HAPPY INTERNATIONAL [PETERSON] PIPE SMOKING DAY 2022!
“Every pipe has a story,” and for lovers of Peterson that means there are pipes like the Patent meerschaum of John Peterson (Charles Peterson’s younger brother) that have made incredible pilgrimages over time yet somehow survived the ravages of political turmoil, war and neglect. For IPSD 2022, I am privileged to present a collection of Peterson stories by blog readers from all parts of the globe, stories stretching back to 1919 and forward to quite recently. While most of them aren’t as dramatic as John Peterson’s, each reveals the same depth of devotion to the art of smoking our Petes have brought and continue to bring us. In this spirit,I would like to raise my pipe to each of the writers and to you, dear reader: in joy, enjoy this special day!
Isle of Man: Douglas Prisoner of War Camp, 1919.
I obtained this shape 4 dutch billiard, hallmarked for 1917, from a man who lives in San Antonio, Texas who said he found it in his Father’s things, and that his Father had passed away “some time ago.” There are two engraved silver pieces in the pipe. One is a shield that reads “KD” (the owner’s initials, I assume) and the other has a German cross, and, in German, engravings for a souvenir: Genridmet vom (“Taken From”) followed by a German military cross with D and V on either side (which typically stands for Deo Volente—“God Willing”), and at the bottom “Douglas I.O.M.1919,” which represents Douglas Prisoner of War Camp, Isle of Man, 1919.
San Antonio is a heavily-German influenced part of Texas. German-Americans were, for the most part, treated as enemies up to and during World War I—a law forbidding German culture was even enacted in 1918. The same was true in Great Britain, where anyone with German or Austrian heritage was imprisoned on the Isle of Man for the duration of the war, the POW camp closing in 1919. Most of the prisoners on the Isle of Man were civilians whose only crime was that they spoke German. The smaller camp on the island, a converted holiday camp at Douglas, was the nicest, and housed 2,700 prisoners who could afford to pay extra for the privilege. The prisoners at Douglas had shops where they could purchase things, and even ate the same food as the British soldiers who guarded them.
An aerial view of the internment camp, which was converted from a holiday resort
My educated speculation is that the pipe’s original owner was a recent German immigrant to Texas who decided to leave sometime before the United States joined the war, due to the treatment of German-Americans. He was captured when he got off the boat in England, and sent to the Isle of Man prison camps. He had enough money to pay the upcharge to stay at the nicer Douglas camp, where he bought his new Peterson pipe in 1917 at a prison shop. He spent the duration of the war in relative comfort, and was released in 1919 and headed back to San Antonio, Texas. Many of the Douglas prisoners created engraved souvenir items—you can find them on the internet every now and then—so it’s not strange that “K.D.” would have the engraved silver plaques made for his pipe to commemorate his stay. The father of the man who sold me the pipe would have been a young man when “K.D.” was an old man, so perhaps they were friends. It’s unfortunate that the pipe’s seller was never told the story by his father.
A Charity Assistant from the Knockaloe Charitable Trust will be researching the pipe’s owner. They have data on the prisoners who stayed at Douglas.
Scott Forrest, CPG
West Point’s Pipes & Drums in Dublin.
When I was a plebe (freshman) at West Point, I had the good fortune to join the Pipe and Drum band, since I had been a bagpiper on and off since the age of twelve. This outlet provided me with some recreation, camaraderie and opportunities to escape the strictures of being an underclassman at the Military Academy. In addition to playing the bagpipes, several members of our band smoked pipes as well. Two young men in particular (a couple classes ahead of me) took me under their wings and encouraged me to give pipe smoking a shot. With their tutelage I learned all the essentials of pipe smoking, packing, lighting, tamping, etc., plus they introduced to me different pipe crafting styles (they were fond of Danish and Irish) as well as fine tobacco (McClelland’s Dark Star in particular).
In addition to our domestic travels that first year, our band also headed to Ireland for Spring break, to march and play in the St. Patrick’s Day parades in both Limerick and Dublin! My two mates and I had ulterior motives though: we were were making a pilgrimage to the Peterson shop on Grafton street, which I knew would be the perfect opportunity to acquire my first “real” pipe.
Upon entering the shop, the other two men knew exactly what they were after, a deeply-bent billiard (probably an 11s) and a silver wind cap bulldog (probably a De Luxe 150). I, on the other hand, had no idea which Peterson would suit me best, and so requested the assistance of the salesman. He asked me plainly if I was looking for both a good all-around smoker and something exemplary of Peterson’s style. Being a relative neophyte, I agreed that this sounded like a good route to take. And so it was that I came to this beautiful 307 Standard System, or rather it came to and accepted me as its companion!
With pipe in hand and bag of house blend tobacco (DeLuxe Mixture, perhaps), I departed a happy lad, eager for my first bowl in my first Peterson. The three of us piping pipers didn’t have to wait long, as we headed straight to a pub for fine fare, drink and tobacco smoke (this was only weeks before the indoor smoking ban). There we were companions with new “companions,” piping to our heart’s content on the Old Sod!
Lee Skiver, CPG
Sweden: I Have A Small Collection; or, “Honeymoon in Paris.”
Ralle Perera, CPG
Lima, Peru, 2017: The Bazaar.
Photos sent from Lima to Brendan’s friends Gary B and Jeff P the night he found the 307.
On Friday, April 7th, 2017 I found myself and the Peterson I’m writing you about in Lima, Peru. Along with my new bride, I was chaperoning a group of around 50 Cibola High School students from Yuma, Arizona. We were on an art and history tour and experienced many wonderful historical sites, architecture and did some volunteering. We helped build steps on a dirt hillside where the poorest of poor lived and cleaned up garbage at another site so an elementary school could have a playground. One night we had a group dinner at a fancy restaurant and dined outdoors. When we had finished with that fantastic meal, there was in the adjacent city square a bazaar. Of course, first and foremost in my mind was “I hope there’s a pipe there.”
Scanning the first few tables I spotted it, not just any pipe but a Peterson! Unmistakable with its nickel ferrule and shape, I quickly snatched it up in my eager hands. Rolling it around and scanning the stampings, it was indeed a Pete. K&P Peterson’s—and not nickel, but silver hallmarks. Then “Peterson’s System Standard,” then . . . “307” . . . then . . . “Made in Eire.” My jaw dropped. Thousands of miles from home in a small city square, I find the oldest Pete that’s in my collection. Asking the little old lady how much she wanted for it, she replied 15 Sol. Without hesitation and no bargaining, I handed over the cash. I asked if there was a stem that went with it, but there wasn’t. 15 Sol equaled $4.61 at that time. The Peterson gods were pleased with me that night.
I’ve often wondered how this 307 ended up in Peru and to whom it had belonged in the years since it left the Emerald Isle. I later sent it to a pipe repairman in Florida for a stem, can’t remember his name, but he was an older gentleman and was supposed to be an authorized Peterson repair person.
Copenhagen, 2001: Double Vision.
I live in San Antonio, but worked in Phoenix, AZ. The new company knew all about configuring complex equipment, but nothing about project management. At that time, there was no project management software available that integrated equipment (material resources) into the plans. After much research I found a small company in Copenhagen, Denmark that made such software. Even better, they would modify it, within limits, to meet our specific needs.
Early one Monday morning back in early 2001, off I went to Copenhagen. I spent a week there, going to 12 hour long meetings almost every day. Finally, I got a half-day off and headed into town. I had heard of the W. Ø. Larsen shop and museum, and after wandering around for a while finally found it. The museum was in the basement and it was amazing. Pipes of every shape and material crowded the display cases. I could have spent a day in that room alone. In talking to the manager, I learned an interesting fact: Irish pipes sold in Denmark were subsidized by the Irish government, due to the high competition from Danish pipes. The next day was to be our last.
Just after lunch, I found one of the folks in the company we were meeting with and asked her for a ride to a pipe store. When she figured out I meant tobacco pipe, we were off. She took me to The Danish Pipe store and I was delighted to discover that they had the Peterson 2000 POTY in stock. After calculating the subsidized price and converting krona to dollars, I could not resist, so I bought them (the 2000 POTY was actually a two pipe set), even though they were not P-lips. The knowledgeable clerk also sold me a nice Winslow pipe at a ridiculous price.
I carried the pipes all the way back to Texas from Denmark and have enjoyed smoking them for over twenty years.
I left that company shortly thereafter, the Larsen museum closed, and the Danish software company was purchased by a larger engineering company, but I still have my pipes and great memories of Copenhagen.
Australia, 2020: The Joy of Pipes.
I started smoking a pipe in the early 1980s and enjoyed it but gave it up in the mid-80s when my second child came along. My father had smoked a pipe on and off, although he was predominately a cigarette smoker. His favourite pipe was a Falcon and his pipe tobacco of choice was Mac Baren’s Plumcake, although judging from the number of tins of Prince Albert in the garage holding nails, screws, etc. this was an earlier favourite as well. I was fortunate to be able to enjoy having a pipe with my Dad and it is a fond memory. He passed away in 1997.
Fast forward to February 2020 and I rediscovered the joy of “the pipe”. I always had a hankering to return to the pipe but just didn’t follow up on it. My first new pipe this time around was a Peterson 305 Premier System pipe with P-Lip.
Here in Australia we have some of the strictest laws on tobacco in the world, with plain packaging and gruesome medical images as well as restrictions on web advertising. If you sell tobacco you cannot show photos of the tobacco or any implement that it is used in—viz., no photos of pipes. The Peterson distributor here in Australia does not sell tobacco so they can display photos of the pipes, and as a bonus they were having a sale with 30% off at the time.
Stuart’s “companions”: great collection and display & I love the MacBaren’s clock!
I started doing some research into Peterson, and with our family having Irish ancestry that was a winner, plus as I was looking into how their pipes were made I found that the Factory Manager was a chap by the mane of Tony Whelan, which was my father’s name, so it seemed like the guiding hand of providence!
So the purchase was made and so started my journey into “Pete Geekdom.” My modest collection is now 36 pipes with two thirds of them being Peterson.
Stuart Whelan, CPG
From London’s Portobello Road Market to Descartes, France.
When I was a student, I was already interested by all things coming from Great Britain. Being a penniless teenager, I couldn’t afford brand news things, so my clothes were vintage tweed jackets, my car a slightly derelict MGA and I visited England, Wales and Scotland as often as I could. Well, I know Ireland is definitively not in Great Britain, but I bought my first Peterson in a London flea market: Portobello.
Sébastien has written about K&P’s Early French-Made Figural Briars in Post #217
It was an humble but odd pipe with its strange shape. At first sight, I knew it was for me, and one minute later, it was mine for the princely sum of one quid (a pound in British slang). I had little knowledge about Peterson, but I now know (thanks to Mark and Gary’s book) it is a Standard 314 from the 1950s, with its faux hallmarks and MADE IN IRELAND stamp. I have to say it was (and it still is) a far better smoker than all my French briar pipes.
Forty years later, I still wear tweed jackets and drive a vintage MG. I own dozens of Peterson pipes, generally Systems and Sherlock Holmes Collection shapes, but my favorite remains my humble 314.
Sébastien Canévet, CPG
Lost and Found from Ashville, NC (2010) to Myrtle Beach, SC (2012).
Our favorite pipes tell stories. They don’t just live in the moment of current use, but in the moments past as well. And while I own far too many pipes and yet not enough at the same time, it is the story of this particular pipe that makes it my favorite:
When I was a relatively new pipe smoker in the second half of the 2000s, I discovered B&B Tobacconists here in Asheville. It ended up becoming a place where I grew as a pipe smoker and as a man. At the time I was into freehand shapes as I felt traditional shapes to be too old fogey-ish, but there was this one pipe on the wall that broke that expectation. It was a 2007 Peterson Pipe of the Year: a fat, smooth, octagonal paneled billiard with a round shank, amazing silverwork, and a tapered stem that had a delightfully rounded pinch in its transition to the button on the lip. It just spoke to me.
I stared at that pipe for at least a year before finally putting it on layaway. Took a bit to pay off, but finally it was mine! And I genuinely loved that pipe. In fact, it’s still the very first pipe you see on the Wikipedia page for Peterson pipes, as I wanted to show it off to the world.
One day in early 2010, after finishing a string of overnight shifts at the local group home that I worked for at the time, I went over to B&B. For some reason that I have since forgotten, I also had my checkbook on me at that time—but the long story short is that when I left the shop I ended up leaving both my pipe bag and my checkbook on top of my car. And that pipe was in the bag. While Bank of America was able to handle the missing checks and get me going with a new account, the pipe bag was never found.
Fast forward to December 2012. I’d received as payment for restoring a box of pipes a high end Savinelli that just didn’t do it for me. While we were down visiting my wife’s parents in Myrtle Beach, I went to Low Country Pipes, the B&M owned by Smokingpipes’s parent company Laudisi, and left it there for evaluation. A few weeks later, I got the call from them offering either cash or trade credit; I took the trade credit and immediately started looking at their site. In perusing their site, I found—unsmoked—a smooth 2007 Peterson Pipe of the Year for about $70 more than I had in credit. I was stunned and heartbroken at the same time; I didn’t think I’d ever find another of these pipes for sale (after all, only 1,000 were made), but I also didn’t have the extra money at the time.
That evening I told my wife about the pipe and lamented not being able to afford it. She looked at me and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day and Birthday.” We called up Smokingpipes, used my trade credit, and she paid for the rest of the pipe. A couple weeks later, on what would have been my grandmother’s 91st birthday, I broke in that pipe over at B&B Tobacconists.
Now? It sits proudly on my rack as the crown of my collection.
Germany: A Cautionary Tale of Natural Rustication.
I want to share the story a Deluxe System 8s with some interesting “natural” rustication. This pipe was my very first System Pete. At the time I couldn’t cope with the P-Lip, so I made some modifications, turning it into a F/T as shown in the photos. It worked quite well for me quite well and I loved to smoke English blends like Rattray’s Red Rapparee and 7 Reserve in it.
At the time we had a small dog, about a year old. He was a terrific bully at the time. One day as I left home I forgot the pipe on a low dresser. When I got home I found it in the dog’s bed freshly rusticated. He was in the search of something to play with.
The only part of the pipe that is still usable is the modified mouthpiece, which I use sometimes on another pipe.
The pipe itself I store in my pipe cabinet to remind me never leave a pipe in the dog’s reach. He’s an adult and a lot more calm now, so I think the times of destruction are gone. I’m still searching for another 8s DeLuxe, however.
Utah, Wyoming & Chicago: Of Proliferating Petes & Pipe Shows.
I started smoking a pipe in 1983, right after I graduated from high school. My father smoked a pipe, so I’d grown up around them. That summer, my family moved from Wyoming to a small town in eastern Colorado. I stayed in Wyoming to attend college, and continued to smoke my small assortment of cheap basket pipes (and one nice Pioneer calabash).
I spent the summer of 1984 in the incredibly dull little town my family had moved to. Every chance I got, I would drive the 90 miles to Denver or the 75 miles to Colorado Springs in search of something to do. One day, in a tobacco shop in Colorado Springs, I happened across The Ultimate Pipe Book, by Richard Carleton Hacker. Since childhood, when I was interested in a subject, I would read everything about it that I could get my hands on. But at that time, there weren’t many readily available pipe books. So I devoured this one.
One of the things about pipe smoking that’s always appealed to me is its history and its connection to the past. In Hacker’s book, I read about the Peterson System, and how it was basically unchanged since its introduction in the 1890s. He also mentioned that Mark Twain had been a devotee of Petersons, and I suddenly remembered having seen Twain’s very own Peterson in a museum in Hannibal Missouri when I was about 10 years old. I decided that I needed a Peterson, so on my next trip to Colorado Springs I bought a System Standard 312, which was (if memory serves me) my first brand name pipe other than that Pioneer calabash. Later that summer, I bought a Peterson churchwarden.
I returned to college in Wyoming that fall, and eventually discovered a great tobacco shop a couple of hours away in Boulder, Colorado. That’s where I saw a pipe I HAD to have: a Peterson Mark Twain! It was $75, which was a lot of money for a 19 year old college student! But then I found out that the shop would take trade-ins of used pipes! What??? I’d never heard of “estate pipes” until then. So I saved up some cash and eventually headed back to Boulder with some of my early pipe purchases, and walked out with the Mark Twain!
In 1987, my family moved again, this time to Ogden, Utah (my father was a Methodist minister, which explains the frequent moves). I made friends with a guy about my age who worked at a Tinder Box store in Salt Lake City. One day, he called me in Wyoming to ask if I might be interested in a Peterson they had just gotten in the store. It was a Deluxe, with a briar circle around the inlaid silver P. I had him hold it for me, sight unseen. In fact, I didn’t see it until I had paid it off a few months later and received it in the mail. It was a beautiful little thing, with a much better grade of briar than my Standard or Twain.
I picked up a few more Petersons over the next several years, but then my pipe collection moved into other areas—until the 2018 Chicago Pipe Show, where I attended Mark’s presentation about Petersons and about his upcoming book. I thought to myself, “Hey… I ought to smoke my Petersons more often.” At the 2019 show, I bought the book, and then bought three Petes on eBay that summer, which brought my collection up to 14.
In February of 2021, I bought my 15th, an Amber Spigot XL90. That was quickly followed by more, and now I have 31!
Dublin, 2004 to the Wilds of Maine.
My pipe’s story? That’d be how I met Ned, my Peterson System Standard 314 ebony sandblast. In June, 2004, whilst on a working trip to Ireland, my wife and I stopped in at Peterson’s Grafton Street shop in Dublin. I knew little of pipes and tobacco and felt lost as I eyed the selection. Then I saw the 314—that shape, that size, and that dark, rough surface beckoned me like an old friend.
The surly attendant rummaged in a drawer crammed with pipes and handed me one. And Ned has been a steadfast and true companion since. In my more fanciful moments, I like to think that of all the pipes in that jumbled drawer, he was waiting for me to come along, and I for him.
I now have a handful of pipes (including two other fine Petersons), but it’s Ned, my humble 314, that is the perfect pipe—shape, size, feel, smokability, and dapper charm. Sure, Ol’ Ned needs a shave and a spiffing now and again, but so do I.
Best of all, this pipe reminds me of a lovely day spent with my dear, indulgent wife, who deserves cash prizes for putting up with me all these years.
A wonderful wife, a friendly pipe, and a walk with our dog in the wild, woolly woods of Maine … what more does a fellow need?
Ottawa, Canada, 2013: A Rescue.
I don’t know much of a story this pipe has to tell, although by the looks of it at the time I bought it, it had lived a long and brutal life. I found it at a flea market in Ottawa in 2013 for $25.00. I judged it to be a bit of a long shot for that amount of money, but it was a Peterson. It was covered with grime and the silver was almost black. There was more cake than open air in the bowl and there was no light coming through the draught hole. The bit had a big hole in the top and the bottom well in front of the P-Lip. When I got it home I reamed it and cleaned it up as best I could. It was clear that the bit was a write off, since I’ve never liked the thought of putting big patches in vulcanite.
So I took it to Juluis Vesz in Toronto to see if he could make a replacement fishtail bit. He studied the stummel for a few seconds and agreed it was worth saving. You can see from the photo what a great job he did fashioning a new bit. I’m guessing this Peterson was made in the 1940s or 50s. The silver has no hallmarks. It’s simply stamped “Sterling Silver” with three shields containing the K & P Maker’s Mark. K & P is stamped on one side of the stem and on the other side is the circular MADE IN IRELAND COM and “209.” It appears to be a clean piece of briar with no fills. Sure, there are a few dings, but otherwise it has cleaned up nicely. While it will keep lots of secrets about its past life, there is one that has been revealed—it’s a good smoker!
Dublin, Sometime Before Bewley’s Closed on Grafton Street.
My father used to smoke pipes. I always remember their smell and feel. Long after my father passed my wife and I were in Dublin. She had studied at University College Dublin for a year abroad. We walked through Dublin looking for her favorite spot—Bewley’s Tea Shop on O’Connell St. Sadly, it’s now a Starbucks.
Our walk took us right by the Peterson store. All sorts of images of my father and his pipes came flooding back. In we went.
We walked out with a beautiful Watson, a lighter, pipe cleaners, tool, as well as tobacco. After much fumbling, and an instructional return visit to the shop, I could actually keep it lit for more than 30 seconds. The rest is history. More pipes, great smokes, and now learning to restore older Petersons. That Watson still leads the way in my week’s rack.
The Game is Afoot.
This is the Peterson that started me down this ever winding “Pete” road. I had been a Sherlock Holmes fan since my early teens, especially after discovering the 14 movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. So when I decided to start taking up the art of smoking a pipe, I chose this “Original” rustic as my first pipe. I really liked the rough look of this finish and think it is the best rustic finish [the renowned Pebble Grain] that Peterson has done to date. I have acquired many Petes since this one, but this particular pipe is still my favorite with the 4AB a very close second for obvious reasons.
Discovered in an Antique Store, 2008: The Holy Grail.
“Honeeey,” I called out from the front of the old antique store.
“Whaaatyyy,” my wife replied from the back of the store.
“I’m buying a pipe,” I said.
“Okay,” she responded, not sounding too happy about it.
Really close to the beginning of my pipe smoking hobby, I became aware of the Peterson brand. Having recently discovered my Irish heritage, I was instantly drawn to it. My first Peterson pipe was one of their System Standards. I was attracted to this particular type of pipe because of the cut-away Peterson showcases that allows one to see how the Peterson system works.
Back in the mid to late 1990’s I’d buy the latest issue of Pipes & Tobaccos magazine from my local pipe shop and read it cover to cover. In one of those magazines was an article for what would become the “Holy Grail” of pipes for me at the time (although I now have another pipe that fits that description): the Peterson Mark Twain. After reading the article and being smitten with the beauty of the pipe, I began the arduous task of obtaining one. I found some listed on eBay and even placed a bid for a couple, but I was always outbid and the pipes sold for hundreds of dollars. It wasn’t unusual to see them go for over $400, which is even now way too much money for me to spend on a pipe, not to mention back then.
Several years passed by and my wife and I had ventured into an antique store to look for some iron fencing. It was there that our conversation took place. It was June 2008, and as my daughter and I walked into the store my eye was drawn to a pipe inside the main display case. There in a red box, along with its velvet sock and paperwork, was a Mark Twain! I asked the woman behind the counter if I could see it. She brought out the pipe and I gave it a good once over — it appeared that it had never been smoked or if it had, it had been cleaned up really well. The price was $75. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. That’s when I called out to my wife.
Once I got the pipe home and cleaned up (which is always my first step with estates), I looked up the date of the sterling silver band (a lowercase “p” in an octagonal rectangle): it was from 1981, the second limited series produced by Peterson. For all I know, I might be only the second person to own this pipe and the first to smoke it. From 2008 to now, that pipe has been in my regular rotation. It’s a great smoker and I feel so blessed to have it.
Br. Jack+, LC, CPG
Zurich, Switzerland, 2017: A New Life.
I do not know very much about the former history of this pipe, but the recent history is for me important. I received this pipe as a stummel in 2017 from Georges, a Belgian pipe-friend of mine who lit in me the fascination about old pipes. Then, this stummel connected me to Peterson Pipe Notes and Mark. Thanks to him, I discovered that the stummel was from a Patent System Pipe dating back to the beginning of the 20th century: a shape number 2 with AB stem and marked with grading 3. The stummel then travelled to Dublin and the Peterson’s factory, where it received a new P-Lip vulcanite stem which seems to be a B stem. It is now a Frankenpipe: a 2 B with nickel ferrule. This Peterson’s Patent System Pipe (Large) is now the oldest of my collection. And ready to start its new history.
Stephano Zerbi, CPG
Grandfather, the Baker Street Bulldog & a Donegal Rocky.
I have several fond memories of tagging along to the Tinder Box with my grandfather to pick up his tobacco and enjoying the aroma while participating in various other activities alongside him. I can remember one visit in particular, while grandpa was waiting for the tobacconist to serve up a few ounces of his favorite blend, when he caught me ogling one of the newly released Peterson Sherlock Holmes pipes. My grandfather asked me if I liked that pipe, to which I responded yes. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “They say a Peterson is a pipe for a thinking man. There’s nothing finer for an Irish lad to smoke.”
I began smoking a pipe after inheriting my grandfather’s collection a few years after his passing, and I was eventually able to hunt down one of those same beaded Baker Street bulldogs. Every time I smoke it, I think of him. While grandpa did not leave me any Petersons, over the years they have become my preferred smoking pipe. Like many other pipe smokers, I have sought after a birth year pipe. For many, this act would involve seeking out a pipe made by Dunhill, but not for me. I wanted a Peterson! Being my birth year pipe, I wanted something special, and finally, after years of searching, I pulled the trigger on a Donegal Rocky 504 bent bulldog which had been restored by Reborn Pipes.
Every Peterson has a story, as does every person who picks up the hobby. On this International Peterson Smoking Day, I am very happy to have the opportunity to share with my fellow Pete Geeks the story of my two favorite pipes along with some of my own journey. Sláinte!
Dechman, Texas, 2021: Paisley Dutch Treat.
Not too long ago, maybe six months after I’d posted about the “paisley” grain pattern that is my favorite in Peterson pipes, I received a gift in the mail: this 309 from the latter part of the Dublin era. I remember when Tom Palmer decided to place all the stamps on one side of the bowl—like this one—shortly before going to the laser-engraved stamping machine. The shape 4 bowls had been sitting in boxes for a few years with no one ordering them, so when an order was placed there wasn’t really a need to make sure the grain matched the line. Or so it seemed to me, because I saw at least a half-dozen flawless, richly-grained 309 Standards around that time, most on the Italian market. So when I opened the box and found a real 309 Paisley, my jaw reflexively dropped as I did a double and triple-take.
As pipemen, we sometimes think of ourselves as a little kinder, a little wiser than some other demographics I can think of. The older smokers have also run into enough of the “I’ve got mine, where’s yours?” variety of pipe smokers in the hobby to know that’s not always the case, much as we’d like it to be. But the friend who sent this to me is the genuine article, the real deal. The kind who wanted enough time to pass that perhaps I wouldn’t connect the gift with the blog post. His generosity and friendship since we first met online in 2014 (and later in person) are a constant reminder to me of how we’re supposed to behave, of who pipe smokers should be and how they’re supposed to act toward their fellow man. Thanks, Linwood, yet again.
Mark Irwin, DoP, CPG
Many thanks to all who shared their great stories and photos, increasing the ranks of Certified Pete Geeks or earning the CPG 2021 Merit Badge and adding greatly our enjoyment of Kapp & Peterson’s fine pipes on International Pipe Smoking Day 2022!
Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú!
The 2022 CPG + Merit Badge Certificate