I live in Glendale AZ (Phoenix metropolitan area). I've been smoking a pipe for since about 1979, and I'm now twice retired. Once from the US Army, and again from the civilian printing and high tech industries (first as a pressman, and later an electrical engineer).
I am a pipe maker, and apprenticed under the late renowned Arizona Pipe maker, Horace DeJarnet. I met Horace, after buying one of his pipes, in about 2002. There was a business card in the velvet pouch, with his phone number on it, so I called him. I told him that I would gladly pay to watch him make a pipe. He asked if I was free the next Saturday, I was, and he gave me his address and told me to show up with $40. I was like "doh, he's really going to make me pay to watch". Well I showed up on Saturday, and Horace met me at the door, and said "come on, we're going shopping"! He took me to the Pipe Makers Emporium, in Deer Valley AZ, owned by Arizona pipe maker Paul Hildebrand. I bought my first block of premium Spanish briar, and a piece of stem material. We went back to Horace's house and, under his close tutelage (between Saturday and Sunday), I made my first pipe, the whole pipe, including cutting the tenon and shaping the stem and clinch bit!
Out of appreciation, I cleaned Horace's shop up Army clean, and I offered to start coming back and exchange cleaning up the shop, for pipe making lessons. Horace was missing his right leg above the knee, and I could see that it was difficult for him to accomplish this chore, I though maybe he could use the help. He graciously accepted my offer, but for more than any reason, he had a burning desire to pass on his hard earned knowledge of a dying trade, to somebody younger who could pick up and carry the flame.
I was the co-founder of the Arizona Pipe Club (along with Jerry Bresin), located in Phoenix AZ. We were the only pipe club in in Arizona for a long time (before the internet became common use). Erik Nording was a frequent guest at our meetings, as was the late renowned AZ pipe maker, Horace DeJarnet, and other pipe makers and pipe tobacco representatives.
I've gifted away much of my very large collection of pipes over the past decade. I had amassed about 150 pipes, at one time, and now have 72 pipes. I kept the creme de La cream of my eclectic collection, of many different types and makes, types, and shapes. All are made from either Briar, Meerschaum, or African Gourd with Meerschaum or Porcelain bowls. My two oldest pipes are a couple of gourd/porcelain pipes, that are around 150 years old. They predate the use of meerschaum as the cap (and bowl).
I smoke predominantly English style tobacco, and mature Virginia. I just, this week (1/10/20) un-cellered a 20 year old group of bulk (1 lb each stored in 1 pint mason jars) Dunhill My Mixture 965, Dunhill Early Morning Pipe, Dunhill Nightcap, Dunhill 3 Year Mature Virginia, Mac Baren Scottish Blend, Westminister, A house blend English Long Cut, Mature Virginia, and two 8 OZ packages of Penzance. They had been sealed in the jars after stabilizing the water content to about 14%. It was a long term experiment of mine, that went on a lot longer than I originally intended. It was part of a much larger group, that I pulled out of in 5 year increments.
The Dunhills were bought in about 1999, long before they stopped making pipe tobacco, and was actually quite affordable in bulk. Since Dunhill has stopped blending pipe tobacco last, my decision to stash some away turned out to be a good one. I'll report in on how they turn out, though my first impression is that they turned out "spectacular".
The resent Peterson rebranded Dunhill pipe tobacco that I've sampled, appeared to be spot on formulas. Leaf sources have changed since the the older Dunhill mixtures were made, so the Peterson's are much more like the Dunhills produced in their last decade of production.