I’ve been on a Balkan kick lately and I was in the mood for something with extra Latakia in it today, so it may surprise you that I reached for a Samuel Gawith blend. While they make amazing tobacco, I wouldn’t say SG is known for their Lat Bombs, they seem to be more known for their Virginia Blends but there is one in their catalog that I hardly ever hear anything about. Commonwealth Mixture.
There’s a spot near my house where a small creek tiptoes under an old bridge which is haphazardly shuffled about by greenery and has begun coming apart over time.
I’ve been visiting it for a while now. I love to sit under the bridge and smoke with the tadpoles and crawdaddies as I read a good book. I usually pack some coffee and a blanket to keep myself warm because this time of year the ground gets cold and hard, and the water starts to freeze around the edges of the banks, but the middle still runs free.
When I was a young boy, over 30 years ago, it was common for us to spend some time in the summer and fall months camping at a mountain-base site near Mammoth Cave known as Jellystone Park. Today, many years later, I grab my pipe and sit down to go through some old pictures of my camping experiences while I smoke a bowl of Cornell & Diehl Mountain Camp.
The good pirate Alender Calam laughed to himself as he walked to the binnacle, smiling around his pipe. The last month had been kind to him. He was rich with a dead man’s treasures and now he was on his way to see a very close friend he hadn’t seen in years!
The autumn night wind crawls over the rolling hills of the Kentucky landscape in the background. It slips it’s sinewy, leaf-stained fingers through the crack in the window and comes to meet my hands, which are warmed by a crackling match.
My lids feel heavy, and the sulfur dissipates as the starry breeze dances around me, down to my bare ankles where it settles and nibbles at my senses.
I hold the flame to the full bowl and puff short and even for the char as my eyes drift to the full-dark sky past the pane. I move the match in small circles.