The Devil (Anse) Made Me Do It     June 10th, 2012

It has been fun watching the conversation evolve about the “Devil Anse” pipe on the Forum. I’m all in on the pipe, by the way. I loved the way Kevin Costner used the pipe most expertly in the three-day series of the famed family feud of the Hatfields and McCoys on the History Channel, of which I watched every second.

The shape of the pipe is new to me. Maude, my grandmother, smoked a corncob of some similarity in that when the stem became too chewed, she just whacked off the end and kept on going with a shortened stem. The cob bowl, of course, was straight from her cornfields, dried, hollowed out, and smoked until black, then thrown away. A replacement dried and ready for use was picked and a new reed stem in place. Maude wasn’t much on looks or such. She was more about practicality and availability.

The Devil Anse bowl’s s shape did catch my eye, as it seems to have other forum participants as well. It is canted a bit, I suppose to keep from burning the nose, what with that short shank and stem and all.

I think it is quite a handsome pipe and one that I would very much like to own in my meager collection. In fact, I think I owned one years ago and got rid of it for some hair brain reason. The older I become, the less I understand that young fellow who was I. He was a strange sort, full of nonsense and no sense.

Anyway, the Devil Anse pipe has really struck a chord with pipe smokers around the nation. Eventually, there will be a version on the market, rest assured.

Costner seemed at home with the pipe. He knew how it fit in the mouth. So many actors inexperienced and unfamiliar with pipe smoking wobble the pipe around as if it were a toothpick or something in most movies. It is embarrassing to watch a pipesmoker-wannabe trying to puff.

I couldn’t help but think that the Devil Anse pipe was little more than a prop until I really got to looking at it. That puppy had been smoked, or the makeup department did a very good job of making the bowl look as if it had been run through a smoke ringer.

I digress. My real reason for offering an opinion is that I was tickled to see a big league actor bold enough to be true to the character he was portraying. Costner was unafraid of the antis and what they might say of him. He hit Devil Anse Hatfield right on the nose as far as I’m concerned.

It is refreshing to see that some of our nation’s best actors still have courage and commitment to the truth.

I think I will have to order that ol’ Devil Anse pipe, just to let that young fellow I once was know that there is something to be learned and treasured by growing older and hopefully wiser.

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6 Responses to “The Devil (Anse) Made Me Do It”

  1. cortezattic said:

    Thank you for posting an opinion about the actor and the pipe. I thought the film was educational from an historical perspective on pipe culture. I would have incorrectly given Costner a corn cob as a prop had I been the director.

  2. briarbird said:

    Great article. Obviously, most of us members are extremely intrigued by this pipe and, speaking for myself, appreciate this article as much as I have all of the discussion on the forum as well.

  3. skaukatt said:

    Kevin, let us know if you hear back from the prop master ’cause, now my curiosity is piqued!


  4. Tony Suvie said:

    I think I can bet that if and when a really close facsimile Costners pipe becomes available to the public there will be a good run on them. As I watched the series I just had a feeling that Costner was an intelligent man, a leader, and without equal. Seeing him with a pipe certainly influenced my thoughts. Teh pipe itself IS unusual in my op[inion becasue of it’s short length and that its bowl resdemble the cutty shape, most of which I’ve only seen portrayed longer. Then I thought well due to the time period of the setting maybe it’s short because of a bit of tooth work on the end of the pipe over time. But then I noticed an actual bit on the end of the stem. So much for that thought! The fact that that shape was a briar rather than having Costner using a cob tells me that maybe he was to be protrayed as having a couple bucks to his name in the movie, and that he seemed to be the ONLY one in the movie smoking a pipe. It’s amazing what a pipe can have you imagine about a person about a person.

  5. Spartan said:

    Great article. I’m not falling head over heels about the shape of the pipe as others are, but I will agree that it is an attractive pipe. I also love the fact that he spoke very clear while smoking the pipe at the same time. Something I still have trouble doing. This obviously means I need to get smaller pipes… Thanks again for the article. Now Kevin needs to set up a video interview with him to see if he has since BECOME one of us. Pipe Smokers. :)

  6. pjhicks said:

    Funny, I did see the Devil Anse as a smarter, more charasmatic leader of his brood. I am sure the pipe had something to do with it! Loved the movie and the article!