Monday, February 7, 2011

Pipe Extravaganza @ The Briary!

Mark and his son-in-law Joe and I met up in Tupelo on Saturday morning and headed for The Briary in Birmingham Al. We have come to think of this winter voyage as "the kick-off of the Chicago Season". Sort of the start of the feverish anticipation of Chicago Pipe Show. A mini version of that large scale insanity. And we weren't disappointed. The Briary parking lot was packed when we rolled in. The store itself was crammed full of people and the air was ... non existent. It was a wonderful smoke-filled temple of pipe and cigar enthusiasts. In other words - Heaven.
Danish pipe maker, Peder Jeppensen had one counter top filled w/ his Neerup line of pipes. It took a couple of minutes for Mar, Joe and I to squirm our way over. Peder had over 100 beautiful and affordable pipes laid out, just waiting to tempt us. On a counter to the right, Eric Stokkebye had the Villager/Stokkebye line of tobbaccos out with tins open, ready to sample. Moving around the store was difficult with so many folks jockeying for position, but everyone was friendly and in high spirits, so it was fun. The group included a wide variety of society. Old (like Mark and I and even older), young (college students), male, female (ok- just one), rich (guys talking stocks and bonds) and working class and all having a great time. Skip (the owner) and his cohorts John and Mark were looking a little worn after a couple of hours of very brisk sales. There was to be a pipe smoking contest, but we had to skip that and make the 4 hour trip back to north Mississippi and Memphis. We had a fantastic time. Now let the Chicago giddyness begin! -T

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