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Support Your Local B&M! Please

(47 posts)
  1. zonomo

    zonomo

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    My tale begins about a month ago. There is a very cool B&M in the SODO district in Seattle. I was able to visit the store and the owner told me that he no long is carrying pipe tobacco or pipes (he had about 4 tins left). He said the prohibitive laws in WA state plus competing with the internet has led to his business decision to move away from pipes.

    Then yesterday while in San Jose (thank you all for the recommendations), I was able to vist Mission Pipes and Smokers Pleasure. Mission was a nice store but like I experienced in Seattle, the guy I was speaking with did not have any knowledge of pipes or tobacco. They had a nice selection of pipes there and when I asked to see a Poker, he said "ummm, which one is that". I think that store will survive because their main business is cigars, they have a smoking room and are knowledgeable of cigars.

    Next I went to Smokers Pleasure and had a nice conversation with Lisa (or Linda). Very nice, knowledgeable of pipes and helpful. Giant selection of tobaccos but I noticed that almost all of them were completely full to the brim. When I opened them to smell, the tobacco was packed pretty tight, telling me that they're probably not seeing a lot of action. We had a nice conversation about small business ownership, the excessive and heavy hand of Gov'mt (ok, I'll stop there before I get my A thrown out of here), and how the internet has really taken a bit out of her business. Of course, I wouldnt even be in her store without the internet but I think there is a balance we need to strike. At least for me - not telling anyone what to do.

    Going forward, I am going to shop first at the B&M and get what I want. If not available, then I'll go online. I would hate to think of the day when pipes are no longer a viable business. We can probably count on 1 hand how many record stores are left but I remember the great pleasure of spending an entire saturday in the store listening to music I would someday own.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. uberam3rica

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    The closest B&M to me is about an hour away. I've only been there 3 times, but I really want to go back.

    As long as I got a pipe full of baccy and a nose full of snuff, I'm a happy camper
    Cigarettes are an addiction, cigars are a hobby, pipes are a religion
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. bubblehead33

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    I'm in the same situation as Uber. The nearest real B&M (not counting the little smoke shops going into some grocery stores) is nearly 2 hours and a $45 bridge toll away. If there was one closer I really still couldn't afford to support it as much as I would like to with the price of tobacco here. The idea of a smoke shop is great but the reality of it today, in my neck of the woods anyway, just isn't feasible.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. gray4lines

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    It is surprisingly difficult to find a good B&M near by (by "good" I mean not a gas station or also a liquor store).

    There is a good one close to where I am, I haven't been in a couple months, but I used to go once a week. It is about 35 min from me, but 15 from where I work.

    It is always worth it to pick up a tin or 2 of pipe tobacco, or a few cigars. My particular shop even had a club where for $50 you got 2 cigars for free (up to $20 each) and 25% off of all purchases. So really, prices were very competitive.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. uberam3rica

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    The nearest real B&M (not counting the little smoke shops going into some grocery stores) is nearly 2 hours and a $45 bridge toll away

    I don't have a toll, just the drive. I like to make a whole day of it when I go. Theres an excellent coffee shop by mine that has damn good coffee and amazing crepes made to order. I have two smoke shops by me, but the only pipes they have are cobs, and cheap Chinese bullshit. The only baccy they have is OTC blends. Both have a good selection of cigars though.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. mikephillips

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    $45 bridge toll

    Wow...I remember paying $25 to cross the GW in a truck, but $45 in a car? That's insane. I suggest everybody in your area band together, arm yourselves, and take the bridge back. Only problem with that is most likely few people in your area are still armed, and the majority have been slowly turned into sheep over the last 50 years or so and would never consider any sort of armed rebellion....it's almost as if someone planned things to turn out this way, isn't it? Just coincidence, I'm sure.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. zonomo

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    Ya I totally understand these situations. As I've posted before, I am less than satisfied with the B&Ms in the Seattle market but what I am saying is "when I can and given a viable choice", I am going to chose to support the local mom and pop shop so we dont have the situation where you have to drive 2 hours and pay extortion level tolls to get a little tobacco.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. bubblehead33

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    haha Mike, yea we're pretty well screwed. It used to be a car ferry that took 45 minutes in the summer or up to 10-12 hours in the winter, depending on the ice to a 12 minute car ride now, but we are being robbed. Sorry zonomo about hijacking your thread.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. zonomo

    zonomo

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    BTW, really $45? ouch. I have never heard of such a thing. I remember in the 80's when I lived in San Fran, the Golden Gate was about $2 and it was a dang near riot since the Bay Bridge was .75.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. crpntr1

    Chris

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    I'd love to support my B&M but as I posted awhile back everytime I call them or go in there they tell me they don't have what I'm looking for and I should just look online. I found another ine an hour from home, we do go to that town every so often and I always pay them a visit...

    The most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen...not necessarily in that order

    You may all go to hell, I'll go to Texas-Davy Crockett
    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. zonomo

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    Its ok Bubble. Important stuff.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. sothron

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    I wish I had a local B&M

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. bubblehead33

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    @zonomo it's still cheaper than driving to the other end of the Island to cross on the ferry, which is $66 now and an hour and fifteen minute crossing. It's great living on an island other than that haha.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. mikephillips

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    Bubble, where do you live? Nova Scotia?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. judcole

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    I suggest everybody in your area band together, arm yourselves, and take the bridge back

    And end up in jail! What a fine idea.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. bubblehead33

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    Close, Mike. I live in Prince Edward Island. The ferry runs to NS and the bridge to New Brunswick. The bridge really has been a blessing but it's pretty costly to cross it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. kris

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    I have never bought tobacco online (although my wife got me some Special Reserve for xmas because she knows I loved it).

    I have only ever bought one pipe online, my Storient meer.

    It is important to me to support the very few remaining "proper" tobacconist shops. I suppose that my decision is made easier by the fact that over here in the UK online prices are really no different than in a b&m...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. mikephillips

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    And end up in jail! What a fine idea.

    Well, it'd be a bit tough to toss a few thousand armed citizens in jail as I'm sure you'd agree, but my suggestion was mostly tongue-in-cheek. I do think they should find a way to put a stop to the robbery they're experiencing, though. $45 to cross a bridge that their tax dollars paid for in the first place is nothing short of open thievery.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. zonomo

    zonomo

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    Anyone who has risked their personal convictions has risked their skin, has risked jail and worse. The first person to NOT sit on the back of the bus. The person who said no to the King's taxes. Some things are worth fighting for so the question is: Which ones are and which ones aren't.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anyone who has risked their personal convictions has risked their skin, has risked jail and worse. The first person to NOT sit on the back of the bus. The person who said no to the King's taxes. Some things are worth fighting for so the question is: Which ones are and which ones aren't.

    When I was in college, students got so stoked up about how f'd up the University's decision was, they threw pig's blood at the husband and wife benefactors during the dedication of the new nursing school because they felt is was wrong to accept their money. Another time, they invaded and seized the entire Administration Building, threw the President out and then took a dump on his desk.

    Ah, I may not have agreed with everything they stood for, but they certainly took a stand did know how to dot the g-damned "i" to make a point.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. yadan

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    Well, I'm fortunate in that my local B&M is but a two minute walk from my residence - no tolls, no carfare, no parking problems and the like.
    The problem, however, is that his stock is limited to mid-range to cheap briars and a few models of MM cobs. His tobacco stock is limited to about ten common pouch brands and a few good tins.
    I'm a big fan of Falcons, but his new distributor will not import them.
    So, I'm often left with no choice but to purchase online.

    "I'm always easy to please since I'm always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. cigrmaster

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    It is just a matter of time before there will be no b/m's carrying pipe tobacco. My local guy has a very small selection and the prices are double to triple what I pay on line because of the ridiculous tax they imposed on pipe tobacco. There was no tax on cigars because they have a very vocal lobby that gets things done. I support my guy by bringing pipes to fix and buying the occasional lighter or fuel or other accessories, but I refuse to pay for the stupid tax. The pipe tobacco companies were short sighted and did not step up like the cigar lobby. How they allowed this to happen is beyond me.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Look, I can understand most B&Ms are a small business with limited space, money and traffic to invest in a huge variety of pipes and tobacco blends that can sit for a long time and tie up resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

    But I find it rather incredulous that any business owner would not listen to what customers he has and stock at least a small number of tins someone asks for. If his/her "distributor" doesn't have it, unless the B&M is a chain, nothing stops them from having more than one distributor.

    Sure, there are minimum orders required, but with some creativity and a bit of effort, it can be done.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    The pipe tobacco companies were short sighted and did not step up like the cigar lobby. How they allowed this to happen is beyond me.

    The cigar guys are tight knit and you hear the word "family" quite a bit which is apt. Cigar Rights of America was actually started by B&M, boutique cigar makers and distributors in Florida, IIRC.

    As for the pipe tobacco side of things, what we have is mostly foreign made blends who know nothing about the politics or taxes and/or could care less. Here in the U.S., we either have small companies who believe, or at least reflect by their inaction, the same opinions as those companies across the Pond, or we have companies like Middleton who are literally apologetic for making and selling it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. zonomo

    zonomo

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    When I was in college, students got so stoked up about how f'd up the University's decision was, they threw pig's blood at the husband and wife benefactors during the dedication of the new nursing school because they felt is was wrong to accept their money. Another time, they invaded and seized the entire Administration Building, threw the President out and then took a dump on his desk.

    I think there is a big difference between a protest and being disrespectful. The situations you have cited seem to fall in the disrespect category. So someone kicks down a boat load of money and they are rewarded with pigs blood thrown on them? Seems misdirected. Taking a poop on the desk? Not seeing this in same vein as a person refusing to give up their seat to a person of a different ethnic background.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    I think there is a big difference between a protest and being disrespectful.

    Most certainly. I was waxing poetic about their passion, not their methods.

    My point being that today, we see a lot of people unhappy with what we're doing and where we're headed, but usually end up playing pocket pool and giving it a grimace, nothing more.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. brdavidson

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    It's tough, my local B&M is a great little shop and they are doing well it seems. I was speaking to the owner the other day and they are actually expanding their pipe business because its taking off there! They have about 20 bulk blends, mostly Mr. B's (Brigham) and a few McClelland blends but their plan is to double it to over 40 blends. They have a small tin selection but it is decent in quality (Erinmore Flake, Escudo, some Peterson Aros, WO Larsen) as well as the typical CBW/R and SWR. They mostly carry Brigham pipes but the selection is a little on the small side, but again they are planning on expanding. It's just tough to spend $25 plus 13% tax on a pouch of CBR when I can get the same thing online for $5.

    I spend money there every week because I want them around, but I will also order online once I figure out my everyday tobacco and can buy in bulk.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. mthanded

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    My local B&M is almost 2 hours away but we get to "town" about every two weeks. They don't have a huge selection but they do carry most of the Peterson's, Escudo and the like so I purchase something whenever I'm in there. They tend to have an OK selection of pipes but Cigars are there bread and butter. They also host Superbowl parties and any sporting event with their 3 big screens and have an awesome vent system. They don't sell alcohol but you can bring your own without any problem and it's encouraged. I don't buy all my pipe stuff there but I do try and support them whenever we are in town. I'd hate to see them go just like I'd hate to see Smokingpipes go so you gotta support em and let them know you appreciated their business.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. allan

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    Rothnh

    I certainly remember the late '60 and very early 70's protests. Vietnam, school admin allowing ROTC on the school property; all of those things which I so believed in I laugh at now...

    It's amazing how naive I was. Luckily I didn't do anything radical like join the SDS or other radical group

    Back to the point, as a retailer (as I posted several times before) the local B&M tobacconist is in a lose lose proposition, at least in NY and Florida, just to name two states. Everyone can buy tobacco through the internet and escape the punitive taxes of which the local merchant cannot do.

    I certainly wish there was a way to level the playing field, but in levelling it, the only way it will come out is that we will all be paying mucho dinero for what is deemed 'the devil weed'.

    How can we stand up to these politicians? It is a tital wave of anti smoking fanatics. Our NYC mayor was hinting about a restriction for residents in mutiple family dwellings against smoking inside your own home!

    Not sure what to do other than to start storing up tobacco, as soon as I know absolutely what I love.

    Allan

    Allan
    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. sothron

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    Yadan, I can't even walk to my barn in 2 minutes...lol.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. flintlockjohn

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    I have tried to support my local B&M, but the guy is rude and obnoxious, his prices are ridiculous and his tobacco selection is poor. I will not be going back in there. I wish I had a good store to support; it would be fun to go in and talk about pipes and tobaccos, maybe try a sample or two and then drop a double-sawbuck for some smoke. But where I live, it ain't happening.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. zonomo

    zonomo

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    It's just tough to spend $25 plus 13% tax on a pouch of CBR when I can get the same thing online for $5.

    I hear you. That is the tough one. The tobacco tin that i paid $16.95 in online for about $7 or 8. I used to own a Kickboxing studio and my I sold my gloves for $45 but a person could buy them OL for about 29 + shipping. Most people dont understand that carrying inventory costs the owner lots of money in many ways. So I charged $45 but didnt make much on them. It was more a convenience for my members.

    I have tried to support my local B&M, but the guy is rude and obnoxious
    This one isnt so tough for me. I wouldn't reward anyone who is rude to me with my hard earned dollar. Nobody.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. lordnoble

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    I would pay double for a tin of something I want at my local B&M, but they don't stock the stuff I want nor do they have any inclination to do so. Online shops get most of my business as a result.

    -Jason

    The preceding statement is not to be construed as fact, but merely conjecture.

    Proud member of the BlackBlood Society
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    the only way it will come out is that we will all be paying mucho dinero for what is deemed 'the devil weed'.

    As mentioned more than once, bills now in both houses of Congress and expected to pass this year will make it Federal law for all online vendors to charge all the applicable taxes based on the customer's billing address.

    So like the UK now, we will pay about the same online for tobacco online as at the local B&M.

    That's why many puffers are stocking up like crazy now, because it's coming, folks.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. sothron

    Perique

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    Roth is right. Stock up, my fellow smokers. Don't say you weren't warned.

    I do hold out hope, however, that the great American black market tradition will hold fast, and that we'll see increased tobacco smuggling and even more homegrown 'house blends' in direct proportion the the amount of tribute demanded by the federal state. It worked for our great grandfathers. But maybe that's the Southern in me talking (and wishful thinking).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. joshwolftree

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    I go to three different B&M's and always purchase at least something from them, I spend more on baccy online simply because the only B&M I go to that carries a large selection of tobaccos that interest me is Boswell's and that's about an hour-hour and a half drive that eats up gas in my big ole V8 The other two are closer and each has a shop blend or two that I get from them regularly. And other than E-bay estates, and CVS doc grabows, All my new briar pipes are from B&M's just because I like seeing my pipe before I buy it. Besides I can get some decent basket pipes if I check them out. Now that is going to be broken for one pipe in April (P&C's buy a Pete get 20 tins deal)

    The true measure of a mans worth is how he chooses to chance his mortality
    Junior Member of the Black Bloods
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    P&C's buy a Pete get 20 tins deal

    Certainly something to be excited about and look forward to! But I think you mean a Dunhill Josh

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. captainsousie

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    I always buy something when I go to a B&M but the nearest one is 3+ hours away.

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. hawk60ce

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    Im glad I saw this thread. I havent been around much lately and haven't been able to smoke due to the awful weather but this reminded me to swing into the local shop and just say hi and grab some pipe cleaners and fuel.

    People sleep peacefully in their beds at night, because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  40. joshwolftree

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    ah yes dunhill...sorry My calendar is at home and I just gave away the third one they've sent me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  41. simnettpratt

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    I'd love to support my B&M, he's a great guy and very knowledgeable; the problem is his tobacco costs exactly twice what I can get from smokingpipes. He doesn't sell tins, but has maybe forty different blends he whipped up. Four ounces costs $20 including tax, and I can get eight ounces of 1-Q or RLP-6 from smokingpipes for $20.13 shipped. I feel bad for the guy; I just can't afford to pay double.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  42. joshwolftree

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    and the B&M is always great for those "oh hell I forgot to grab (a pipe/pipe cleaners/my tobacco roll) and if I run home I'll be late for work so I'll just stop in here and grab what I need real quick." moments I have the memory of an epileptic squirrel on espresso, and an astonishing collection of pipe cleaners and corn cobs(plus quite a few ziplock baggies pitched) from these days. Of course it's something like three bucks an ounce for bulks from my closest B&M's, so it's not that bad compared to some of the online places.(West Virginia isn't to god awfull bad on sin taxes) And since I only like a few tins I can stock up on those online.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  43. sherlock

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    I try to support both as much as I can, because both are important. An internet shop is someones local B&M. I am lucky that I have 3 shops within a 20 minute drive and another about an hour away and I try to support all of them.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  44. zonomo

    zonomo

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    As someone said, when I visit the B&M on biz trips, i try to support them as much as I can.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  45. yaboofive

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    When I was looking for a new house I picked this one because its 10 minutes away from Edwards in Denver. I may not get to go there as much as I would want but if I need tobacco or pipes they are my first stop. Come to think of it I don't think Ive made an order online since Ive moved.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  46. jiminks

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    My local B&M guy changes his prices according to what he thinks the buyer will pay. I once overheard someone who worked for him say - in a stage whisper, "Different prices for different customers." I knew he was giving me a warning without acting like he was. The owner will cut a price on one thing for somebody so they think they're getting a bargain, and when he gets the chance, he overcharges on something else to get that money back. Unless, you're a friend of his. There's a lot more I could say, but I think that's enough. I don't give him my business.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  47. zonomo

    zonomo

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    When I was looking for a new house I picked this one because its 10 minutes away from Edwards in Denver.

    This is a perfect example. To me, Edwards is Mecca. Old Tom spend a long time with me showing me the ropes and talking all things pipes, it was such a delightful experience for me. I could say that it sealed it for me. What would we do without such places?

    Posted 1 year ago #

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