I received two pipes from Bob Kemper in Oklahoma City for minor repairs. A Sasieni 4-dot needing four new dots, and an old Orlik in need of a new stem. Both pipes were obviously old, but in beautifully maintained condition. In a note to Bob I mentioned their pristine condition. It was obvious that these two ‘old friends’ were important to him.
Bob responded to my note. With his permission, a portion of his response follows. Anyone who enjoys pipes and all of the nice things that go along with them should read it. If you love pipes as I do, the paragraph will give you the same warm feeling it gave me. Thank you, Bob!!!
“I want to thank you for your kind words as to the condition of my pipes when you received them...so thank you.”
“Since your e-mail confirming my pipe's arrival, I've spent much time wondering why I keep them as nice as possible. I think in part the reason is that I'm a life long pilot. Flying is all about process and being deliberate in ones actions. Pipe smoking is a deliberate act that requires thought and procedure as does flying. It is not a matter of being at "A" and then being at "B", with "B" as the goal. To ensure arrival at "B", how one performs during trip is paramount to the journey's success. Not to mention the importance of maintaining the equipment. I smoke a pipe as a matter of choice not of compulsion or for need of a nicotine fix. Often I will go for days with out lighting a briar. When I do it is because I want to. The same as I would do in having a good glass of wine with a splendid meal. So for me, equipment maintenance and process becomes part of the enjoyment of pipe smoking. That is not to negate the artfulness of pipes. They are an exquisite piece of functional art to be appreciated and cared for, which in turn creates pride of ownership and deep satisfaction.”