Now, don’t take this the wrong way. The Pundit starts each new year with a new cob. It’s been a custom since the beginning of time. Call it a cob addiction, or a demanding obsession to start the season off on the right path.
See, the lowly corncob pipe is just a delightful way to become familiar with all those new blends you bought for Christmas, and you have yet to smoke in your precious fresh and new briar purchases.
And although cobs are a bit like the old comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, who didn’t “get no respect,” the cob is just the pipe for the job. It will take everything you throw at it, and then some. It never falls flat on its face, like the aforementioned Pundit.
Look at the cob as a cheap meerschaum. You can’t bang it up. You can’t scratch it. Even if you carve the bowl rim, you still haven’t hurt it.
You smoke until you can’t, smoke it again, and again, and then toss. Get new cob!
But the poetic part of this is that the cob just keeps getting better and better until it doesn’t, which could take years. . . . unless you lose it—like the aforementioned Pundit.
And if fate should strike, you just haul out another cob and keep on a-puffing.
You can thank the Pundit later for this first-of-the-year tip. And it’s a tip that keeps on giving, as they say in hype land.
And just to show that the Pundit walks the walk and puffs the puff, he owns roughly 50 cobs at last count. Some are rougher than others and some are just downright dirty and over the hill. But it’s hard to chuck an old friend, especially one that has been through the thickets with you.
You can’t go wrong with a Missouri Meerschaum from the wonderful people in Washington, Missouri, located some 50 miles west of St. Louis, on the southern banks of the Missouri River. Ah, yes, the Big Muddy, not to be confused with the Mississippi River, also referred to as the Big Muddy at times when Old Man River is up and roaring.
Can’t you just hear that old riverboat whistle blowing? And who is that on the dock near the oldest and largest manufacturer of corncob pipes?
Why, I do believe that is ol’ Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, smoking a Missouri Meer. Or, no, could be, looks like, it is Mark Twain! He’s holding a cob standing beside two of his finest creations.
You can find the Twain, Sawyer, and Finn pipes in Missouri Meerschaum Hannibal Collection on the company web page.
Or head over to the Corn Cob collections page and snag several (if available) of the Cornell & Diehl pipe collaborations. Like the, ahem, Pundit did early when available at SmokingPipes.com.
And having rambled this far, let’s just say, the cob company also has some tasty tobacco blends to go in those nice cobs.
Well, here we are on the cusp of a new year! The Pundit sincerely hopes all of you out there in Pipes and Tobacco World had special holidays, filled with family fun, new pipes and tobaccos, and other accouterments. Maybe a pint or two. Just sayin.’
If the Pundit has learned one lesson about the end of a year, it brings the promise of New Year’s bright future, without becoming too Pollyannish! It’s a fresh canvas for all of us. Just in time, mayhaps.
Sort of compared to Dickens the ghost of future pipes and tobaccos, or some such.
Now, exactly what is all this palaver coming down to? It’s a new year and that means looking over your precious herd, maybe weeding out here and there, and of course, adding more to the ever-growing flock of pipes.
And let’s not forget to add those new blends arriving from the finest tobacco-blending minds on the planet!
I often think of these tobacco alchemists using their mortars and pestles to grind and pulverize the finest of tobacco leaf.
Yes, the tobacco cellar will most certainly receive innumerable additions in this New Year in the Pundit cellar.
The Pundit views this time as a panorama of promise. New pipes constructed by the greatest of briar and meerschaum artists that simply boggle the mind. Artisan tobacco blenders around the world create concoctions that heretofore have not been tasted.
See, for the Pundit, the newest of this time blooms not only with hope, but also with pipes and tobacco possibilities. Blooms. Sunrises! All that sort of thing.
Now, let’s move on, shall we?
One notable for January: Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, journalist, poet, and author Carl Sandburg.
Sandburg was born Jan. 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Ill., and died July 22, 1967, in Flat Rock, N.C., setting of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, and National Park Service, in Henderson County, close to Asheville, N.C.
Although it is fairly well-known the famous writer smoked a pipe, the Pundit has been unable to find out much about his tobacco preferences.
Let me know if you find any information. The Pundit is a collector of old poets, doncha know!
A quote or two from the great poet:
Nothing happens unless first we dream—Carl Sandburg
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance—Carl Sandburg
Here’s to all pipe smokers and a new year. Briar and leaf, the best of the best.
Happy New Pipe Year!