Do We Really Have it Better?

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jaytex1969

Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
7,901
32,541
Here
When I was a kid, we bought Crest or Colgate. Then AquaFresh came out. Now they need three aisles to house all the options.
Same with just about every consumable product.
I don't think it's good or bad, It just is. The web has made the world a smaller place. Now, we know the global options as well as the regional ones we grew up with.
Shoot, I didn't even know what an artichoke WAS until I met my wife. As a child, the only peppers I was aware of were green and red bells and the occasional jalapeno.
In my 20's I thought Jose Quervo was good tequila... :crazy:
Most of us bought what the marketing people wanted us to buy until we learned better. The information age has definitely altered that landscape.
Smoke 'em if you got 'em!


 

grimpuffer

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2016
93
1
You’ll have to excuse me as I didn’t read all the responses because I’m sure they are all very good points.
I just wanted to respond to the OP
I can’t really answer to the extent of having it better with tobaccos because when I started a lot of the heralded blends were already gone or being made under a different blending house. Esoterica was unobtainable already, as was FVF and several others. I do agree though that there are definitely plenty of fine blends by other blenders to fill that void to an extent. I know when I asked my grandfather what he used to smoke he said,”Whatever I could find at the local drug store.” He said that the higher end stuff he could only get if he went into a larger city which he rarely did. Before he quit smoking it was pretty much Captain Black or PA in his lone pipe. He still doesn’t understand why anyone needs more than one even after I explained to him how blends can ghost a pipe. He laughed and basically said to each their own.
I also did find it a bit overwhelming in regards to the correct method until I stopped caring about the proper packing method and just put tobacco in the bowl and got it lit. I mean that’s really all there is to it but I was obsessed for a time trying all the different ones that some swore would “burn perfectly to grey ash”.
Edit: I do want to add that my grandfather did say he had 2 tins of the original Balkan Sobranie he had kept because he didn’t much care for it but tossed them once he quit smoking. Too bad I didn’t start sooner or else I could’ve helped prevent that tragedy 8O

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
4,110
9,182
SC Piedmont
I have to apologize to Jay & anyone else who tried to follow the link I mentioned. I was working from droid & it apparently didn't translate very well. Here's link posted from my laptop, so hopefully it will be "better" (as in, an extremely relative term here!)
ipana

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
4,110
9,182
SC Piedmont
"dentist with the kidlets " -- You have my sympathy, for the little I know it's worth. :) My dad always said I was the worst patient he had, & frankly I believe it. Of course he also said not to go into dentistry because you had to work too hard for the money, & I believed that too, so.... :)

 

mackeson

Preferred Member
Mar 29, 2016
758
1
I wish this type of community had been around on my first pipe smoking attempts in the early 90's. Would have saved me much frustration and probably increased the enjoyment. I may not have put the pipe down for 8 years.

 

checotah

Preferred Member
Feb 7, 2012
504
2
I think the "Golden Age of Pipe Smoking" is long gone, at least around here. To me, that period was when we could smoke what we wanted, when and where we wanted. Today, smoking in general is greatly frowned upon in nearly all open venues. Local ordinances are being considered to actually ban smoking in all public areas of town, including parks and along the rivers. I used to smoke my pipe in my office well over half of the workday, and often share tobacco and piping lore with other pipers during the day. The last 10 years before I retired I didn't even take my pipe to work. Today, being retired, I am a little more free in that I can lunt in my shop, at the range, and while scaring fish on the river. But I miss those more carefree days.
As to the "Golden Age of Pipe Tobacco", I think we are seeing the winding down of it. The FDA deeming announcement has started the demise of some blends and we have already seen some very talented blenders stop production, and even go out of business. That could change, if we could somehow get the FDA to rescind it's ruling, but I cannot see that happening.
Others have touched on the pros and cons of the internet and its impact on piping. I guess I'm glad I learned to be a codger when I first started the pipe, without having to worry about the correct way to pack, what is the best tobacco, and how to properly light. Stuff, light, enjoy.... yup...proud codger here!

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,934
14
NY
Think about it. If you live on a street in a neighborhood, how many neighbors do you know? Do your kids play with their kids? Do you have neighborhood cookouts or gatherings? Think back to the fifties or sixties when almost everyone on your street or block knew one another. Now you're lucky if you know 2 out of 10 neighbors. People don't get out and meet the neighbors anymore.
I must be lucky. My neighborhood everyone knows each other. All our kids grew up together and played together on "The Green" area in the middle of the development. We have a neighborhood wide block party every year where everyone brings food for themselves plus some extra to share. By the way this is recent. We moved into that development when it was built in 2004 and our son was 4.
Oh and as to the OP. Hell yeah we have it better. Why would I want to go back to smoking whatever pipes and OTC crap the drug store had?

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
36,036
36,922
My answer to the question in brief: Yes, but for how long? ...oh gosh, is it time for another thread on Brylon pipe?

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
9,119
5,576
Having kids almost mandates knowing the neighbors. If the neighbors have kids they'll interact with yours. If they do not have kids, you're obligated to drop by now and then, and offer apologies for the actions of yours.

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,974
1,379
Robinson, TX.
To answer your question, Mike, the only point of reference that I can use is me. I started smoking a pipe and fell in love with the hobby at age 18 back in 1971. Today, there are a kazillion more ways to feed my hobby's fires than there were 47 years ago. To me, it's an absolute slam dunk no brainer to say that I have it better today than when I first started my adventures in the pipe smoking hobby almost a half century ago.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
2,625
2,168
crashthegrey said,
Forum members are such a vast minority, things start to make more sense when you take a step back and look at the retailers and manufacturers realizing how small this part of the community is, and how large the part of the community is which consists of guys like your neighbor who smokes a pipe but you never knew because he only smokes after dinner or in the back yard.
I think Sablebrush is right in that pipe forum members are maybe a subatomic part of the real pipe smoking community. Think about it. Kaywoodie and Dr. Grabow are still making and selling pipes. Look at all the old drugstore brands like Prince Albert, Carter Hall - and, yes - Borkum Riff and Captain Black, that are still on the market. They are still making money for the manufacturers because people are still buying them.
I also believe that the number of people really participating in social media like twitter, facebook, instagram, etc., is a lot less than the media wants us to believe.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
3,088
834
38
Cobleskill, NY
www.greywoodie.com
Agreed pappymac, but I'll note that Kaywoodie still makes great pipes. Each is hand finished by a man who has had hundreds of thousands of pipes through his hands, and there is a handmade line to rival some of the best pipe makers, but selling at the $200 range because he is a fourth generation pipe maker who knows how to batch process even hand made pipes.

 

virginialover

Preferred Member
Mar 29, 2016
938
4,453
It's great for the choice of pipe tobacco and pipes for everyone's budget. Living in Canada, with those taxes, I think that the Golden Age here was in the 70's up to the early 90's.
One shouldn't forget that this hobby is still more expensive than cigarette smoking and that Aromatics are more popular than "uncased, unflavored" tobacco. With this in mind, whatever Golden Age exists today, will be killed by the market, it's a matter of time. So hoard and cellar. Keep your best smoking pipes and ditch the rest to have more money for your tobacco purchase. What is any pipe without tobacco?

 
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