The Pipes Magazine Radio Show – Episode 27
- Radio Talk Show
- The Pipes Magazine Radio Show – Episode 27
- Kevin Godbee
- Mar 21, 2013
- 1 min read
Thank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show starring Brian Levine. This is the only online radio talk / entertainment show in the world that is targeted to pipe smokers and collectors. We want to thank you for listening and being one of our loyal 15,000 listeners. Tonight Brian will give you his advice on how to prepare for attending a pipe show. Whether you’re a pipe show newbie, or an experienced attendee, you will probably pick-up a tip you didn’t think of previously. Our featured guest is Rabbi Eric Silver. Rabbi Silver has been a pipe smoker since 1959, he did a tour in Vietnam and has met with The Pope three times. In our mailbag segement we will have some shoutouts to forum members that posted about the show, and as usual, Brian has something new to rant about at the end of the show.
Tonight’s show is sponsored by SmokingPipes.com, Missouri Meerschaum, and 4noggins.com, Please give them some consideration when making your next pipe or tobacco purchase.
We hope you enjoy our 45-minute show produced just for you—the pipe smoker and collector. The following link will launch a pop-up player. Alternatively, you can download the show in iTunes after the initial broadcast is complete here.
Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with Rabbi Eric Silver of Cheshire, Connecticut.
Yes, it might seem a bit inappropriate to have something bacon related after an interview with a Rabbi, but you will have to listen to the entire show for it to make sense.
Written by Kevin Godbee
View all posts by: Kevin Godbee
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- June 1, 2023 Looking Ahead, Far, and Near
In attempting to make sense of my years-long pipes and tobacco hobby, I have looked back and ahead through the mists of time. My muses on June’s contemplative journey with you are quotes from the Pulitzer Prize-winning and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Frost, the great New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra’s unassailable philosophy of life, and the distinguished historian and writer James Michener. First the Poet: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Now the Catcher: “When you come to the fork in the road, take it!” And the Historian: “…millions of years ago, when the continents were already formed, and the principal features of the earth had been decided, there existed, then as now, one aspect of the world that dwarfed all others. It was a mighty ocean…” Until one day when… “with a patience difficult to comprehend… trees and vines and crawling things eventually crept.” These philosophies describe much of my passion for pipes. I realize this is an odd viewpoint, but it has been a truth-seeking trip as well as a personally rewarding adventure. Like others in Pipelandia, you, as I, have marveled at the many profound thinkers and remarkable artists who have taken up the pipe. This enthrallment fits with Pundit’s love of geology and how it describes not only the earth we share, but even us pipe smokers as well in some ways. For example, let me recall an experience far back in time. One bright morning, standing atop a high point in the Blue Ridge Mountains, my geologist friend pointed to a shimmering cerulean-hued rim illuminating in the distance. That range, he announced, was once the bottom of the ocean off the coast of North Carolina. How many years ago? I asked. Oh, the geologist replied, 600 million years ago, give or take a million or two, when the world was flooding, erupting, uplifting, arising. That’s known as the orogeny, or mountain building time. These spectacular events took place as massive tectonic plates muscled against each other for dominion. Thus did the valleys and ridges of our very own Blue Ridge Mountains form. In fact, all portions of our present land assembled in similar fashion and pace, followed by our vast oceans and all flora and fauna. Trees and oceans are the two major sources for many pipes we enjoy today. The burl of the flowering heath shrub is native to the Mediterranean and provides briarwood for our precious pipes. Briar burl is part of the tree’s root system. Seas off Turkey formed the ancient raw materials for meerschaum pipes. Meerschaum translated means “sea foam,” or sepiolite, from compressed prehistoric animal bones and sea shells. The silica-like glittery detritus of animal bones and sea shells settled on sea floors near Turkey over the eons. And why is Pundit staring out into space? It has to do with looking back over a lifetime of writing and pipe smoking, give or take a year or two. Like you, I have pipes dear to the heart. Smoked, loved, and retired as good soldiers must. And there were the missed opportunities. In the 1960s, a young Pundit failed to do the right sort of search and research for his pipes and tobacco obsession. Many famously named pipe brands sold for what today would seem bargain-basement prices. But out of reach of a poor college student. Looking at some of those same pipes today on estate sales has Pundit’s head a-twisting. Like those tectonic plates. And have you noticed the price of vintage tobacco? Yes, like you, Pundit cellared his favorite blends, especially the beloved and now departed McClelland’s brand. Not just some of them. An entire range of the treasured McClelland blends have faded over the horizon. The thrust of this epistle is today we have more opportunities to soak up treasure-troves of pipe and tobacco knowledge from online sites such as PipesMagazine.com, and a host of others—all of them rich in wisdom and advice. One can learn an encyclopedic amount of pipe knowledge in an afternoon. And this is not even close to addressing what can be found on sites selling estate pipes and tobacco. It’s enough to make your head swim in a sea of questions and answers. At the same time, many apex pipe prices that once seemed out of reach, have now risen to stratospheric heights. But now let’s switch from orogeny and ocean-formation to more historical happenings. While reading a bit of history recently, I was reminded once more of the generosity of Pipelandia. How many times have you joined your pipe-puffing buds in the local pipe club, and someone brought in a bag of tobacco to share all around? Perhaps even a bag of delicious, cellared Virginia leaf! Or, in some cases, be given a pipe with which to puff said aged blend? During World War I, Alfred Dunhill and the historic Dunhill Company sent boxes of tobacco and pipes to the boys in the trenches. If you have ever visited the graves at Verdun, the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, or the Somme-American Cemetery, you know why those pipes and tobaccos were important to the soldier boys. The boxes were from home, providing a bit of love and relaxation in a world in turmoil. Now for a notable pipe smoker of the past: Burl Ivanhoe Ives, was born June 14, 1909, and died April 14, 1995. Ives, as most of us old-timers know, was a folk-singing legend in the 1950s through the 1990s, and narrator of the classic and much-beloved 1964 Christmas television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, which still airs around Christmastime to this day. In addition, he was an actor and country music star over six decades. His hit song, “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” became a holiday standard in the 1960s. Let us end June’s visit with a quote from the great, jolly singer: “When you’ve set goals and dreams, you don’t feel old.” Now that, my […]
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Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 557! Our featured interview tonight is with Steve Davenport. Steve is a geologist working in the field of environmental consulting. This is the eighth in our series of interviews with “Journeymen Pipe Smokers” – guys that have been smoking pipes between five and 10 years. At the top of the show we will have Jeff Gracik reporting on the “Battle of the Briar” pipe making competition that was held at the Chicago pipe show. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
- May 15, 2023 Bones to Pick
It doesn’t happen very often – I’m usually a pretty laid back guy – but there are times when I can get really cranky. Usually, it’s over a driver performing stupid human tricks on the overcrowded California highways. Or it can be some loudmouthed wackadoodle, clearly unfettered by even a rudimentary knowledge of the pertinent facts, regurgitating preposterous propaganda. Most often, it’s something I’ve read on the interwebs about things I care deeply about that raises my ire. Maybe I’m not quite as Jimmy Buffett laid-back as I’d like to be. A brief holiday in Margaritaville might be in order, or a cheeseburger in paradise. If you haven’t sussed it, I’m proudly wearing my cranky pants today. Why? A friend made me aware of comments made by a self-styled expert in which a tobacco was described as “garbage.” No, it wasn’t one of mine; the manufacturer and the blend are irrelevant. What set my neck hairs on edge was the fact that this “expert” hadn’t even finished one bowl of the blend, and felt fully and righteously justified in proclaiming it as worthy only of being consigned to the rubbish bin. We’ve all seen similar comments; they’re all over the interwebs. A brief scan of the review sites for any kind of product reveals similar silliness; the web has made it far too easy for people to say all kinds of nasty things without the restraint of being eye-to-eye with someone when they do it. This sort of thing drives me crazy in general, but when it’s about pipes and tobacco, the twisting of my knickers is soon to follow. I haven’t tried them all, but it’s highly improbable that any pipe tobacco being made today is deserving of this sort of damning. Every manufacturer of premium pipe tobacco on the planet carefully selects their leaf, and contrary to statements made by someone who should have known better, the leaf available to us today is as good, and in many cases better, than it’s ever been. By the time we make our selections, inferior leaf has all gone on to other products, and we’re choosing from high-quality, carefully aged tobaccos. All of us. We are actually afforded some slight benefit from the fact that our little corner of the overall tobacco market is a small fraction of what it was decades ago. The competition for premium leaf is not as high as it once was, so we get to choose from some really good stuff. The leaf we’re offered is carefully managed from grower to supplier, is properly cured and aged. It’s then skillfully processed into thoughtfully considered blends. The finished product may not be to our tastes, but that’s okay. There’s a lot of stuff out there that I don’t care for; that doesn’t make it bad. Different horses for different courses. Making statements like, “This is just crap,” is not only insulting to the people behind the product, it’s also insulting to the many who might actually like it. Economic forces pretty much ensure that products would not survive long in a crowded market if there weren’t people buying and enjoying them. Garbage? I’d be hard pressed to find anything currently produced that deserves that appellation. But, the bigger deal, the thing that really gets me het up is this. I’ve said it a thousand times. Okay, maybe not, but I’ve thought it at least that many times. If we smoke a single bowl of any tobacco in a single pipe, we actually know very little about it. Last month, I talked about the ghosts of tobaccos past that haunt our bowls, and in a way, this is sort of an extension of that, and this morning’s bowl serves as an excellent example. I filled a great smoking pipe with some wonderful vintage leaf, and the resulting smoke damn near set my senses on fire, and not in a good way. There are a few factors that might have caused this: my own mood, or the way I packed the bowl, or the lingering effects of my morning java, or what I ate for dinner last night, or, I dunno, maybe cosmic rays or space alien mind-control experiments. That very same tobacco smoked later in a different pipe was pretty darn marvelous. Neither of these two experiences reveals much about the tobacco itself. I’ll have finished the tin before I would be willing to tell its story, and, to be completely candid, there is not one tobacco that I’ve enjoyedl that hasn’t disappointed me in some way at least once along the road to grokking it. This doesn’t mean we have to smoke a dozen or more bowls of anything to discover whether or not we like it. But, putting something we don’t care for aside for a while, coming back to it another time still might not be a bad course of action. Tastes change, sometimes with the seasons or the years, and what suits us today may be very different from what brings us joy later, but most of us have a pretty good idea of what fits our tastes today and what doesn’t. I’m pretty confident in my own tastes after all these years, and if someone offers me a bowl of Cherries Jubilee, I can fairly accurately predict that I ain’t gonna like it, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s bad, and someday, I might change my mind and give it a fair shot. Pronouncing judgment without a trial would be in violation of the Pipe Smoker’s Constitution. (There isn’t one. Maybe there should be.) If a tobacco is in a style we enjoy, and we decide to try it, don’t we owe it more than a few minutes of our time? More than a bowl or two? After all, for some reason, we were enticed by it enough to buy it. Fact is, no matter how long we’ve been at this, pipe smoking remains an art of exploration. It’s all about experiences, […]
You are reading Steven Tyler (Liv’s father), I am reading “Guitar Man” by Will Hodgkinson, an interesting book, not pipe related.
Pipe show season – you remember Foghorn-Leghorn cartoons, just think of the weasel. slobber. slobber– That is how people are at their first show. Bring comfortable shoes – a must. Bring baggies for samples to be smoked later. Bring a small flashlight to examine the inside of a bowl. Be willing to negotiate prices.
Your discussion with Rabbi Silver was quite interesting. As I was a contemporary of the Viet Nam era, his recollections were very interesting. My former neighbor also was involved with the river boats and had many tales to tell. I wonder if his work has been published or is obtainable?
Your song reminds me of the old Industrial Hygienist’s saying “The Dose is the Poison”.
Bacon??? Does Denny’s own stock in a Bacon processor?? Too Much!!!
Next thing you will see is a Bacon flavored tobacco –NOT!
You just keep getting better. I just hope your head is not too big by Chicago!
Here i thought Denny’s was disgusting 15 minutes ago…….it has reached a new low….
Great interview and great show as always, although I remember now why I don’t own any Joe Jackson CDs. As to the previous comment about bacon flavored tobacco- it’s already been done more or less. Hearth and Home’s Vermont Meat Candy tobacco which is supposed to be reminiscent of maple and bacon. I haven’t tried it and don’t plan to but it is out there. Anyway, without being insulting, I would comment that Brian’s rants need some work. I think it’s the voice, he just never sounds upset. All I can think of is Ned Flanders going into a rage and it sounding similar to Brian’s rants. I can usually identify with what he is ranting about but it comes off being too polite. What about getting the Guy From Boston to do the rants?
Just a thought. Otherwise, I listen to the show every week and look forward to it. I usually listen on Thursday nights but it is generally after 8 PM when I listen.
How about some John Lee Hooker?
Hey Brian, I think your microwave burrito is done.
Like Pavlov’s dog, as soon as I heard the beeping, I got a craving for popcorn.
Another wonderful guest. With so many interesting members,
one begins to feel a part of a diverse and intelligent club. Very rejuvenating!
I am always appreciative when I encounter a good interviewer, and Brian really hit it on the spot! Thank you, Brian, for your incisive questions–they were direct, to the point, and had just the right amount of humor to make the interview sparkle. My wife listened with great interest and said that you brought out the best in me. Many thanks,
Really enjoyed the show, especially the interview with Rabbi Silver.
I’d like to ask the Rabbi if there is a prayer (blessing) for tobacco?
Sorry, Allan, no blessing for tobacco. However, on getting a new pipe, or even trying out a new tobacco, I think that the blessing Shehecheyanu (giving thanks to God for having kept us in life and brought us to this occasion,) would be most appropriate.
Thank you, Rabbi.
Another fine show. The segment preparing for a pipe show was very good. About the only thing I would add is prepare for the plan/budget to change. Also, if a show has a social segment or mixer you want to make that. This gives you a chance to talk to vendors and carvers in a non-sales situation.
Rabbi Silver was simply riveting to listen to. His experiences involving Pope JP II and Benedict XVI were just fascinating. His research into Pius XII involvement in WW II was especially informative. This shows again that if men will approach each other with open minds that they will see the humanity in each other.
Loved the interview with the Rabbi during the Passover Season; such an appropriate time!
As a Catholic, it was pure joy to hear his story and his envolvement and study of Pope Pius XII as well as his encounters with our two previous Pontiffs. I had never known such encounters and dialouge had took place. I was riveted as well. It is truly a blessing to have an elder brother in faith recant those experiences for us all.
Great show, as always. I particularly enjoyed Rabbi Silver’s reminiscences on Vietnam, as I was there at about the same time and about the same place (Can Tho), but that led to my becoming a Buddhist priest! Hail divesrsity!
Again, thank you to Brian for a really fine interview. And also, thank you to all of you for the kind remarks that you made concerning my responses to Brian’s questions. I had no idea that my words would engender such a response. Thank you all so very much.
And now it’s time for next week’s program.
Great interview with Rabbi Eric! I enjoyed this show very much. I was busy with Easter preparations and did not have a chance to listen to the last few shows until yesterday. More!!! Shalom Sabbat Rabbi!
The interview with the Rabbi was really interesting, thanks to both Brian and the Rabbi for that one. Another great show and I liked the music.