I spent the morning selecting and cleaning the pipes I'll take to Chicago. Deciding which pipes to take is always a soul searching activity. They have to be great smokers for the hours of smoking to come and they have to represent one's "collection" to some degree. This matter of representation isn't just a vanity. Hours are spent talking pipes and it helps to have a piece of hard evidence to back you up when you say "X makes some great pipes!". You can immediately pull out a pipe by X and prove you speak the truth ... not that I've ever had anyone call me a liar at the pipe show - but just in case.
After a few hours of gunky pipe cleaners and some buffing, my chosen few are ready for the trip. -T
Starting at 88 days I've had a running countdown to the Chicago Pipe Show. 80 days have been crossed off. Mark, Chuck and I leave a week from tomorrow and head for the big event. Giddy is not a very manly description, but I'm afraid it applies to all of us. Pipes, tobacco, exotic sights and especially friends long unseen are all waiting there for us. It's such a pleasure catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. The next week will be one of those weird occasions when time moves incredibly fast and amazingly slow at once. If you are there, look for 3 giddy (but oh so manly) guys and say hello. -T
pictured above- The Smoking Tent where all the socializing happens!
I am starting to wonder why I ask my pipe maker friends for these Chicago previews. It's not like I need anything to get me revved up and excited about the show. I suppose it's that old lingering love of the Sears Christmas WishBook. I wore that thing out every year. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Martin Vollmer & Anders Nilsson make fantastic pipes. They smoke as good as they look. -T
It's fun getting to see photos of great pipes that will be in Chicago, but I'm starting to feel like a masochist. I can't possibly buy all the pipes I want. I need to remember what Wolfgang told me a couple of years ago- "Buy one pipe. Enjoy it. Get to know it. Appreciate it. Later, when you can, buy another." Yes, calm down. Enjoy the ride. -T
My good friend Wolfgang Becker has been kind enough to send some photos of pipes he will be bringing to the Chicago Pipe Show (at the end of this month!) and as always, I'm thrilled to see them and I thought others would be too. So here's a few. -T