Monday, July 25, 2011

Living the Dream

It happens to all of us. First you like the way pipe smoking looks and smells, then you finally purchase your first pipe (hopefully one that looks pretty). Then you being your career as a serious smoker. Start with some drug store blends, or maybe your local tobacconist has some aromatics that smell so nice in the jar you just have to try them.
Yet it doesn't end there. Very quickly, you start buying more pipes, more tobaccos (often faster than you can smoke them). You start saying things to yourself like, "I really want to taste the difference between Syrian and Cyprian latakia." Or perhaps, "I wonder how much perique I can handle before I am unable to operate heavy machinery?" Then you start looking at all of the beautiful pipe shapes and wondering if maybe, just maybe, you could make a pipe. After all you have that lathe you bought when you were thinking about becoming a professional baseball bat/table leg maker. This could work! But that turned out to be a lot of work, and when you looked at your collection of pipes you had your beautiful Savinelli sitting next to your self made pipe that looks like it was fashioned by left handed six year olds who were attempting to create something that they could pretend was a ray gun in an upcoming alien invasion. So you decide that pipe making is best left to the pros, and you are glad that you can participate in these aesthetic masterpieces by purchasing them, caring for them and smoking them.

Then you think about tobacco. Sure you couldn't grow tomatoes or flowers...but what about tobacco? The fleeting moment of thought that perhaps growing tobacco might be illegal, and then you think..."Wait, we have become totally communist yet? Have we?" And you think about all that probably goes into growing tobacco, and you think how much work the Rattrays, McClellands, the Cornells and the Deihls of the world probably had to learn before they could bring you Black Mallory, Christmas Cheer and Mississippi Mud. So you decide to enjoy what they have to offer (have you picked up on the fact that when I say 'you' I mean 'I' - of course you have - you are a genius.)

Well, one man is living the dream. I was through the resources on the PSB ( - go there.) and chanced on a man who has combined desire with courage and undertaken the great task. Exile (the blogger) has grown and dried and is now curing tobacco and he is incredibly open handed with his technique. ( It lit every fire in me to think "I could do this! I really could grow some head of my own." His latest post charts the adventure, the providence and the ingenuity of creating something totally his own to smoke. At this point he's less than two weeks out of reviewing his own tobacco, so check back frequently. If you lose the URL for his site you can always find him through the PipeSmokingBloggers site ( generously led and flagshipped by Joffre the Giant ( as well as see some other great pipe and tobacco related blogs.