Every year, this is the premiere pipe event of the summer! Save the date; details to come later in the year.
Downtown Toronto Pipe Club
As I’m sure you are all aware, February 20th is International Pipe Smoking Day. This year we will be having a rare Winter Smoker to pay tribute to our noble pastime! If you have subscribed to our newsletter, please check your inbox (or perhaps SPAM folder) for details or contact us directly for more information.
Like last year we were under the threat of inclement weather. Fortunately, the thunderstorms held off and we had warmth and even sunshine! People descended to Bowmanville for the fifth year in a row for (once) a true BBQ meal consisting of pulled pork, slaw and pickles. We didn’t keep to our schedule terribly well, but all the things we had planned managed to get done. In the end, the whole point is to get together for fun, food, conversation and smoking — and on all points it was a great success.
A big thanks to Michael Parks who, once again, opened up his home and workshop for the event; to Mike J. for providing the beverages and raffle items; Matt for selling raffle tickets; Smokingpipes.com for the generous tobacco donations and associated swag; John for offering (and providing) rides; Jack for his help as part of the organizing committee and everyone else for coming out and being a part of it!
Every year, this is the premiere pipe event of the summer! People come from near (Michael Parks) and far (everyone else, really) to congregate for a day of coffee, food, smoking, er… more smoking… talking, and copious smoking. Did we mention smoking? Oh, right; we did.
This year we’ll be serving up slow-smoked pulled pork and slaw And probably some other mayonnaise-based salad. (That’s the last time I buy the 6 gallon drum at Cost-Co!)
Also, we are bound to have more great stuff to raffle off.
- 10am – Event Kick Off! Coffee will be served; swap & sell set-up (basically, if you have something to sell/trade, bring it along)
- 11am – Opening Remarks, Thank Yous and Kick-off of Workshop
- 11:05am – Pipe Buffing Workshop with Michael Parks. Learn how to clean/buff your pipe, and then have a turn at the wheel! Or not; it’s up to you.
- 1pm – Lunch Served
- 3pm – Raffle Results Awarded
- 4pm – Event Close
As you can see, we’ve made this year’s event much less programmed. Come prepared to relax and enjoy yourself.
There are no tickets required or cost this year thanks to the generosity of our attendees and sponsors from our last BBQ. Everyone is welcome to attend. (Other pipe clubs welcome!) Bring guests!
Our August Smoker will be hosted in the cozy backyard of DTPC regular and pipe-maker Giovanni!
It was great to see so many out for our July Smoker! Even though this part of Ontario has been experiencing the severest drought in 20 years we somehow found ourselves under the threat of rain — a DTPC tradition.
A special thanks to Ian and the folks at the Brigham and MORE on Queen East who hosted the evening.
For the month of July the DTPC moves East to the Beach area! Once again the kind folks at the Brigham & MORE tobacconists have offered to host us on their back patio.
Normally we have our Season Opener in May, but as I look at the extended forecast with its low of 10C I can’t help but think that the following month will be a little more welcoming.
So — with that I hereby announce the Official Season Opener on Friday, June 3rd. Once again our good friend Giovanni will be hosting us in his backyard (Dundas and Dupont). Bring your pipes, tobaccos and favourite beverages for a night of smoking, drinking and conviviality!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “pipe show scene”, the Chicago one (actually in St. Charles, IL) is the largest of them all, and is the only one that has a significant international presence. If you want to the see some of the “Great Danes” such as Nanna and Lars Ivarsson, this is the one to go to. (And if you want to buy one of their pipes, you should have several thousands of dollars handy.) The flip side of that coin is that it is also the busiest and “business-iest” of all the shows. As a case in point: even though the show is Saturday and Sunday, when we arrived on Thursday afternoon, Ernie Markle had already sold half of his pipes. If you’re a collector or have a serious case of PAD, you need to get there early because many of the vendors and pipemakers have been selling pipes out of their rooms and smoking tent since Tuesday and at the Friday “pre-show”; wait until Saturday morning when the show formally begins and you’ll see tables already with “Sold Out” signs and empty tables. But that’s Chicago.
Michael Parks, Jack and I traveled down by car together and met 6 other DTPC members of past and present. For a pipe-maker like Parks, this show is about work and connections. He brought down about 15 pipes, but 12 of those were commissions that he was bringing down to give to his customers. He’ll end up spending much of the show meeting with them and building on those connections. That invariably brings more work. And since this is a big industry event, it’s also an opportunity to pick up additional briar blocks and acrylic rods – and possibly even look at what the competition is up to.
For me, the show is definitely about the people. As much as I love pipes, the reason I started a pipe club is to meet and hear from other pipe smokers. So even though I spent hours walking the show floor, I felt happiest when having a chance to hang out with old friends and make new ones. (Listening to veterans Fred Hanna and Tad Gage swap stories and razz each other was a particular highlight.) The more shows I go to, the more I’m also drawn to the pipe carvers that I’ve begun to develop personal connections with and my collection has begun to reflect that.
To cap off my show report, I’ve included a few pictures. (Our DTPC logo was so popular we probably could have sold t-shirts at the show!)