Late Thursday afternoon the doorbell rang. I wondered why the mail carrier was at the door. To my knowledge, we weren’t expecting anything. There was a package addressed to me from an old friend who I have been corresponding with for years.
This friend is a gentleman in his seventies who has, in his collection, a pipe I have tried to buy (a Comoy Blue Riband Lovat) with no success for a long, long time. Although he thought about selling it to me four years ago, he decided not to because his wife bought the pipe for him for a birthday present - a good reason we would all agree. I recently received a letter from him apprising me that he had willed the pipe to me and that I would receive it and a couple of others when he passed on.
When I wrote back, I told him that I really hoped his death was not necessary for me to pry the pipe out of his hands. I was trying to lighten the moment, but I worried that something was wrong because he’d also written me recently about an upcoming surgery, but with no details as to why the surgery.
I had received packages from him in the past. Among other things, he is also a pipemaker, and a pretty darn skilled one at that. I have two pipes that he’s made and they are both lovely pipes that smoke wonderfully. I wondered if there was another of his creations in the box.