218. IPSD 2021: Heading Out
Beyond here there’s no map.
How you get there is where
you’ll arrive; how, dawn by
dawn, you can see your way
clear: in pond, sky, just as
woods you walk through give
to fields. And rivers: beyond
all burning, you’ll cross on bridges
you’ve long lugged with you.
Whatever your route, go lightly,
toward light. Once you give away
all save necessity, all’s
mostly well: what you used to
believe you owned is nothing,
nothing beside how you’ve come
to feel. You’ve no need now
to give in or give out: the way
you’re going your body seems
willing. Slowly as it may
otherwise tell you, whatever
it comes to you’re bound to know.
Philip Booth, “Heading Out” (from Selves)
Happy IPSD 2021! I think Charles Peterson would have understood and appreciated Booth’s sentiment. “How you get there is where you’ll arrive” has become a catchphrase for many of us over the past year and is certainly more relevant than it has ever been for all of us. A few weeks ago, I asked Pete Freeks the world over to respond to Booth’s companion poem “Provisions” and select a single Pete and tin of tobacco they might take with them into an unknown future. I feel honored to share these stories and hope today you’ll pass the peace by raising your favorite Pete in fellowship with them and with pipe smokers across the globe.
Philip Booth’s poem evoked the quandary of what should be packed, what left behind, for any journey into the unknown. Your request rang several bells for me; I won’t address them all, nor will I suggest that you are quite like the Bellman in another, older poem (I’m sure you’ve read it, but perhaps not recently) although you (like him) are enjoining us all to embark together on this challenge.
The attached photo places a few objects in front of a relevant page of Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”, from the edition illustrated by Ralph Steadman 100 years after its original publication circa 1875.
The pipe is a System Standard 302, probably around 40 years old, recently restored by Steve Laug and new to me; I suppose that it will become a part of my own estate, someday. My hands like to hold it; my eyes like to look at it; and it functions as it should.
The jar holds tobacco hand-blended by the (now-departed) friend who got me back into pipe-smoking after a 30-year hiatus: Steven Books, who finally opened his own shop, House of Calabash, a few minutes’ walk from my home. I’ve never in my life smoked anything better than his own blends, and for that, and many, many other reasons, I miss that guy, a lot.
Lead Copywriter / Laudisi Enterprises
I would take a Peterson Deluxe System Sandblasted 12.5, hands down, no question about it: I’ve always loved the 12.5 (and its 317 and 221 siblings) for its compact size, comfortable bend, and elegant posture. It simultaneously screams “classic” and quintessential “Peterson” (while also fitting my size preference). However, this thought experiment concerns much more than aesthetics, which is why I would take a sandblast rather than a smooth. The sandblast and dark stain should cover any blemishes it’s sure to accrue over years of survival, and the silver mount and the space-fitting stem with a chimney should ensure durability and longevity through even the roughest of circumstances. Combine such a construction with the light weight and pocketable size of the 12.5, and it’s the perfect post-apocalyptic pipe. Now, regarding what single tin of tobacco I would take, this question is much harder since no one blend stands above the rest in my mind like the 12.5 did. Considering it’s one tin and one tin only, though, I’m definitely picking a mixture with a 100g option. I would take a 100g tin of Rattray’s Marlin Flake: It’s a delicious, satisfying VA/Per, so from that perspective, all is good. I also considered Mac Baren’s Navy Flake; however, the deciding factor for this particular experiment was the type of tin. Those with a plastic, circular lid tend to seal a touch better than the metal, pop-top kind, so the tobacco doesn’t dry out as quickly if left in the tin — a benefit appreciated in this survival situation. So, in conclusion, I would take a Peterson Deluxe System Sandblasted 12.5 and a 100g tin of Rattray’s Marlin Flake.
This has to be one of the hardest decisions a Pete Freak would ever have to make. To choose one, when you love 50? That being said I went with my gut and tried to not think of the rare Petes and blends I have in my possession. One pipe and blend I am thankful for will be my 1984 Mark Twain and LJ Peretti Thanksgiving day. I can smoke them in all seasons and makes me ruminate more than any other pipe I have. The Peretti blend is very mild and just sets a positive mood for whatever time of day I have it.
Behind the Piney Curtain
Pipe: 313 System, Irish Emblems “Crossmolina”
Tabak: Peterson Connoisseur’s Choice
Managing Director, Kapp & Peterson
I suppose that much of my thinking on this depends upon where we’re going, but Booth makes it sound like an arduous journey. From my pipe rack, I’d choose my Sherlock Holmes rusticated Professor, knowing that whatever obstacles lie ahead, it’s surely seen me through worse. It doesn’t require a fussy cleaning regimen, and the P-Lip is already oxidized–if only a little. Since the finish is rough, I wouldn’t mourn a scratch if I dropped it. From the cellar, I’d take a tin of C&D’s Haunted Bookshop. It has been my only everyday tobacco for years now: hearty enough to satisfy, bracing enough to keep me on the move, and always reminding me of home.
(Author of The Nude on the Postcard, Twenty-Six Days and other great pipe-smoking mysteries)
The pipe is a Peterson Deluxe System Spigot 307 and a marvelous smoke. After some thought, my tobacco of choice would be a tin of GL Pease Chelsea Morning. And yeah, the drawing on the wall is Holmes & Watson.
I chose my System Deluxe 8s, one of my favorites among all my pipes. It always smokes well matter how many times I fill the bowl, and even though it has a small bowl, I can smoke it for a long time. I’d also take a big jar filled with Revor Plug Sticks—perfect with this pipe.
BR. JACK GILLESPIE+
- What single Pete would you take with you? I’m really torn between two pipes — my 1981 Mark Twain and my 2014 Deluxe System Pipe 5s. But, I’d have to go with the 5s.
- Why that pipe? My wife got it for me Christmas 2015. It’s the only pipe she ever gave me.
- What single tin (or jar) of tobacco would you take? I’d have to have a jar because this doesn’t come in a tin. It would definitely be my all day, every day blend — Sutliff’s Aromatic English (504C).
DAVID O FRICKE
- Single pipe? My Peterson System (Standard) B42.
- Why? It works flawlessly. It looks good. And the bowl is large enough so that if I run out of tobacco it can still accommodate various substitutes such as palm fronds, small trees, even the occasional grass hut.
- Tobacco choice would be Lane 1-Q from bulk. It’s A decent, all-around all day smoke, and from bulk I can carry a larger (i.e. 32 oz) mason jar!
This 120 Deluxe was a bad smoker. I bought it in the Dublin shop and fired up 22. Jan. 2018. Hot smoking ! Smoked 108 bowls and gave it coating two times until 4. Feb. That day I wrote down that it now smoked ok. Today it is a good cool smoker with a hard carbon. So do not give up !
My friend, Mr. Thomas Tobacco, knew where to get old tobacco at fair prices, so off we went. I came home with this tin, smoked the tobacco and sent a slip from the tin to K&P with my address.
Then Michael Dempsey sent me a letter and a brochure. The tobacco is no more, but I have the tin! It is also in the book.
Chief Operating Officer, Laudisi Enterprises & Master of the 317
I’d take a System Spigot 317 and a tin of Mac Baren Navy Mixture!
- My favorite pipe is an early 19th century Kapp & Peterson Limited (per your book).
- Why this one? Besides its rarity, it’s a wonderful smoker, one of my two favorite Pete shapes (~69), the other being the 309, and it has a nice long stem with a wide airway and the round hole in the end of the fishtail, which smokes best for me. Also, I acquired it from a man who told me his Mother said it was his Father’s favorite pipe and he cherished it. While his family history is Irish/Scottish, he probably picked it up in Ireland while on one of his many fishing trips. So your theory that the ‘Kapp & Peterson Limited’ was sold in the Dublin shop, still holds with this pipe. My guess is that he bought it at an antique shop, or was given it by an older family member.
- My one tin – I would have to stuff Sam Gawith Full Virginia Plug into a random tin :), but if it has to be a tin – Cabbie’s Mixture.
- What single Pete would you take with you?
o In theory: 309 Smooth System
o In reality: A Donegal Rocky 53 Lovat
- Why that pipe? I have many Petersons (not as many as some), but the one I would most want take with me is the one I no longer have. I bought it in 1988 at age 14 at Durty Nelly’s in Bunratty, County Clare, Ireland while on a trip visiting cousins and expanding horizons. I selected a smooth 309 P-lip (though I wouldn’t have known what that was at the time) and my uncle picked out a Donegal Rocky 53. I brought it back to my cousins and smoked my first bowl in their little cottage, probably Captain Black Classic as it was my uncle’s brand. I quickly became as green as a shamrock and became the source of much mirth for years to come in recalling the story. Sadly, my pipe was stolen at a party about a year later and is likely now in an evidence locker and reeking of cannabis. The 53 was bequeathed to me by my uncle when he gave up pipes, and I smoke it happily to this day. It’s not necessarily my favorite shape aesthetically, but it’s a workhorse and reliable smoker through and through, and it reminds me of how I got started in this wonderful hobby to begin with.
- What single tin (or jar) of tobacco would you take? Country Squire Green Dragon. As someone who wants everyone to be happy, I find it’s very tasty to me, and my wife appreciates the room note particularly. Win-win!
- What single Pete would you take with you?
I would have to say it would be my Peterson System 302 Spigot with “P-Lip” of course!
- Why that pipe?
I wanted to say that, “it would get lonely without me”, which of course is anthropomorphizing the pipe, a foolish notion and one that says more about me than it! The pipe just seems to be the first one that I go to and at some times even influences my choice of tobacco. Thinking I will enjoy an aromatic blend, that I don’t smoke in that pipe, I suddenly have it in my hand and I am now looking at an English blend! What a strange and subtitle power of persuasion.
The pipe itself is a sturdy device with its large bowl allowing well over an hour of peaceful contemplation and yet compact enough to fit comfortably and safely into a trouser pocket and with the army mount allows an even smaller storage profile, if need arises, even if the pipe is still warm.
Finally it reminds me of the blue Summer skies, crisp Autumn mornings with a cup of coffee, Winter in front of the log fireplace and Spring sitting in the backyard – in short home!
- What single tin (or jar) of tobacco would you take?
Peterson Elizabethan blend – it is a tobacco I seem to always discover something different with each smoke. Sometimes it is a sweet note or a spice that manifests as I am half way through the bowl. The tin note reminds me of cut grass followed by some further complexity that my inexperienced olfactory senses can sometimes struggle with. But overall the variety makes every smoke an adventure!
The photo shows me enjoying a Summer evening (yes it is summer here) with my 302, a local ginger beer, Elizabethan blend tobacco, my Peterson ashtray and Peterson lighter.
In 1990, for his 60th anniversary, I offered his first Peterson to my late father, a pipe smoker and a fan of Sherlock Holmes (I have inherited his two passions).
Alas, the tobacconist had no more Sherlock Holmes collection pipes, but an “Original”of the aborted collection “Sherlock Holmes Discovers the System.” It’s probably the rarest pipe of the whole Sherlock Holmes collection.
My father passed away several years ago, and now I smoke his pipe on a regular basis.
- What single Pete would you take with you? I would take my Standard System 307.
- Why that pipe? This was my first Peterson, purchased new at the Grafton St shop in Dublin in 2004. The trip to Ireland was memorable in a number of ways, and I count myself blessed to have had that experience. Plus, the pipe is a damn good smoker!
- What single tin (or jar) of tobacco would you take? For tobacco, I’d have a tin of MacBaren Mixture, Scottish Blend because it is an infinitely enjoyable smoke that could be appreciated by anyone with whom I might share either my pipe or the surrounding environs.
-I’d take my Emerald X105 Rusticated P-lip.
-I picked this pipe because it is the only P-lip X105 I own out of the ten I have. There is a really great tactile feeling of a p-lip on a straight pipe. I also really enjoy the emerald band that is on it, even though mine is more of a reddish hue and I really like the old style rustication that it carries.
– Well, I have to pick C&D Briar Fox, not only because it’s a great tobacco, but the pipe I picked this year is my dedicated pipe to that blend. While Briar Fox is not my most favorite tobacco, it’s one I definitely reach for often due to the fact that it is such an easy smoke. I don’t really have to dive in with picking out flavors. It’s a very straight forward Va/Bur with a little sweetness and spice and is not complex, but it’s strong and rich without being overbearing. I love the crumble cake format, it ages superbly and it’s simple.
What an impossible scenario. Who thought this up? After many sleepless nights, I’m still no closer to a decision, so I thought I’d go with Germain’s Rich Dark Flake over McClelland 2015, mainly because my friend Chris Swan sent me a 500g bag of the former and I only have a 100gr jar of the latter. I’m a klutz and will break the jar long before I smoke through it. On the way out the door, though, I had to go back and get a 100gr tin of Marlin Flake instead. Comfort. Almost any Peterson System would be fantastic. I finally decided on this Early Republic 02 Donegal Rocky (Sub-System) over a regular System because it’s got the reservoir so it behaves like a System. It has the most unbelievably gnarly rustication on a Pete I’ve ever seen which I find really therapeutic to the touch. I know it’s a bit recherché, but the oom paul is by nature not a pipe for most pipemen. Establishing the Pub Pipe in the regular System line up may change that, at least, for the Pete World. So yeah, I’m ready to go. Just need a Ka-Bar, three chords and the truth.
Pipe: Peterson’s Sterling Silver 264 hallmarked 1981
Tobacco: Samuel Gawith Best Brown Flake
Why this choice? I’ll let the great French poet and screenwriter Jacques Prévert [the great French poet and screenwriter] explain it:
Three matches one by one struck in the night
The first to see the whole of your face
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the complete and utter darkness to remember them all
While holding you in my arms.
(The pipe and tobacco are the beloved of my beloved)
JOHN H. SCHANTZ, JR.
Greetings from Montana! It is a veritable heatwave here today, it’s all the way up to 1F with almost no wind!
For IPSD 2021, I have chosen my COVID-19 “The Rona,” zombie apocalypse, end of days, pipe and tobacco. Here is my Peterson Outdoor Smooth Natural #15 Straight Billiard. The short stem makes it more like a Liverpool. I like smaller straight pipes and have a tendency towards the Billiard and Dublin with Liverpool’s, Lovat’s, Canadian’s and Lumberman type stems. If they are short nose warmers, even better. I chose this pipe because it is small, tobacco may be at a premium, so I get more smokes, shorter maybe, but more times to savor. I almost went with my 2013 Antique Pat. straight Billiard, but this #15 has a slightly smaller bowl. I think this little guy would be easier to travel with than other larger or bent pipes and may have a smaller chance of snapping off a tenon in a pocket if I forget to remove the stem when in potential combat with zombies or engaged in other survival situations.
For my tobacco, I am going with what may seem an outlier? Samuel Gawith’s “Black XX”. It is not exactly my favorite, but I do very much enjoy it in small doses. It has the benefit of requiring a small amount to have a savory, and satisfying smoke, with lasting effects. Also, since it is a high moisture, compact rope, it should fair well with long storage times and travel, even if the jar gets broken. A rope is much easier to salvage than a pile of loose tobacco laying on the ground. I’m going to have to stretch this tobacco out over who knows how long until society repairs itself. A couple of other added benefits are, to me at least, that it has a meaty, sweet, BBQ flavor, which may come in handy for appetite suppression when real satiating food is scarce. The second benefit is that SG “Black XX” imbues the pipe with an almost impossible to excise ghost of smokes past that will come in handy when I am out of said tobacco. Hopefully by that time I will have been able to plant some of my homegrown tobacco seeds and have a nice crop of tobacco to continue on. Now, I am a Montanan and had never seen a tobacco plant or the process needed to turn raw leaf into something smokable. I succeeded in 2016 with a good crop and a finished product that smoked like tobacco and not burning leaves. I would not call it smooth, or even good, but smokable. The added benefit of the ghost of “Black XX” left in my pipe might elevate my homegrown to something better than just “eh”. If I happen to get a good crop before I run out of the “Black XX” I can use it to bulk up my homegrown tobacco.
Pipes: It was a hard to chose which would be my one pipe to take. It was a toss up between the 301 sandblast and the 303 sandblast. The nod went to the 301 due to the wider and more comfortable P-lip – although that can change with mood.
Tobaccos: Squadron Leader because of the nice smoky Latakia. It reminds me of being at a campsite in the autumn, on a lake in the Ontario north – my most favorite place to be. The tin art pulls at my British roots and my love of the sensuous Spitfire.
Here’s me with my favorite Pete, a Sterling 9BC, MI Ireland. My favorite shape and a ‘Magic Smoker.’ My one tin: McClelland Christmas Cheer 1997.
This was tough because this pipe may not be my favorite but I think it’s perfect for this exercise. I choose my 20S Deluxe and a tin of Dunhill flake. The pipe is perfect for traveling or sitting and relaxing. The size fits great in the hand but also hangs effortlessly from the jaw. The tobacco is a favorite, and depending on how it’s prepared with this pipe it can be a long or short smoke. In the end the decision was easy since I knew it had to be a system…the hard part was which system!
What single Pete would you take with you?
Peterson LIP Celebration 1898-1998 / X61
Why that pipe?
This particular Peterson is one of the three rusticated pipes that currently exist in my crowded collection. Obviously, I’m not a big fan of rustic finished pieces. Yet, this Peterson P-Lip commemorative pipe looks awesome to me. The thick army stem offsets the weight (59gr/2.08oz) and makes it almost featherweight. Besides, I haven’t seen any other copy of this pipe so far! Drop me a message if you own one!
Right before a pipe wins a permanent place in my collection, I challenge it by smoking over and over again. This fantastic Pete resisted 7 consecutive nonaromatic packings in 1 day without giving me trouble, like taste change or gurgling.
What single tin (or jar) of tobacco would you take?
Scaferlati Caporal by Mac Baren. A cigar leaf-based Kentucky blend.
If I had to choose one pipe, it would be my Rustic System 307. The 307/XL90 is my favorite shape, the System drilling means it will dry out faster and thus stand up to more frequent use, and the rustic because it’s easier to hold onto in all types of weather. An acrylic stem would do better in weather, but mine has Vulcanite (and sorry Mark, but it is a fishtail). It’s been my travel pipe for years (got it before acrylic stems were available). The one in the photo has a dent on the nickel band from when I dropped it in a park in Glasgow (jet lag).
For tobacco, I’d choose Mac Baren Vanilla Cream. It’s been a long time favorite, and is pretty much always my choice to end the day. Not too sweet, nice Virginias that get even smoother with age, it’s an easy choice for me (though I would miss a Burley in the morning). I’d choose the 5-lb bag over the tin!
The two little fellows in the photo are my companions when I smoke on the deck and survey the world.
Greetings from London!
Pipe: Liscannor 04.It was my first Pete and always faithful and hence it is dedicated to one of my top 3 favorite tobacco blends.
Tobacco: JF Germains 182O (aka Esoterica Penzance in the US). Possibly in the biggest jar available!
A difficult choice, but would take my Peterson Liffey from the river collection.
Would include this pipe with my kit, because it was purchased on my 60th birthday while visiting Edinburgh, Scotland, two years ago. Thanks Simon, you where a enjoyable salesman who ran a great shop. Good thing you are a plane ride away as I would be spending my retirement funds on pipes, scotch and tobacco from you.
Ah, tobacco choice, due to Washington state laws buying fine tobacco online and lack of brick and mortar stores in my location due also to more laws, my selection is very limited, so Tinderbox’s Sherlock’s Choice will have to do till my next adventure.
Greetings from Bavaria! I will take my 314 premier because it fits my new found love the Virginia blend. I take a tin of Germain’s Gold Leaf R&R. And yes I know it’s a small pipe, but so my tin lasts longer.
Personalized C.P.G. certificates have been emailed out. If you did not receive yours
and participated, please email me.
“…Come with me
To the palace of Nowhere
Where all the many things are One:
There at last we might speak
Of what has no limitation and no end.”
Chuang Tzu, “Where is Tao,” The Way of Chuang Tzu, p. 124
Q: Where can I get a tenon extension, aka Condenser / Stinger aka “chimney” for my Premier and De Luxe System? How about for my straight System 31?
A: They are available as of this writing at //www.smokingpipes.eu/accessories/pipe-supplies/ . You might buy a few, as you never know when you’ll need another and not be able to find it.