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From: ????????????????????????
Subject: Pipes Digest #24 - September 3, 1989

		Pipes Digest #24 - September 3, 1989

In the pipeline:

 - Bill Thacker continues his blockbuster epic, and gives advice on
   smokeshops that are HI in the middle and round on both ends; 

 - Martin A. Lodahl poses a collector's conundrum on an antique pipe;

 - Elias Mazur discusses Brazilian cigars, freehands, and the Free Hand of Fate;

 - And yr. obd't. servant with a few notes on the Big Apple and the Amish.

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>From: Bill Thacker <cbema!wbt>
Subject:   Tobacco Roots II - 

(hum the Main Title from Star Wars as you read this)

                    When last we left our 
                 intrepid young plants, they 
              were safe and snug in their beds, 
          awaiting  that brave new dawn that would 
      see them standing  in the broad  expanse of the 
   Back Forty.  But  Darth Nature still holds a few cards,
and  you shouldn't  count your  tobacco until  it's smoking...

[insert dazzling special effects here]

Okay, the time has come.  Our tobacco plants are shoosting up out of the
ground, eager to live free.  Over the next week or two, we'll be
transplanting them into the field.

In preparation, the soil in the field is first tilled; plowed, then disked
repeatedly and levelled, to provide a soft, flat bed for the tender young
plants.  This is done the morning of the planting, for maximum effect.

The tobacco beds are heavily watered, section by section, to loosen the
soil so that the sprouts can be plucked out, roots and all, without damage.
Enough plants are "pulled" for the day's transplanting; over the planting
season, each section will be pulled two or three times; after the first
picking, the remaining plants grow more rapidly.  Plants are perfect for
tranplanting when about 6" or more high. 

The pulled plants are kept in wooden boxes, metal washpans, etc, and packed
rather tightly to retain moisture during the day.   They are kept in the
shade, to keep them cool; if they wilt, they become harde to handle.

While the tobacco is pulled, (which, someone, seems to be mostly women's
work, and a fine place to pick up gossip 8-)  the menfolk prepare the
equipment.  The water wagon (a wagon mounting a large water tank) is
filled, a trailer is loaded with fertilier, insecticide, and herbicide,
and the transplanter is greased and checked. By the time this is done, it's
11:00 and time for dinner.  In the afternoon, this curious armada drives 
out to the field and sets up shop.  

The transplanter is a curious affair. It's a small, two-wheeled trailer,
towed behind a tractor.  On it are two rearward-facing seats for the
"setters" (so called because they "set" the tobacco); between them is a
vertically-looped conveyer belt which bears a number of rubber "fingers."
As the planter moves along, this chain-driven belt moves through a guide
which closes the fingers, in which the setters have placed a plant.  The
plant is carried down inside a small plow, which has created a shallow
trench; as the plant's roots reach the trench, a dose of
insecticide-bearing water (from a tank on the rear of the planter) is 
dropped in.  Fertilizer (from a front-mounted hopper) has already been laid
alongside the trench.

As the fingers reach the bottom of their travel and begin to open, two
wheels roll past, gently squeezing the soil around the plant.  Finally,
a herbicide mixture is sprayed along the row of plants.

This is a necessarily slow process; the setters can only feed plants so
fast.  (In fact, they occasionally miss one or more, so that a small boy
(yours truly, for several years 8-) rides the water barrel with a peg
and a handful of plants, ready to jump down and fill in any missed spots).
An afternoon's work sees two or three acres set.

Two-row planters, requiring four setters, exist, and there are legends of
4-row monsters 8-)

The next step is to wait for a rain a week or so later.  After the rain,
while the ground is still muddy, barefooted workers (another good job
for small boys who've recently read Huck Finn) walk the fields, looking for
gaps where plants have failed to survive the shock of transplanting.
They carry a few plants and a wooden peg, and reset these missing spots.

The plants are now largely on their own now for most of the growing
season; all that is done is to cultivate them about once every two or three
weeks.  A small tractor with a set of "cultivators" (shallow plows,
designed to cut just below the soil surface) drives along each row,
uprooting the weeds growing between the row.  During the earliest part of
the season, while the plants are still small enough to be shaded by weeds,
workers even manually hoe between the plants, where the cultivators can't

Next week:  Flowers, Topping, and the Sucker Menace

Michael J. Lavery asks:

> But I do have a question:  Does anyone know of a pipe shop in Columbus,
> Ohio?  I believe that it was on Gay Street.

I know of several, but none on Gay.  Perhaps you're thinking of Smoker's
Haven, on High Street just south of Gay ?  17 S. High Street, 
(614) 221-4555.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bill Thacker			att!cbema!wbt	     ??????????????????

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From: Martin A. Lodahl <????????????????????????????????>
Subject: How Old Is This Pipe?

Atop the bookshelf next to my Smoking Chair is an old pipe, that's
been in my family a lot longer than I have.  My understanding has
always been that it belonged to my great-grandfather (a Civil War
veteran), which would make it a century or so old, but an article I
recently saw in passing has caused me to wonder if it isn't much

The bowl is porcelein, long and graceful, with a hinged & vented cap
of what I take to be brass.  The bowl is decorated with a painting
(not, apparently, a decal) of a stag.  There is a joint below the
bowl that is also porcelein, and forms an acute angle, so the stem
points straight up when the bowl is upright.  The stem is of
unpeeled (cherry?) wood, about 10 inchel long, with a
flexible-appearing section of some woven fabric about 2 cm in
length.  Over that is a round, bent mouthpiece.  The bowl was
cracked many (50+) years ago, but the pipe was apparently felt to be
too valuable to discard.  Obviously, I don't smoke it, but the
residue in the bowl indicates it has been smoked, though probably
not in living memory.

The article I saw had a drawing of an identical pipe, which it
labeled a mid-17th century design!  Can it be that my ancestor
bought it as an antique?  Is there a kind and erudite reader of this
group who can shed some light on this?
						- Martin

= Martin A. Lodahl    Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff =
= {att,bellcore,sun,ames}!pacbell!pbmoss!mal            916/972-4821 =
= If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, =
= Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me!  8-)   =

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From: ??????????????????????? (Elias Mazur)
Subject: Happy end.

Dear fellow pipe smokers:

After a long and painful process, only alleviated by my relaxing
moments enjoyed with my pipes, I finally got a job. This means that I
will be able to keep in touch with the group and enjoy reading our now
famous pipe digest.

My new job is located in Madison, NJ, which means that I will be able
to take advantage of the many pipe stores in NYC and also able to
attend the meetings of the NY Pipe Club. Before starting the job I
will travel to Brazil to visit my family. I will spend 3 to 4 weeks

Since I haven't been very active lately,( reason: the famous 'moving
adventure') I will try to catch up on some topics discussed here in
the past pipe digests. I followed the discussion about cigars and I
would like to give a suggestion to those of you that, like me, enjoy a
good cigar once in a while. There is a very good cigar, hard to find,
made in Brazil, more specificly in Bahia, the state in Brazil where I
come from. It is definitely worth a try.  It is called Suerdick and
I'm sure that many of you have seen and tried it before. It is a very
good cigar and considered world wide as one of the best. The reason
behind its quality is the climate of the region where they grow the
tobacco. The climate is very similar to the one in Cuba, and that's
why Mr. Suerdick started his plantation in that area some time ago.
They have a wide variety of types of cigars, but I am not very
familiar with it. Since I am going to be there, I will buy a fairly
large number of them, considering that the price is something like 20%
of the price here in the USA and is always easy to find. I will give
more details of these cigars when I come back from Brazil.

Back to pipes, I can say that I finally came to fully appreciate
free-hand pipes. I got an excellent deal the last time I went to Mr
Bob Smith's store in Utica, and bought my second free-hand. Very good
pipe! The advantage of the free-hand is that they are usually made
from the very top of the briar root, which is the best part of the
wood and gives a beautiful straight grain. This provides a very cool
smoke. I am sure that soon I will add another one to my collection.

Well, I will be back from Brazil by the end of September. Until then,
I wish you all a cool and pleasant smoke till the last puff of your

Smoke in peace.

- Elias Mazur.

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From: Steve Masticola (??????????????????????????)
Subject: New York Sailormen and Pennsylvania Dutch

Well, folks, my neck is almost healed, I'm still fighting it out with the
health insurance, and I'm going to try once more to visit the New York Pipe
Club's meeting this Tuesday. It's at the usual place (La Bonne Soupe, 48 W.
55th St.) at 6 PM. Please let me know if you'd like to come along or
rendezvous up there - there are bargains, good food, and good fellowship to
be had!

I learned something surprising this weekend, while stuck in a traffic jam on
Route 30, east of Lancaster, PA. Along the side of the road, a group of ten
or so Amish farmers were harvesting a fine-looking crop of Pennsylvania
tobacco. (Didn't even know they grew tabak in PA - nor even what it was
until my friend identified it for me!) They were, of course, using two
horses and a buckboard as their only machinery, and seemed a bit shy about
being gawked at by the "English". Quite a few of the barns in the area are
built for tobacco curing - they have narrow, high vertical boards which can
be moved around to control airflow.

Also in the Something New Every Day Dept: Sailorman Jack, of the New York
Pipe Club, writes that used pipe cleaners can be re-used to initially clean
a pipe, following up with fresh cleaners. Claims Joe Tannenbaum of NYPC:
"The pipe doesn't know the difference." Sailorman claims to have reduced his
pipe cleaner consumption by 75% - while getting his pipes just as clean.
(NYPC Newsletter, August 1989).

I'll probably be getting very busy after the next meeting, and don't know
how many more of them I can make in the next few months. So, I hope some of
the Greater New York (i.e., Entire East Coast, according to NYC :-) crowd
can attend and join me for a pipe or two. Until next time, then, hope I can
hear from you on the mailgroup, and as always,

					Smoke in peace,
					~\U Steve.

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 )				       *   *				  )
( Pipe smokers will rule the world!      *   ??????????????????????	 (
 ) (if they don't run out of matches...) *   Steve Masticola, moderator	  )
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Pipes Digest #24 - September 3, 1989
  2. Subject: Tobacco Roots II -
  3. Subject: How Old Is This Pipe?
  4. Subject: Happy end.
  5. Subject: New York Sailormen and Pennsylvania Dutch
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