I’m a long time pipe smoker since I was 18. My first job was at the well known Bessai Pipe Clinic in Cleveland, under the tutilage of Herb Bessai, son of John Bessai, the acclaimed UK pipe maker. Herb taught me all about pipes, the shapes, notable pipe makers, and their history, and, more importantly, the different tobaccos and how they were blended. My first pipe was a simple, half bent Billiard with a virgin finish - a Christmas gift from Herb, who carved it for me. I worked there during summers and thru college breaks for 4-5 years, and the education I received was more than priceless, not to mention all the free tobacco that i smoked LOL.
I am now retired and have a modest collection of 55-60 pipes along with an impressive cellar to choose from. Some of the pipes I smoke, sell, trade, refurbish, etc., and some have sat in their original boxes as a long term investment, which started back when you could buy a Dunhill for around $30 and a Ben Wade for even less.
My life does not revolve solely around pipes. I am still an avid Bass & Walleye angler. I have also been a serious chess player since age 8, and I hold a Master’s ranking. I give lessons and still compete
when time allows. I also spend time
with gardening, wildlife pbotography, swimming, and keeping up with my 4 grandkids.
And yes, I also stay involved with pipes, both in several groups on Facebook, and managing the PFTT, the “Pipes For The Troops“ project, which has sent over 600 donated pipes and over 800 tins of tobacco to our servicemen who are deployed in Iraq Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Korea. Please contact me, if you have pipes you would like to donate to this worthy cause.
Ok, I’m done.