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The lure of the 'Sea Foam'.

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Old Ted, Jan 2, 2011.

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  1. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    A few thoughts on that magical white substance that becomes such exquisite smoking instruments - those with a good sense of impending boredom, please excuse me,and feel free to exit the scene. My fascination for meerschaum - and indeed pipesmoking in general began as a schoolboy in the early fifties, when I used to cycle across town to visit Grandpa - a retired police officer. We would sit either side of the fire, and he would tell tales of 'old time villains' and past adventures, while trying to keep the ever-present pipefull of Erinmore flake alight!.
    Now, Grandpa's collection - or rotation!, consisted of two or three old briars in a home made wall rack, next to his easy-chair, but in a nearby drawer was a battered old leather case that fascinated me, it contained a beautifully carved old meerschaum, with a mini-scene of soldier, cannon and cannon balls, from the Crimean war period. I would persuade him to smoke it from time to time, but to my disappointment in later years, it was claimed by an uncle, when Grandpa passed-on at the age of eighty nine.
    Fast-forward to the 'swinging sixties' - that find me playing drums in various semi-pro rock bands, and smoking a Falcon pipe (not at the same time!). At this time, the late, great Buddy Rich used to come over and tour each year, and I would make the two hundred mile 'pilgrimage' to London, to see my hero at Ronnie Scott's jazz club. In the afternoon before the evening show I would make for Jermyn Street and spend time gazing longingly into the windows of those high-class tobacconist and pipe shops - Astleys, Charatan, Dunhill etc., and my fascination with the intricately carved white works of art was re-kindled.
    For quite a few years now - I have spent my holidays in Turkey,we love the country and it's people, and of course - I usually come home with at least one new meer!, The top Turk carvers are superb artists - and although I don't smoke them too much, the lure of the 'Sea Foam' has never left me!
    Cheers, OT.
     
  2. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    Thanks for a wonderful read, Ol' Ted. Your granddad's meer sounds like a fantastic pipe with a great history behind it.
     
  3. SSGpiper

    SSGpiper Member

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    OT, stories like that leave me with mental images of sitting, smoking and listening to your stories of simpler times I wasn't fortunate enough to be around for. I remember my step-grandpa smoking his pipe when I was young before he got sick. At ten, I didn't know enough to ask for his pipe and it is probably long gone and forgotten. Great read, thanks.
     
  4. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    Don't hold yourself back from smoking them............I've got 2 meers on the "smoke table" nearly all the time. Right now is a Bekler and a large IMP. They smoke great! I usually have at least 1-2 meers out in the den (garage) along with a cob or 2 and a briar or 2. Don't deny yourself the pleasures of the seafoam! If you do.........you'll just go mad! Mad I tell you! ;)


    :velho:
    Ed Puff!
    cogito ergo puff
     
  5. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    ....I think the main reason that I don't smoke them too often is - most of my smoking is done in my little shop, while fooling around on the lathe or mill with dirty hands. I'm sure that if I'm spared - and become more of a 'rocking chair jockey' in time they will see more use! :eek:hyeah:
     
  6. Grammaton

    Grammaton Member

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    I've got no one left to tell me stories, so please continue.
     
  7. Ol Brokedik

    Ol Brokedik Active Member

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    I've been working on coloring one of my meerschaums. About 2 months ago, I saw a darkening area around the base of my pipe. I hope to get pictures up in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the story.
    Be well.
    Ol Brokedik.
     
  8. tsgourley

    tsgourley Member

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    What an inspiration. I hope I can provide such a story for my progeny down the road. Maybe one day they'll talk fondly of daddy's seafoam pipes.
     
  9. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

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    Hi All,

    A great story Ted and well told. Memories like that stay with you - many thanks for sharing,

    Gerry
     
  10. Gondar

    Gondar Member

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    Nice read. It would be nice to see some pics of your meer collection.
     
  11. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    .....well I just tried putting one up - from flikr and from my PC - but would they appear?....NAH!!! :dunno:
     
  12. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    At first, I thought this was going to
    be about some old Stratocaster with
    a vintage colour scheme. Luckily,
    it was an even better story that I
    heartily enjoyed. Well told, OT!
    I truly wish I had a relative that enjoyed
    our hobby before me, but alas, it
    will have to be me telling stories
    of old. Hopefully, they'll be half
    as interesting as this one was.
    Thanks for sharing.

    dp
     
  13. len smetona

    len smetona Member

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    HA !!

    I thought for sure this was going to be a car/motorcycle thread. I've been using Sea Foam for years, it is a magical elixir for old motorcycles. Often time, it will save you from parting a carburetor to clean it out. I have more than a few bikes, and I go through many cans a year as a stabilizer for winter storage.

    I wouldn't smoke it though, and it might be a bit harsh for cleaning pipes.

    http://www.seafoamsales.com/motor-treatment.html

    Cheers,

    Len S
     
  14. Gondar

    Gondar Member

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    To bad about the photos. I think all pictures now show as links instead of inserted images.
    I've only been to Turkey once, long before I had any interest in pipes. We went to Icmeler for our honeymoon, and took a trip to Pamukkale and Ephesus. It might be time for a revisit some years from now. Is there any particular places you recommend to visit for meerschaums or just in general?
     
  15. Gondar

    Gondar Member

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    Is this working?

    [​IMG]

    (just an excuse to show it again :wub: )
     
  16. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    There are lots of shops selling meers, but many have mediocre offerings - catering to the tourist trade, finding dealers with quality pipes is a little more difficult. Over the years I have made some friends that can obtain good pipes from the carving district, and I pay a lot less than I would back home. If you do decide to visit again, email me - I may be able to advise. Re. posting pics here - other forums I have visited, I can paste a photo from flickr, or thumbnail from my pc - straight into the post....doesn't look like this is an option? - anyone advise?
    Cheers OT
     
  17. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    yep! - it does! - and that's a little beauty!
     
  18. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    ....so I'll try one! (tho' it's not the same!)[​IMG]
     
  19. Gondar

    Gondar Member

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    The second version worked, the IMG marked one. Very beautiful! :thumbsu:
    I can't see myself going to to Turkey for a few years yet, but thank you for the offer.
     
  20. t-bear

    t-bear Well-Known Member

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    Worked a treat Ted...very nice pipe, and beginning to color beautifully. Should have some real character in a few years.
    Gondar...think I've seen that somewhere before... :whistle: Still nice!

    An aside for the worshipers of the White Goddess...have you noticed that some of your meerschaums take color quickly and relatively evenly, while others of the same quality seem to take forever to show that first blush? She is a strange and fickle mistress, indeed!
     
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