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by Mark Irwin

Several years ago I ran across a very small image of a very funny cartoon, absolutely hysterical, in fact, whether read as a cautionary icon for P.A.D. sufferers, as the “battle of the briars” that seems to take place anytime two competitive pipe smokers get together, or as an illustration of the trend towards ever larger pipes in the artisan pipe making industry. Unfortunately, I had no idea who the artist was, and no one else seemed to know either. Read more

by Mark Irwin

I was very fortunate to meet Fred Hanna at the Chicagoland Show this past May when he debutedThe Perfect Smoke: Gourmet Pipe Smoking for Relaxation and Reflection at the North American Society of Pipe Collector’s table, and even got a snap sitting next to him and Bill Unger like I was one of the Big Boys.  Reflecting back on the few minutes I talked with him, the Real-Life Fred is every bit as deep, knowledgeable, passionate, humorous and as humble as the Author Fred—a man mindfully practicing what he preaches.  When the preaching concerns the perfect smoke and has 40 years’ experience behind it, the result is bound to be one of the best books on pipes and tobaccos ever published. And it is. Read more

by Mark Irwin

 I’m mad about chubbies. My analyst Doc Irwin says it’s because I was chubby as a kid. When everyone else was buying their shrink-to-fit Levi 501s, I was buying Expand-O-Matic Huskies With The Patented Double Knee at Sears & Roebuck. Even in grad school one of my best friends said, “You’re not really chubby—that’s just happy fat. Buddha tummy.” Yeah, right. Read more

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