an/ad: Kansas City Report & New PIpes

Kansas City Report.

Friday pre-show: A number of people had their rooms open in the afternoon
when traffic to the rooms was light. It picked up after dinner at 8 PM
and pretty much quieted out by 10:30 PM. The dinner by the way was very

That's expected as Kansas City, it seems to me, tends to draw most of its
attendees locally. So after work many go home and I don't think too many
people live near the airport. Fortunately for me I found a small quantity
of tined Dunhill, made by Murray's, Early Morning, London Mixture and #
965. As from all reports I am hearing the new Dunhill made by Orlick is
not in the same league.

Saturday the show opened to the public at 9 AM. Most of the usual suspects
were there. Jay and Louise of Hermit, Steve Monjure, Premal of Smoker's
Haven, Music City Marketing, pipe makers Michael Parks, Michael Linder,
Mark Gradberg, (Grey Mountain Pipes), Brian Ruthenberg, Alberto
Bonfiglioli, Larry Comeaux, and Lee Von Erck, I apologize to any makers I
missed mentioning etc.

Things picked up as the day wore on. Tobacco wise there was lots of
individuals selling a variety of old and new tobaccos, albeit I didn't see
any primo Vintage tobaccos on the floor. McClellands were there it being
their hometown. I was offering free tins of C&D tobaccos, (courtesy of
Craig Tarler) with every pipe. The open tins were well sampled.

Saturday night the banquet was excellent. There main course was a fine
brisket and a salmon steak, so I don't think anybody was hungry after.
Michael Parks gave a talk with slides of his trip to Italy to buy briar.
His talk was very informative as to the mystery of briar. The slide show
helped especially the picture of the really pretty Italian traffic ticket
officer. There was free tobacco for every diner, Solani, Butera, and
another brand. This of course caused a flurry of swapping round the table
until everybody ended up with the blends they liked or wanted to try. When
leaving we were given a large pack of Altaldis pouch tobaccos.

Then it was to the hotel bar and later to the rooms to drink, talk and
smoke. That leads me to the problem of restricted smoking that is
occurring at every show, except Chicago. In Kansas City we could smoke in
our rooms, but no where else in the hotel. That was totally bizarre, as
there is no anti-smoking bylaw according to the hotel staff, just their
policy. So the bar was deserted but of course you could smoke cigarettes
there, no cigars or pipes allowed. That is why the actual show was held
across the road in the convention center. We could moke.

Sunday was very quiet. Overall attendance seemed to be down as it has been
at every show this year, except Chicago. There are all kinds of theories
why, but I think the common denominator is the smoking restrictions.
Unfortunately there isn't much us pipers can do about it. But if anybody
is skipping the shows because they can't smoke everywhere they want, they
are being really foolish. At every show you can still smoke in the rooms,
and in various other areas and always in the show hall. Skipping a show
means you are missing out on seeing lots of pipes in the flesh, a chance
for some really good deals and swaps, the camaraderie of being with fellow
pipe smokers, the chance to talk with some carvers and an overall good
time. I would hate to see the shows begin to wither and die. That would
hurt the hobby. I enjoy them even though it really doesn't make economic
sense for dealers to travel to shows. Hopefully, 2006 will see attendance
at shows return to normal.

I was glad to see Patrick Dennis from Chicago with his attractive line of
"Brotherhood of the Briar", T-shirts, hats and more to come he tells me.
He and Al Ford from Seattle both had tables, as did other individuals. I
think it is really important that individuals are at shows to sell, buy,
and swap some. The mix of individuals, dealers, and pipe clubs with table
is what gives pipe shows a distinctive flavor, besides the smell of

One thing I notice recently is that at every show I meet some individuals
who take great pride in how little they spent at the show. I tell them
that if everybody attending did the same there would be no dealers and few
other sellers. Now if guys want shows to go back to being a swap meet
only, that's okay? but if they don't then, if you can, buy a pipe at a
pipe show. It¹s the way to keep the shows and the hobby going. (I am not
complaining as I had a good Kansas City show).

Also, too many buyers are turning up with out cash or checks. It doesn't
affect dealers but it does make it difficult for some carvers. Especially
the younger carvers who often cannot take credit cards and need all the
support they can get. We need to encourage the younger carvers, as they
are the next generation.

The organizers did a really good job and every thing went off very
smoothly. When they ran out of coffee the problem was rectified in a few
minutes and they never ran out of jugs of iced water.

Monday was my birthday and my wife surprised my with a bottle of
Bruichladdich Single Malt, 14 year old. I mention it because this single
malt is made from organic Chalice barley grown on the Island of Islay.
Apparently until the recently all the barley used in malts was grown
locally and organically. Now they are mostly grown with tons of fertilizer
and in many cases the barley is imported. Jim McEwan, (malt master),
says", Our usual spirit is pretty damm good, yet here there is just more
of everything. I never thought there could be such a difference". In this
case it isn¹t advertising hype. I like Bruichladdich but this was
certainly even better that the regular. The reason I relate this is that
you can tell your other half when she comments either on the price or the
fact that you are having a drink, This is a health drink. It is organic
and she wouldn't want you drink some chemically laced stuff. would she.
Also, barley is a natural decongestant. So, during and after a show,
scotch whiskey will really help clear out the sinuses. A small amount
does it. Try it, it is wonderful. One of life's enhancing pleasure.

This week we just got in 12 really nice Mastro Beraldi pipes from Italy.
They are very reasonable $ 65 - 150.00 each. I tried one and so far a very
respectable smoke for the value.

We added some new Ashton today, Friday, Nov. 4.

Contests: Last week we ran a contest, sort of by accident. It was a lot of
and Sean Checover won the free tobacco pouch. So I am going to this
regularly and the winner will always be the 1st one to answer the question
riddle etc. Feel free to suggest an idea. If I use you will be credited
and be sent some free tobacco. If I use your suggestion you obviously can
not participate in the contest.

Smoke Well

Best Maxim
Chief Smoking Officer

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