The Time We Are Given – A Pipefuls Project
The ultimate question. What do we do with the time we are given? First and foremost, please excuse my absence. Those of you who have followed my YouTube Channel and this blog know that it has been almost a full year since I have created any content. I openly admit, that has been on purpose. Believe me, the itch to write and/or create a video about the hobby I love, and support, has been nothing short of difficult, however, I felt I truly needed to step away for a stint. Why you may ask? This time a year ago, I was becoming ever increasingly upset with the self-loathing and disheartening greed I was witnessing in the online pipe community, specifically the YTPC (monetization whining). Please don’t misunderstand, some of the greatest pipe smokers I’ve now come to call close friends started from the YouTube brother/sisterhood. The stories, advice, and interaction with others who enjoy pipe smoking, via social media, is an exceptional experience as local options are not always easily available. My time away from it all (minus Instagram where I remained active) allowed me to reflect on those experiences and thus help me come to an inner peace with such circumstances. If a pipe smoker/presenter choses to use their channel or media outlet to complain about monetization and such, so be it. It’s their channel. If individuals enjoy watching and supporting such nonsense. So be it. It’s their time. But the breaking point for me was the tragedy and unexpected passing of John Harden (Matches860).
One year ago, my original analysis and presumptions of the pipe community (as detailed above) were the driving factor for my taking a sabbatical from it all. Being able to stand back and observe everything and everyone with the passing of Matches860 has redirected my thinking. The amount of love and passion for an individual, that 90% of the web-based community had never actually met in person, was and is extraordinary. You may think your 100 subscribers isn’t a big deal, but it is. You may think the 5-10 minute video of you talking about and smoking your pipes doesn’t matter. It does. Those pictures you post on Instagram of the snow, ice, and Captain Black you are smoking, they’re appreciated. The pipe community isn’t about making money from viewers. It’s not about showcasing how big our tobacco cellars or pipe collections are. It’s about stories. The stories of great people such as Matches860. The stories of a time long forgotten. The stories that make each of us different yet unite us under one common hobby…the hobby of pipe smoking. For years, Matches860 was the lynchpin for the hobby. He chose to use the time he had been given to share his love and passion for pipe smoking with each of us on a regular basis. His ability to tell a captivating story and share his experiences was nothing short of inspiring. John will certainly be missed, however, his impact and influence on each of us, that followed him via online community media, will never be forgotten. Thank you, John, for helping open my eyes to the bigger picture of the online pipe community. For giving me my first shout out within the YTPC, and for always being true to yourself and the hobby. Rest well my friend.
My time away from the online pipe community has also allowed for reflection of my own presentation. Although I have enjoyed making YouTube videos, I have always dabbled with others means to expand our hobby to the world. It seems of late that the overreaching body we call government continues to burn down bridges for us lovers of fine tobaccos making it harder and harder to enjoy a simple pleasure such as, smoking a pipe. My first consideration was some type of newsletter or quarterly written journal that would be published for those interested. I even discussed this option in some of my YouTube videos and Pipe Professor blog posts. In the end, this option proved to be both costly and content time laden. I enjoy writing and will continue to post unique articles and stories here on The Pipe Professor webpage but not everyone enjoys and/or has the time to read on a regular basis. Therefore, my I went back to a medium I had tried in the past but hadn’t planned well for or know much about…podcasting.
Previously, I had recorded and published a few podcast episodes under The Pipe Professor Podcast show name. Although those episodes had quite a few downloads and a good response, my lack of planning and preparation hindered the show’s success. Further, I didn’t like the idea of the podcast being named after my handle and the heading of this webpage (remember, I was fighting with the self-loathing issue around this period – see above). Well, let this post be the announcement that I will be attempting to make another run in the podcast pipe community paradigm. As the time we are given is precious, I want to use my time to support the pipe community and others within the pipe community. Matches860 gave us a perfect example of the wonderful stories each person has to share, and I want the podcast to be that avenue for sharing. And, since the time we are given is limited, what better way to support the hobby while maximizing your time than with a podcast? Cutting the grass and want to hear some pipe related conversation, tune in to the podcast. Driving to work and tired of listening to bad music and political news reports? Tune in to the podcast. At work and looking for a way to pass the time while still appearing busy? Tune in to the podcast. My goal is for the podcast to focus on interviewing not only the high-profile people in the pipe community, but any and all pipe smokers. That’s right, no matter who you are or what you do, I think you’re worth talking to. Why? Because you’re a pipe smoker. Hipster? Codger? Academic? Blue collar? It doesn’t matter, in my eyes anyone who smokes a pipe has an interesting story worth hearing. So, be on the lookout for Pipefuls – A podcast for pipe and tobacco enthusiasts (launching in March 2020).
Thanks again for your patience and continued support while I have been away. I am both eager and hopeful in this upcoming journey and will need everyone’s support to help get things off the ground. Because the best thing we can do with the time we are given, is give back to others. Until next time, cheers!