Studying Squires
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11 August 2011

Studying Squires
 Newsletter Introduction for August 11, 2011

If you can recall my introduction a few weeks ago, you may remember the shenanigans Eric and I got into when he moved into my office. I always liked to boast that I had the largest office in the building, and still do. Eric just happens to be sitting in here too. I'm somewhat like that crazy guy from the movie Braveheart that refers to Ireland as "his" island. "It's MY island," he said. "It's MY office," I say. I would not compare my observations of our resident Amish-Johnny Cash-meets-Turkish-from-"Snatch"-doppelganger to Jane Goodall studying chimpanzees, but it may be more similar that you would believe. He does a fantastic job writing descriptions; the best here, I think, so studying his habits might help the rest of us writers. I also believe Eric should do commercials for beef because, from what I've observed, he eats nothing else. Each day he goes into the kitchen and cooks a slab of seasoned, well-tenderized beef in a cast iron skillet for lunch. I asked him if he does this at home "Not always. Sometimes I eat sushi". Interesting. I am beginning to understand more about this quiet creature. One could not simply look at Eric and know what the weather was like. Every day he wears black pants, a V-neck T or button-up shirt, a black jacket, and boots. This man believes seasons, and dressing for them, is for the weak.

It has been nice talking with Eric daily, though. Prior to his moving into my office, every question he was confronted with received an answer that could fit inside a fortune cookie. Brief and to the point. The ability to bounce description ideas back and forth has proven great, and we each find quality aspects to focus on with each pipe. So many people come in here looking for pipes, unpacking pipes, or generally having a question, and in that regard Eric has done a splendid job being a bouncer/interrogator. "What are you doing here? Who told you, you could come in? Susan...leave at once". Many of us have found out that he does indeed have a humorous side because of all of this, and some employees find it irresistible not to poke him with a stick just to get a reaction.  While him and I used to independently listen to bizarre music for our own amusement (and some eye-rolling from others), our office is rarely playing anything at all. Once I had to walk out because he was listening to some sort of dark, feedback, [horrible] music his friend made. I countered this (accidentally) with a really bad CD that sounded like a one-armed bagpiper falling down the stairs. Perhaps one of these days I may even find out what the "N" stands for in Eric N. Squires, but currently I should just continue quiet observations as not to disturb him too much. So far, this has been a lot of fun, and strangely educational. (Did you know that the color magenta, so often today used on the exteriors of gentlemen's clubs, was named after a bloody 19th century battlefield near Milan?)

This evening has some especially nice offerings for fans of the pipe. J.Alan, Larryson, Grechukhin, and Becker have wonderful offerings in limited numbers, and the variety continues with other artisans and companies from around the globe.


Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector

Posted by adam at 4:12 PM | Link | 1 comment

Re: Studying Squires
Adam, I can vouch that the magenta story is in fact correct. The battle was fought on June 4, 1859, near the village of Magenta in Lombardy, Italy, near Milan. Magenta became the name of a dye the color of freshly drawn (some even specify arterial) blood. Contemporary accounts indicate that the soil of the battleground could not be farmed for some years because so much blood had soaked into it. The coalition that won the battle was overwhelmingly French, so the victory is considered French; Patrice Maurice de MacMahon was made the first Duke of Magenta for his role in the battle, and there is a boulevard in Paris named Magenta as well.

Posted by jamesphillips on August 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM

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