Memory triggers

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by woodbutcher, Jan 14, 2011.

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  1. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

    Nov 27, 2009
    I'm sure most of us have a story or two about how the smell of pipe smoke brings up memories of a specific person. Quite a few of us started smoking pipes for that reason.
    Most of the smokers in that time we remember only smoked one blend (or type) and the trigger is the smell of that blend. In the world now, we aren't under the same limitations. I mostly smoke one type, but, also burn anything from aromatics to Lat Bombs depending on my mood. Will this affect what "triggers" the (hopefully fond) memories of my grandkids? I can think of three possible paths.

    It may be "specific" and only rise up when they smell a particular blend that they enjoyed smelling, ignoring the odors they didn't like as much.

    It may be "random" where any time they pass a bakery or a house fire they remember something about the pipe tobacco I smoked.

    It might be "general". Instead of being triggered by the smell of the lone pine tree in the house at the holidays, it is the smell of the forest...everything from fresh blooms to old decay.

    What do you think will be the memory triggers for the next generation of future pipe smokers?

    (Woke up too early this morning, thinking about this).

  2. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    We never really were "under the same limitations", when I started - fifty years ago, there was plenty of choice - in fact a lot more than today! (at least over here) but - as in most other aspects of life, people were more 'satisfied' and not constantly making changes in the hope of that elusive 'improvement' that rarely happens. As to your question - I think things will stay the same - in this respect at least, human nature has, and will not, change much.
  3. dubhdarra

    dubhdarra Active Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    any who have met me will associate pipe smoking with a young guy wearing a duffle coat older than he is, smoking a decrepit guildhall filled with toby that smells like burning leather.

    hopefully they meet you guys instead ;)
  4. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    When I was knee high to a grasshopper, I remember one great grandfather chewing plug tobacco. He would let me smell it before cutting off a hunk with his pocket knife. The other great grandfather let me smell his pouch chewing tobacco. I always thought they smelled good, but never liked either tobacco type when I got older. I tried plug, chew, snuff, etc and nothing hit the spot.

    I started smoking cigars in the 80's and liked them a lot, but they didn't evoke fond memories because the smell of cigars was not sweet at all. The smell of pipe tobacco, no matter the blend, always makes me think of my great grandfathers and it does cause a little more endearment to the hobby.

    I think my sons will remember the smell of a pipe because they already talk about it frequently now. Several times per week they will individually ask me to open a jar or two to sniff the contents. The older one likes several different ones. The little one always wants to smell the Lane 1Q and Rattray's Terry Red.

    I'm sure there are those that would cringe at letting your kids sniff your jar of toby, but I remember my great grandfathers doing it and it is a very fond memory for me. I'm happy to share my hobby with them in a harmless way and will let them decide what they want to do when they are adults.
  5. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

    Sep 25, 2009
    Cool thought Woodbutcher ! I talk w/ my kids about the pipe because they ask about them . My 8 year old [ Anthony / the brain ] knows the basic shapes and he likes the apple shape best and the volcano a close second . My youngest son [3 year old Joseph / the bone crusher ] will get quite pissed if he dosent get to smell any blend before I fill the pipe . My eldest son [16 year old Nicholas / the fingers ] says pipe smoking is gay .. LOL ... his words . I think anthony will smoke a pipe one day so his trigger will be diffrent . Joseph and nicholas on the other hand I hope will get triggered by an aroma . I smoke a few blends so it might not be a specific blend . I just hope I'm remembered in a good way
  6. owias12

    owias12 Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    It was the smell of a pipe that triggered instant thoughts of my deceased grandfather. I couldn't get that smell or my grandfather out of my head for several days after that. I knew right away that I was going to start smoking a pipe. It wasn't but a few weeks later and I had my first pipe and some toby.

    Whenever I purchase toby, my daughters love to stick their nose in the tin or bag. My youngest says they all smell like figs and sometimes she just wants to eat it. I'm curious to know what kind of memories they will have as they get older and recall the days where we would sit outside in the early a.m. talking while I sipped on my hot coffee and smoked my first pipe of the day. Or the nights we stayed up late sitting by the fire, telling stories, playing guitar and me puffin' on my pipe.
    Recently when I returned to the pipe after having to take a break, I packed a bowl full of an aromatic from a local B&M. As soon as I lit it, my youngest daughter came running over to me and said......"mmmm, I remember when you used to smoke that all the time." She plopped down on my lap and we got to talking and laughing. All the while I could see her taking whiffs of the smoke. Perhaps she won't have any fond memories of the pipe, but I sure have built up some great memories of spending time with my kids while smoking a pipe, and the pipe often becoming the focus of the conversation. There was a time when both my girls would rattle off the names of different shapes when they saw a pipe. They would also try to guess what type of toby was in my bowl based on the smell.

    Call me crazy, but I sometimes secretly hope that one day, when they are grown and on their own, they will come by to visit me and take some time to share a pipe with me and catch up on "the good 'ol days".

    Sorry so long.....your post caused me to take a trip down memory lane.
  7. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

    Dec 21, 2009
    One thing I learned recently...was driving to town with my now 40 year old son beside me and started to re-light my pipe, steering the car with the top my knees holding the steering wheel. He got this weird grin on his face and told me that after all these years, that's the strongest childhood memory of me and my pipes....driving through the Colorado mountains, and me steering our old '51 Chevy truck with my knees while filling and lighting my pipe.
  8. telltime

    telltime Active Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    No offense here T-Bear, 'cause you ain't quite old enough, but that makes me think of my grandad.
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