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.