Post by sparks on Sept 17, 2017 8:44:43 GMT -5
My old friend and mentor, the late Bernie Brenner, was a great, although rather eccentric, teacher and sculptor. He was also a prodigious pipesmoker of Kriswells and Blue Boar Rough Cut tobacco. Blue Boar was his favorite blend, and it became his signature blend. If one smelled the acrid and pungent aroma of Blue Boar, there was a 95% probability that Brenner was nearby. You didn't have to check the office schedule to know if he was in his office; just sniff the corridor. He wasn't the only smoker in that faculty cluster, nor the only pipesmoker, but he was the only person whom I knew who smoked Blue Boar. Other than his mentor, of course, but that's another story. Anyway, I was thinking of Brenner today and his olfactory signature. Then, I thought of JM Barrie, and his Arcadia mix (aka Craven's Blend), and how eloquently he described his obsession w/ the Arcadia mix. And, I thought of our Mr. Morley and his obsession w/ Murray's Mellow Mixture, and the turn-of-the century advertisements for Honest: 'If that's Honest, then blow der smoke dis way.." said a tramcar driver to a young man smoking on the tram. And, James Schlesinger and HIS affection for SWR. And, another old friend, the late Mike McGonigle who smoked one fresh pouch of Granger each day. The foil pouch, only; not the tub or the tin. One and three fourths ounces of tobacco, each day, all year long. These were individual peculiarities but the brand of tobacco was their 'signature', as clear and distinct as if there was the individual's photo emblazoned in 3-D in front of you.
SO, I'm certain that one of more of you remark on the lack of uniqueness. After all, what's unique about one person, one blend. Codgers have done this for years, mostly resulting from lack of information, their lack of being plugged into the omniscient 'Net, their lack of sophistication. Whatever. But, one's signature blend, in the '30s and '40s, marked the man as clearly as a billboard, too. The choice of blend noted one's station, one's activities, one's choices, one's self perception. One simply didn't flit from tobacco to tobacco; not that there wasn't ample variety but there was a strong conservative approach to smoking.
So, I pose this question to all of you this evening, "Do you have a signature smoke?". One so clearly distinct "you", that the mere charring light and the first few puffs would identify you to any one, even in a darkened room. And, then, what does that blend say to others about you? Sophisticated? Outdoors-man? Academic? Do we pick the blends because of taste or for more underlying reasons? I would bet the latter. Or, do we show out lack of commitment and 'flit about'? DO you have a signature?
Bob Runowski aka Morleysson