So without sounding too sappy or too grandiose—here is the simple fact, Your pipe smoking is making magical memories… .that’s right, I said it… it isn’t an annoyance, but rather an aroma we look for. It indicates you are close by and relaxing. As a grown-up who spent her childhood in the presence of "the pipe", I now long to smell that beautiful scent waft in the air. I see a guy on the street leaning in to light his pipe- and I linger, sometimes just come to a dead stop… just to catch a wiff of "my past". I stand there with a dumb grin and looking ridiculous I am sure. But I could care less because for that brief moment I am 8 and I am in my Grandfathers wood shop with him and he just finished making the most beautiful cabinet. He and I are sitting back admiring his work while he takes a break with a well deserved smoke.
Back then I never even gave that fleeting smoke billow a second thought. Years later, I long for it, I miss it. That soft billow of puff represented peace and stability for me. It gave me reassurance someone who loved me more than life itself was nearby. Now, just as that smoke drifted and disappeared ever so softly, sadly- so has my Grandfather. Life changed and I find myself longing to go back in time on most days.
So guys, know this; for me your smoke is not any sort of nuisance or annoyance, but rather a transparent memory drifting by me, transporting me to a time in life that was all perfect. Many people I speak to also agree with me as I blurt out in public- "Ahhh someone is smoking a pipe, and I LOVE IT!". Many people smile and will agree. I will always recall with a distinct warm fuzzy feeling, the smell of my Grandfather’s pipe-smoke. It causes me even now, to drift off to my happy childhood place- and enjoy the safety and serenity the sweet scent of hand packed tobacco being burned in that dark wooden pipe of his brings.
Someday, hopefully in a far off time, there will be people who recall your pipe smoke with a bittersweet ache in their heart and big goofy smiles, as they long for just a moment more with you. Rest assured your pipe’s smoke will cause some girl to stop dead in her tracks as it evokes a pleasant memory for her of you. Face it, you are creating the memory which will stand frozen in the mind, hearts and noses of those who love and treasure you. There is something about that aroma that gives us instant calm. It strangely is your calling card long after you are gone from this life.
The "old world "charm of a pipe’s aroma is the secret guilty pleasure we all silently welcome and value. It will become in many cases part of the description of your sweet presence and how you will be recalled to mind after you are gone, by those who love you. Part of your wonderful legacy will be your pipe’s wonderful aroma.
From the Publisher: Most times, us pipe smokers deal with the merciless vilification of all things tobacco. We get lumped in with cigarettes, lung cancer, air pollution, and the corruption and harm of small children. The general public, which is uneducated on tobacco, and immensely brain-washed by the "antis" propaganda constantly preaches and screeches of the evils of tobacco—pipe smokers included.
Today, something really nice happened. The author of the brief article you just read is a former neighbor and childhood classmate of mine. We haven’t seen each other or spoken in decades. I still remember riding my bike down Wood Avenue, and crossing Washington Place (near Farrington Lake) and peddling up the hill on Miriam Drive where she lived.
We "Friended" each other on Facebook last year, and occasionally "Liked" or commented on a post here and there, but nothing more, which seems pretty common with former schoolmates that haven’t seen each other in many years.
Well, I guess she has been following along with me a little more closely than I realized. (She is on my personal Facebook, and I don’t put a lot of pipe related stuff there.)
Pipe smokers are a small group. For most, if not all of us, we have more friends that do not smoke a pipe than ones that do. It’s probably also true that even though our friends put up with our pipe smoking, they most likely don’t get it.
Thank you Denise for getting it!
I am touched by your commentary, and for thinking of me and my publication for expressing your kind thoughts and memories.
– Kevin Godbee