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Started smoking a pipe when I was nine years old... by the time I was 11, I was a pretty experienced pipe smoker and enthuastic about anything having to do with pipes and pipe smoking. I was fortunate that a number of older pipe smokers who travelled overseas would always bring me back new and different tobaccos and when I had developed "favorites" I would give them the money to buy me tobacco regularly, especially from Europe. I "cut my teeth" on some of the best Matured Virginia Plugs available in the late 50's and 60's and developed reasonable skill at detecting subtle differences in tobacco types, cuts, processing methods, and good general knowledge of the industry. In 1972 I began selling pipe tobacco out of my residence and continue today, although only occasionally, providing a few dear friends with some of my personal blends. I have smoked plug tobaccos for the last 40 years and while that spectrum has very limited offerings, I remain satisfied. I do enjoy the occasional trip down the "memory lane of tobacco" and have tended to shelf tobacco I purchased 15 to 30 years ago for my personal use. I have a wonderful collection of pipes and smoke many of them on a rotation schedule... or when I just feel like it. My favorite shapes are straight billiards, Canadians, Dublins, Apple/Egg, and I tend to like the rusticated finish with a traditional tapered bit.