371. The Texas Pipe Show

 What a show! I don’t have attendance figures, but this seemed to be at least three times bigger than last year’s show. I set up a Peterson “presentation table” this year with books, several pipes from among my “companions,” and my 1953 Sky-Riter with its new Pete Geek tatts. Fellow Pete Geek Gary Hamilton shared a table with me, bringing a number of the special Pete Geek Christmas tampers which he’s planning to release through PPN in a few weeks.

The Boss (left) and Gary Hamilton (right) at the Peterson Presentation table

Pete-spotting, anyone? I see one and maybe two that I wish I’d seen at the show.


There were a number of Certified Pete Geeks in attendance this year:

James Foster
Gary Hamilton
Mark Dominguez of Lone Star Briars
Mark Berman
Colvin Stephens
Chris Tarman
Mike Austin
Bryan Olen
Stephen Mawby
Alvin Miller, Austin Pipe Club Treasurer
Unknown Pete Geek w/Irish tweed vest
Unknown Pete Geek Biker

I didn’t get everyone’s names, but I believe I got almost everyone’s photos. If you can identify a few of those seen below, please drop me a line so I can send them their CPG.

James Foster, CPG, setting out prizes for the raffle

Hats off to James Foster, CPG. While I know it took a big crew to organize and execute the show, James has always been my contact, probably because he’s a fellow Pete lover.  He was there to work and serve all day, rarely stopping in one place for more than a minute or two. I’m sure you know him from his writing for Pipes Magazine, but his efforts on behalf of the pipe community are sufficient that this year he was awarded the Master of Pipes at the Chicago Pipe Show.

Julie and Ken Byron of Ken Byron Ventures

If you haven’t heard of the incredible tobaccos Ken Byron blends up, take it from me: he’s a wizard of the first order. I bought a bag of Venture 23, a special VaPer he blended for the show. I smoked it continuously through the day and strongly recommend it. If you love the old McClelland blends, you’ll like what Ken does.

Gary Hamilton

Gary sold more tampers than I did books, which isn’t surprising as these are gorgeous. He debuted a short, chunky one I especially like (being somewhat short and chunky myself).

Gary also brought one of his latest project pipes, a Peterson System 302GHABC—that’s 302 (shape) and “Gary Hamilton [GH], Army mount [A] Tapered [B] Short [C]” stem.


Stephen Mawby, CPG, Customer Service Manager, SPC

Stephen Mawby at SPC, who routinely helps me with Peterson queries, also flew in from South Carolina and set up with some jaw-dropping high-end artisan pipes. This was Smokingpipe’s first time at the show, and at the end of the day Stephen told me sales had been good enough that he’d be back at the show next year! You can’t see it behind his fist, but Stephen smoked his Pete 01 DeLuxe pretty much from sunup to sunset at the show.


Chris Tarman, CPG

Chris Tarman, CPG made it to the show, but not before spending the previous day at Texas artisan Trey Rice’s shop for the pipemaker’s workshop. I meant to get photos of both pipes Chris adopted from Trey, but time slipped away. In the meantime, check out Trey’s incredible work:

Nope, he didn’t bring this dublin to the show. He sold it in Vegas
(lucky for me).

You’ll notice I didn’t include a photo of Trey. This was for two reasons: first, he’s far too good looking and I don’t want the hate mail. Second, he’s far too talented and I don’t want the hate mail at not bringing away one or more of his great pipes. However, you can contact him yourself, either at Instagram or through his website.

William Haggerty (left) and one of our Tobacco Cabana hosts

I only got out from behind my table for a few minutes from 9:30 until I left in the late afternoon, so I didn’t get the name of the Tobacco Cabana gent on the right in the photo above, but he and several other TC folk were also working really hard Saturday. Bill Haggerty is the Laudisi rep for the Midwest, and as you can see he brought a gorgeous spread of Petes.

Mark Dominguez, CPG

I got away from my table for just long enough to say “Hey!” to Mark Dominguez of Lone Star Briar Works, one of the first subscribers to PPN. He had two fantastic dublins and I loved them both.

If Mark sees this blog and if he writes to me and if he still has one of them—whoa. I’m in trouble. In the meantime, check out his Facebook page or drop him a line there. His pipes are everything I believe a genuine Texas pipe should be: authentic, well-crafted, affordable.

Colvin Stephens, CPG

I got to talk to Colvin for a long time—maybe 5-7 minutes!!—longer than most of the folks I saw. He’s an avid collector not only of Petes but of other marques of pipe, reels and guns. He’s also a lifelong train engineer. How cool is that? I didn’t get a photo, but later in the day Colvin was smoking his Peterson House Pipe. As you can imagine, it fit him just fine!

Bryan Olen, CPG and Kim Metcalf Olen

Walking by their table, I had to stop and introduce myself. Bryan was smoking a fantastic Peterson Aran 150s (and I believe the 150 looks best with that saddle P-Lip, far better than the chonky “not a taper not a saddle” stem it currently sports) and Kim, well she had on a CORPS T-Shirt (Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers). CORPS will be celebrating their 40th anniversary next year and I’m hoping we’ll be there to honor its founder and one of my gurus, Doctor of Pipes Linwood Hines. Kim used to attend CORPS meetings with her dad, Linwood tells me, and if brought a Pete with her to the Texas show, she needs to let me know—her CPG awaits!


Mike Austin, CPG

Like Marie and I, Mike’s an Okie, and he drove down from OKC for the show. I don’t know what all he picked up to take back, but he did stop at the table long enough to write a post for today’s blog, as did Armen the Armenian, Chas. Mundungus, Gary Hamilton and an unidentified typist. Armen, if you read this, post a comment to receive your Blogger Certified Pete Geek certificate!

The Unknown Pete Geek

I didn’t ask his name, but this gent (obviously a rock star) not only picked up a new Peterson at the Tobacco Cabana table from Bill Haggerty, but he’s sporting his Irish tweed. And if that isn’t enough, check out the incredible Irish triquetra watch fob!

And of course on the right is the Pipestud himself, Steve Fallon

If you know him, or if you are him, do post a comment below. You’ve got a Certified Pete Geek certificate waiting for you.


Alvin Miller, Austin Pipe Club Treasurer

I didn’t get to talk to Alvin, but as you can see he’s sporting the “Pete Geek” Chicago 2023 button. He’s also the treasurer of the Austin Pipe Club and so has a big hand in making sure the Texas Pipe Show is fiscally secure—you may not know it, but pipe shows have a really, really difficult time raising money to sustain their shows, and more often the not the reason a show collapses and disappears is because there wasn’t someone like Alvin behind the scenes to insure that the funds are adequate and secured to make the show happen.

Pete Geek Biker

Two affable Texas bikers came by the table, but I only got a photo of one gentleman! As you can see, he’s a Peterson man, with an Irish sun cross patch, a Lord of the Rings patch, and smoking a handsome 2023 SPD Sherlock Holmes Strand. If he sees this, I hope he’ll apologize for me to his friend for failing to get his picture, as it was Veteran’s Day and I believe he served in the 101st Airborne. Once again—please leave a comment if you recognize this Pete Geek or if you are this Pete Geek!

This guy camped on the back of the PPN typewriter for about an hour,
offering to coat the bowl of anyone’s pipe with honey for a small fee.




Gary Tarman—Chris Tarman’s doppelganger—sent photos from Colorado Springs of the intersection of Peterson & Dublin. Incredible, right?



Harald Stocklmair, CPG


Stephen Wilson, CPG

Chris Tarman, CPG


Kevn Cavanagh, CPG


Carol Padilla, CPG


Next Week:
The Blog’s 10th Anniversary Pete Geek Events Begin!


Continue Reading371. The Texas Pipe Show