Pipe Smoking and Civility
At the beginning of last week, I went on a very quick trip to Germany. It was just four days, with two of those being entirely travel. I spent two nights with a German pipe collector-friend with whom I go back a number of years. We had a ton of fun looking at pipes, especially Danish high grades which is this man's particular interest, we ate extremely well, thanks to his wife's remarkable talents in the kitchen, and we pretty much spent every spare minute that I didn't have to go visit folks and do actual work talking about pipes, the hobby and life more generally.
As is wont to happen when you have two guys chatting for hours at a time, the subject turned to politics after awhile. We discussed American politics, German politics, broader European politics and a variety of other subjects. We also spoke at some length about the Chicago Pipe Show, an annual event that both of us have attended each year for many years. He observed how remarkably civil the event is. This is not something that had really occurred to me. Ensconced as I am in the pipe world, I often lack comparison for it. He asked "how many events, stretching across nearly a week, with fifteen-hundred-odd attendees go by without a serious incident of any kind... and not just once, but over and over, across more than a dozen years now?" He's right: aside from the one pipe that seems to be stolen each year--which is often recovered because it wasn't actually stolen--nothing untoward has ever happened at the Chicago show that I can think of. That, in itself, is remarkable. To make my friend's point, we pipe smokers seem to be an unusually civil bunch of folks.
Amidst the political discussions, where we agreed often and disagreed some, we did conclude that the world would be a nicer, less violent and generally more contemplative place if more people smoked pipes. We should start with the delegates to the UN and work our way from there.
And, with that in mind, perhaps in the furtherance of world peace, but certainly because new pipes are just fun, we have a large update for you tonight, including almost 230 pipes. You'll find exceptional entries from Hiroyuki Tokutomi and Peter Heeschen, joined by the likes of Lasse Skovgaard and Ardor. Don't miss the bumper batch of Savinellis, or the exceptional estates this Thursday!
Sykes Wilford: Founder/President