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What Started the Obsession?

(39 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by johnsteam86
  • Latest reply from voorhees
  1. johnsteam86

    johnsteam86

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    What started your obsession with pipe smoking and pipes in general? Was it a memory from the past? Family members getting together with the elders sitting in their chairs smoking their favorite pipes and talking about nothing really. Maybe a walk in the park and some gentleman sitting on the bench smoking his favorite blend with the smell wafting passed your nostrils, enticing your imagination of days past.

    Mine happen to come from a book, well a whole series of books from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Yep you guessed it Sherlock Holmes. When I first read the book my mind filled itself with images of Victorian elegance and pipe dreams. The very thought about how he lived compared to most at the time made me find a tobacconist a couple days later and next thing you know I'm home with a Savinelli unfinished full bent pipe with a vulcanite stem. At that time there also was a morning television program of Sherlock Holmes with the late Jeremy Brett. Needless to say there was a lot of Borkim Riff smoked during those hours. I would hold the pipe like him, though rather new to it had to relight it often since I was basically learning by a television program and didn't know the proper way to pack a pipe at the time.

    Now years later my collection is ever more growing and the obsession is going even into opening my own pipe crafting shop online to sell pipes that I plan on making and maybe a couple accessories. Finding myself engulfed in the many forums we have on here further makes the obsession more real since we are all basically the same, some obsessed with the pipes themselves and others the various tobacco blends that come out every year. Either way it all leads to some splendid pipe dreams doesn't it? What was your story for starting in pipes compared to other things? Have you found many people with a similar story? Share it hear for all of your friends to hear.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. prairiedruid

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    A couple of years ago, before Father's Day, I recalled my father smoking a pipe when I was very young. He later switched to cigs (3 packs a day) but I still remembered him sitting in his chair with his morning coffee, reading a book and smoking a bent pipe full of Half and Half. He was a one pipe and one blend man as far as I can remember. I started using my google kung fu to learn more about pipe smoking and came across this forum. Yep the forum helped create a pipe smoker. After reading and learning a lot from the posts here I ordered my first pipe and several blends and it has been a sweet ride ever since.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. cwarmouth

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    When I was a little kid I had an uncle (Uncle Shorty) who was a short, bald, jolly guy who was always happy, had a plump wife, a great sense of humor, and a pipe in his mouth, always. His little house in Northern Michigan smelled wonderfully of pipe smoke so I aways associated that smell with a good sentiment of that guy.

    Fast forward 35 years: Some friends invited my wife and I over for dinner between Christmas and New Years. After a nice meal, a couple hours of playing Carcassonne, and good conversation, my friend showed me a churchwarden that his wife got him for Christmas and asked if I wanted to go outside and light up. Yes! He packed a bent billiard for me and we went outside into the freezing cold and shivered through a bowl of something or other. I had to relight at least 6 times but I was instantly hooked. He sent that pipe home with me. A few days later I stopped at a Wallgreen's and bought a white pouch of Captain Black. Now, I know how I am about hobbies. I am obsessive about everything I do. When I started playing guitar, playing was not enough. I had to start building them. When I started bow hunting, hunting was not enough. I had to give up the compound bow and start hunting traditional. Then I had to make my own wooden bows and wooden arrows. I've been fly fishing all my life, but fishing isn't enough. I have to tie flies, build my own boats, build my own rods. I'm crazy. But I SWORE that I would NOT be that way about pipe smoking. One pipe was plenty. I would smoke it 3 or 4 times per year. I wasn't going to get into all these other tobaccos. I would stay content with Captain Black forever.

    Yeah. Right.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    ukbob

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    On holiday with the wife in Austria 1986 walking past a pipe shop ,just suddenly stopped and looked at them turned to the wife and said i want to get a pipe.popped in side and came out with a Ben Wade if my memory serves me correctly.
    Have given up a couple of times over the years ,can't see me doing that now though I find it's one of few things that help relax nowadays .

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. warren

    warren

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    Coeds! And, the pipe was yet another method of nicotine delivery. No obsession though.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Coeds!

    You mean the women where you went to college all smoked pipes?

    I will say that once upon a time, smoking a pipe could help get you laid.

    For me it was the scent of pipe smoke that initially caught my interest.

    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 1 year ago #
  7. thesmokindragon

    thesmokindragon

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    I had smoked cigars for over 20 years, figured I would take my love for tobacco to the next level....and so TheSmokinDragon was born. I'm sure glad I did, the complexity of pipe tobacco and the brotherhood of the briar is and will always be unmatched

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    I got tired of people bumming cigs off me in prison.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. swb118

    swb118

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    Since pointing at someone with your finger to make point is considered rude, I decided that I needed a way to emphasis points to the younger men I lead. I wanted something subtle. No raising of my voice, No profanity. Just something these young men would eventually clue into, that told them " oh crap better get on this" or "whoops I need to tighten up" or "hey I really did do a good job".

    A pipe, imho, serves just dandy for this. My guys know that when I'm listening to their version of whatever shenanigans have occurred, quietly smoking my pipe, taking it all in, then stop, make eye contact, and remove said pipe, and turn them stem 180 degrees at them, its perhaps time to listen.

    Not tough guy blunder and crap. Just something I recall from older gents who mentored me from a young age. Trust me, I was on the other end of the pipe more than once!

    That and it relaxes me to no end.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. warren

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    Coeds! Pipes! Laying pipe! The story is all there.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. virginialover

    virginialover

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    I bought my first pipe on my 18th birthday as I instinctively knew that it was a good thing for me. The tobacco journey brought me from aromatics to Virginias and then to Latakia mixtures and Burleys/Kentucky. Virginias and Va/Pers remain my favorites but during the Canadian winter, I go more for Latakia and Burley/Kentucky.

    While you could be alone, you're never lonely with a pipe and the relaxation it brings helps with life's rough edges.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. workman

    workman

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    The pipe appeals to my basic sense of aesthetics. The classic pipes are beautiful in a basic way, like guns, knives, hammers, frying pans etc. Tools, shaped by craftsmen, designed through centuries. I've always felt this. One of my grandfathers was a pipesmoker. And of course captain Haddock from the Tintin comics, I read. What gave me the final push was my desire to quit cigarettes but not tobacco.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. cigrmaster

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    I grew up in a smoking family. One grandfather smoked pipes, one cigars. Both parents smoked cigarettes, my dad also smoked cigars and dabbled in pipes. But what really got me into pipes was a good cigar buddy told me he took up the pipe and that I had to try one. He worked on me for a couple of weeks before I finally took the plunge.

    I was sitting in my buddies cigar lounge one day and I asked him to show me the pipes he had. I settled on a Savinelli Linea Pui 5 Apple. I don't remember what tobacco I started with but I know it was an Ashton of some type as he didn't carry many other blends, as he was mostly a cigar place. I had no idea what I was doing so my buddy(who owned the place) showed me how to load a pipe and how to smoke it. My cigar buddy who worked me was glad I jumped in so he had someone to talk pipes and tobacco with. We ended up getting another few of our cigar buddies hooked on the pipes and the rest is history.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. chasingembers

    Embers

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    Back in '91, most of my friends were smoking cigarettes, and I had to be the different one.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    "Trust me, I was on the other end of the pipe more than once!"

    Ah, to be young, careless and uninhibited once again.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. james72

    james72

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    Huckleberry Finn was my inspiration.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. piffyr

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    I just needed some help to get off cigs. So, I picked up a pipe and never looked back... Okay, "never" is a strong word. I looked back once or twice but they were brief and unsatisfying flirtations.

    RESPECT THE PIPE!
    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. hawky454

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    I just always new that I was going to smoke a pipe. I have very early memories of acting like a kid in a candy store but instead of the store being a candy shop I would act that way in a Tinder Box. I loved the smell and I love the look of a pipe. No one in my family smoked a pipe so it wasn't any one person that influenced my decision. I of course got side tracked and started smoking cigarettes and I started dipping. I knew I didn't want to give up tobacco entirely so I decided to switch over to the pipe. I got obsessed after my first "perfect smoke" and the rest is history.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. kangaroo

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    "2 packs of cigarette per day seems costly and unhealthy, i must find a cheaper way to absorb nicotine hmm". Welp, at least i was right that piping feels much healthier.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. kola

    kola

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    In school we were assigned to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I loved the book. A few days later I "borrowed" a corncob from a drugstore along with some unknown pipe tobacco and fired it up.

    Not long after that I ran away from home for 3 days. The entire town was looking for me.

    A good book can be powerful in so many ways.

    I treat people the way they treat me. It's that simple.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. huntertrw

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    What Started The Obsession?

    Well, perhaps genetics for one thing. Both of my grandfathers were pipe-smokers, so that is an integral part of what makes me me. For another, almost all of my heroes have been pipe-smokers. That list includes my high-school band director, my first boss after I graduated from college, and a variety of authors including Corey Ford, Gene Hill, Gordon MacQuarrie, J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sparse Gray Hackle (aka Alfred Miller), Shelby Foote, Samuel Clemens, and Michael McIntosh, to name but a few.

    Love Me, Love My Pipe
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. popeofpiping

    popeofpiping

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    Like most, started with memories of my grandfather. The smell, the fascination with the pipe and smoke. It wasn't until my first bowl of Golden Slice in a nice briar that I felt the obsession take hold. That was 8 years ago.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. mso489

    mso489

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    My dad. Granger smoker from teenage, right after breakfast until bedtime, at work, walking to train. On train. He smoked only one pipe at a time until it burnt out, mostly briar, occasional cob. Then he'd buy another pipe, at the newsstand (when you could buy a serviceable briar there). A few intermittent years-off for King Edward cigars, then back to pipe and Granger. Quit cold turkey when he was 65, and that was that. When I bought a pipe in my early thirties, I knew all the moves on automatic pilot.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    I remember when I was little kid, seeing old men dressed in suits going about their day smoking pipes. I can still recall the sweet and comforting smell of the pipe tobacco, a smell I now associate with Captain Black. These men were very common in my neighborhood and in my city, old men smoked pipes, that’s what you were supposed to do, in a way. I associate pipe smoking with traditional masculinity, not in any “lumberjack” uber-testosterone sense, but in the grandfatherly and wise sense, though I never met my dads’ father and my mothers’ father did not smoke a pipe to my knowledge. My father smoked a pipe when I was very young and I’m sure this had some influence as well, but when I went to buy my first pipe at the local drug store during the summer of 1990, it was the old men in suits that I was thinking of becoming one day.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. olkofri

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    Not really sure what. All I can remember is that even as a wee one I was drawn to pipes, and I always wanted one. Nobody in my family smoked one, and my parents are strongly anti-smoking. Go figure.

    My interest became strong in the last year or last couple of years, but I was kinda waiting till I could move to a dwelling where I could smoke (it's not allowed in my apartment building), but last year I decided to go for it—tempus fugit, memento mori.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    My grandfather and one of my uncles smoked pipes. Never really thought about it until it was after they passed. Sure wish I could smoke a pipe with either. Interestingly enough, I've never smoked anything, albeit three cigars, until I picked up the pipe on 9-13-11. I've been piping ever since.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. condorlover1

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    Everyone in my family smoked a pipe with the exception of the women so it was just expected when I hit a certain age I too would also smoke a pipe. I took after a few of my Uncles since I got into smoking short clays and from there I arrived at meerschaum 'cutty' pipes. Never looked back really!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. jpmcwjr

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    I was gifted a beautiful briar in college, and the Dean of students smoked one always. He became my pipe mentor and told me where to order good tobacco (by mail order, can you believe it?!) Then, on trips to NYC and Chicago, I acquired a bunch of basket pipes and a few Barlings. I put it aside for about fifty years, but have been enjoying the resumption for the last four years or so. (And bought a load of pipes and tobacco since then.) Not sure I am obsessed, but close.

    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 1 year ago #
  29. renfield

    renfield

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    My first memory of a pipe is from when I was 5 years old. I was at a friend’s house and we were in his dad’s study. His dad was an author and I remember the rack of pipes on his desk before the window overlooking the tree lined street. I was fascinated, never having seen a pipe before. Years later I recall “puffing” on a pipe I found on my dad’s dresser, still intrigued by these bits of wood and rubber and the aromas they exuded. Still later I recall being in my uncle’s machine shop, smelling his pipe smoke mixed with the smells of oil and steel. A heady blend. In college a favorite professor was a pipe smoker. His office was a sanctum of walls lined with books, desk buried in papers, and the air hazy with aromatic pipe smoke. Several years later I happened upon a local B&M and I stopped in. I left with a silver banded Peterson and some 1-Q. The rest is history. The enabling and informing aspects of the internet have been a huge part of things since.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. luigi

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    I migrated to pipes from rollies I had smoked for over 10 years. A tobacco
    company has changed pouches' look stating there was no change in their tobacco but I could feel the poison they had added. Looking for the most natural tobacco possible I ended up on youtube, found a channel about pipe smoking and in that moment I knew it was my thing. It felt like finding a piece of myself I had been missing for too long.
    I probably won't quit any soon, my lungs are feeling better with pipes than rollies. Obsession is a strong word, I'd call it passion.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    derekflint

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    No idea.....nobody in my family nor any friends smoked a pipe. It was something I just decided to investigate. Was thinking about it for a long time...now I'm here !!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. saltedplug

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    I smoked pipes at the suggestion of a friend. I liked it and continued but I didn't become obsessed until I found out about pipe forums, JR's the first. There I found the breadth
    of knowledge about pipes and tobaccos staggering, so I dug in, and got obsessed.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. skydog

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    My grandpa smoked a pipe and I was a fan of different types of tobacco so when I was a freshman in college I picked up a cob and some OTC. Got into cigars for a while but never really enjoyed the culture. Once I found the wealth of information online about pipe smoking and the amazing blends I could find online and in the more specialized B&Ms around me I became a bit of a pipe fanatic. I've now inherited his pipe collection and gone crazy stocking up my cellar. He would have loved to sit down and sample some of these tobaccos I enjoy so I still smoke some of his pipes occasionally and remember what an amazing man he was.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. npod

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    Fly fishing. Been doing it since childhood. There was this old guy well known on the river that always smoked a pipe and I literally knew I was going to do that some day. It took a while, but that memory is in fact the driving force for me. I have a drawing of an old fisherman smoking a pipe since high school, still hangs on my wall 25 years later. It’s now my avatar here.

    Neal
    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    That's a terrific drawing! Do you know the date and medium of the drawing, the artist's name, and hopefully where he plied his trade?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. npod

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    That's a terrific drawing! Do you know the date and medium of the drawing, the artist's name, and hopefully where he plied his trade?

    Unfortunately, I have no idea. It is signed, but illegible. I got it at a Goodwill in 1995 in Omaha, NE. It's been with me every since.

    Current location

    Posted 1 year ago #
  37. leatherman

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    Fascinating reading, all these old stories of how you guys picked up the pipe. Mine is less interesting. I quit smoking a little over a year ago, and one day, I had an intense craving for flavourful tobacco. Knowing nothing about pipes, I walked into a tobacconist shop and walked out with a Nording freehand and some Three Cherry. I had what can be referred to as a "perfect smoke" with some Frog Morton On The Town in a cob, and I've since been trying to perfect my technique while trying different blends to find those kind of moments.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. indianafrank

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    It was Popeye who inspired me to smoke a pipe. Spinach though? I hate the stuff!

    I don't know where I'm going...but sooner or later I'll get there.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. voorhees

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    I already liked cigars. But one day i picked up a mid 50’s Kaywoodie Prince at a antique shop and that was how it started.

    Jason
    Posted 1 year ago #

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