Archive for the 'Pipe collecting' Category


Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday dear me-eee!
Happy Birthday to me!

Well, if I don’t do it, no one else will. As usual, I put this off to the last minute, but since there’s still 27 minutes left in my birthday I suppose it’s still valid. I admit that I still take a childish delight in celebrating my birthday, and today I had even better reason to celebrate than usual.

I’m 45 today, and it’s the best birthday I’ve had in years. I spent the day with my son, newly returned from Iraq. We went into Boston, had lunch at Smith & Wollensky’s (no relation, unfortunately) and walked around town in the brisk afternoon air. The sky was clear blue, the sun was bright; it was a glorious day. I found myself wondering what had become of the harum-scarum teenager I had so often quarreled with in the past. I was enjoying the company of this articulate, interesting young man. I felt like I was meeting him for the first time.

And then he pulled a fast one on me. He insisted we visit the pipe and cigar store where I work. He had taken it into his head that he was going to buy me a pipe for my birthday. I tried telling him that simply having home safe and sound and spending my birthday with him was enough. But you know the old saying about apples and trees, and he is at least as stubborn as I am.

And besides, I like getting new pipes.

We went into the shop, and he told me to pick one out. “Surprise me”, I said. So he did. Boy, did he surprise me. The pipe he picked out is pictured at the top of this post. It’s a Ferndown, a beautiful handmade pipe from England. I was totally blown away.

Life is full of irony. A year ago, he called me on my birthday from Indiana to tell me that he was shipping out to Iraq. Now, a year later, he arrived home the day before my birthday in time to spend it with me. Sometimes, once in a very great while, life plays fair.

I will cherish this pipe for the rest of my life, but I will cherish the memory of this day even more. My son is home.




Sasieni Pipes

In 1996, I published an article on Sasieni pipes in a now sadly defunct little magazine known as Pipe Friendly, and later republished it in slightly revised form in another magazine known as Pipes and Tobacco, which, I’m glad to say, is still going strong.

I’ve been a pipe smoker and collector for many years, with Sasieni pipes being my specialty. While I realize that and two bucks will get me a cup of coffee, I thought I may as well include the article on my own blog, if for no other reason than the article seems to be all over the Internet anyway.  You can read it here.

At some point in the future I intend to photograph my collection (about 100 or so pipes) and post them on another page.

This is only going to interest you if you are into pipe smoking and/or pipe collecting. If not, you’ll probably want to skip down to the very amusing post on suicide bombers.


taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood" ~ Dr. John H. Watson ************************
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