This coming Saturday, February 20th, is International Pipe Smoker's Day.
According to the IPSD Website,
WE ENVISION A WORLDWIDE COMMUNION
of pipe-smokers that is bound together by a shared love for pipe-smoking, mutual respect, and goodwill • We envision a society that respects the informed choice and adult use of smoking tobacco • We envision a world where governments act in good faith and integrity, and have the political will and personal courage to express their values appropriately through legislative means • This means that as a group we are united and strong in our beliefs, have understanding, patience, wisdom, enjoy the philosophical aspect of pipe-smoking, and seek to promote pipe-smoking as part of a lifestyle that can be thoroughly enjoyable to adults through the responsible use of tobacco.
To foster links across the globe in honor of friendship, benevolence, and tranquility; and to celebrate the fraternity of pipe-smokers across all borders.
On this day we will take a breather and celebrate the noble art of pipe-smoking and the noble spirit which pervades the brother/sisterhood of the briar. We will put into practice the time-honored and ancestral traditions of raising our pipes in toast to each other in the evening in unison and, thus, share a bowl together.
Today’s hectic environment almost dictates that we run on full efficiency, have total involvement in our work, our families and in every aspect of what we do to survive and achieve in a world set at high speed.• With ever-changing values it is the intent that The International Pipe-Smoking Day will allow us, the Brothers and Sisters of the Briar to step back and appreciate our rich historical value. • For pipe-smokers and pipe-smoking everywhere the day will be emblematic of our shared values, history, traditions, and aspirations.
I am puffing a massive Past Master's freehand pipe, custom made many years ago by Brother Tim West. I had the honor of meeting Tim when I visited University Lodge #631 in Columbus, Ohio back in June 2008, and was pleasantly surprised to discover he is a Mason. Today, Tim is the owner of J. H. Lowe & Co., which supplies pipe parts and supplies for custom pipe makers and repairmen.
By the way, every pipe smoker in the U.S. needs to be aware that H.R. 4439, the Tobacco Tax Parity Act of 2010 was introduced in Congress on January 13, 2010 and would raise the federal tax on pipe tobacco 775% from $2.8311 to $24.78 per pound. The justification is that cigarette rolling companies have been relabeling "roll your own" cigarette tobacco as pipe tobacco in order to avoid much higher cigarette taxes. There is no rational person who can make the argument that this kind of tax increase is fair to pipe smokers.
Stop the 775% tax increase on pipe tobacco. Click here to instantly contact your representatives in the House and Senate.