Blog by Steve Laug
I was away for a little over a week and just returned from a week of rest and work in Lethbridge, Alberta with a good friend, Rohan. It was a great time. I am unable to visit somewhere without checking out antique shops or malls to see if I can find any pipes or tobacciana that interest me. So for sure I had to do a bit of that on this trip. On Saturday there was an Antique/Flea Market happening at the race track under the grand stands and we went to check it out. Over the years I have generally found something to take home with me on these expeditions. My friend’s wife found a nice wooden pipe rack with a humidor jar for him. I found a few items scattered around the market. The first of these was a rough old sandblast billiard that was stamped Diplomat and Italy on the bottom of the shank. The stem was not the original as it did not fit. Whoever owned it before had wrapped the tenon with thread and tin foil to hold it in place in the shank. They had also hacked up the stem with files to cut a new button and grooves on the underside to make it a dental bit. It was very rough. I paid $10 Cndn for it which for the American’s reading this is about $6. Not a bad deal. I also found an unused Kleen Reem pipe tool in a hard shell case. All parts were there and the lining of the box was a little worn for wear. The tool itself was spotless and the band of pipe cleaner pieces was still present. I paid $20 for the tool which is a great deal for a vintage pipe tool that was still unused. The third item shown in the photos is a pipe lighter. It did not have flints in the chamber so the wheel free spun. It is stamped Fisher Elite over Made in Canada. This little lighter was $10. It will take a bit of work to get it working well again but it is a nice piece of tobacciana and Canadian made to boot. Rohan had made several trips recently and picked up some gifts for me. I thank him for his thoughtfulness. The first of these was a little hand carved pipe from Columbia. It is similar to the ones that friends have brought back for me from Nepal. I know it is not a tobacco pipe but it is interesting nonetheless and now sits on my book case with a pipe from Viet Nam, two from Nepal, two older Ropp Cherrywood pipe. The other gift was from a recent trip to Australia. He picked up this leather covered Butane torch lighter for me that will make a great addition to my lighters.
It was a great trip in a lot of ways. My friend and I enjoyed many a bowl together on his front porch and on Monday afternoon visited a pipe man from England that lived down the street from Rohan. He invited the two of us to join him on his patio. We looked over his collection of pipes and tobacco. Then we sat outside and chatted while enjoying a few bowls together. His wife brought us each a cup of tea and some butter tarts to enjoy while we visited.
Sitting at home now and cleaning up the Diplomat pipe I want to say, “Thanks Rohan for the great time and the memories that I added both in terms of pipes and lighters and shared bowls. I look forward to the next time we meet.”