Tonight my son, his buddy, my bro-in-law and I took a little drive to Burlington, NC to attend what was promoted as a pipe smoking evening with JR's Corporate Trainer, Steve Nathan and Burlington's resident pipe and cigar expert, Rudy Baker.
As we all bellied up to the glass pipe counter Steve and Rudy covered several useful subjects including choosing the right pipe, packing and lighting and a very interesting discussion on choosing tobacco. The tobacco bar was then opened for sampling, and by the time our three hour session flew by we all purchased several tobaccos and no doubt there were pipes purchased as well.
As a cob smoker I was happy to hear that Steve and Rudy were cob-friendly, and Steve was smoking a Missouri Meerschaum Ozark Mountain pipe all night long. If I'm not mistaken it was the same one he was smoking during the cigar school last July.
My son's friend, Chris brought along a couple of his dad's pipes, but smoked his new MM Diplomat all night. It was the first time he's smoked a pipe and I can say that he is clearly a convert.
I hope that this is something that other shops jump on, because the young guys were like dry sponges anxious to learn all they could. If I had one bit of advise it would be to plan on total newbies in the crowd and teach to them. Those of us in the crowd who think we know everything can always learn from a review of the basics; and the newbies need to learn from the ground up.