baccy.. Around 30 tins and 10 pouches

    “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.” - Albert Einstein
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. foggymountain

    foggymountain

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    In 1956 I found an old pipe and some dried tobacco in a large family closet. Assuming it was my father's and knowing he was a cigarette smoker I took ownership. I was well below the legal smoking age but nobody cared back then. I had been buying and smoking cigarillos for two years. It was a terrible smoke, but some fresh Edgeworth and a new Stanwell was a big improvement. Then after trying Amphora I switched to Balkan Sobranie, which I smoked for about 30 years.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. griffinknight

    griffinknight

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    Well I always enjoyed smoking. I found it to be a meditative ritual that allowed me to get lost in my thoughts. I just dident like the addictive side of smoking cigs. Loved the flavor though.

    One day I stumbled upon Pipe Smoking on youtube. Looked unique and cool. So I dug a little further. I found the StuffandThings channel and watched Bradleys guide to pipe smoking. I learned about how pipe smoking was a deep meditative ritual. Designed to relax and reflect upon life. Pipe smoking sounded perfect for me. It combined my love of thinking and reflecting about life and philosophy. With my love of the occasional smoke. Pipe smoking is all about sitting and thinking and enjoying a fine smoke.

    I also enjoyed the connection I could get from pipe smoking. Most of the philosophers and such I look up to smoke a pipe. And with smoking a pipe I felt a sort of connection to them. I felt like there was a thing I could relate to them with. I felt like I was part of a tradition. A tradition carried out by people like me. People who loved philosophy, art, literature ect.

    But I couldn't buy my first pipe yet. At that time I was under 18. So I just watched the youtube pipe community's videos. Fell in love with Macthes 860 videos. I really enjoyed how when he smoked he went somewhere deep in his mind. Somewhere thoughtful. He was really able to think and relax and explore his mind while smoking I felt. And this confirmed even further pipe smoking was for me.

    So when I turned 18 I bought a pipe. Never looked back since. I only smoke occasionally though. Just when I feel like relaxing and reflecting and thinking. But the taste of tobacco is a big part of it too. I really love exploring new blends. And I love learning more about the hobby. Different types of blends. Aging. Just general pipe smoking stuff. Learning is fun to me. As is the ritualistic side of pipe smoking.

    Pipe Smoking is just "me". Always will be.

    And I guess thats how I got into it. Grateful I did.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. mso489

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    My dad was a continual smoker of Granger, after breakfast to bedtime, for most of my growing up. I got sick on cigarettes with a buddy when I was about six. Smoked a few Hav'a'Tampas in college now and then, and later in the Navy. After age thirty, my late wife had a heavy cigarette habit, so I took up pipe smoking in the evening, just to be sociable. I had the ritual down from my dad. When she finally quite, after heroic efforts to do so, I quit in solidarity. I smoked a pipe a little after I lost her, but more often when my second wife was in rehab after hip infections after hip surgery. I'm a moderate smoker.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    shutterbugg

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    My dad was a 2 1/2 ppd cigarette smoker but he up and quit cold turkey when I was 7. It was back when even doctors smoked. He never said why he quit and I never asked. Well before I was born he smoked a pipe for a little bit, and there was a meer bulldog in a silk-lined leather case lying in a drawer all the time I was growing up. Once I started smoking a pipe in college I laid claim to it. The amber stem was broken so I had it replaced with acrylic in the early 70s when they had stopped using amber because it's flammable. I still have the pipe (dates to the early 1940s) and it still smokes amazingly well although it never colored nicely and has a bunch of dings over it.

    Idk what tobacco my dad smoked when he smoked a pipe, but probably an OTC. His best buddy was a pipesmoker (cigarettes and cigars too), and made his own mixture of equal parts ERR, Amphora (which he pronounced amorpha)and Borkum Riff. Like most oldtimers, he smoked the one mixture and wasn't interested in trying anything else.

    My major smoking mentor was my maternal grandfather, who smoked cigars. Double maduros, 38-42 ring size, usually Bances or some decent but not hoity-toity brand. I still prefer a cigar hands-down over a pipe, and gave up the pipe after college until the early 90s when the 30-somethings turned it into a "hobby" and drove the price of a decent cigar through the roof. No way I'm going to burn as much on one cigar as a pound of pipe tobacco.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. pagan

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    All great stories, seams like we all have an influence from someone close

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. ashdigger

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    I started smoking a pipe since it reminded me of my grandfather. I loved that dude. He smoked Kaywoodies while in WWII in the Pacific Theater. I smoke Kaywoodies and have two of his, which is also why my Kaywoodie collection focuses on pre-1945 (4-digit stinger or no). The only 2-digit Kaywoodies are with push stems (pre-1929). I've been smoking since 2011.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. mihailo

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    I started my first semester in college, I had enjoyed cigars before and still do on occasion, but wanted something to do meditatively and relaxing instead of stressing for exams, so I did some reading and soon enough I purchased a cob, and some half and half and did my best to teach myself some of the ropes.

    Dearly your friend,
    cthulhu
    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. fishingandpipes

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    I just wanted to try it.

    I had an uncle who smoked a pipe who is mad at me now that I do it, because his wife doesn't allow him to any longer. One day, I plan to get him a pipe and a pound of Peretti to hide somewhere.

    But why I started? I just woke up one day and realized I could, but never had, so I went and bought a pipe and some tobacco.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    emsjunky

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    When I was 18 I started working part time at a local Tobacco store at the mall near my house. At first I only smoked cigarettes, but once I started there, I really started to get an appreciation for the hobby. I started out with the small Missouri meerschaum hardwood pipes (which I still use from time to time because they're so cheap. ) and kept going from there. I smoke cigars with some fellow firefighters from my station, but at my age (22) there isn't too many people out there that smoke pipes. So I'm sort of a loner when it comes to this. Especially since the tobacco store owner only smokes cigars and hookah. But it's still something I enjoy dearly.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. jiujitsubowl

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    For me it was getting back to a time when everyone relaxed in the evening, lit up a pipe, sipped a scotch whiskey and actually communicated/connected with people. Real fellowship. Back to the days when relaxing with a pipe and a friend wasnt demonized.

    “I believe that many who find that "nothing happens" when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” -CS LEWIS-
    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. grue

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    Painting is my full time job now so I needed a new hobby.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. lifesizehobbit

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    In 1982/83 I was stationed at Ft. Polk, LA. For entertainment beyond what we called "Sleazeville" a few of us would pile into my 77 Firebird for a trip to the mall at Alexandria. From pure boredom we would investigate virtually every store which included a Tinderbox staffed by a young man named Duncan (can't remember his last name); Duncan took the time to explain pipe smoking in general and showed us countless pipes even though he knew a bunch of PFCs had almost no money.

    About a month later, one of my friends presented me with a bent Savinelli and some Half & Half from the Tinderbox; I had no idea when he got it, but I recall at the time that the Sav was about $90 even then. I became the lone pipe smoker in our group, transfers happened and then introduced a new friend to the pipe. Six months later, we were as close as brothers and to this day we've maintained that bond. He's retired now and we're both a lot older. I still casually smoke and collect, he hasn't seen a pipe in his house for almost 30 years.

    Dave "Black Frigate Stowaway"
    Posted 2 years ago #
  31. lotharen

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    Great stories all, I love reading stuff like this.

    Mine is similar in nature. I remember my dad smoking a pipe back in his airforce days. Loved the smell of it, remembered the smell on him. Brings back some good memories of dad before Alzheimer's and Dementia set in.

    It's also more than that for me. I associate pipe smoking with sophistication and a time long since past. Its something I seem to connect with on a emotional and almost spiritual level. Honestly, its hard to describe and I only wish I had started sooner.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  32. fearsclave

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    I got back into cigars a few years back, and a couple of years ago, on a whim (I honestly can't recall what triggered it) decided to try pipes, and so I bought a tin of Solani Black & White and ordered a Rossi Author from SmokingPipes.com. Turns out I prefer pipes to cigars...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  33. didimauw

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    I honestly dont remember why I started pipe smoking. I happened to be buying cigarettes one day when I noticed the corncob pipes on the counter. I ended up buying a huge pouch of ryo tobacco out of ignorance. The rest is history.

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  34. pagan

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    on a whim (I honestly can't recall what triggered it) decided to try pipes, and so I bought a tin of Solani Black & White and ordered a Rossi Author

    That's a nice "whim"

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    hextor

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    my dad had a briar pipe, hidden and one day me and my brother were curious and we smoked it or tried to, we were coughing for a couple of hours, Funny thing I had never seen him smoke it in front of us, but the pipe was used, he is a cigar smoker, but the image of the pipe did get stuck to me, I had picked up smoking from a friend who was smoking a tobacco that tasted like beef jerky, unfortunately he moved and i dint know what type of tobacco he was smoking so i started with the basic, captain black and a mm cob, but thanks to the forums I did get a chance to try really good blends, and thanks to you my friend, now i have some really good dependable pipes that will last me a lifetime.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I grew up in an era when many men smoked pipes. My grandfather and two uncles smoked a pipe. Even my Dad for a few years between his cigarettes. Me, I started in 1969 at the age of 18. This September will be 47 years enjoying my pipes. I still have 3 of my originals from my first year smoking a pipe. When I'm out an about I still carry and smoke my Yello Bole Pug that I purchased in 1969. Still a great smoking pipe and it's in great shape. I don't think there is a tobacco on the market today that I've not tried....lol. Hope everyone keeps smoking and enjoying there favorite pipe!!!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  37. jpmcwjr

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    It was at college, and I was gifted a Dunhill!! So I had to try it. The Dean of Students always puffed his way about campus, so I talked to him. He put my on to Burlington Arcade and how to mail order it from Philly, and I watched him pack and puff, so some free lessons to get me started.
    It—The Burlington Arcade—wasn't real different from The Balkan Sobranie of the day. (The "day" was 50 years ago.) He also put me on the Wilke Pipe Shop and Barclay-Rex in NYC, good basket pipes.

    I am sure some Profs smoked pipes, but I can't recall any; just the Dean.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  38. crashthegrey

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    First off, thank you for sharing such an incredibly personal experience. I'll think of your friend during my very next bowl.

    I got started on pipes in a very simple manner. I smoked cigarettes and was sick and tired of the smell. But I loved tobacco, and I bought all different types of cigarettes from around the world looking for a real tobacco experience. I tried a pipe instead, and quit cigarettes once I found that tobacco flavor and experience for which I was searching. I didn't really know any pipe smokers before I decided to start. Now I know a whole world of wonderful people, thanks to pipes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  39. tslex

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    Many of the men in my family smoked pipes, including my dad. But Dad's interest in pipes was fairly minimal and he wasn't much of a smoker -- although he did pick up a cigarette habit during the war that lasted until I was a little boy.

    My Uncle Bob, though -- that man was a pipe smoker. Bob had been blind since age 10 (scarlet fever in the 1920s was a big deal) but never let that stop him. He went everywhere in the city (Cleveland) and across the country by public transport -- bus, train and plane -- accompanied by a series of sturdy German Shepherd guide dogs (in my life there was Paula, then Thom, then Xebec). He earned an undergrad degree in civil engineering and no fewer than three Master's degrees, including one in urban planning. He served on local, state and national commissions that gave the first considerations to making cities more accessible to folks with disabilities -- and adopting many ideas that just made them work better. He consulted with all manner of transportation issues all over the world

    . His mind was amazing. If you told him what street you were starting on on, and what cross street, then drove him around, he could sound off on each building you passed, describing the architecture, the history, the various tenants and so on. He had a detailed map of Cleveland and several other cities in his head. People used to laugh when I told them that if you wanted driving directions for Cleveland, wanted to know all the best shortcuts, ask my blind Uncle Bob. The man had a WICKED sense of humor.

    Bob was never without a pipe. He smoked mostly Half-and-Half(by the can-ful), but he'd try anything anyone brought him. His pockets (he always wore a waistcoat, especially this bright red wool one) were full of cleaners, and pipe nails, and matches and all that.

    At home in "his chair" he mostly smoked this enormous pipe fashioned from a birch log. It was a unique thing the size of a can of Fosters beer and heaven only know how much tobacco it held. I'd had a puff or two on Dad's pipes and other uncles over the years, but when I was home from college my first Christmas away, Bob gave me the gift of a pipe. No special thing, just a straight billiard with no name on it (we'd call it a basket pipe today) but that and an envelope (seriously, a manila envelope) filled with Half-and-Half got me started. That was 1978.

    A few years later, my own German Shepherd, Elsa, chewed the pipe to splinters when she was a puppy, so I don't have it anymore. (Although I do have a Stanwell that was my dad's.)

    This is a great thread. I enjoy reading these reminiscences and revisiting my own.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  40. checotah

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    Both of my grandfathers and my father smoked pipes. It was a common practice in those days, and all the cool guys, as well as several profs. in college were pipers, so my room-mate and I both decided one day to take it up. That was 53 years ago this Oct.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  41. pagan

    pagan

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    Time to revive ?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  42. mackeson

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    started as a lark. - A friend and I at age 19 drunkenly deciding - "We should smoke pipes" ('92ish)
    Continued as a cheap way to smoke tobacco. ('92-94)
    Became the most flavorful and enjoyable way for me to smoke tobacco. ('98)

    Eventually, an enjoyable part of life (2000)

    "Once you go down the Lakeland path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
    -Apologies to Master Yoda
    Posted 2 years ago #
  43. eltice

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    Nothing as memorable as some, but.....

    In my twenties, and still I guess, I liked an "occasional" cigar or two. As I grew older, I always thought about trying a pipe. At the time, I thought it would be like a "quick cigar." Well, I learned it was a little different (lol). I still like a cigar once in a while, but really enjoy sitting down and lighting up a bowl!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  44. hugodrax

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    Both of my grandfathers smoked pipes and I grew up with them puffing away. I'd like to tell you that was the reason. In reality, I was an eighteen year old kid from the suburbs of a one horse (not even a stop sign) town plonked down in the middle of a large university trying to look sophisticated.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  45. hakchuma

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    Raised on a cattle farm spitting baccy. got married, desk job and started the pipe. My father smoked a pipe. Talked to him about it about a year ago. He stopped because of tongue bite. To this day all his farmer buddies still call him smokey and never by his first name.

    "From tempers be it known that we are warm in the fields of battle and cool in the hours of debate"

    - Pushmataha, Choctaw Chief
    Posted 2 years ago #
  46. iamn8

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    I was researching nicotine delivery devices. Had already visited all the others. I love rituals and the pipe is all about ritual.

    Nate @ Moody AL
    Posted 2 years ago #
  47. skraps

    skrapsoftobacco

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    My Uncle, who was essentially my father figure growing up, was a pipe smoker. Used to follow him around everywhere. Him with a lit pipe in his mouth, me with one that I pretended was lit so I could be like him. His neighbor across the street was an ex pipe smoker and would periodically present me with one of his old pipes. All said and done, I think I wound up with about 8 of them over the years. They sat on a rack in my room on display. I still have them to this day.

    Fast forward to my early 20's, in an effort to quit the coffin nails, I dug out my old pipes and grabbed a pouch of Capt. Black from the drugstore. That evolved into finding a smokeshop, becoming a fixture there and eventually diving into pipe smoking head first. My collection expanded, much of my buying went to the internet and next thing you know I have more pipes and tobacco than I know what to do with. That's it in a nutshell.

    "People are not made better by a briar. An idiot before smoking a pipe is still an idiot after smoking a pipe, they're just more likely to speak less drivel with something in their mouth. For that, all society should be grateful."

    - Bob Runowski
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    navypipe23

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    I remember growing up around the age of 8 or 9 and we had just moved to North Carolina from Germany. I'm an Army brat. I remember the smell of the realtor who always seemed to be smoking a pipe and I believe it was something cherry. I still remember that smell. Well fast forward more than 20 years and a few years of a pack a day cigarette habit and I decided to quit smoking cigarettes and started on the pipe. It's much more relaxing, wife approves, cheaper, and smells better.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  49. andvary

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    The first pipe I owned was my grand-grandfather's no-name briar. I think he had it mostly for the looks, being a navy captain and all. I don't recall him smoking a pipe, ever. After he passed away I claimed the pipe as my own and it was stashed somewhere in my room all the way through my school years. At the time I detested smoking, because the majority of school kids in Russia smoke, and I wanted to be different.
    I picked up the pipe again in college, mainly out of curiosity, started reading about the hobby and came across a guy here in Moscow that makes a living re-selling estate pipes. If you want to buy from him, you can make an appointment, come over to his apartment, have a chat, smoke a bowl. So me and my then-girlfriend, who also smoked at the time, spent hours with this guy, looking through his stock and talking the hobby. Eventually my interest faded, the girlfriend separated and the pipes were neglected again.
    I don't really know, how they crept up on me again. Must be my family life with two little kids, rent an other pleasures. Or maybe it's my hobbies. For years I was obsessed with miniatures, boardgames D&D etc. But all my friends eventually back off, so I have noone to play with. I wanted something I can do alone. But just in case I dragged two of my friends into the pipe hobby.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  50. pappymac

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    I think this discussion keeps popping up to see if any of us changes our stories. Here's mine:

    It was a cold, August day... at least it was if you happened to be on a Coast Guard icebreaker somewhere in the northern most Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia...in 1972 and there I was, one of the new kids who had reported aboard just a couple of months before and wanting to fit in. Wait, I forgot, no seriously. The only grandfather I knew was a pipe smoker and I think he mostly smoked George Washington until it was not longer available and then switched to Prince Albert and Carter Hall. So when I found myself aboard my first unit, I also found a couple of the older veterans who would sit around on the fantail smoking pipes and cigars and drinking coffee. I decided I was going to smoke a pipe.

    I bought a cheap pipe - probably a Dr. Grabow and a pouch of Borkum Riff and one of the Chiefs I worked with was kindly enough to teach me the basics. While I was too young and junior to actually sit in on their group get togethers, I did occasionally find myself sitting and having a discussion with one of them while smoking my pipe.

    It was a good time. And it also made me a favorite of a couple of the Chiefs and got me out of things like mess cooking and other less desirable work details. They also would take a little extra time in mentoring me.

    All in all, pipe smoking opened doors for me.

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

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  51. robwoodall

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    I grew up in a cigarette-smoking family, but I always thought pipes looked cool. I tried several times in college and after to get the hang of it, but never lasted through a whole pouch of drug-store tobacco. I tried all the normal starter tobaccos, Captain Black, Borkum Riff, etc. Basically only wet aromatics, and I never could get past the tongue-bite. I think I'd have succeeded, if I'd known a pipe smoker who could have helped me get started.

    After years of cigarettes, I felt like I had to quit, but wasn't ready to give up nicotine. In a choice between smokeless tobaccos and the pipe I felt like a pipe would fit my self-image better, so I tried "one last time."

    This time, I've sought help and advise online. I seem to have had more trouble with tongue-bite than the average beginner, but I finally got it under control.

    If it hadn't been for you guys and your patient advise I probably would have given up before I really "got it." Thanks!

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    ravid98

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    Well, when my brother bought his first [and last] pipe, I was highly intrigued. He let me smoke it, but I did not liked smoking it, but only the look of it. As time went by, I wanted to smoke it again. My brother switched back to cigarettes, gave me his pipe, and here I am, A beginner.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  53. tslex

    tslex

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    Just here to say again how much i enjoy these stories.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  54. oldreddog

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    Very mundane compared to all the above stories. I used to smoke cigars when I had a little money to spend on them. Things change,and I couldn't afford cigars. Or even as a substitute, a pipe and tobacco for that matter.
    Things got a bit better after a while so now I have a few pipes and can spend a bit on tobacco luckily.

    Killing me won't bring back your apples.
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    wilson

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    Curiosity, I suppose. No one in my family, except one uncle, smoked a pipe. He died when I was pretty young and we were not terribly close, so I don't think he was a big influence. My grandfather was a cigar smoker (El Producto Queens) and my father was a cig smoker, as were most of my aunts and uncles. My father quit cigs about 40 years ago.

    I was about 19 or 20 when I picked up a pipe. I had been smoking some cigars since my junior year of high school (all of the track guys smoked cigars -- go figure!) and it just seemed like a natural extension of smoking cigars. I smoked a pipe pretty regularly through college and grad school, along with cigars and cigs. In college, I had a good friend who also smoked a pipe and we spent many hours trying all of the different OTCs (which was all that was available to us). In grad school we had a local tobacconist who was great and there was a core of grad students who liked both cigars and pipe. It was then that I discovered latakia and through grad school I mostly smoked latakia blends. After grad school, without a good tobacco shop around, I mostly smoked cigars and cigs, off and on. I tried, but did not enjoy the few OTCs I tried. This more or less overlapped the cigar boom of the 90's, so decent cigars were readily available.

    Through the 90's and the 0's I mostly smoked cigars. Then, Hurricane Sandy hit and I was at home for a week (no work, no way to get to work). I had ordered cigars, but there were no deliveries and my humidor was getting light. I walked over to the local cigar store (they had power, or a generator, or something, and were open) to get some cigars. I'm not sure why, but I grabbed some Carter Hall instead. They had a dismal pipe tobacco selection -- CH, Captain Black White & Blue, and Smoker's Delight or some name like that. I cleaned the oxidation from my pipe stems and discovered that the CH was pretty good. Then I discovered on-line tobacco ordering, then this site, and I've been smoking a pipe almost exclusively for the past 4 years. I still have a cigar once in a while, but 98% of the time I have a pipe.

    So, although I started with a pipe long ago, my re-introduction to the pipe is pretty much due to Hurricane Sandy.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  56. bigtex

    bigtex

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    As a kid, my great uncle smoked a pipe and everyone liked the way it smelled. As a teenager, I started dipping Copenhagen. One day my freshman year of college, me and some friends all went down and bought Dr Grabows and a one pound bag of Middleton apple tobacco. I burned the ever loving shit out of my tongue several times and put the pipe away for a decade. During that time I picked up cigars and later another pipe. I burned my tongue fiercely again and put the pipe away for another few years. About four years ago, I got my old pipe out again and with determination, learned how to enjoy the pipe. Although I still smoke cigars, pipes make up at least half of my smoking now.

    Making Pipe Smoking Great Again!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  57. curl

    curl

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    I'm 63 now, and I started smoking a pipe early 2014.
    I joined the Redneck Country Club in Stafford, TX the August before where there was much cigar smoking going on.
    In January, I visited with a guy there who said he smoked a pipe, too.

    That visit prompted two thoughts:
    my dad smoked a pipe when he was trying to give up cigarettes
    I figured smoking a pipe would take half the time of smoking a cigar...hahahahahaha.

    The other thing about pipes is that I enjoy living in the tail of the distribution curve.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  58. fitzy

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    Back in the early 80's I had two teachers in high school(They would both smoke in their classrooms between classes) that were pipe smokers and one of them was a very close family friend. We used to spend a lot of time skiing and camping and other activities. I always loved the smell of their pipes. I think I was 15 when I went and bought one in the drug store and a pouch of tobacco. I had smoked that pipe for a few months and lost interest. Then in my early 20's I regained an interest when visiting a local tobacconist to pick up some cigars and walked out of there with a pipe and several shop blends. I've been smoking a pipe off and on since then. My frequency has really picked up though in the past 15 years. I had a bunch of meerschaums back then but I had lost them in a move.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 2 years ago #
  59. bluegrassbrian

    bluegrassbrian

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    I got in to ryo cigs about 4 years ago. That meant I was frequenting a local tobacco shop chain quite frequently. This chain specializes in Ryo, commercial cigarettes, cigars, novelties and accessories. Not quite what we'd consider a tobacconist. About 2 years ago I went in to buy a tin of my American Spirit and started browsing around. I bought a really cheap, cheesy Lucerne churchwarden on a whim and a pouch of Captain Black Royal.
    I thought the Cap'n Black tasted like a Black&Mild...but the whole idea of smoking a pipe grew on me quickly. Did some Internet research and within 2 weeks I had a couple real pipes and an assortment of quality tins.
    It's only gotten worse since then...

    Tobacco's a help because it clears the mind
    But like all your friends it is vilified
    They always say, the right amount's fine
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jabo

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    Way back in 66. Probably before that if ya count rabbit tobacco. Hell, I was only 13, but back in those day's anyone could buy tobacco products. Got everything at the drug store. Burnt the devil out a my tounge,really thought that went with it. We tried any thing tobacco related ! Over the years, smoking a pipe off and on. Finally found good pipes and tobacco and the rest is history. Still have that first pipe, one of those little yellow vole pugs,it smokes better today than it did 50 years ago. Damn,I must a learned something. But, everyone knows I'm a slow learner. ;0)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  61. jerwynn

    jerwynn

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    All I can really remember is that pipes were a fascination to me since childhood. I've always thought of myself as a pipe man even for the 35 years I didn't smoke anything at all. Six years ago, I had this conversation with myself about the enjoyment of life, fleeting years, bucket-lists and the like, and so on... and then my middle son, then in college, thought he would revive a classy 50's professorial look and ordered the first pipe of the family in two generations. Well... I couldn't let him smoke alone, so I got one as well and the rest is history, joyous, smothered in delight history. And pipesmagazine and this forum has been the best source of information, advice, fun&frolic, and happy silliness that has amplified and expanded the joy of pipes and tobaccos a million-fold!

    “Deep peace of the running wave to you.
 Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
 Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
 Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
    Deep peace of the infinite peace to you." - Fiona Macleod
    Posted 2 years ago #
  62. hmhaines

    hmhaines

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    Always loved the smell of cigars, my grandfather smoked them all the time.

    Read about Perique a couple years ago, became mildly obsessed with the idea of it.

    Starting smoking cigars last year, sort of a birthday gift for myself.

    Spent ages trying to find someone to trade a handmade briar for a bit of my steel or glass.

    Finally got a pipe a month or so ago.

    Lit it up with a friend.

    Loved it!

    "Following the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked."
    U. Utah Phillips
    Posted 2 years ago #
  63. thebadkitty

    Steve

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    I started in 2010 after thinking about it for years. In 1984 I spent 2 weeks smoking a pouch through a pipe I had pinched from my uncle’s garage: Middleton’s Apple and a Kaywoodie bulldog, if I remember the big red apple on the pouch and the clubs on his pipes right. He had two of those, one orange and one blue, and I think I had the orange. He’d already quit smoking so I was able to get it back in his rack with no problems, and I had been thinking fond memories.

    Anyway, I took the plunge in 2010 and even during the first week when I was so clumsy I could barely light up without fumbling and dropping everything, it felt so natural to me that it stuck. Stuck hard and I often think of all the years of cigarettes between 1988 and 2010 with some distaste. Since 2010 I can’t remember having regretted lighting up tobacco at all, in any way. So there’s that.

    Thanks for prompting me to think about this again!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  64. akfilm

    akfilm

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    I started with smoking cigars, and found it a very relaxing evening activity, but the cigars I liked were expensive and being fresh out of school, I did not have the income to support buying the amount of cigars I was smoking. When I was in an antique shop, I found a cheap briar pipe (which I still smoke), and went and found some pipe tobacco, read on the internet how to pack and smoke a pipe, and the rest, as they say, is history. So here I am 10 years later happily smoking away, with a beautiful collection and a full cellar.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  65. chasingembers

    Embers

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    My paternal Grandfather smoked a pipe and chewed Beechnut. In highschool, we had a student smoking area, and while everyone else was smoking cigarettes, I had to be the different one and smoked a pipe. That was back in '91.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    flyboy82

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    I got started after I started doing Civil War re-enactments. I saw all the other guys sit around the fire enjoying a pipe, and I have always loved the smell of pipe tobacco, So I decided to bring some old pipes I got at a yard sale when I was 10, (had them on my desk just for show) and get some tobacco and fire it up. I loved it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  67. dread

    dread

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    I don't normally revive old threads, but I recently ran across a pic that reminded me of this thread. A pic of a buddy of mine and me from college in the 1980s. I think that was a Medico billiard I owned.

    ". . . I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul."
    - INVICTUS
    Posted 1 year ago #
  68. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    Simple answer: I wanted something more intense than cigarettes.

    Long-term answer: I love tradition.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 1 year ago #
  69. hobie1dog

    hobie1dog

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    Grandfather smoked pipes, but mostly I was always drawn in to the Tinderbox stores in the Mall.

    " I'm talking about the kind of sound you can feel. When it comes to great stereo you can't beat big speakers, I'm talking about big speakers with big woofers."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  70. mso489

    mso489

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    Tinder Box has made many a convert as a national chain. I still visit mine at the mall now and then, though last time I was there both the pipe and tobacco inventories were thin. The cigar humidor was still brim full.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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