Blog by Steve Laug
One morning toward the end of May I was greeted by an Anniversary message from WordPress stating that rebornpipes was 7 years old. I was surprised that it was that had been that long to be honest. I have long since forgotten the exact year when the blog started and had no real idea of how long it has been going. I know that I started it in May and put up the first posts throughout the month. I had no recollection of the year I had done that. I find that the older I get the more quickly one year slides into the next and I lose track. With all that I am doing with work and home, remembering that kind of thing is not one of my priorities. I explain it to my wife and kids that it is like forgetting addresses but not forgetting locations. You ask me for an address and I typically don’t remember it but ask me how to get there and that is a different story. Ah well, it is good to have computer generated reminders of this kind of thing for folks like me.
After reading this reminder I have been thinking about the seven years that have passed. If I look at just the many pipes have re-entered the smoking rotations of people that alone is amazing. I looked at the stats on the Admin page and was a bit surprised to see that there are over 2800 individual blogs on rebornpipes. That means that we have recorded the restoration or refurbishing of over 2000 pipes from all levels of pipe craftsmanship. There are blogs on high-end pipes and on low end manufactured pipes and everywhere in between. These are solely the pipes belonging to folks who write blogs for rebornpipes or have sent us write-ups of their work. When you think about it in terms of pipes put back in use after being refurbished it is a lot of pipes.
That does not even begin to take into account those who have started their own blogs. Charles Lemon of DadsPipes and Dal Stanton of ThePipeSteward are two that come to mind. Those gentleman are doing great work and are bringing pipes back into service. (I know that Dal submits his work here and then reblogs it on his own site. However, when you consider he also lists pipes that can be commissioned for restoration it adds even more to that number.) I know that there are others who have also started their own blogs and pipe restoration businesses from our number that add to the mix. It is exciting to watch this community expand. The impact of rebornpipes continues to grow and develop and it is hard to know where it will go in the years ahead.
On top of those known individuals within our community are also the unknown ones. I cannot begin to give you numbers for the individuals – male and female who have entered the hobby after reading the blog. I know there are many because of the emails that I receive in thanks and with questions. There is rarely a day that goes by that I do not receive several emails from blog readers who have questions about restoration procedures or brands. This an exciting part of the blog for me because it is the outcome that I had hope for when I started. I remember when I started restoring pipes there was little information available online. I had to reach out to kind and helpful pipemen who answered my questions willingly. I know that rebornpipes fills a niche that has contributed to making pipe restoration and refurbishing accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try.
Another part of the over 2800 blogs is that of making information available on brands and makers. I have scanned dozens of pamphlets, catalogues and brochures that have been sent to me and added them to the information that it available. I have also received many scanned documents as gifts to be added to the blog. The beauty of this is that there is a lot of research that has been done on brands pulling together information from a variety of sources online – Pipedia, pipephil, pipemaker websites and Patent sites. This is easily accessible to anyone searching for information. There is a repository of booklets, brochures and pamphlets that have been made available on a lot of different brands. rebornpipes blogs and materials are often high on the Google searches that folks do and for that I too am thankful. It has been a process to get here but it is also something grand to celebrate as it is also an outcome I had dreamed of when I started.
Finally rebornpipes also includes other pieces of pipe information such as reviews of books, tools, supplies and pipes. These are brief and experiential reviews to enable the readers to peruse them prior to investing in them personally. I have also included some of my own contributions to pipe lore through Father Tom stories, short stories and personal reflections on the art and craft of pipe refurbishing. This was also an outcome I had dreamed of when I started the blog. rebornpipes really does have a broad range of information available to the reader who uses it. Sometimes I forget the breadth of material that is stored on the blog.
As I close these reflections I want to thank each of you readers for faithfully being part of our community and also submitting your work to be included. It is great to be a part of this community of people that really make distance quite irrelevant. I realized that seven years is a remarkable time for a blog to be active and growing. Each year is marked by growth of daily readership and also materials. It surprises me that the readership continues to grow with people following us from around the world. I had no idea when I began of the reach the blog would have nor of the community of refurbishers that would be built. For that I am truly grateful.
Here’s to the next seven years and more….