It was pretty wild to me today as I was writing no “1” in the space allotted for denoting the year. 2019 went out no more spectacular or horrific than any other given year this decade. Personally, if I were to do a review of the last decade as a whole (minus getting through this new year), I’d say this: “…first quarter, it was pretty alright—pleasant notes and easy to get going; halfway through however it bit like hell, burned a hole in the heel of my favorite pipe, suddenly went cherry-flavored then Lakeland, got out of the bowl, then pissed in my coffee: but to its credit, it burned to a nice, white ash.” I’ll ride along for whatever journey happens, good or bad, that’s just who I am. I’ll tell stories about it, bitch a little even try to see the bright side. That includes knowing when something is finished, putting the lid on it, and moving on.
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 383! Our Featured Interview tonight is with Neill Archer Roan. Neill is a pipe community celebrity. He was the most prominent, sophisticated pipe blogger (he quit blogging), has photographed nearly a thousand pipes, and innumerous pipe makers and industry personalities, has a huge collection of artisan pipes and vintage tobacco, wrote and photographed the pipe book; “Comoy’s Blue Riband”, plays classical guitar, and is Principal of The Roan Group, a strategy consulting firm based in Washington, DC. In Pipe Parts, Brian will give a “State of the Pipe World Address”, including news about the Chicago pipe show, and the PCA trade show. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
I had a chance to sit down with Chris Gawith and chat to him about his two brands, Samuel Gawith and Gawith and Hoggarth. It was an audio interview, so I have transcribed it as such.
Are you thinking about dropping one of the brands?
No, not at all. They are all made under the same roof; when Sam Gawith came over to us we bought the men, machinery, and the brands, basically everything just sort of moved, more or less all of them stayed, maybe one or two decided to move on. It has been run up to now as just their company under our roof, which works to a point. But now we’ve discovered what the demand is, but the two brands will remain as they are.
The problem with leaving it just at that stage which we are trying to address. You can’t operate as a business with two teams of people; we need to manage the equipment and the human resources to deliver what pipe smokers want us to deliver. Gawith Hoggarth can produce tobacco a lot quicker; it’s just the nature of how the tobacco is made at Samuel Gawith.
Well, here we go! A new year is upon us. Not only a shining New Year but also a new Decade!
Would somebody please tell me what happened to the last decade? It slipped by me somehow.
My New Year’s Resolution otherwise referred to in Punditland as NYR, is to pay more attention to life and things around me, like an eight-weeks-old Golden Retriever puppy!
What I do recall is that the past ten years (c’mon,is that possible?) has been, as Dickens said in his “Tale of Two Cities”:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
John Steinbeck would say it was “The Winter of Our Discontent.”
Here’s hoping for more of the best and less of the fretfulness that has plagued our last decade.
Last May I attended the Chicago Pipe Show, and the first person I saw was an Englishman named Reggie Stevens. Reg lives in Birmingham, England and speaks with the accent of someone who has lived in the north of England his whole life. He sounds a little like Ringo Starr.
“Reg!” I said, “It’s so good to see you!” as I gave him a big bear hug.
“Well, I’ll tell you, mate,” he said, “I’m feeling a little better now. My wife of 54 years died in January, and this is the first time I can feel the cloud lifting a little – because of all the love and friendship there is at this pipe show.”