By Bob Tate
Kevin and I had an awesome time at the Richmond Show. If you did not attend, you missed out on a great time and you really need to make plans to attend the 2010 C.O.R.P.S./Richmond Show. But until next year, you can read our articles to see what it is like to attend the show. Keep in mind that our coverage, although intense, is just a fraction of what actually went on at the show. It was just impossible to cover everything that was going on. This part of my coverage will cover what we experienced Friday night. So here we go!
Like Kevin said in his article; when we arrived on Friday evening we were running late, due to the airlines, and trying to catch up with everything that was going on at the show. We checked in and didn’t even have time to bring our luggage to our rooms so we were running down the corridors, luggage and all. We ran to the International Charatan Collector’s Society meeting and spoke with Tad Gage (Gaget), Bob Swanson (Paradisebob), and a few other people about the club (article to come soon). Then we headed over and became members of C.O.R.P.S., Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers, and chatted a little bit with Linwood Hines (Gnarlybriar), the former President of C.O.R.P.S. Linwood was the President up until the show when he handed the reigns off to Craig Norris, the new and current President.
After we finished with that, we headed to our rooms to finally drop off our luggage and to freshen up a bit before dinner. We went down to the banquet hall and had a pre-dinner smoke and drink. Then we headed into the dining area and had a great meal.
(You can read more about the C.O.R.P.S. membership cost, the dinner, and other great information in Kevin’s article – 25th Annual CORPS Exposition & Celebration 2009.)
2009 C.O.R.P.S. Dinner
After dinner, Linwood handed out some awards in honor of the C.O.R.P.S. 25th Anniversary. The name of the award is, C.O.R.P.S. Friend of the Pipe Award. The recipients of the awards were:
After the awards were handed out, Linwood talked a little bit about how we as pipe smokers need to support each other and the pipe and pipe tobacco industry in order for this great hobby to survive for many more years to come. And if we don’t stand together and support each other, this great hobby will fade away and die.
†Editors Note: We at PipesMagazine.com couldn’t agree more with Linwood and we would like to interject our thoughts on this as well.
We all need to encourage the younger generation and show them the pleasures associated with pipe smoking. Because pipe smoking will start to die off, which it already has, without the younger people to carry it on far into the future.
Also to speak after the dinner, along with Linwood, were Steve Ross from Pipes & Tobacco Magazine and Craig Tarler (Craigtarler) from Cornell & Diehl. The following is the transcript of what was said by them during their speeches.
LINWOOD HINES – Former President of C.O.R.P.S.
We’re going to have a few other speakers.
Steve [Ross] would you like to come up now?
Steve’s going to say some stuff about Pipes & Tobacco Magazine I assume and again I hope you all will support the businesses and entities that help support us, because without them and without you being a part of them there ain’t going to be any. It’s just like, how many shows have smoking now?
How many banquets can you smoke at?
I’m going to get on my soapbox here. Without you all doing something, it’s going to die. Not just the hobby type thing, but your ability to assemble and enjoy what you do. So please write your legislators, please write your newspapers, write the blogs. Do as much as you can because if we don’t do it, it’s going to be gone. Thank you. Steve…
STEVE ROSS – Pipes & Tobacco Magazine
Good evening, how are you?
I would like to apologize for Chuck Stanion for not being here and sending me in front of you all tonight. His wife is having her 30th high school reunion this weekend in Tampa and Chuck begged and pleaded to come to the show, but she wanted to go to Tampa instead. So Chuck’s not here tonight, it’s me. I’d like to thank The Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers. Twenty-five years, what an accomplishment. Thanks you for everything that you do and keep on doing it for another twenty-five at the very least. Linwood asked me to put together a few words about the state of the pipe smoking community.
The world of pipe making has never seen so many talented artists who are constantly forcing us to re-think what something, so simple, as a block of wood with two holes drilled into can be. There are a slew of young artisans joining the established pipe makers which promises that new and interesting shapes will continue to be produced for many years to come. However, we must ask ourselves; will the future of pipe making be an exercise of only artistic work or will pipes continue to be used for their intended purpose delivering a good relaxing smoke.
I think we can all agree that 2009 is a very difficult year. Like everyone else, the tobacco world has had to deal with a very difficult economy. The economic problems have been compounded by interference on the federal, state, and local levels and in the form of higher taxes and smoking bans. Whoever would have imagined that states like Virginia and North Carolina, two economies built on money that tobacco brought, would have enacted smoking bans within the last twelve months. And then of course, we’ve had the tax implications of S-CHIP and the FDA oversight that have been two more blows put upon us this year.
It would be easy for premium tobacco retailers, distributors, and manufacturers to throw in the towel considering the big red targets we all have on our backs. Yet as many of us already know, most people are in this business because of the passion they have for tobacco. They love the product first and the profits second. I think a big round of applause should be given to all of us in this room who remain passionate about our hobby in the face of so much scorn.
Rather than speak only of the dark clouds that surround the industry and the hobby, I would also like to take a moment to say that we have much for which to be hopeful. Pipe clubs such as C.O.R.P.S. provide positive images of the hobby. After all, we’re kind, gentle people who have the peace and comfort of a good smoke. Pipe clubs also provide an outlet for like minded people to gather and share their passion. So I encourage any of you who are here tonight, who may not be involved with a club at home, to please join a local club. I would also to encourage you to join an organization such as the Cigar Rights of America, it’s a consumer based non-profit organization that works on all levels of government to protect our freedoms.
We should stop accepting public scorn and stand up for what we love. We should no longer accept second class citizen status… [Inaudible due to applause from the crowd]… lies and physical manipulation the antis have maliciously used to confuse the public. Together we can make our voices heard. If we remain silent and don’t join together to present a united front, then its likely our pipes will become nothing more than museum curiosities, not the smoking instruments we love. Thank you all once again and enjoy the show.
LINWOOD HINES – (After Steve Ross)
Mr. Tarler has a word or two to say. There are very few people that stay in a job, so to speak, for a long time. And as Steve said; you’ve got to love this stuff, blending tobacco, you’ve got to. We have three examples of very long standing businesses, very successful businesses in here; that all day, day after day, thousands and thousands of pounds, blend tobacco. Steve mentioned the FDA regulation that’s coming up. If you all think it’s just the cigarette industry just hold on to your hats. Because if they go to the pipe tobacco industry, I think you’re going to find that some of the changes that have to be to some of your beloved tobaccos may be quite surprising. And I’m sure that most of us have an opinion about that, but we need to let the FDA and our congress people know about that, OK. But, he’s standing up here and I’m running my mouth [laughter from crowd]. Craig….
CRAIG TARLER – Cornell & Diehl
Thank you. Just to pick up a second on what’s been said is; you will find, in your packet, a business sized card and on it is a URL, Pipesmokersintelligencer.org that we sponsor. We’re working very hard as members of this industry and as fellow pipe smokers to get the word out on a positive note. We’re fortunate in having [as the editor of Pipesmokersintelligencer.org] a fellow by the name of Fred Brown. Fred would you stand up for just a second. He’s here and he is a veteran reporter from Knoxville, Tennessee. And he would very much like to hear from you.
I’d like to have you look at this URL, do as you wish. What we’re trying to do is, set it up so that it will be a source for any of the media that you know, to look at counter arguments. And that’s very important. If you know someone in the media, point them to this URL, please. You’ll also find on it a section that has the total FDA law and as we get directives from the FDA, we will publish them as we receive them and in the form that we receive them so that you can make your own decisions as to what’s happening. We’ll try to keep you up to date as much as we can.
Having said that, I want to have a happy note in this. We are very proud to have been members of C.O.R.P.S. and exhibitors here for a number of years, pretty much since we started. And to that end, we have brought with us one hundred tins of a blend called ESPRIT de CORPS. It’s a Virginia with a little bit of Perique in it. It’s a one off, you’ll never see it again and we’ve done a label for it. I would like to present this [painting] to Craig Norris [new and current President of C.O.R.P.S.] with our respects and our thanks for all that you do for us.
Picture Presented to C.O.R.P.S. by Craig Tarler from Cornell & Diehl
Plaque on Picture
After dinner and the speeches, Kevin and I headed out to the ‘Smoke Filled Room’ to have a couple of drinks and to smoke the night away. We had some interesting conversations with fellow pipe smokers and enjoyed the night immensely. We then headed off to bed to get some rest for a very busy Saturday.
To Be Continued….
See more coverage of the 2009 Richmond Pipe Show at the links below: