Pulvers' Prior Briar
P.O. Box 85
Los Altos, CA  94023

The photo depicts one of the final days of the Camelot of
tobacco shops, my own Sherlock's Haven.  To my immediate
left is both good friend and my professional consigliere, Steve
Brunner.  To my immediate right is one of the great tobacco
palates, relieving me of the chore of tasting and rating each
pipe tobacco and cigar, Johnson Tacalon.  And the tall guy
behind him was the store Mgr. and current close friend, Jim
Walker.  We're surrounded by good guys and true.  
I wanted to caption this "I knew more about pipes and tobacco
when I was 7 than you do now," but my PR dep't. said that
would be a bad idea.  Looks like old curmudgeons start as
young curmudgeons, doesn't it?  Years ago, my mother told my
then newish wife that when I was a kid, all they had to do to
keep me quiet was put a hat on my head, a corn cob in my
mouth and shove me in the back seat of the car.  My wife
replied, "nothing's changed, except he's now in the front seat."
             The Mill

Nov. 17, 2019;
 Jonathan Lethem, a first class novelist
(and creative writing teacher, in
Pomona CA) has become a writer of
detective fiction, although I don't know
if the literati have caught on to that yet.
His novel,
Motherless Brooklyn, is a
mystery novel, although cloaked in the
garb of a higher-brow style, and the
one I'm reading now,
The Feral
reveals itself in the title,
although, again, it doesn't quite
present itself as do most
detective/mystery novels.  (Please,
please don't ask me to explain the
distinctions...this is all done on
intuition.  Detail work is for
others...those more willing to screw up
their facial muscles and try to think.)
Yes, he is recommended reading, but
what engendered this output is a
statement made by a character in
Feral Detective.
 She is looking for a
friend's runaway daughter and is h
in the desert east of L.A. with a denizen
of that area and says "People from
other parts of the country always
underestimate how comfortable New
Yorkers are with distance walking."
That's probably true.  People from less
populated, and also rural areas, might
think that New Yorkers only know how
to sit, or stand, on public
transportation.  But one does a lot of
walking in a city, and a lot of that is
speed walking.  Half in jest, my wife
puts on an Indian accent and asks "May
I walk a
long side you Master?"
whenever we go for a walk because I go
along much more quickly than does
she, making her look like an Indian (the
Asian kind)
wife staying, as tradition
emands, behind her husband.  Of
course, I try to slow up, but that hurts
my hips.  This speed walking habit
must have been  developed as a
youngster walking the streets of
Manhattan.  My business partner, David
Field, who worked in NYC as a youth,
also walks fast.  Country people tend to
amble, it seems.
  Perhaps they are absorbing nature's
beauty.  That's fine, but wasn't it one of
Ronald Reagan's cabinet ministers who
said, 'you seen one tree, you seen 'em
all'?  I agreed with that assessment
then and it still holds true.  Walking in
a city, especially one like London or
Paris or Florence or Rome or N.Y. is
much more interesting than a walk in
the woods and the chances of getting
poison ivy or bitten by a snake or big
insect are greatly reduced.  
Lethem needn't be aplauded f
or his observation as I believe he is a ch
ild of one of the boroughs of NYC and
early on was able to detect the differe
nce in walking styles between the city
cousin and the country cousin.  Inde
ed, if speed walking is still an olympic
event, let me recommend that coaches
find a perch in a tall building in so
me big city, look down, spot the fastest
while using that vantage and
recruit that way.
(God, I'm filled with good ideas when I
put my mind to it.)


A Radice Rubino Twin Bore and oil
cured was posted on the Italian page,
and an Ashton Pebble Grain was put on
the English page.  On the U.S. page is
now a Neptune by BriarWorks & a Sven
Lar by Mike Kabik.

Remember: "
We are all bozos on this

A riff on the above quote came in today from
a friend: Blessed are we who can laugh at
ourselves for we shall never cease to be

The ability of so many people to live
comfortably with the idea of capital punishment
is perhaps a clue to how so many Europeans
were able to live with the idea of the Holocaust:
Once you accept the notion that the state has
the right to kill someone and the right to define
what is a capital crime, aren't you halfway
there? -Roger Ebert, film-critic (18 Jun

I finally got to post pipe # 4 in my Human Folly-
HumanTragedy series, which I am doing in
collaboration with pipe maker Don Gillmore.  
This pipe is The Children's Crusade,
representing all the centuries children have
been abused physically and emotionally,
creating a foundation for a screwed up next
On the front of the pipe's bowl is an
etched Knight's Templar Cross.  
Somehow I jumped over pipe #3 in the
Series.  The pipe, a volcano representing
the folly of building a city under a regularly
spewing Vesuvius, is in stock and only needs to
be posted.  I'll do that soon.
# 3 in the Human Folly/Human Tragedy series is
now posted.  If you think that building a city
under a live volcano, as the citizens of Pompeii
did, consider how much we've learned as a
species, with California, a state of over 30
million inhabitants, doing nothing but building
skyscrapers in cities like San Francisco, Oakland
and Los Angeles over huge fault lines.  Brilliant.

Don't forget to see the Original Sin Apple
on the Human Folly page.  It's called
"Paradise Lost" & it's the first pipe in our
ground breaking series that  points a shaming
finger at instances of thoughtless human folly
that inevitably led to human tragedy.  That first
five sold out quickly, and the 2nd group, three
of them, have just arrived.  If you want one,
please let me know now as it will be awhile
before any others are produced.
We now are also showing pipe #2 in our Human
Folly Series, The Helen of Troy, a Yachtsman
(what else) to symbolize "the face that launched
thousand ships"  and provoked a 10 year war
that culminated in a demolished great city
Also on the Specials page is pipe # 4, The
Children's Crusade, a reminder of the way we
abuse kids physically and emotionally, assuring
a screwed up next generation.  The shape is an
Acorn of sorts, but the defining detail is the
Cross etched on the front of the bowl.  
Pipe # 3 in the series is ready to post, too.  It is
a Volcano, which might help you remember Mt.
Vesuvius and the devastation it did to the com-
munity that oh so wisely decided to camp and
build at the bottom of a deadly, active volcano.  

It is horrifying that we have to fight our
own government to save the environment.  
Ansel Adams, photographer (20 Feb 1902-1984)

Philanthropy is the refuge of rich people who
wish to annoy their fellow creatures.
Oscar Wilde

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his
delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

If you wish to understand a philosopher, do not
ask what he says, but find out what he wants.
Friedrich William Nietzsche

n.  A route of many roads leading
from nowhere to nothing.
Ambrose Bierce

Those who lack the courage will always find a
philosophy to justify it.
Albert Camus

available tins
Pease Southlinch from 2002 NASPC show. $90
Friedman & Pease Winter's Tale.  $100

New Tins arrived, including
Abingdon, and a bunch of
others from 2003 and starting @ $40 a tin.

More old, collectible tins from the 1990's:

For easy access to the address of other fine
used pipe dealers, please visit Estate Pipes
The web site is: