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05 September 2012

Broken Pipe: Craig Tarler
 The Passing of a Dear Friend

       -Posted by sykes-

It is with great sadness that I must report the passing of my dear friend Craig Tarler, Founder of Cornell & Diehl, yesterday evening, September 4th, 2012, following a lengthy illness, at 82.

Cornell & Diehl released the following a few minutes ago:

For the past twenty three years Craig and his partner and love of his life Patty devoted themselves to their family and his great passion, pipe tobacco and pipe smokers. Craig found pipe smokers to be among the most interesting of the people he met during his rich and full life and years of traveling the world. His genuine love of people and friendly, outgoing and larger than life personality was evident to all who came in contact with him, whether by phone or in person. On many occasions visitors would come by to visit at Cornell & Diehl and all had the same reaction, that they felt they already knew Craig and Patty from getting to know them on the phone and felt they were visiting with an old friend on their first face to face meeting.

While Craig will certainly be missed by all whose lives he touched he wouldn’t want us to be saddened by his leaving. He viewed life as a wonderful adventure, meant to be savored and experienced to the fullest and shared with others. Selfishness was a foreign concept to Craig; he gave fully and freely of himself to all he came in contact with and would wish to be remembered with a smile and a heart full of good will for others. Though our world here on earth is a bit darker, we should all be heartened by the knowledge Heaven is a bit brighter, lit by Craig’s rogueish, joyful smile and his booming voice announcing his arrival with the words, “Oh, what fun!”

I first got to know Craig some twelve years ago and we have been close ever since. Whether discussing intricacies of Virginia flakes or a particular oriental varietal, or simply discussing life, I will always fondly remember the hours we whiled away together. Every year for the past seven years, I've made something of a tobacco pilgrimage up to Morganton to spend a day, or longer, with the Tarlers. I am thankful for those times together and Craig's warmth and friendship over the years; he left me with memories of him that I will always treasure.

If the measure of a man's life is in the people he touched and the lives he enriched by his presence, then Craig's was a life well lived. I know that my sentiments towards Craig are far from unique. The pipe world has indeed lost one of its greats.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Craig's wife of more than sixty years, Patty, and his children, Sally, Pam and Chris.








Posted by sykes at 9:29 AM | Link | 1 comment


13 August 2012

Broken Pipe: Giancarlo Guidi
 Passing of an Italian Pipe Making Legend

       -Posted by sykes-

Just prior to the sending of today's newsletter, I was saddened to hear that Giancarlo Guidi, founder and principle of Ser Jacopo, passed last Monday, August 6th, succumbing to stomach cancer. He had continued to work, making pipes and overseeing the Ser Jacopo workshop, until June. Guidi was a guiding light for the Italian pipe world. It is difficult to imagine Italian pipes today without his artistic influence. He co-founded Mastro de Paja in 1972, leaving a decade later to found Ser Jacopo in 1982. The group of brands that we now think of as belonging to the 'Pesaro School' of pipe making are all made by men who, at one time or another, worked for and were influenced by Giancarlo's passion. Arguably to a greater degree than any other, Giancarlo Guidi's artistic vision has defined and driven Italian artisanal pipe making for the past forty years.

I only had one opportunity to meet Giancarlo, in Pesaro, in 2010. The man loved pipes like few others and, unsurprisingly, was a devoted art student. We overcame considerable communication barriers and enjoyed a remarkably thorough 'discussion', mostly consisting of pointing and facial expressions, about Ser Jacopo pipes and their design language. I had long admired Giancarlo Guidi and that time with him was a real highlight for me.

Having guided Ser Jacopo for three decades, Giancarlo spent much time recently to ensure a smooth transition and to map a plan for Ser Jacopo going forward into the future. Ser Jacopo lost its founder, sadly, but it, and the Pesaro School at large, will not have lost his vision.

Sykes Wilford: Founder/President

  Sykes Wilford: Founder/President








Posted by sykes at 2:56 PM | Link | 0 comments


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