Sometimes They Fight Back. A Lee 3-star

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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
Your passion for Lee's are admirable!

Passion or obsession? Pride in collection or price-hike collection? Humansville lawyer or the newest chat bot? An incredible soul or an internet troll?

You sir are an enigma! Please keep posting, your musings are delightful!
My father, an Ozark Hillbilly himself, is very much like @Briar Lee . He is able to argue a point in the most singular of manner, undeterred by any counter arguments, and unswayed nor distracted by any attempts to redirect the discussion. Kelly Ann Conway is quite similar in style. A few months ago I watched her dismantle and frustrate Bill Maher and bring him to a dead stop. She did it effortlessly.

It is quite a talent and it is entertaining for sure. Like @Parsimonious Piper , I have enjoyed a few Lees without buying into all the hype. They are well built, easy to clean due to the removable stinger, and can be reclocked without the need to heat up the stem. Rick at Briarville made the same observation about the briar that a few other collectors have observed as well. It is a heavier briar that holds up well and doesn’t seem to over heat. Gold Coast pipes are advertised in the literature as being briar that has been seasoned and cured - but it doesn’t say how. Gold Coast were sold for a dollar as advertised. One can assume that the briar for Lees most likely was seasoned and cured as well.

Are Lees overpriced? I think so.

Are they a piece of sh$t? I think not for the reasons I gave above.

Can you win an argument with my dad, KellyAnn Conway, or Mr Briar Lee? Nope.

All you can do is marvel that they can make so much up using so little information.

It was Kellyann who famously said, “We have ALTERNATIVE facts.” I agree with @TheWhale13
who I think is spot on.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,613
13,481
Humansville Missouri
Your passion for Lee's are admirable!

Passion or obsession? Pride in collection or price-hike collection? Humansville lawyer or the newest chat bot? An incredible soul or an internet troll?

You sir are an enigma! Please keep posting, your musings are delightful!
I ruminate, in preference to musing, but thank you.

I paid the original NOS price of nearly ten dollars for what probably is a fifties or sixties Dr. Grabow Golden Duke carved bulldog from an old maid schoolteacher named Marie White about thirty years ago. The pipe had fallen behind a desk where Miss Marie said her father kept the Grabow pipes in a family owned general store that had been in constant operation since the late eighteen hundreds in Lead Mine, Missouri.

6A41E6D2-8504-4EC5-ACBB-104063D61C4F.jpegThe above pipe has been one of the very sweetest, coolest, and tastiest briars in my huge stash of pipes for three decades.

Since it was mechanically pre smoked using Edgeworth, it broke in just as well as every one of the couple or dozen so oil cured Lees and Briarlees and Pipe Makers I’ve had the pleasure to break in.

Dr. Grabow is still making pipes today.

They likely have one good man there that selects all the briar that goes into a Dr Grabow.

He reserves the best for a Royalton.

Then for Golden Dukes.

And he’s doing exactly what Lee did 76 years ago with one difference.

The top smooth Royalton is about $60

Dr. Grabow Pipe - Royalton https://a.co/d/hcswuYC

$60 today was worth $3.95 in 1946.

A $40 Golden Duke today was worth $2,63 then.

Adjusted for today’s dollars, in 1946 Star Grade Lees began at $75 ($5) for the Two Star and Lee sold the most of his $150 ($10) Three Star grade. He rarely sold a Four Star at $225 ($15) but there are a few Five Star $375 ($25) Lees still that come up for sale.

Lee never cheated a single customer.

In his first catalog he’d sell you a Briarlee for a dollar ($15 today) and he used the same blocks from the same bag of briar to make a Five Star, only highly selected, of course.

They all tasted exactly the same, since they were all oil cured.

Whatever oil cure he used, was sweet as honey straight from the comb.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,613
13,481
Humansville Missouri
My father, an Ozark Hillbilly himself, is very much like @Briar Lee . He is able to argue a point in the most singular of manner, undeterred by any counter arguments, and unswayed nor distracted by any attempts to redirect the discussion. Kelly Ann Conway is quite similar in style. A few months ago I watched her dismantle and frustrate Bill Maher and bring him to a dead stop. She did it effortlessly.

It is quite a talent and it is entertaining for sure. Like @Parsimonious Piper , I have enjoyed a few Lees without buying into all the hype. They are well built, easy to clean due to the removable stinger, and can be reclocked without the need to heat up the stem. Rick at Briarville made the same observation about the briar that a few other collectors have observed as well. It is a heavier briar that holds up well and doesn’t seem to over heat. Gold Coast pipes are advertised in the literature as being briar that has been seasoned and cured - but it doesn’t say how. Gold Coast were sold for a dollar as advertised. One can assume that the briar for Lees most likely was seasoned and cured as well.

Are Lees overpriced? I think so.

Are they a piece of sh$t? I think not for the reasons I gave above.

Can you win an argument with my dad, KellyAnn Conway, or Mr Briar Lee? Nope.

All you can do is marvel that they can make so much up using so little information.

It was Kellyann who famously said, “We have ALTERNATIVE facts.” I agree with @TheWhale13
who I think is spot on.
Why is a typical hillbilly such a hard headed philosopher?

I walk over farmland my ancestors spent countless hours following the tail of a huge, fine Perchon mare while plowing, discing and harrowing fields.

My Great Great Grandfather didn’t invent the Missouri Mule, but he somehow found a huge Jack (male) donkey to breed to his Perchon mares and he’s remembered on plaques at the Missouri State Fair still today winning prizes for his enormous mules.

A hillbilly works for old number one.

He’s married to the most gorgeous girl that ever approached him to strike up a conversation with him. He’s not looking at the girlie magazines.

For almost forty years I’ve helped more people, had more fun, made more money, seen more of this wonderful country, and not done a single thing I’ll be ashamed I’ll account for to my Master on Judgement Day.

The mistakes I made were all honest mistakes.

But when I was right, I’m damned right.:)

Now I too am a great admirer of both Sarah Pallin and Kellyanne Conway.

You can’t embarrass either of them.

And age adjusted both are beautiful women.

But in the circles I travel, which include the finest musicians in the Ozarks (of which I’m only a singer, not a picker) we often perform what my friend JC calls:

Ode to Kellyanne Conway



We have more fun, than the law should allow.
 
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didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
9,788
31,280
34
Burlington WI
I can find little to no information regarding the maker of Lee pipes nor the process of how they were cured and made. The talk from older smokers from other forums is that they were just cheap fill laden drugstore pipes.
Sounds like the gold star can be very similar to the white dot. Of it's got one, it's gotta be good right?!?
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,613
13,481
Humansville Missouri
Sounds like the gold star can be very similar to the white dot. Of it's got one, it's gotta be good right?!?
No.

World War Two proved that old, cured, and aged briar from the Mediterranean was beyond replacement.

If America or the British could have replaced it they surely would have and they certainly tried.

On the first day Lee filled that first Gold Coast order his dollar pipes used better briar than a Dunhill or Kaywoodie.

Lee only had one competitive advatage.

He likely had the entire Allied reserve supply of briar blocks kept in reserve since 1942 and not picked over yet.

After the war ended, some lower level government munchkin released the only supply of good briar in America and Lee brought it home.

That’s the real story.

Why didn’t Kaywoodie get it instead?
 
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didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
9,788
31,280
34
Burlington WI
No.

World War Two proved that old, cured, and aged briar from the Mediterranean was beyond replacement.

If America or the British could have replaced it they surely would have and they certainly tried.

On the first day Lee filled that first Gold Coast order his dollar pipes used better briar than a Dunhill or Kaywoodie.

Lee only had one competitive advatage.

He likely had the entire Allied reserve supply of briar blocks kept in reserve since 1942 and not picked over yet.

After the war ended, some lower level government munchkin released the only supply of good briar in America and Lee brought it home.

That’s the real story.

Why didn’t Kaywoodie get it instead?
How do you know Lee used better briar than Dunhill?
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
How do you know Lee used better briar than Dunhill?
He doesn't.

Most of his information comes from @jguss who presented some history about Lee over a year ago. He even posted a picture of Lee.

Our good lawyer has taken much of that information and presented to the jury an alternative narrative of the events with suppositions thrown in to make the case stronger.

My dad, who lives in Baxter, Missouri, often goes up to Ha Bobs to sit out front with the old men where they tell lots of stories.

None of them resemble the truth any longer, but they all have become legendary.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,613
13,481
Humansville Missouri
How do you know Lee used better briar than Dunhill?
Simply because by 1946 Dunhill and Kaywoodie both were using the briar below the bottom shelf.

Right after Pearl Harbor, even a little before, the United States started laying aside strategic supplies.

I think all tires in the USA were commandeered by the government before Christmas 1941. We’d lost 85% of our natural rubber supply on December 7, when the Japanese not only bombed Pearl Harbor but invaded the Ditch East Indies.

The last freighter full of briar left Italy bound for New York probably sometime in the spring of 1940. Italy didn’t join the war on the Axis side until June 1940.

Probably, some war time agency commandeered a cargo load of briar still interned on an Italian ship since June 1940.

And it sat there aging until 1946, when Lee somehow beat Kaywoodie to it.

It was likely just mill run briar.

But it had not yet been picked over and selected.

Pre war Kaywoodie high grade pipes are incomparable.

But think how picked over that briar stock was by 1946?

Same applied to Dunhill.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,613
13,481
Humansville Missouri
He doesn't.

Most of his information comes from @jguss who presented some history about Lee over a year ago. He even posted a picture of Lee.

Our good lawyer has taken much of that information and presented to the jury an alternative narrative of the events with suppositions thrown in to make the case stronger.

My dad, who lives in Baxter, Missouri, often goes up to Ha Bobs to sit out front with the old men where they tell lots of stories.

None of them resemble the truth any longer, but they all have become legendary.

The key information jguss gave me was Lee got his first bags of briar at a government agency auction in 1946.

That briar supply was the cornerstone of Lee’s enterprise.

It was sort of like old Joe Kennedy getting the Cutty Sark franchise in Canada.:)

Joe Kennedy bought the last good case of Scotch before Prohibtion, plus rights to legally bootleg it across the American border.

One day in 1946 Lee went home and said honey, start looking at new Packards.

Because we own the last supply of good pre war briar in the whole world.

You don’t have to be there, to know it had to have happened.
 

mingc

Lifer
Jun 20, 2019
3,953
10,980
The Big Rock Candy Mountains
I'm thoroughly enjoying this thread. I've no idea what a Lee pipe is, but we are in the presence of a Master Fabulist. In the old days, he would have been the teller of tales, from whom the villagers would sit by the fire to receive their patrimony of sagas and legends. Is so doing, his Fables are threads that bind and join the young with the old and the past with the present. As Briar Lee weaves his magical yarns about Pipes by Lee, they will become objects of gold. But beware, do not look behind the curtain lest it falls apart like Dorothy did to the good Wizard! Just listen and enjoy and the imaginary may yet become concrete for you.
 
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telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
The key information jguss gave me was Lee got his first bags of briar at a government agency auction in 1946.
As a teacher, I would often give my students an opening line. Using that line, the students would then create a fictional story with both plot, characters, theme, etc.

Okay, okay, I'll give you an "A" for imagination, LOL.

Hell, I'll make it an A+ for persistence.

I'm not sure what to do with the changes to the story that have occurred over time.

Lee has gone from offering only the finest briar inspected and graded by a master grader to taking cheap briar and making money akin in somewhat the same manner a carni does with their games.

I'm sure there is a genre for that type of story telling.

That's right, "Hillbilly Tall Tales" LOL.

I always enjoy them for what they are. But you are going to need a jury drawn from Reeds Springs to find the verdict in your favor.
 

TheWhale13

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 12, 2021
803
3,414
Sweden
I'll say that you have made me curious about Lee pipes, and I would be willing to try one just because of your ruminations, which has inspired millions. But the ever changing story about Lee pipes isn't something that might be believable. The Lee is past and the story shouldn't be changing so much, with so little new information coming in. It is almost like a guilty man changing his story, about what, I don't know. All I've learnt from this is that Lee makes the sweetest smoking pipe in the world.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,613
13,481
Humansville Missouri
As a teacher, I would often give my students an opening line. Using that line, the students would then create a fictional story with both plot, characters, theme, etc.

Okay, okay, I'll give you an "A" for imagination, LOL.

Hell, I'll make it an A+ for persistence.

I'm not sure what to do with the changes to the story that have occurred over time.

Lee has gone from offering only the finest briar inspected and graded by a master grader to taking cheap briar and making money akin in somewhat the same manner a carni does with their games.

I'm sure there is a genre for that type of story telling.

That's right, "Hillbilly Tall Tales" LOL.

I always enjoy them for what they are. But you are going to need a jury drawn from Reeds Springs to find the verdict in your favor.
School teachers in public schools cannot use the Socratic method for 20-35 kids in one classroom.

In any class half the kids are below average and one will be slowest, and one quickest.

Humansville’s greatest storyteller is Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Alonzo Hamby, Humansville High 1956.

Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman Amazon.com: Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman: 9780195045468: Hamby, Alonzo L.: Books - https://a.co/d/3vk0kru

For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s: Alonzo L. Hamby: 9780684843407: Amazon.com: Books - https://a.co/d/buWpGL3

He called my Mama Miss Lois and she called him Lonnie.

He called my mother for advice and to visit from the time I can first remember when I was a child until she died in 2009.

Occasionally I call him, since.

Whenever my mother thought I was too wise, she’d bring me back down to earth by saying as smart as you are, you’re no Lonnie Hamby.

But geez, who is?

My mother was 15 on December 7, 1941 and not quite 17 in early April 1943 when she’d just graduated high school a year early at Wheatland, her boss lady at a restaurant in Galmey said Lois there’s an opening at the Royal School, and she knew that the prototype for the fictional character Tatum Mashburn in her mother’s weekly Ma and Pa series in The Index was president of the Royal School Board, that he’d be out plowing, and the woman who was the inspiration years later for Daisy Mae Clampett (except Donna Douglas was a cheap blonde) took her best pair of high heeled shoes and her best Glee Club dress and flew to the parking lot, to her $20 Model A Ford sitting there polished and spotless.

(Mama drove me the route several times, later on)

Tatum saw the Model A, when it stopped and he stopped his horses plowing.

Mama said she wanted a teaching job more than anything she’d ever wanted before in her life.

So she exited the Ford, walked over to the barbed wire fence, took off her shoes, climbed over the fence and walked barefooted across plowed ground to Tatum Mashburn.

She said he was utterly speechless.

She threw her chest out, stood up tall and said

I’m Lois Agee and my parents are Eric and Myrtle Agee, and I have graduated Wheatland High School and enrolled at Southwest Missouri State Teacher’s College and I’ll have my teaching certificate this fall.

I’ve come to you to apply for the teaching position open at Royal School.

She said Tatum looked up at her eyes, still speechless, not saying a word, mouth open.

So to set the hook, Mama stood up a little taller and said

And I’m in perfect health!

At that Tatum Mashburn said Little Lady, I’m only the President of the Board but I’ll call the other board members right now.

You have the job.

After that one, every superintendent of every school came to my mother, and begged her to come teach at their school, until she retired in 1982.

But one day in 1949 a young Lonnie Hamby was being taught about the heroic sacrifice of Collin Kelly Jr. by Miss Lois at Humansville Junior High when he said to Mama:

Which Japanese battleship did Kelly’s B-17 sink off the Philippines?

She said Lonnie, would you care to give me a book report on it tomorrow?

That night she called Lonnie’s mother and said her son was a genius and should become a history professor at Columbia University in New York City.

He never got past Athens, Ohio.:)



A light cruiser is, a kind of battle ship, you know?

Here’s to Cawlen Kelly Two!

THERE’S A STAR SPANGLED BANNER WAVING SOMEWHERE

Sang by a pretty schooteacher


Colin Kelly died, that you can live free.
 
Last edited:

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
4,613
13,481
Humansville Missouri
I'll say that you have made me curious about Lee pipes, and I would be willing to try one just because of your ruminations, which has inspired millions. But the ever changing story about Lee pipes isn't something that might be believable. The Lee is past and the story shouldn't be changing so much, with so little new information coming in. It is almost like a guilty man changing his story, about what, I don't know. All I've learnt from this is that Lee makes the sweetest smoking pipe in the world.
A Lee is cheap compared with comparable age Kaywoodie pipes.

Both are excellent quality American factory pipes.

What this thread has done, is supply me the last piece of the puzzle.

Every pipe maker in America in 1946 was scraping the bottom of the briar barrel.

Many had substituted “mission briar” and carved pipes were being sold even by Kaywoodie.

90% of the returning soldiers smoked Camels, Luckies, and Chrsterfields, not pipes.

And back home the older men had taken up pipe smoking because cigarettes were rationed, so soldiers could buy six cent a pack cigarettes.

Lee’s first load of the best extant old briar stocks on earth didn’t last long.

What does surprise me is Lee could and did make at least one Three Star from a very raggedly looking piece of briar.

When you see a 5 point star gold inlaid Lee, that’s post 1950. Lee raised his prices.

I’d bet he quit using so much stain to hide flaws, too.
 

telescopes

Pipe Dreamer and Star Gazer
School teachers in public schools cannot use the Socratic method for 20-35 kids in one classroom.

In any class half the kids are below average and one will be slowest, and one quickest.

Humansville’s greatest storyteller is Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Alonzo Hamby, Humansville High 1956.

Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman Amazon.com: Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman: 9780195045468: Hamby, Alonzo L.: Books - https://a.co/d/3vk0kru

For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s For the Survival of Democracy: Franklin Roosevelt and the World Crisis of the 1930s: Alonzo L. Hamby: 9780684843407: Amazon.com: Books - https://a.co/d/buWpGL3

He called my Mama Miss Lois and she called him Lonnie.

He called my mother for advice and to visit from the time I can first remember when I was a child until she died in 2009.

Occasionally I call him, since.

Whenever my mother thought I was too wise, she’d bring me back down to earth by saying as smart as you are, you’re no Lonnie Hamby.

But geez, who is?

My mother was 15 on December 7, 1941 and not quite 17 in early April 1943 when she’d just graduated high school a year early at Wheatland, her boss lady at a restaurant in Galmey said Lois there’s an opening at the Royal School, and she knew that the prototype for the fictional character Tatum Mashburn in her mother’s weekly Ma and Pa series in The Index was president of the Royal School Board, that he’d be out plowing, and the woman who was the inspiration years later for Daisy Mae Clampett (except Donna Douglas was a cheap blonde) took her best pair of high heeled shoes and her best Glee Club dress and flew to the parking lot, to her $20 Model A Ford sitting there polished and spotless.

(Mama drove me the route several times, later on)

Tatum saw the Model A, when it stopped and he stopped his horses plowing.

Mama said she wanted a teaching job more than anything she’d ever wanted before in her life.

So she exited the Ford, walked over to the barbed wire fence, took off her shoes, climbed over the fence and walked barefooted across plowed ground to Tatum Mashburn.

She said he was utterly speechless.

She threw her chest out, stood up tall and said

I’m Lois Agee and my parents are Eric and Myrtle Agee, and I have graduated Wheatland High School and enrolled at Southwest Missouri State Teacher’s College and I’ll have my teaching certificate this fall.

I’ve come to you to apply for the teaching position open at Royal School.

She said Tatum looked up at her eyes, still speechless, not saying a word, mouth open.

So to set the hook, Mama stood up a little taller and said

And I’m in perfect health!

At that Tatum Mashburn said Little Lady, I’m only the President of the Board but I’ll call the other board members right now.

You have the job.

After that one, every superintendent of every school came to my mother, and begged her to come teach at their school, until she retired in 1982.

But one day in 1949 a young Lonnie Hamby was being taught about the heroic sacrifice of Collin Kelly Jr. by Miss Lois at Humansville Junior High when he said to Mama:

Which Japanese battleship did Kelly’s B-17 sink off the Philippines?

She said Lonnie, would you care to give me a book report on it tomorrow?

That night she called Lonnie’s mother and said her son was a genius and should become a history professor at Columbia University in New York City.

He never got past Athens, Ohio.:)



A light cruiser is, a kind of battle ship, you know?

Here’s to Cawlen Kelly Two!

THERE’S A STAR SPANGLED BANNER WAVING SOMEWHERE

Sang by a pretty schooteacher


Colin Kelly died, that you can live free.
Not true Mr Lee. I ended my lessons with the Socratic method having been deployed on many if not most occasions. What you do not know, but what I was famous for, was that my lessons often ended with a standing ovation from my students. This included 4th graders as well as grad students. I learned from my study of comics that anything worth discussing was worth a standing ovation if done well. And so it was that every lesson I taught was put together as if I was on stage at a night club. In the Palm Springs school district, to my knowledge, I was the only teacher allowed to write their own evaluations. People came from far and wide to watch them. My last lesson that was evaluated was done by my supervisor. I asked that he do it so I could prove a point. It was on apostrophes. Why? Because i wanted to record for posterity what a perfect lesson on such a mundane point of information could look look like. Not only did I receive a standing ovation, the mostly Hispanic group of students turned to him spontaneously and sang to him Sweet Caroline. This Hispanic supervisor, who was gay, was left speechless. As a caveat to the lesson, I demanded he pick the objective and provide me no time to prepare.

i approached teaching as a performance art. The classroom was my stage. I taught for the adulation of spontaneous applause and my students remembered even the most trival of lessons.

Why any performer would demand less is beyond my ability to understand.
 

TheWhale13

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 12, 2021
803
3,414
Sweden
Not true Mr Lee. I ended my lessons with the Socratic method having been deployed on many if not most occasions. What you do not know, but what I was famous for, was that my lessons often ended with a standing ovation from my students. This included 4th graders as well as grad students. I learned from my study of comics that anything worth discussing was worth a standing ovation if done well. And so it was that every lesson I taught was put together as if I was on stage at a night club. In the Palm Springs school district, to my knowledge, I was the only teacher allowed to write their own evaluations. People came from far and wide to watch them. My last lesson that was evaluated was done by my supervisor. I asked that he do it so I could prove a point. It was on apostrophes. Why? Because i wanted to record for posterity what a perfect lesson on such a mundane point of information could look look like. Not only did I receive a standing ovation, the mostly Hispanic group of students turned to him spontaneously and sang to him Sweet Caroline. This Hispanic supervisor, who was gay, was left speechless. As a caveat to the lesson, I demanded he pick the objective and provide me no time to prepare.

i approached teaching as a performance art. The classroom was my stage. I taught for the adulation of spontaneous applause and my students remembered even the most trival of lessons.

Why any performer would demand less is beyond my ability to understand.
A story fit for Briar Lee
 
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