By Bob Tate
On Saturday night of May 1, after the first official day of the 2010 Chicago Pipe Show, we attended the Cigar and Pipe Cocktail Party, Dinner and Doctor of Pipes Award Ceremony that was held in the New Orleans Ballroom on Bourbon Street at the Pheasant Run Resort. The Cocktail Party was 6:30-7:00pm and the dinner was 7:00-9:00pm. The tickets for the dinner were $65.00 each and were well worth the price of admission.
For the Cocktail Party, they served bacon wrapped scallop hors d’oeuvres while we all stood around chatting on Bourbon Street. At 7:00, they opened the doors to the ballroom to admit the attendees of the dinner. Upon entrance to the dinner, they were handing out ‘goodie’ bags. The bags contained a selection of about 10 various premium cigars, pipe cleaners, a tin of E. Hoffman Spilman Mixture, and a one ounce sample of Hearth & Home Larry’s Blend. Everyone was standing and sitting around socializing and having a few drinks waiting for dinner to be served.
For dinner, they served Filet Mignon with an au jus, green beans, carrots, dinner rolls and wine. While everyone was enjoying dinner, they had a keyboard and saxophone player playing some nice dinner music. For dessert, they served two different kinds of cheesecake (strawberry and chocolate) and coffee. After dessert, Frank Burla and Mike Reschke from the Chicago Pipe Club went up to the podium to give out the 2010 Doctor of Pipes Awards.
Before I get to the recipients of the awards, let me first tell you a little bit about the Doctor of Pipes Awards.
To be nominated for the Doctor of Pipes Award, the individuals must have had at least 20 years in the hobby and had to have dedicated some of their time to help promote the hobby. There are two Doctor of Pipes awards given out each year; one in the hobbyist category and one in the industry category. The winners of the awards receive a Doctor of Pipes Medallion and a Doctor of Pipes Plaque.
And the 2010 Doctor of Pipes winners are:
Hobbyist Category – Fred Hanna
Industry Category – Alan Schwartz of XYZ Direct, LTD.
Both Fred Hanna and Alan Schwartz were both presented with their awards and each gave a short speech. Fred Hanna was presented his award first and before he spoke, Rick Esserman read a note from Fred’s wife, Connie.
Rick Esserman: This is a note from Connie.
“Good evening ladies and gentleman.
Only a handful of you know who I am, but I wanted to take a few moments of your time to let you know how much I would have enjoyed spending this evening with all of you. ‘Why you ask?’ Well, my husband Fred Hanna is being awarded with the Doctor of Pipes this year and I know this award means the world to him. I would have liked to have been here in person, but unfortunately I am still recovering from a neck operation and I am unable to travel in order to attend. In lieu of being there in person, I wanted to wish my husband a very heartfelt congratulations.
From his Loving Wife Connie” [Applause]
Fred Hanna: I thought that I was going to be able to handle this until Rich read the thing from my wife. That just did me in, thank you so much. You have no idea how humbling this is. I have learned so much from all of you. All of you have enriched my life and we are all in this in so many ways. But what it boils down to, it seems to me, is that we engage in pipe smoking for pleasure and we engage in pipe smoking for learning how to enjoy life in the bigger picture. So many of us want to enjoy life and we have found in pipe smoking, what I believe to be, the world’s most under rated pleasure. It is a remarkable thing that so many of us, in learning how to enjoy the pleasures of pipe smoking, also learn how to enjoy the pleasures of life. From my heart to all of you, thank you all; because you have made life sweeter and richer for me. Take care and thank you. [Applause]
After Fred finished with his speech, Alan Schwartz was presented with his award.
Alan Schwartz: Thank you very much and thank you for this honor. I first want to thank Frank Burla and the rest of the members of the board. I admire Frank’s dedication and drive; unrelenting to make sure that things work and I’m very grateful for that.
I feel like I am at the awards. First I’d like to thank my producer and director, my wife, Joan. [Laughter and Applause]
I would say that the most wonderful thing about this as a hobby is the way that it brings people from everywhere together. Out on the show floor there are physicians, attorneys, truck drivers, maintenance men, and people from every walk of life and every level of society; if you accept that there are levels of society. I always find it remarkable that people who have never rubbed elbows except for when they’re there, they’re all buying pipes and talking about things. Like if this blend contains Cyprian Latakia or if it contains Syrian Latakia and it’s great. And I find, quite frankly, the same thing in the profession. I find the members of the pipe selling, pipe marketing, pipe making, tobacco selling, tobacco marketing, tobacco making, for the pipe tobacco, community a very amiable and concerned group. Naturally concerned about making a living, but also concerned about legislation and the welfare of the entire industry because finally that filters down to the people who use the product and pay for the product. So I’m thankful for the award, I’m very proud to have it and I’m delighted to be here with you at the Chicago Pipe Show. [Applause]
We had a great time at the dinner eating some great food and socializing with some great people. We at PipesMagazine.com would once again like to congratulate Fred Hanna and Alan Schwartz for winning the 2010 Doctor of Pipes Awards!
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