You Should Smell My Hair
Every year aound this time I get a chance to catch up with some good friends of mine. Two of them are from Michigan and one is kind of local to me, but I don't get to see him that often. All of these guys I met because of my enjoyment of cigars and all of these guys are primarily pipe smokers now.
Of the three pipe smokers, two of them are excellent pipe makers. The third is now a seller of fine briar pipes. They are all in town for the Chicago Pipe Collectors Show.
Kirk Bosi is a fun guy. He has always reminded me of Norm from "Cheers". He works at an area high school and has arranged a few weekend "herfs" (cigar smoking gatherings) over the years. I am not a football fan, but I cannot refuse to watch the Super Bowl if I know Kirk has thrown together a Super Bowl herf. He's friendly, easy-going, and one helluva good pipe maker. His pipes are always among the best values in the pipe world as he makes an excellent product and charges a VERY fair price. In the years I've been watching him learn the craft, he truly has come into his own as a manufacturer of quality pipes.
Scott Bundy is a rock drummer and a tobacco-head living in Michigan. He is currently working at The Pipe Rack, a company dedicated to providing high-quality unsmoked and estate pipes, vintage tobaccos, and other accessories. I'd love to get out to hear him play again one day soon, and he is always a great guy to share a smoke with. Among my favorite memories of Scott are...wait! I can't tell you about those memories. But I still have the panties he managed to finagle off of a fan of his at a show. I've said too much.
Brian Ruthenberg is quickly becoming one of the world's most respected pipe artisans. Though he's only been making pipes for a relatively short amount of time, I'm told by many that his pipes are among the best made and best smoking pipes anywhere. This doesn't surprise me. Brian is the kind of guy that can make, manufacture, or repair ANYTHING, usually with little or no prior knowledge of how to do so. He built me a "coolerdor" (a humidor inside a travel cooler) some years back and I am the proud owner of a retro-fitted china cabinet humidor be built back in his cigar days. He's about as nice a man as you'll ever find.
I met all of these guys originally at a cigar smokers internet bulletin board and have been fortunate enough to meet them in person and share a few great times with them in the years since.