29 October, 2009

Waxing Nostalgic

My last post got me to thinking about the old Sir Walter Raleigh Pipe Tobacco song. I almost got some of the lyrics right.

If you're old enough to remember the ads on radio or TV:
"Smells grand,
Packs right,
Smokes cool,
Won't bite,
Stays fresh,
So fresh in a pouch (and now, it comes in a can)."
This was apparently sung to the tune of "Too Old to Cut the Mustard" by Marlene Dietrich and Rosemary Clooney, which I'm proud to say, I've never heard.

Many years ago, I smoked a pipe for quite a while, and even had a nice collection of expensive bents and some other pipes, including a couple meerschaums that I didn't treat any more special than any of my other pipes, but they smoked magnificently.

I always thought Sir Walter Raleigh smelled really good in the can. That's probably where it should have stayed, because I thought it tasted like crap when smoked.

My favorite tobacco, which I used to buy by the pound, was The Tinderbox cigar and pipe shop's North Seas blend. It truly tasted as good as it smelled in the pouch, and the aroma when lit, was divine. I just looked it up on the Intertubes. You can still get it (http://www.tinderbox.com/Tinder-Box-North-Sea-Pipe-Tobacco?sc=2&category=5095) although, now it's $42.00 US a pound, yikes!

Every once in a while, I'll open a box of trinkets or something that had that tabac in it. Ummmm, the aroma is almost enough to make me want to start playing with pipes again.

I think that's a big part of smoking a pipe - all the toys you get to play with. Tampers, pouches, humidors, the pipes, lighters, matches.

Ahh, matches. I still can't resist a box of good matches. I became quite the matches snob when I did a pipe. Swan's Vesta matches from Britain, were excellent. Also good were the Three Plumes matches, made in Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. (that's West Indies, not Wisconsin, in case you were wondering).

In fact, I just bought a cellophane pack of 10 boxes of Three Plumes. Probably more for nostalgia than for emergency lighting, although you never know. We've got them stashed in our pantry.

Far and away, my favorites were some Russian matches that Dianna picked up from a tobacconist in Seattle when I was still in the Coast Guard. I don't recall the brand, but they were simply the best matches for firing up the old smudge-pot. She bought me two boxes and I rationed them for the longest time. I never found more of them.

Y'know, if someone opened a good tobacconist and pipe shop in Belize, it just might be tempting... Naaaw.


  1. Oh yeah, the new time and temp is just terrible. Who would want to sit out in the sand like that??

    Actually, I like it! Accu Weather does a good job.

  2. Some of my pipes were made from beer cans and tin foil

  3. I worked at a motorhome plant for a year or so in the early 70's. Not one went out with the faucet screens in place...

  4. I used to make pipes out of brass fittings. I didn't really smoke tobacco in it either. Brought back some old memories.


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