This past weekend was the 28th annual CORPS pipe show in historic Richmond, Virginia. Unlike previous shows, the event was held in the very spacious Greater Richmond Convention Center instead of a centralized hotel, but this was necessary due to the anti-tobacco laws creeping through the country in recent years. Because the club has a rich history of pipe shows, finding a venue that would allow everyone to puff while they browsed, bought, and caught up with each other was a priority. Despite the location and the conflict some people have in regards to the West Coast pipe show being held in Las Vegas November 3-4, the show was still a success overall. It was great to see so many familiar faces, customers, collectors, retailers, and artisans alike, making rounds at the show. Pipe shows are always a lot of fun for anyone interested in pipes and tobaccos, and we want to thank the folks for keeping this tradition alive and thriving.
My wife and I were limited in time during the weekend, so we decided to begin the six-hour drive before even the earliest birds were contemplating catching the worm. Whenever the two of us go to pipe shows, we like to mix business with pleasure and adventure, taking in various meals, sights, and different areas of the country. It was previously determined that we would only attend the show on Saturday (though I hear Sunday was even better than Saturday), and used our downtime to venture an hour east to visit historic Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Those of you who have read some of my newsletters and blogs in the past know that the history of the 18th century is something I thoroughly enjoy, so what better chance to see this historic area again then after a pipe show?
We arrived on Saturday evening at the hotel and decided to explore some new places to shop and dine. A bottle of wine and two delicious entrees later, we were not only enjoying a brief vacation, but were pleasantly surprised that cooler, proper autumn weather had decided to roll in. Ignoring the spitting rain the next morning, we enjoyed a day full of sightseeing. The museum, shops, and buildings showcasing various blacksmiths, shoemakers, tailors, and others seemed perfect for a cool and overcast day. As usual, I'm always happy to see pipes, and did see tavern pipes and small clays in the museum as well as various shops. There were even a few folks dressed up as soldiers puffing around a campfire. Possibly due to all of the campfire smoke and historical atmosphere (not to mention a lot of horse "leavings" on the streets), I never heard anyone complaining about the smoking. While strolling with my clay, fragrant Virginia leaf keeping my soul as warm as the pipe in my hand, I only got a funny look from one family. It was a mother, father, and young daughter. The little girl pointed at me and wondered what I was doing. Deciding to make the best of the moment and area, I kindly told her I was simply a reenactor who hadn't purchased any historical clothing yet. Her parents smiled and my wife and I continued our afternoon stroll.
So, in keeping with the pipe smoking tradition that has taken root in this country since the first tobacco plants were dried and lit by natives, as well as the later trade with European countries, we bring you fresh briars from Brad Pohlmann, Askwith, Ser Jacopo, Kevin Arthur, and quite a few other brands. We hope you can always find the time to relax with a pipe in your chosen surroundings.
Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector
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