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May 9, 2021
1,676
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55
Geoje Island South Korea
My Grandad got me into this pipe smoking malarkey and back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s there were loads of old boys, strutting their pipe smoking stuff, up and down the highways and by-ways of Merry Old England.

The air back then was concoction, thick and ripe with the heady scent of cherry aromatics, Clan, Condor and diesel fumes; as I recall it, from the vantage point of my pram, two feet from the pavement, always looking upwards.

Nothing can pollute the air quite like a double decker bus from the 1980’s, aimed directly at a toddler’s face, as he rides his pram and who was always looking upwards.

By ‘98 I was legally allowed into the pubs and taverns of Merry Old England and, as I recall, in one hostelry in particular, local to this observer, the gentlemen in the “Old Phart’s Corner” would be playing crib or dominoes, reading a paper or eagerly looking through seed catalogues, in the hope of finding that one onion varietal that would win the parish vegetable growers prize that summer and all of them, to a man, smoked pipes.

Falcons were the workhorse of the day, the pub pipe of choice: virtually indestructible they are; you can drop them, put them in your pocket and stand up without any fear of the stem snapping or the bowl cracking, leaving a man in a pipe less state of being - a terrible spot to find yourself in.

There were always 4-8 “t’owd” lads, gathered round the dark brown table; the (from modern eyes) over sized tv perched on a shelf above them was only allowed to be turned on for the 6 Nations, the World Cup or war and woe betide anyone (especially anyone as lowly as the pub landlord) who wanted to put it on for any other reason - these old lads turned into a cabal of hissing cobras if anyone even thought about turning it on - “What’s next? You’ll be serving food and then this place won’t be a pub, it’ll be a bloody restaurant!”.

And so the remote control sat, motionless, alongside an empty tv, above the aged Praetorian Guard that sat below, looking at “something for Barbara for her birthday”.

Needless to say, their wives were only names, they were never seen. If you asked where they were you usually got a “No, May will be at the W.I tonight, they’re having a lecture on the intricacies of the the Irish linen trade of the 1880’s - gripping stuff I’m sure.”

During their heated arguments about where best to fish for barbel or if Randy Lad really would win the 4.13 at Kempton they used their pipes like batons; swirling them through the air like a conductor using his baton to control the raging orchestra in front of him, swirling and twirling, conducting the conversation, allowing one or other to talk depending on their conversational pedigree and previous form.

Then begins the prodding and the poking of the pipe stem at the piece of literature causing most offence on that particular day.

“The man must be mad!” Deploys a tactical stem poke at the paper.

“Who’s mad Gerry?”

“That bloody (………….. - insert name of offending individual), we’ll be in the knackers yard by Christmas!” Before the page is turned in disgust; the article best forgotten, move on, next piece nonsense?

To a man, they all seemed to wear thicken woolen cardigans, with brown leather buttons that looked like hot cross buns. The bench creaking and groaning as they leaned back to fish a tamper, a box of matches or an Extra Strong Mint from the cardigan pocket. Ease of access on those cardigans but, word of warning - don’t bend down to get something, otherwise everything falls out of those bloody pockets; it’s a design flaw y’know, might have to get the wife to see them up a bit to reduce the opening.

They had a rule: no one takes the third light off the match; even though none of them had come up against any German snipers in the first war, most of them had come up against the German sniper in the second war and “he was a bugger; he’d never stay still long enough for us to pop him off…and then before you know it, the bugger had popped up somewhere else, taking pot shots from a belfry.” All the while, blue smoke was curling up to the ceiling.

One old lad, Raymond by name, used to tell me that he had a German sniper throughout the war and he was called Helmut. In France it was Helmut taking pot shots as he ran up the beach, and then, on into Germany, Helmut went along too, still taking pot shots at them from behind hedges and barns; Ray used to say that it made it seem more friendly, if you knew the chap who was shooting at you.

The old boys lit up in rotation, almost like dehydrated synchronised swimmers: firstly there was some fiddling with the pipe, scraping it out, with a match usually, knocking it on the rim of the ashtray, without once removing their gaze from the newspaper or the game at hand.

Maybe there would be a rub of a furrowed brow as the empty pipe was placed between dentures and gently blown down, to check the draw was open. A shake of the head, a turn of the page or the placement of a card on the table.

The pouch would be disturbed from its slumber, an occasional tut as the remains of the pouch were picked over. The pipe was loaded, the pouch returned to its natural state of sleep. A match was struck and introduced to it’s victim. Blue smoke rose to the rafters.

Whilst all this was going on, the next chap would be at the scraping his bowl stage and the chap next to him would be at the knocking out stage and, before long, all would be smoking like a little circle of chimneys.

Those lads have all gone now, it’s left to others to moan about the price of beer, “that bloody idiot” and the fact that you can smell the khazis now that they’ve banned smoking in the pub and I think that’s possibly why you never see us in the wild these days - the smoking ban?

It was, at one point, a God given right, that all men on the British Isles were allowed to sup a pint and smoke a pipe at their own pace, in the company of comradesin a houseopen to the public. Ideally next to a roaring log fire on dark winters evenings, whilst putting the world to rights and discussing the merits of marrow fat peas as an accompaniment to meat ‘n tater pie.

Pipes aren’t quick, they are slow, they plod along, they need time and no one has got anytime anymore so we carve out little moments of calm for ourselves, in solitude: in our sheds, our garages, our green houses but rarely in the company of comrades as we no longer set the world to rights.

It’s sad really.

Anyway, that’s my take on it on a Saturday morning.

happy pipes. ✌?
Franco. What an excellent post! The darn anti-smokers and the anti-this-that the other. It harms the children, etc....
Erm, 'scuse me, kids have no business in bars!
Again.
Great post!
 

trouttimes

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
5,250
21,687
Lake Martin, AL
Here in the high country of Colorado, I see 2 or 3 other pipe smokers a year driving their cars. I have gotten 2 or 3 young (30’s) boys working for me, into the hobby. I smoke everywhere I go and the only comment I ever get is how good it smells and how it reminds them of someone in their past. Never been asked to stop.
Side note, Aspen’s last place to smoke and get a drink, is closing in the fall.
 

Derby

Can't Leave
Dec 29, 2020
453
692
My Grandad got me into this pipe smoking malarkey and back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s there were loads of old boys, strutting their pipe smoking stuff, up and down the highways and by-ways of Merry Old England.

The air back then was concoction, thick and ripe with the heady scent of cherry aromatics, Clan, Condor and diesel fumes; as I recall it, from the vantage point of my pram, two feet from the pavement, always looking upwards.

Nothing can pollute the air quite like a double decker bus from the 1980’s, aimed directly at a toddler’s face, as he rides his pram and who was always looking upwards.

By ‘98 I was legally allowed into the pubs and taverns of Merry Old England and, as I recall, in one hostelry in particular, local to this observer, the gentlemen in the “Old Phart’s Corner” would be playing crib or dominoes, reading a paper or eagerly looking through seed catalogues, in the hope of finding that one onion varietal that would win the parish vegetable growers prize that summer and all of them, to a man, smoked pipes.

Falcons were the workhorse of the day, the pub pipe of choice: virtually indestructible they are; you can drop them, put them in your pocket and stand up without any fear of the stem snapping or the bowl cracking, leaving a man in a pipe less state of being - a terrible spot to find yourself in.

There were always 4-8 “t’owd” lads, gathered round the dark brown table; the (from modern eyes) over sized tv perched on a shelf above them was only allowed to be turned on for the 6 Nations, the World Cup or war and woe betide anyone (especially anyone as lowly as the pub landlord) who wanted to put it on for any other reason - these old lads turned into a cabal of hissing cobras if anyone even thought about turning it on - “What’s next? You’ll be serving food and then this place won’t be a pub, it’ll be a bloody restaurant!”.

And so the remote control sat, motionless, alongside an empty tv, above the aged Praetorian Guard that sat below, looking at “something for Barbara for her birthday”.

Needless to say, their wives were only names, they were never seen. If you asked where they were you usually got a “No, May will be at the W.I tonight, they’re having a lecture on the intricacies of the the Irish linen trade of the 1880’s - gripping stuff I’m sure.”

During their heated arguments about where best to fish for barbel or if Randy Lad really would win the 4.13 at Kempton they used their pipes like batons; swirling them through the air like a conductor using his baton to control the raging orchestra in front of him, swirling and twirling, conducting the conversation, allowing one or other to talk depending on their conversational pedigree and previous form.

Then begins the prodding and the poking of the pipe stem at the piece of literature causing most offence on that particular day.

“The man must be mad!” Deploys a tactical stem poke at the paper.

“Who’s mad Gerry?”

“That bloody (………….. - insert name of offending individual), we’ll be in the knackers yard by Christmas!” Before the page is turned in disgust; the article best forgotten, move on, next piece nonsense?

To a man, they all seemed to wear thicken woolen cardigans, with brown leather buttons that looked like hot cross buns. The bench creaking and groaning as they leaned back to fish a tamper, a box of matches or an Extra Strong Mint from the cardigan pocket. Ease of access on those cardigans but, word of warning - don’t bend down to get something, otherwise everything falls out of those bloody pockets; it’s a design flaw y’know, might have to get the wife to see them up a bit to reduce the opening.

They had a rule: no one takes the third light off the match; even though none of them had come up against any German snipers in the first war, most of them had come up against the German sniper in the second war and “he was a bugger; he’d never stay still long enough for us to pop him off…and then before you know it, the bugger had popped up somewhere else, taking pot shots from a belfry.” All the while, blue smoke was curling up to the ceiling.

One old lad, Raymond by name, used to tell me that he had a German sniper throughout the war and he was called Helmut. In France it was Helmut taking pot shots as he ran up the beach, and then, on into Germany, Helmut went along too, still taking pot shots at them from behind hedges and barns; Ray used to say that it made it seem more friendly, if you knew the chap who was shooting at you.

The old boys lit up in rotation, almost like dehydrated synchronised swimmers: firstly there was some fiddling with the pipe, scraping it out, with a match usually, knocking it on the rim of the ashtray, without once removing their gaze from the newspaper or the game at hand.

Maybe there would be a rub of a furrowed brow as the empty pipe was placed between dentures and gently blown down, to check the draw was open. A shake of the head, a turn of the page or the placement of a card on the table.

The pouch would be disturbed from its slumber, an occasional tut as the remains of the pouch were picked over. The pipe was loaded, the pouch returned to its natural state of sleep. A match was struck and introduced to it’s victim. Blue smoke rose to the rafters.

Whilst all this was going on, the next chap would be at the scraping his bowl stage and the chap next to him would be at the knocking out stage and, before long, all would be smoking like a little circle of chimneys.

Those lads have all gone now, it’s left to others to moan about the price of beer, “that bloody idiot” and the fact that you can smell the khazis now that they’ve banned smoking in the pub and I think that’s possibly why you never see us in the wild these days - the smoking ban?

It was, at one point, a God given right, that all men on the British Isles were allowed to sup a pint and smoke a pipe at their own pace, in the company of comradesin a houseopen to the public. Ideally next to a roaring log fire on dark winters evenings, whilst putting the world to rights and discussing the merits of marrow fat peas as an accompaniment to meat ‘n tater pie.

Pipes aren’t quick, they are slow, they plod along, they need time and no one has got anytime anymore so we carve out little moments of calm for ourselves, in solitude: in our sheds, our garages, our green houses but rarely in the company of comrades as we no longer set the world to rights.

It’s sad really.

Anyway, that’s my take on it on a Saturday morning.

happy pipes. ✌?
Well written. I enjoyed readin it.?
 

edger

Lifer
Dec 9, 2016
2,995
22,400
74
Mayer AZ
Fascinating thread. I've been reading parts of this forum off and on for a few years, and wondered how so many of you had pipe smoking pals. Turns out many of you are like me -- you smoke alone. I have a small room adjacent to my atelier in the basement -- I can smoke there without bothering the spousal unit, who doesn't appreciate pipe smoke, knuckle-dragger that she is.
Anyway I haven't seen a pipe smoker in public for years. I might be one of ten pipe smokers here in Maine. Just a guess, who the hell knows. As to smoking outdoors, I never do it because I like the smoke to envelope me, and outdoors there is almost always some kind of slight breeze. Also it is too much trouble to schlep the various accoutrements -- ash tray, tamper, fire, cleaners, tobacco, sherry, out to the deck. I can't even leave the stuff on the screen porch, cuz for the entire month of June here everything gets covered in yellow pollen. Also the patio furniture is just not as comfortable as my easy chair. So the hell with it I just smoke in my cave.
When I was in college in the late 60s I knew several guys who smoked a pipe. That's when I picked it up---Sir Walter Raleigh, Sail, Middletons Cherry blend......the usual suspects. A friend of mine recently told me that pipe smoking was a thing at the time, and he went to college 1500 miles away. Maybe so but anyway those days are long gone.
I don't know one single pipe smoker now, and there are zero tobacconists in Maine now, to my knowledge, not counting the usual drugstore rubbish. I constructed an order of pipe tobacco at SP.com and got a message saying they can't ship to Maine. [ because of some goddamned new law. ]
I have a somewhat high end pipe collection now, and if I kick off before the spousal unit, wouldn't surprise me if she forgot what I told her to do with them. I mean who the hell smokes a pipe now, anyway ? I DO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. flags wave, fanfares, salutes, and like that.......
Sad! Maine used to be peopled with seafaring folk, and they loved their pipes, but they are long gone and the carpet baggers from NY hate tobacco.
Hang in there!!
 

edger

Lifer
Dec 9, 2016
2,995
22,400
74
Mayer AZ
My Grandad got me into this pipe smoking malarkey and back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s there were loads of old boys, strutting their pipe smoking stuff, up and down the highways and by-ways of Merry Old England.

The air back then was concoction, thick and ripe with the heady scent of cherry aromatics, Clan, Condor and diesel fumes; as I recall it, from the vantage point of my pram, two feet from the pavement, always looking upwards.

Nothing can pollute the air quite like a double decker bus from the 1980’s, aimed directly at a toddler’s face, as he rides his pram and who was always looking upwards.

By ‘98 I was legally allowed into the pubs and taverns of Merry Old England and, as I recall, in one hostelry in particular, local to this observer, the gentlemen in the “Old Phart’s Corner” would be playing crib or dominoes, reading a paper or eagerly looking through seed catalogues, in the hope of finding that one onion varietal that would win the parish vegetable growers prize that summer and all of them, to a man, smoked pipes.

Falcons were the workhorse of the day, the pub pipe of choice: virtually indestructible they are; you can drop them, put them in your pocket and stand up without any fear of the stem snapping or the bowl cracking, leaving a man in a pipe less state of being - a terrible spot to find yourself in.

There were always 4-8 “t’owd” lads, gathered round the dark brown table; the (from modern eyes) over sized tv perched on a shelf above them was only allowed to be turned on for the 6 Nations, the World Cup or war and woe betide anyone (especially anyone as lowly as the pub landlord) who wanted to put it on for any other reason - these old lads turned into a cabal of hissing cobras if anyone even thought about turning it on - “What’s next? You’ll be serving food and then this place won’t be a pub, it’ll be a bloody restaurant!”.

And so the remote control sat, motionless, alongside an empty tv, above the aged Praetorian Guard that sat below, looking at “something for Barbara for her birthday”.

Needless to say, their wives were only names, they were never seen. If you asked where they were you usually got a “No, May will be at the W.I tonight, they’re having a lecture on the intricacies of the the Irish linen trade of the 1880’s - gripping stuff I’m sure.”

During their heated arguments about where best to fish for barbel or if Randy Lad really would win the 4.13 at Kempton they used their pipes like batons; swirling them through the air like a conductor using his baton to control the raging orchestra in front of him, swirling and twirling, conducting the conversation, allowing one or other to talk depending on their conversational pedigree and previous form.

Then begins the prodding and the poking of the pipe stem at the piece of literature causing most offence on that particular day.

“The man must be mad!” Deploys a tactical stem poke at the paper.

“Who’s mad Gerry?”

“That bloody (………….. - insert name of offending individual), we’ll be in the knackers yard by Christmas!” Before the page is turned in disgust; the article best forgotten, move on, next piece nonsense?

To a man, they all seemed to wear thicken woolen cardigans, with brown leather buttons that looked like hot cross buns. The bench creaking and groaning as they leaned back to fish a tamper, a box of matches or an Extra Strong Mint from the cardigan pocket. Ease of access on those cardigans but, word of warning - don’t bend down to get something, otherwise everything falls out of those bloody pockets; it’s a design flaw y’know, might have to get the wife to see them up a bit to reduce the opening.

They had a rule: no one takes the third light off the match; even though none of them had come up against any German snipers in the first war, most of them had come up against the German sniper in the second war and “he was a bugger; he’d never stay still long enough for us to pop him off…and then before you know it, the bugger had popped up somewhere else, taking pot shots from a belfry.” All the while, blue smoke was curling up to the ceiling.

One old lad, Raymond by name, used to tell me that he had a German sniper throughout the war and he was called Helmut. In France it was Helmut taking pot shots as he ran up the beach, and then, on into Germany, Helmut went along too, still taking pot shots at them from behind hedges and barns; Ray used to say that it made it seem more friendly, if you knew the chap who was shooting at you.

The old boys lit up in rotation, almost like dehydrated synchronised swimmers: firstly there was some fiddling with the pipe, scraping it out, with a match usually, knocking it on the rim of the ashtray, without once removing their gaze from the newspaper or the game at hand.

Maybe there would be a rub of a furrowed brow as the empty pipe was placed between dentures and gently blown down, to check the draw was open. A shake of the head, a turn of the page or the placement of a card on the table.

The pouch would be disturbed from its slumber, an occasional tut as the remains of the pouch were picked over. The pipe was loaded, the pouch returned to its natural state of sleep. A match was struck and introduced to it’s victim. Blue smoke rose to the rafters.

Whilst all this was going on, the next chap would be at the scraping his bowl stage and the chap next to him would be at the knocking out stage and, before long, all would be smoking like a little circle of chimneys.

Those lads have all gone now, it’s left to others to moan about the price of beer, “that bloody idiot” and the fact that you can smell the khazis now that they’ve banned smoking in the pub and I think that’s possibly why you never see us in the wild these days - the smoking ban?

It was, at one point, a God given right, that all men on the British Isles were allowed to sup a pint and smoke a pipe at their own pace, in the company of comradesin a houseopen to the public. Ideally next to a roaring log fire on dark winters evenings, whilst putting the world to rights and discussing the merits of marrow fat peas as an accompaniment to meat ‘n tater pie.

Pipes aren’t quick, they are slow, they plod along, they need time and no one has got anytime anymore so we carve out little moments of calm for ourselves, in solitude: in our sheds, our garages, our green houses but rarely in the company of comrades as we no longer set the world to rights.

It’s sad really.

Anyway, that’s my take on it on a Saturday morning.

happy pipes. ✌?
Thanks. Great writing. Great observations. Makes me misty.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Carol

rodo

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 1, 2014
157
259
Central Arkansas
I'm going to wade in here because I have an experience that is surprisingly convivial. There is a pipe and tobacco shop in Little Rock (conveniently named, The Pipe and Tobacco Shop) and while I've known about it for years, it is just far enough away from where I live to make it tough to head down on a Saturday for the legendary, Table of Wisdom. Finally did so a couple of months back and wow, about eight gents, sitting, smoking, talking about smoking, talking about whatever, and being as welcoming and friendly as any pipe smoker could wish for. I was talked to, instructed, directed (to the coffee and the various tobaccos the shop sold) and it was all I'd hoped. It is unusual in that the shop, I'm guessing, is grandfathered in for smoking indoors. When next you are in southern climes and find yourself wondering, "what IS there to do in Little Rock (besides visit the submarine in the river)?" just stop in and enjoy.
 

Flatfish

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 20, 2022
634
1,582
West Wales
I made the above statement a little while ago now. So I thought I would report back with my grand total of pipe smokers spotted.

Zero. None. Dim byd.
SUCCESS

i found one. I knew they were out there.

A man with what looked like a bent Peterson.
Location - New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales.

I was waiting for my chips and he walked past. I didn't speak to him. I didn't photograph him.... I couldn't smell what he was smoking either.

But I found one. ?
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
41,210
60,459
I live in the U.S. tobacco belt, North Carolina. The state's economy was built on tobacco, and I got here in 1972 when the tobacco auction barn and the concomitant fall harvest festival were a standard part of life. Cigarette factories in Durham and Winston Salem, and other places, emitted a fragrance that hovered over the land. However, I have long noticed that, for a major tobacco growing region, the pipe smoking culture is surprisingly slight, maybe because cigarettes held such a predominant sway over the land.

Antique shops, yard and garage sale, the state flea market at the Fairgrounds, and other flea markets and thrift shops show almost no trace of pipes, pipe racks, or accessories. Surely there was a pipe smoking contingent at one time, but it has been effectively erased.

The tobacco industry has changed. The crop is mostly grown under contract to big buyers, and the auction barns have long since gone to other uses or ruin. We have a few independent pipe and cigar shops around the state, but you have to look for them -- not to be confused with cigar lounges which are more evident. But the pipe smokers seem to appear around campuses and tourist areas and a few other places. But for a tobacco state, pipe smoking amounts to a oddity.
 

Franco Pipenbeans

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 7, 2021
648
1,693
Yorkshire, England
SUCCESS

i found one. I knew they were out there.

A man with what looked like a bent Peterson.
Location - New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales.

I was waiting for my chips and he walked past. I didn't speak to him. I didn't photograph him.... I couldn't smell what he was smoking either.

But I found one. ?
To combat this woeful state of affairs I am now consciously walking, nay, striding, to and from the shops with a pipe in my mouth; maybe this will draw some more out into the open?

The above would make a good sketch for Monty Python - pipe smokers furtively appearing from behind bus stops, from hedges and the like to follow a mystical pipe smoker…it should probably be called ‘The Pied Piper’ as well. ??
 

Jack the ripper

Might Stick Around
May 19, 2020
95
113
53
Shelbyville, Indiana
To combat this woeful state of affairs I am now consciously walking, nay, striding, to and from the shops with a pipe in my mouth; maybe this will draw some more out into the open?

The above would make a good sketch for Monty Python - pipe smokers furtively appearing from behind bus stops, from hedges and the like to follow a mystical pipe smoker…it should probably be called ‘The Pied Piper’ as well. ??
?
 
  • Like
Reactions: edger

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,766
Hawaii
I sit on a bench outside my local barbers and smoke typically. There is a nice sun trap there. I also smoke a lot when i'm out walking with my camera.

I don’t know if anyone is interest but here is a little video of me out with my Savinelli taking pictures of a local forest.


Nice video, thanks for sharing! ?

Hope we see more! ❤️
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,766
Hawaii
To combat this woeful state of affairs I am now consciously walking, nay, striding, to and from the shops with a pipe in my mouth; maybe this will draw some more out into the open?

The above would make a good sketch for Monty Python - pipe smokers furtively appearing from behind bus stops, from hedges and the like to follow a mystical pipe smoker…it should probably be called ‘The Pied Piper’ as well. ??

E1C0EEF7-2DA1-4F90-B50F-05CC511A3688.png
 

huckleberry

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 12, 2017
231
623
Kentucky
My Grandad got me into this pipe smoking malarkey and back in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s there were loads of old boys, strutting their pipe smoking stuff, up and down the highways and by-ways of Merry Old England.

The air back then was concoction, thick and ripe with the heady scent of cherry aromatics, Clan, Condor and diesel fumes; as I recall it, from the vantage point of my pram, two feet from the pavement, always looking upwards.

etc...
It was a bit long, but I enjoyed the visuals that played through the Brain Housing Group.
I'd rate it 4 out of 5 Stars puffy
 
  • Like
Reactions: Carol

huckleberry

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 12, 2017
231
623
Kentucky
I live in the U.S. tobacco belt, North Carolina. The state's economy was built on tobacco, and I got here in 1972 when the tobacco auction barn and the concomitant fall harvest festival were a standard part of life. Cigarette factories in Durham and Winston Salem, and other places, emitted a fragrance that hovered over the land. However, I have long noticed that, for a major tobacco growing region, the pipe smoking culture is surprisingly slight, maybe because cigarettes held such a predominant sway over the land.

Antique shops, yard and garage sale, the state flea market at the Fairgrounds, and other flea markets and thrift shops show almost no trace of pipes, pipe racks, or accessories. Surely there was a pipe smoking contingent at one time, but it has been effectively erased.

The tobacco industry has changed. The crop is mostly grown under contract to big buyers, and the auction barns have long since gone to other uses or ruin. We have a few independent pipe and cigar shops around the state, but you have to look for them -- not to be confused with cigar lounges which are more evident. But the pipe smokers seem to appear around campuses and tourist areas and a few other places. But for a tobacco state, pipe smoking amounts to a oddity.
It is surprising how much your description of North Carolina could be used to also describe Kentucky....I do miss the smell of curing tobacco and the smells from the tobacco factories :sher:
 
Feb 12, 2022
3,445
47,781
31
North Georgia mountains.
I'm kind of shy to smoke in public. Seems like someone always comes up to me to comment on it, in a good way though.
Like Cosmic said - we have some pipe and cigar shops here, especially in the touristy mountain towns up the road. People are obviously buying up the cigars and tobacco, but you never see people smoking.
I really wish there was a pipe or cigar club for my part of the state. I've seen a few folks on different forums discussing it. I reckon people just enjoy smoking from the comfort of their own home. I get it
 

sardonicus87

Lifer
Jun 28, 2022
1,063
10,973
37
Lower Alabama
I actually noticed someone smoking a pipe for the first time ever in public around the same time I had started back up. I considered checking out this "free thought society" meeting that I had attended (and hated) 10 years ago, but I was bored and wanted to see if it had changed. I knew when and where it was, so I went.

There were 3 people in attendance. I sort of hung off to the side, close enough to overhear the conversation but not seeming like I was being nosey. They were sitting outside this coffee place and the guy was very conspicuous. I don't mean with his pipe smoking, I just mean in general, he had a very "look at me" kind of air about him. The fact he was smoking a pipe certainly added to that.

I personally prefer to be a grey man, flying under the radar. While I don't really care what people think of me, I also don't care for or want attention. Smoking a pipe in public would definitely draw attention, so I don't do it. I smoke cigarettes and although that's far less socially acceptable these days, it's also not so conspicuous, people have seen people smoking cigarettes before, they generally don't think or look twice (except the occasional jerk that himself is far from "healthy" that goes out of their way to waddle up to you when you've been careful to be sufficiently away from people to not bother them to ask you very condescendingly, while he struggles to catch his breath, if you know that "those things are bad for you", as though you've lived under a rock since the 1920's or are too illiterate to read the warnings on the package—queue eye roll).

Now I have to say with regard to smoking cigarettes in public, I always try to be polite about it. I don't stand near entranceways of businesses or on sidewalks, I don't do it on the benches or walking around in public parks, etc. I don't want to bother other people with my second hand smoke. Even with a pipe smelling far better than a cigarette, not everyone may like the smells and may be annoyed by them (hell, I never cared how "good" or "inoffensive" someone's vape smelled to other people, I couldn't stand the smell of those things myself).

So as with cigarettes, I would still stand well out of the way if I did smoke pipe publicly—or rather, "public adjacent"—just on the principle alone of not bothering others, never mind the not wanting attention.

But that's just me and how I feel about it.

Anyway, as others said before I stopped skimming the responses, there's probably more than you think that smokes pipe and simply prefer to keep it private for whatever reason.
 
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