Editor’s note: This week I got a wonderful letter from a fellow Pipe Smoker and his thoughts on the upcoming Las Vegas International Pipe Show. I’m going to publish the letter in it’s entirety here and comment on it over the weekend. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did.
As a relative new pipe smoker, six and a half years, I have had few realistic opportunities to attend a pipe show. Since the world shut down in 2020, even fewer. This year, as everything seems to be approaching the proverbial normal once again, shows seems to have returned with vigor. The Las Vegas Pipe Show is full steam ahead to take place in just a few short weeks. I was fortunate enough to have the stars align and the opportunity to attend has presented itself.
I have no idea what to expect. Since experience is the best teacher, I have asked several pipe show veterans to shed some light on it.
What is the purpose of a pipe show? It may seem obvious, but I believe it is multi-faceted. To see a huge display of pipes from many different sellers and, more enticing, from many different carvers is certainly a potential highlight. The same can be said for the selection of tobacco that is sure to span myriad blends, blenders, collectors and those with hidden gems to trade and share.
For those in the business, opportunities to show their wares and sell as many things as possible in a very short time. For newer carvers or retailers, to get more exposure to new markets and to network with like-minded folks. The potential to grow has to be in the forefront of their minds.
The thing that excites me more than any of that is the chance to meet people who love the enjoyment of the pipe and tobacco as much as I do. Whether they be retailers, makers, enthusiasts, collectors, or just regular Joes like me, I’m excited to meet them. There are a special group of people I’m particularly interested in finally meeting. They are people that I have known, in some cases since I started smoking a pipe, that congregate together, apart, in the YouTube Pipe Community.
Finally getting the chance to meet and share a few days together with people I genuinely feel are like brothers to me. It’s more than just a metaphor for a good friend, it is much more like the idea of phileo brotherhood. A deep, genuine, meaningful connection that goes well beyond pipe videos. I have had the pleasure of meeting one of these in person and the immediate feeling of having known each other for years was mutually undeniable.
In many cases, we know, not only what each other’s pipe collection and tobacco preferences look like, but we know each other’s spouses and kids; We know each other’s tastes in music, sports, food, and hobbies. We know what each other believe, what we are passionate about, what makes us laugh, and what pisses us off. We know, in some cases, things our own families don’t know about us. These are deep, meaningful relationships. That is the thing, above all else, that I am looking forward to at this show.
At this writing, all of the rooms set aside specifically show participants have sold out. There are only a couple of dozen spots left for vendors to book tables. There are over thirty individuals from the YTPC that have confirmed that they will be there so far. This show promises to be a wonderful time. If you are on the fence about going, I would suggest hopping off and booking your trip soon.
For those that are attending, I hope you are able to get everything out of this and even more than you hope for. See you there!