Ran across this display in a store and brought a bunch of things to mind. Mostly Gen. Douglas McArthur and his pipe. He got cross ways with Pres. Truman over the Korean War and was fired by the President. Here was the war hero of WWII being dismissed. There were pictures of the general in a reflective mood puffing on his pipe or holding it in front. It was a good sized corn cob pipe was his trademark. Many pictures from WWII showed him with his pipe, meetings, talking to the troops, walking but most of all was the picture of him striding up the beach at Manila in the Philippines. His famous quote, “I will return,” had been full filled. In triumph he strode through the surf to the beach. A few years later this glory moment would be gone and the hero would be defrocked.
The pipe was a symbol, of what I’m not to sure, but it prompted me, way back in my younger years to sample one. Oh those first few puffs were delightful, the aroma wafting around the room, the masculinity of a cob pipe. Then bam the bite hit, burn, slop and juice, uck, cough, hack and spit….. thought I was going to die. But If others could puff on one so could I. Not deterred, I got some pipe cleaners and trusty pocket knife out and proceeded to swab and scrape the cob. I reloaded and lit up, aaahhhhhh puff and more puffs, the aroma floated in circles, spiraling overhead, it was nirvana. I had succeeded, the junior pipe smoker was born.
Next I went looking fer some shine. Overheard from others that it was good to have with the pipe. Made for relaxing days on the front porch during the summer. Asked some older boys how I could acquire some. Well they said for a fin I could get some at Babe’s place out in the country. For that I had to wait till I got money from my paper route so I could ride out there on my bicycle. It was two years yet before I could get a drivers license.
It was the first of the month and I had collected for my paper route and sent the bill to the newspaper and that Saturday I took a trip out to the country. In one of the bags was my pipe and tobacco, the other had a soda and some peanuts, I was well equipped for a Sat. excursion. Well I arrived at Babe’s and gave him the fin and he gave me a small fruit jar of everclear. There was a bridge that went over a small crick and pond. On the way back home I paused under the bridge. Pipe and tobacco in pocket, peanuts and soda one hand with fruit jar in the other. Laying my bike on its side by the bank, I settled down, Now don’t ask me what happened but I awoke as the sun was setting. and head was a drum, oh I had such explosions inside the cranial structure, I thought I was in Korea with the General.
I was going to write more about the pleasures of puffing on a pipe but I believe I shall pass. Oh, I have quit smoking…. years ago.