As you've all probably been able to detect through our various newsletters, Eric and I have many bizarre conversations within the confines of the pipe library. In the course of concocting descriptions for pipes, cigars, tobaccos, and accessories, along with writing various blogs, newsletters, and anything else that happens to come up, countless tangential thoughts abound, and we typically wind up bouncing them off each other. In the balance between our need to write about hundreds of pipes, tobaccos, and so forth in the course of any given week, and the inevitable tendency towards developing writer's block, this back-and-forth is what keeps the wheels from coming off. (Although Pam, having walked in on us in the midst of many a far-straying conversation, probably thinks the wheels have indeed thoroughly come off of both of us, regardless.) Often, Eric will hold up a pipe and ask what I think about it. Perhaps it is a strange color, has some sort of unusual accent, or is as beautiful as a lump of coal. We try to find something of beauty in every pipe, but beauty is, as they say, "in the eye of the beholder". What would we change about this pipe if we could go back in time and sit alongside the carver? Starting with this prospect, we naturally soon found ourselves discussing what we would introduce if we had the ability to go back in time for a few days to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the year 1776. Well, it was a natural progression for us, at least.
I've always been fond of clay pipes, so I wouldn't change anything about those. Perhaps I would have introduced different shapes or materials. After all, in 1776, not only could a man smoke a pipe pretty much anywhere he pleased, it was almost demanded of him. Indulging in wine, spirits, and hard cider were also part of everyday life. Eric not only thought it would be great to smoke and drink comfortably in various taverns, but was sure that teaching people how to make instant Jello would make him a popular, and more to the point, filthy-rich fellow. Personally, I would have introduced Philadelphia cheese steak sandwiches, which I proposed would become so popular with our founding fathers, that they would soon be seen as a national dish, portrayed grasped in the talons of an eagle, or maybe even on the flag itself. And of course, since we could smoke our pipes freely everywhere, the introduction of smoking jackets would also be favored. Just imagine Trumbull's or Christy's famous paintings, with our nation's forefathers all decked out like Hugh Hefner.
Yes, Eric holds up a pipe that is rather... unfortunate-looking, and we end up with a scenario five minutes later of us smoking clay blowfishes in a tavern that serves Philadelphia cheese steaks and Jello, and Washington and Hamilton exchanging ribald witticisms with Billiards clenched in their jaws and one hand in the pockets of their opulent smoking jackets. Perhaps another good idea to pitch would be the inclusion of tobacco in the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Enjoyment of Tobacco, and the pursuit of Happiness."
I think they would go for the slight change. Because after all, not only did Eric and I introduce good foods and some stylish clothing, but we also handed out Smokingpipes.com socks.
Turning back to the present, we have some great cigars from Carlos Torano and Vega Fina, along with nine brands of fresh pipes and twenty-four estates.
Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector