As you know, we here at Smokingpipes.com love our pipes. The majority of the gentlemen here have great collections of treasured beauties, and you've gotten to see some of them in our Staff Show and Tell posts 1 & 2.
While my first pipe is no great collector's item, it holds a special place for me. When I started at SPC almost two years ago, I was (and still am) fascinated by the variety of shapes, sizes and finishes of pipes. I was in my very early stages of learning about pipes (they are never to be called "cute"), and I was asked if I had ever smoked one. My answer was "no, of course, pipe smoking is for guys." That answer was scoffed at, and I was led down to shipping to a cardboard box hidden in a dark corner where I was told to pick out one that I liked. I dug around for a bit and came across a bright, colorful one that looked like a girl's pipe. It's stamped with "Fancy" and "Bruyere," and it looks like someone melted crayons together and shaped them into a pipe. I took it home along with some yummy sounding samples and proceeded to light my first pipe. I had done some research on how to pack a bowl properly, the best method to light it and keep it going, so I think I did pretty well for a newbie.
I have since moved on to a couple better pipes. A Savinelli "Prince of Wales" was the next addition thanks to one of those online auction sites. It's a lovely, graceful churchwarden. Next came the "Elegance," another discontinued Savinelli (thanks again Jonathan). It's my favorite little bent Billiard, and it's perfect for a quick smoke. And while I don't smoke as much as the guys here, I do enjoy the hobby immensely and look forward to adding to my collection.