Tuesday, March 31, 2020


You've probably realized that in some ways I am an opportunist. Just doing my bit to uphold a fine American tradition, but not as bad as the robber barons OR the religious right-wing and their realization that suckers are born every minute, and must be fleeced.

Never-the-less, I do take advantage of things.
Such as letters from friends.
Which could be posts.
On a blog.


I finally finished cleaning the Custombilt pipes. Pipedia has a review of the book written by William Unger from Richard Esserman and Tony Soderman,

It's a good read, but you probably already know that. It's no longer available, and the ones that come up on eBay are stupid expensive.

Turns out I have three different iterations of said pipe beginning with a real Tracy Mincer version with the hyphenated Custom-Bilt script. One is probably from the Eugene Rich era , and one apparently from the Wally Frank company.

They all cleaned up very well and are in excellent shape.

I just smoked the Wally Frank version while cat-sitting in the back yard. They all have voluminous tobacco chambers, much like a Barling POT. It took a lot of matches to get it going (I think there is a learning curve involved with smoking these things) but when I got it going it was a great smoke. I don't think these will over-heat too easily.

The cat enjoyed looking longingly at the birds, and chewing on the fresh grasses growing everywhere.


He smokes his pipe in a garden in Marin, near two small cars, a creek, a local coyote, and a woman who is married to him. And he's a good cook. Quiche, corn chowder, short bread. Under current circumstances it is unlikely I'll see him for at least a month, but sometime in summer we may have a beer together.

A Corona .......

Custombilts are an American brand of briar pipes that had a brief hey day decades ago. There was a brief collectible flurry at the end of the seventies, then they went back into hiding. They've resurfaced occasionally since then.
Like him, I have three of them.

They're kind of ugly. That's their charm.

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