This year's CPCC Chicagoland International Pipe & Tobacciana Show (often abridged to the Chicago Pipe Show) will be its usual bustling hive of activity, friendship and pipe trading, but this year will be a little different. Yes, the usual vendors will be there (plus some new ones I'm sure), the smoking tent will still be the spot to hang out, and the slow smoking competition will still be a popular event. But there will be one gaping absence, most notable to those for whom the show is a yearly pilgrimage.
Lars Ivarsson, one of the shows most steadfast pilgrims, passed away earlier this year, leaving a hole in the heart and fabric of the pipe smoking collective, along with a huge body of work that collectors will cherish and pipemakers will emulate for years to come.
He left us something else, as well. One last gift as it were — both to the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club and to the larger community — in the form of his very last pipe, donated and stamped by his daughter, Nanna, with the dates of his birth and death.
The pipe will be sold via the club's silent auction on the show floor, the proceeds of which fund the annual event. If you'll be at the show, make sure to look over the offerings in the silent auction, especially this wonderful final pipe of a master whose influence is undisputed. And while you're reflecting on all that Lars contributed to our hobby, be sure to check out the Lars Ivarsson in memoriam display, a massive collection of Lars' work that will be on display for all to appreciate.
Thank you again to both Lars and Nanna, for both this donation, and for everything you've contributed to the hobby over the years.