Pipe Smoking Memories . . .

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simplepipes
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I remember a favorite pipe smoking uncle. He gave me a matched pair of Falcons for my HS Graduation as I had already grown fond of the pipe by then.

He favored blends readily available during the 60's and 70's. Upon acquiring a new pouch of tobacco he would add to the contents of his tobacco jar and shake to blend. He often stated "Oh the bottom is really good".

I would often stop to visit if I was in town and would always bring him a pouch or two of tobacco (usually Amphora or Sail) . . . he would immediately add to the contents of his jar and shake to mix. Being in my early twenties I was of the opinion (at that time) that he lacked the sophistication that I had already arrived at with pipe smoking . . . after all he was only a 50 plus year pipe smoker and me an expert of a few years.

Now in my late 60's and the age of my uncle at the time I favor mixes I have created from the bottom of the jar . . .

Thanks Uncle Bob . . . "Oh the bottom is really good".

-sp
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Kevin Keith
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simplepipes wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:29 pm I remember a favorite pipe smoking uncle. He gave me a matched pair of Falcons for my HS Graduation as I had already grown fond of the pipe by then.

He favored blends readily available during the 60's and 70's. Upon acquiring a new pouch of tobacco he would add to the contents of his tobacco jar and shake to blend. He often stated "Oh the bottom is really good".

I would often stop to visit if I was in town and would always bring him a pouch or two of tobacco (usually Amphora or Sail) . . . he would immediately add to the contents of his jar and shake to mix. Being in my early twenties I was of the opinion (at that time) that he lacked the sophistication that I had already arrived at with pipe smoking . . . after all he was only a 50 plus year pipe smoker and me an expert of a few years.

Now in my late 60's and the age of my uncle at the
time I favor mixes I have created from the bottom of the jar . . .

Thanks Uncle Bob . . . "Oh the bottom is really good".

-sp
What a nice memory! I had an Uncle Bob, but he was a Lucky Strike man. Thanks for telling us about your uncle...and he was wise!
FJB
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MikeDennison
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Wonderful story, [mention]simplepipes[/mention]...thanks for sharing.
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Fr_Tom
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I had pipe smoking great uncle. He was a monk and had been the bishop of Liberia in the 20's and 30's. By the time I was around he was back in the monastery where he had no personal possessions. That makes pipe smoking a little tough. While he had no personal possessions, he was allowed to "care for" things of others it seems.

My father smoked a pipe, and would go visit. He would take a spare pipe and a pouch of Amphora Brown. He would "forget" these when he left and Uncle Erskine would care for them.

At the next visit, my father would pick up the empty pouch and pipe he had "forgotten." After the visit, there would be another pipe and fresh pouch of Amphora Brown left at the monastery.
"Prov'dence don't fire no blank ca'tridges, boys" Roughing It, Mark Twain

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MikeDennison
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Fr_Tom wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:52 am I had pipe smoking great uncle. He was a monk and had been the bishop of Liberia in the 20's and 30's. By the time I was around he was back in the monastery where he had no personal possessions. That makes pipe smoking a little tough. While he had no personal possessions, he was allowed to "care for" things of others it seems.

My father smoked a pipe, and would go visit. He would take a spare pipe and a pouch of Amphora Brown. He would "forget" these when he left and Uncle Erskine would care for them.

At the next visit, my father would pick up the empty pouch and pipe he had "forgotten." After the visit, there would be another pipe and fresh pouch of Amphora Brown left at the monastery.
Another great story! :D
"I realized I had the gift of seeming to know more than I actually did." -A.J. Cronin-
BriarPipeNYC
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Two wonderful, and nostalgic stories, and enjoyed reading them both. They bring back memories of an uncle that I had, back when I was a kid, in the 1950s.

Uncle Sam live in Levittown, PA. My family lived in The Bronx, NYC. We would drive out to PA and visit my mom's older sister, (uncle Sam's wife), for Easter. We loaded up the 1947 Chevy with good crusty Italian bread, Easter cookies, traditional goodies that my mom baked, Italian sausage, cheese, and delicacies not to be found in PA, and we'd make the long trip out to rural PA. While driving on the newly built NJ Turnpike, hyper-nervous mom "helped" my dad drive by watching out for cars that "were getting too close"! My father had the patience of a saint. "Yes, dear...I see that car"...was my dad's stock answer. My younger sister and I were always so excited to get going, but we usually fell asleep by the time we got to Secaucus, just 20 minutes after crossing over the Hudson.

Uncle same was a tinkerer. Had his rudimentary workshop down in the cool basement, where he repaired things, glued things that broke, and made a few small tables, and simple trinket boxes from some pine boards that he got from work. Just some scrap wood, knotty pine, probably. He always had a briar pipe hanging from his mouth. Never smoked it when he was working in the shop, but as soon as he sat in his favorite chair, in the tiny living room....the pipe got lit, and it perfumed the whole house with great-smelling smoke. Uncle Sam was never fussy about what he smoked, nor did he take any special care of his OTC pipes. Grabows, most likely. He would let me scrape out his spent tobacco with a strange kind of tool that had three folded parts: a thing that could press down the tobacco, a pick-type thing, and a flat spoon thingy. I remember looking thru some family pictures in an album, and was really shocked to see an old photo my uncle Sam dressed in a Gaucho costume, just like Rudolf Valentino wore in "The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse". He told me when he was 18-20 years old, he got a job as a Tango Dancer at a local ballroom when he still lived back in NYC. In the 1920s everyone wanted to learn how to Tango like Valentino. He laughed, and we all joked around when he told the story that was behind the photo. We begged him to dance a Tango with my aunt, and we screamed when he said she'd fall apart if she danced with him. Then he just went back to smoking his pipe while sitting in his favorite chair. He would also eat his breakfast, and shave before he went to sleep, claiming it would save him time when he got up for work the next morning.

Uncle Same was a gentle soul. I never ever once heard him yell, nor did I ever see him get angry. He would take me, his clumsy NYC nephew, down to his shop, and I would watch him as he cut up some knotty pine boards on his small table saw. He was going to build something, I guess. But the aroma of the pine resin, that fresh, cool sawdust, always stayed in my mind. To this day I can't smell freshly cut pine without thinking of my pipe-smoking uncle, and those happy times that I spent in rural, PA. By the time I was a young teen, I had no desire to visit my PA aunt and uncle. They got old, and they just sat around the house. They weren't fun, anymore. The long 2 hour trip was boring, and I wanted to hang out with my friends, in The Bronx. Besides, my aunt and uncle would always be there, for years to come, sitting home, waiting for another visit by their NYC nephew. I could always make that boring Easter trip out to PA, next year. What's the big rush? My mom and dad would eventually make the visit, the drive out to rural PA, alone.

By the time I was in my mid twenties, both my aunt and uncle would be gone. I might have got to see them maybe a few more times before they passed, but they were old and frail by then. Seeing them become old was sad.

My lasting memories of my uncle Sam are of him sitting in his favorite living room chair, with a pipe in his mouth, and my aunt, standing in a small kitchen, by the stove, cooking Easter Sunday dinners. I can still hear my family laughing as we all came out of church, dressed in our best, joyful that Easter dinner would be served later on that day, and shared by my special family. Uncle Same would light his pipe after a big dinner, and watch TV.... while my mom and aunt washed the dinner dishes.

The memories of fragrant pipe smoke coming from my uncle's pipe, clouds and blurs my eyes once in a while. Like now.
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Middle Earth
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Great thread
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Ruffinogold
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My grandfather on my dads side smoked a pipe ... like a boss . He had it going at least half the time at any given time . I dont think he had many pipes , I can only picture two of them , both bent and nearly identical [ dark stained blasts ] . I thought his tobacco smelled off the chart . I was pretty young when I asked him .. " Hey , Grandpa .. what pipe tobacco do you smoke ? " . He reaches in the side pocket of his recliner chair and pulls out a large bag of what was a black cavendish and says ..... " The cheap stuff" .. lol . Turns out the very first blend I bought was argosy , which was a black cavendish . When I lit it up it reminded me of what grandpa smoked . Argosy was really good , man .
" I believe adventure is nothing but a romantic name for trouble " L.L.
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Ruffinogold
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Ha ! I just remembered ..... My uncle Frank , whom I have a number of pipes from , was smoking a pipe in the tv room . He had a round rack of 6 pipes on the table next to where he sat . He smoked only Three Nuns .. and I dont blame him .
Anyway , I come walking in the tv room and the three nuns hits me , which I loved , and the Village People were on the tv and my Uncle looks at me and says ......... " John , what the hell is this on my tv " .. lol .. Im cracking up thinking about it
" I believe adventure is nothing but a romantic name for trouble " L.L.
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Wildcat
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There were always pipe smokers around when I was a kid. My Pa didn't smoke, but Papa Jim did. He was my Nana's sister's husband. They lived next door and it was like having a third set of grandparents. Papa Jim was never without a pipe. I mostly remember Half&Half and Captain Black. He got my dad to pipe smoking, but he was mainly an unfiltered Camel man. I don't remember jars or canisters of tobacco, just pouches, but he may have had one or two. He had a pipe rack next to his chair on a table by the front window. As these house pipes and visiting pipes aged out they became work pipes and lived in jars or coffee cans in the basement or the shed. Eventually they became electrical tape Franken-pipes. In his late seventies he got a spot on his lip where he clenched his pipe. They removed it and the doctor's only advise was to clench on the other side of his mouth. He smoked a pipe until he left us in his eighties. They don't make men like him and my Pa anymore. They each ran a truck farm and worked full time jobs, plus side gigs. My Pa was also a Town Justice and managed to breed and train Brittany Spaniels and Coon Dogs. Papa Jim was also a handyman and tinkerer.
I wonder if "blame Wildcat" will become a theme here? - Fr_Tom
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