Club Ramblings

It has been a while since we have been able to put out a newsletter with the illness of our editor Ray Blanton. Well Ray is doing much better and is able to get out and attend meetings with the help of his lovely wife Suzi but he is still unable to carry a big load. So we will see what we can do with this newsletter with his able assistance.

OPPC has been meeting monthly at El Charos Restaurant at Wilmot and Broadway and the staff there have been very nice and the food has been delicious. But the noise level has been rather high so we are going back to having our meetings in the Pipe Shops that so graciously support the club.

The December meeting will be at the Tinder Box at the Plaza at William's Center, 5350 E. Broadway, Tucson Az. The 15th from 7 to 9 pm. We are going to have a blind gift exchange by gender so bring a gift of around $10 for someone of your gender. This of course is optional if you want to participate.

OPPC now has a web page on club member Jack Tompkins web site. The URL is be sure to check there for information on the club activities and the schedule of meetings.

In November the club joined in with Mark Loehrer of the Tinder Box in a mini-Pipe Show. Mark had big selection of fine pipes both briar and meerschaum. There was also a big selection of pipe tobacco samples of Dan Pipes Tobaccos that is being imported by CAO and some other blends. Mark has a very nice smokers lounge and it was well used most of the day.

Member Jack Tompkins attended the Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers (CORPS) Pipe show this last October and he will have a report latter in this issue.

Remember Ladies are always welcome, Jack's wife Mary Anne and Ray's wife Suzi are usually there although we haven't got them smoking pipes yet we are working on it.


Smokers Haven is Moving!!!

Carl Curtis of Smokers Haven in Park Mall is moving and opening a new shop on the North side of Broadway at 6061 E Broadway. That is behind the CoCo's Restaurant across from Sears in Park Mall. Carl is planning on a Feb 1, 2000 opening and said to watch for some Grand Opening Specials. Carl hopes to have a smokers lounge or at least a out door patio where we can get together with our brother of the briar. We are looking forward to it Carl!!!!


Being a regular on the #pipes IRC Chat (in fact I am now one of the co-founders of the chat but that can be another story) the conversations have been about the up coming CORPS Pipe Show. Over 20 of the regulars on the chat said they were going and had their reservations in at the show hotel.

I have only gone to one pipe show so far and that was the NASPC in Columbus, Oh in 1998 and what a fantastic time I had. So I figured what the heck, I am retired so why not go.

The show was only a little over a week away so I started calling the hotel but of course the show hotel was filled. In checking the CORPS web page they had a nice map so I started checking one of our favorite stops, The Red Roof Inn and found there was one just a couple of miles down the road from the show hotel and what luck they had openings.

We made our reservations and started getting ready for the long drive to Richmond Virginia. We also have family back east so how many are we going to try to see. Well with the short time we decided to head straight to the show then to family in Florida then Texas. We had been to Ohio the year before so they would have to wait until the next trip.

On a Monday afternoon my wife Mary Anne and I started on our trip.

The show was to start Friday evening and run through Sunday and we arrived in Richmond Friday morning with only 2 close calls on the drive there. Got checked in our hotel, got something to eat and rested for the evening.

Friday evening was mainly a social time with plenty of snacks and refreshments. The show room wasn't open yet so we had to hold our interest until the next day.

We began looking for some of the people that I have chatted with for years on the #pipes chat and only have seen some pictures of. Well be began seeing some familiar faces and started meeting some old friends for the first time in person.

Saturday we got there shortly after the show opened and the hall was already full. I never did hear a count of attendees but there was about 120 display tables.

There were displays by pipe dealers, both new and estate. There were tobacco dealers, some with their own blends. There were accessory dealers, Pipe carvers and some people had their collections on display.

There were people from all over the US and Augusto Parascenzo of Castello was even there from Italy.

Both Pipes and Tobacco Magazine and Smoke Magazine was there. I talked with Chuck Stanion of P&T and told him how much I enjoyed his articles. I had meet Chuck and NASPC 1998 and he is a regular on the #pipes chat.

Some of the US Carvers that were there are: Mark Tinsky, Lee VonErck, Mr. Paul, Samuel Learned, and Paul Bonaquisti. I think there may have been a couple of others there that I can't think who they were right now.

McClelland Tobacco was there with a lot of samples. Which I have to say here one of my favorite blends is McClellands 2015 a spicy Virginia/Perique blend. Bob Hamlin of Pipe Collectors Club of America was there with a large selection of pipes and tobaccos. Bob also has some fantastic blends that are blended by McClellands.

I know I will miss some but some of the others that were there were Hermit Tobaccos, Cornell & Diehl Tobaccos, McCranie's, Mel and Michael Feldman of The Smoker LTD., Tinsky & Hayes, Friedman and Pease. Most of the popular pipes were there at someone's table.

The show was being held in a Holiday Inn in Richmond which was turned into mainly a smoking hotel for the weekend because there was usually a big latakia cloud hanging over everything. The hotel did have some powerful fans that they turned on every once in a while which turned the airspace over the hotel to instrument flying only.

Saturday and Sunday was then spent meeting new people, meeting people that I had done some emailing with, people from the #pipes chat and members of my PipeSmoke Ring. I know that I met at least 30 people that I had only met on the Internet and they were all great guys.

There were a few lady pipe smokers there, I think I saw at least 5 and the pipes looked very natural on them.

There was a lot of tobacco sampling, if you didn't get enough samples it was your fault for sure!!!! And of course some wheeling and dealing on pipes.

CORPS had several activities, a long smoke contest, a smoke ring contest, a blind auction and finally a regular auction to raise money for their favorite charity. These were items that were donated by exhibitors and friends. I ended up with a good deal at this auction, a estate GBD virgin that had a sticker of $70, a humidor pipe rack and a 8 oz bag of McClellands new Townsman Cavendish Silver tobacco for the bid of $25.

One of my friends from the #pipe chat, knowing that I collected GBD's presented me with a unopened tin of GBD Ambrosia pipe tobacco that was somewhere between 25 and 50 years old. We opened it up and it was a fresh as any tin you would open. What a fantastic blend after it had melded those additional years. I have never smoked this blend before so I don't know what it was like originally for comparison but I have been told that it was a very good blend and it was aged a few years any ways before it was sold.

My total haul was 2 Lee VonErch's 1 new and 1 estate, a estate Boswell and 2 estate GBD's Several tins of tobacco, a lot of samples. Here is a picture of my haul:

Pipe Care Tip

Having a hard time getting your stem out? Put it in the refrigerator for a few minuets and try it again. When you get it out and have it all cleaned take a #2 lead pencil and rub it over the tendon before you put it back together. When ever I clean my pipes I will usually put some lead on the tendon unless the stem is real lose.

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OPPC has a open door policy so if your not a member please drop by a meeting any ways!!!