Updated: May 31, 2021
The 2004 Chicago pipe show seems worlds away. There was a time when the adjustments needed to comply with antismoking regulations seemed like a big change, then last year happened.
2004 was my first show, so I think of it from time to time. As I have related in previous posts, I shared a table with Peter Heeschen, which was like manning the kissing booth next to Charlize Theron’s.
That was a bit of an understatement. A few people looked at my pipes just long enough not to seem rude, fewer still showed any genuine interest. One collector — I know he was eminent and I was told his name, but I’ve forgotten it — stopped and bought three or four pipes from Peter with about the same attention that most people would devote to choosing apples at the market. If he even noticed my pipes he gave no indication.
Although I saw him at subsequent shows, I don’t recall that he ever looked at my pipes. At the 2012 show, though, he was walking past my table, glanced my way, and without breaking stride, called out, “GETTING BETTER!”
Guess there’s a lesson in there somewhere.