Return With Us Now

A return to the pipe
Eight years ago I had a heart attack resulting in a triple by-pass and the cessation of all nicotine-related activities, then, just about a year ago, I realized just how badly I missed smoking a pipe. No thoughts of cigarettes (I had been a two-pack-a-day fiend) but now, today, a mere whiff of cigarette smoke sends my gag reflex into high activity, but I sure did miss the comfort and meditative relaxation of a pipe.

SO–I invested in a couple of corn-cob pipes, which led to several “Civil War Era” clay pipes & reed stems. Yeah-yeah, I know, but I live in South Carolina and sitting under my favorite shade tree in a magnolia-scented evening smoking a pipe that may well be a replica of the pipe smoked by a Good Ol’ Rebel Soldier home recovring from wounds, maybe sitting in the same place he did over a hundred years ago—well, they don’t call them “pipe-dreams” for nothing.

Then, I progressed to ordering pipes and tobacco on-line. My most favoritest smoke in my earlier (pre-heart-attack) life was C&D’s “Baalbeck,” but, now I find that has gone with the wind. I was also kind of hung up on “estate” pipes (which I had given away,) But, I ordered several Savinelli “Duca Carlo” pipes, and am planning to order several more. They fit my retirees budget and smoke most excellently well. I’m stiil hunting for that “perfect” latakia blend and have, for the moment anyway, settled on Russ Ouellette’s “Sunjammer” with a mug of strong chicory coffee for my sunrise smoke, and his “Larry’s Blend” with a cup of Lapsang souchong tea as a sundowner. Throughout the day, weather permitting, I indulge myself with various corn-cobs and excruciatingly plebeian “Carter Hall,” which I picked up at the local super market months ago when I had nothing else (It was either Carter Hall or Captain Black) and have been devoted to the quiet, gentle, Middleton, and have no intention of changing. I’m almost seventy years old, and a retired Marine Sargent, I’ve had enough excitement and adventure –I want magnolias, gentle, warm days, and a quiet, meditative pipe. Selah.

5 thoughts on “Return With Us Now

  1. analogmoz

    What a lovely story! You must really enjoy smoky flavors, what with the Lapsang Souchong and the latakia. I too find the two to be a lovely combination. I hope you find your meditations blissful and your quest for the perfect blend a long and enjoyable journey.
    (You know, a good cup of tea is good for the heart 🙂 )

    “Women thrive on novelty and are easy meat for the commerce of fashion. Men prefer old pipes and torn jackets.”
    —Anthony Burgess

  2. montag

    Thanks for sharing that, Tom.

    I, too, gave up smoking cigarettes and pipes 15 years ago and I never really missed it. Especially the cigarettes.Yuck! But in recent months, I started having dreams that I was smoking a pipe again. And suddenly it seemed that every time I turned around I was seeing a pipe smoker, in an old movie, an elderly neighbor walking his dog…

    And I began to wonder…is this an omen? Maybe it’s time to smoke a pipe again? So I purchased a relatively inexpensive Italian briar from a local tobacco store and ordered my old tobacco favorites, (plus a couple of Savinelli’s and Peterson’s!) from Iwan Ries in Chicago.

    I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to rejoin the fraternity of pipe smokers! Now that I’m older (58 and hopefully wiser), I can now fully enjoy the taste of a good blend without inhaling. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

    I’m glad to be back. And I’m glad you’re back, too.

  3. bigterr

    Welcome back!!! If you can find it BILL BAILYS Blend might be just what you are looking for Check out pipes and cigars website I think they may still carry it. All the best in your quest!

  4. spcoach

    I developed a serious illness at a relatively young age; andI gave up smoking at my physicians insistence. For 11 years. At the end of that time, even though i did not miss it, i deccided that i needed to enjoy myself again, just a little. (And besides i was still sick, so quitting had made no difference). Unfortunately for me, the years that i had to quit were the years in which the pipe hobby was just beginning, and I missed out on a lot. Now i am having so much fun there’s no way i would quit. I’m older now anyway so what the Hell! What kind of sterile, soulless lives would these New Puritans have us lead anyway?!?!

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