New Resolutions, New Pipes

New Resolutions, New Pipes

A new year and the great titans of Pipelandia are firing up their imaginations, and perhaps cleaning out leftover dust and detritus from 2023’s production.

At this new juncture, deities in the workshops and at tobacco blending tables are calling upon the gods and goddesses of Pipelandia to calm the surging tides and bring new wisdom to the design benches and tobacco vats.

The quantum minds are at work, fashioning a new year that will find a place on New Year’s resolutions: Promises of new pipes and new tobaccos.

Okay, so Pipelandia is maybe a Pundit bridge too far. But you surely get the idea here: New Year, new pipes, new tobacco blends.

All is right in Pipelandia world!

Pundit is right there with you. I can hardly wait to see new offerings, to appreciate what artisan carvers bring forth from aged ebauchons or blocks of ancient meerschaum stocks.

I know pipe puffers don’t take the creation of pipes in stride. We much appreciate the talent and time it takes to produce the pipes we love.

The same is true on the other side of our passion for pipes—those prodigious and precious tobacco blends that arrive from the brilliant blending minds who toil to create just the right formulae for a particular taste.

Pipes and tobaccos just don’t burst forth like a new year at the drop of a sparkling ball and exploding fireworks. This art we treasure takes time, training, experimentation, and hard work.

I believe that’s why in this new year we should support, as often as budgets allow our tireless artisans who much of the time, work away unnoticed until a new pipe arrives at a bricks and mortar retail outlet, or a favorite internet retailer.

Pundit remembers a time when a pipe was simply a pipe, a smoking instrument. Nothing too special, except for the occasional Dunhill that made you drool.

Tobacco blends were old-timey, mostly, something our grandfathers smoked. Looking back through misty time, say six decades ago, Pundit could walk into a local tobacco shop, or drug store, and purchase a pipe for under $20 along with a pouch of tobacco.

Most of the pipes then were machined, and tobaccos relied on burly and Virginias in various forms and flavorings. Yes, it was quite easy to blister a tongue.

Pundit apologizes for this brief history review, but we are fortunate today to have dedicated artisans turning out masterfully handcrafted pipe shapes and tobacco blends, which are made to seem not only beautiful but also in some ways simply personal to yours and my tastes. Just as if we ordered it specially concocted and turned on the workbench or blended to our specific notions.

That’s why Pundit gets revved up at a New Year: visions of pipes and tobaccos dancing in his head.

It is always exciting to see and read about the latest offerings from the many talented artisans in Pipelandia.

Perhaps an often dreamed of  historic pipe purchase is in the New Year for you. Pipe dreams are made of such.

And now a Pipe Smoker of the Past to kick off the new year is J.R.R. Tolkien, born Jan. 3, 1892, and died, Sept. 2, 1973.

Tolkien, good friends with author C. S. Lewis, both dons of literature at Oxford University, Oxford, England, is of course the Hobbit of Hobbits. His Lord of the Rings series continues along its mythical and magical popularity.

Tolkien and Lewis (of Chronicles of Narnia fame) were pipe-puffing pub pals who enjoyed bowls of Three Nuns and Capstan tobacco over pints in the Eagle and Child tavern in the 1920s.

And one other Pipe Smoker of the past is Joseph Rudyard Kipling, born Dec. 30, 1865, and died Jan. 18, 1936.

Kipling was a puffer from an early age and was especially fond of meerschaum. So fond in fact that he authored a poem, The Maid of the Meerschaum.

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten—Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

And, just so you know, Pundit still has some of the old-school about him. I continue to mix and mingle some of the grandaddy blends, i.e., Prince Albert, with an aromatic, or a bit of perique. Just so that I don’t lose touch with my past, doncha know.

Here is to a great New Year to all my pals in Pipelandia.

New Resolutions, new pipes, and tobacco!

Bringing in the New Year with the old and something new (Photo: Fred Brown)
Bringing in the New Year with the old and something new (Photo: Fred Brown)

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