Whatever Happened to Smoking Pipes?

Whenever a doctor asks me if I smoke, I’m delighted to say no. But when he asks if I’ve ever smoked, I have to smile. Yes, I used to smoke a pipe. I quit thirty or thirty-five years ago, and I never smoked in what I considered a health-endangering way.

I loved the smell. Cherry-blend and walnut were my two favorite scents. I couldn’t stand to have smoke in my mouth–needless to say, I have no idea what inhaling pipe smoke would be like–and I sucked in only while lighting up. Otherwise, I blew the smoke out the bowl as if it were an adult bubble pipe.

Many kids go wild when they go off to college, but pipe smoking was probably the worst form of rebellion I ever tried. Needless to say, I never smoked when I went home to my parents’ house, and seldom did I smoke in public. I suppose I had at least a slight feeling that even pipe smoking wasn’t how I wanted people to picture me.

I had an interesting collection of pipes, but I want to mention one in particular. But let me point out first that I never smoked marijuana, nor was I ever around anyone who did.

I lived about sixty miles from Ocean City, Maryland, for a number of years, and once while looking at various shops along the boardwalk, I saw this really neat-looking little pipe. I had no idea what a toke was–or that that’s what that little pipe was. Because of its size and shape, I didn’t think it would make a good smoking pipe, but I thought it would be interesting to add to my collection.

So it sat there on the wooden pipe stand, collecting dust.

But then Jeff Coleman, one of the sons of my pastor, was visiting my apartment. He saw the toke and apparently recognized it for what it was. He didn’t say anything, but did his eyes ever light up. I didn’t think to ask why, but at some later date I found out about tokes–selling them openly in Ocean City had become illegal by then–and promptly threw it away.

Jeff, if you should see this post, please be assured that I have never used illegal drugs or any kind and I feel horrible about giving you that wrong impression.

I’m not sure exactly how old I was when I decided to quit smoking a pipe, but even these many years later I still miss the wonderful smells of my two favorite pipe tobaccos. But protecting my health and setting a good example for others are more important, and I honestly couldn’t imagine having the leftover smell hanging around the house forever.

Yes, I have an incense burner, and I use it maybe once a year–or every two years. But it’s just not the same.

What about you? Do you have any favorite ex-habits you’d like to make a comment about? We’d love to see them. Uh, the comments. Not necessarily the habits. *LOL*


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Best regards,

10 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Smoking Pipes?

  1. My best friend’s father used to smoke pipes and I loved the smell as well–also thought pipes looked cool. When we used to Civil War re-enact I tried to convince my 10-year-old son to carry a corn cob pipe to annoy the PC people but he wouldn’t do it


  2. Pipes. I’ve had a few, including some interesting water pipes. Hookahs, as they’re known. Life was different back then. Innocent. illegal, interesting. But they weren’t habits. My habits include an intense addiction to dark chocolate, expensive books and good food. Also, exotic kitchen toys. Nothing wrong with that. How are you tonight, Rog?


  3. There’s a place at the mall a mile up the road that sells hookahs. I’m glad your habits are safer, Tom. *G* I’m doing great, thanks, Tom. BTW, I meant to respond to an earlier post of yours and lost track of which one by the time I got around to it (which is why I’m responding IMMEDIATELY to this comment). You always make me think. *big smile*


  4. It seems the more circles I make around the sun the more I ransack the inner world of my private thoughts. I don’t know if many people do this sort of thing. It seems to me the majority of people do not like to think. The ever-present earphones and constant streaming media help people to avoid their own thoughts. It blocks out any opportunity to reflect. In many cases, the choice of media forming a persons’ outlook and opinion. The lack of quiet solitude is a mental illness. This, this inability to think, is causing the death of culture more than anything else. Knowledge is not wisdom and folks who cram their consciousness with flagrant, useless information have no basis for making inteliigent conversation. Am I rambling here? For you to say I make you think tells me you are a thinking person, a trait I admire. I am amazed at how many people read the blurbs I post on FB but never opine. I try to be controversial just for fun. Alas, to no avail in most cases.


  5. Tom, if more people commented on my posts, I might disagree about people not doing much thinking. However, over the years I’ve come to expect people to ignore me for the greater part. I suppose the things I share aren’t as distracting as “the ever-present earphones and constant streaming media.” Then again, according to the Myers-Briggs temperament inventory, I’m an INTJ…or an INFJ. I believe I was borderline on the thinking/feeling. But, as an “I” definitely feel the need to think things out before I speak. Unfortunately, the opportunity to speak often passes by before I get my thoughts in a row.


  6. My mention of the ”ever present earphones” is a personal observation of a galaxy of people who, at every moment are hooked up to some kind of music. It seems as if it’s an addiction. I look at it as a sort of escape, a true self denial. I think people put music in their ears or videos in their eyes to avoid themselves, to not have to think. It’s a mental illness. I know many people who walk, jog, drive or whatever with their ears plugged in. This constant streaming of media has to have an effect,. I personally would be handicapped if I had music blaring all the time. BTW; what’s an INTJ or INFJ? not familiar with those terms.


  7. Tom, I think you’d highly approve of the times I walk at the mall by myself. Rather than listen to music or think about how much I want to be done and go home, I use that as prayer time.

    Explaining INTJ and INFJ is more complex. I’m going to refer you to this website: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.htm. There are places on the web where you can take the test for free if you’re interested. But the truly amazing thing is how accurately one of the sixteen types applies to just about anyone.


  8. That’s what I’m talking about! Excellent use of time. When you walk you are not washing out your thoughts with music nor letting your mind be overpowered by blaring sounds. You’re using it in a way that helps you think and understand things as well as to communicate those thoughts in prayer. I do not think music is bad. It is wonderful. However, to use it in a way that excludes time to think, well, that is abuse of music. This inability to think is reflected in society. I need to go look at that website. However, I need to do it when I have some time on my hands. Thanks, Teach!


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