Clark Gable was a Hollywood leading man and, apparently, an avid pipe smoker. He loved smoking Savinelli pipes so much that Savinelli named a pipe model after him: the Clark’s Favorite. And this Clark’s Favorite has become one of my favorites.
I love the look and size of the pipe, but my most favorite thing about it is the story that goes along with it.
In January 2014, I turned 38. Unbeknownst to me, 38 is a good age to receive a lot of birthday money. 🙂 And receive birthday money I did. And I knew exactly on what I wanted to spend it: a new pipe. After some online searching, I discovered that one of my favorite sites to peruse was actually located only a couple of hours away from me. And they were open for folks to come by and “shop” in person. Win. Win.
So, I convinced a couple of my pipe-smoking brothers to load up with me and head down to check out the place. I called on a Thursday or Friday just to double-check they’d be open on Sunday, and I spoke with one of the owners who agreed to meet us there and let us in. We were stoked and totally looking forward to visiting the pipe store. We weren’t disappointed.
I felt like was walking into Ollivanders Wand Shop from Harry Potter; the place was magical! It was basically a large store-room full of pipes. The pipes were all lined up on shelves along the walls and in the middle of the room. Boxes and boxes of pipes! Name a brand, and they probably had it. We spent hours pulling down box after box and looking at pipe after pipe. We even got to light up with the owner himself! It was such a treat. It’s one thing to look at pipes online, but it’s another to handle them, feel their weight, check how they feel in hand, and inspect them in person. Pipes that I had seen online that I thought I wanted, I got to see how small or light or heavy they were and didn’t want them anymore. Others that I didn’t think I liked online I found I loved in person. Then, there was the One. This is the pipe that chose me.
I had been gawking over the Clark’s Favorite online for some time, but once I held one in hand, I was sold. It was shorter than my churchwarden, but it was longer than all my other pipes I had at the time (corn cobs and antique shop finds for less than $10). The colors were (and are) beautiful and the weight was perfect. This was my pipe. However, I found that I really liked the look of the stem from one pipe, but I liked the bowl of another one better. So, Mr. I-wish-I-could-remember-his-name-because-he-was-awesome-and-his-shop-was-awesome-too let me combine the stem from one with the bowl from another. Both Clark’s Favorites, but not packaged together. So, I not only got to get the pipe I wanted, but I got to customize it, too! Totally worth the trip and money spent. I even had enough money left over to pick up my Savinelli churchwarden bag. Again, win, win.
By buddies also picked up some souvenirs from the trip, though they didn’t quite have the birthday budget I did. But we all enjoyed ogling the pipes and lunting with the owner. He even gave each of us a free tin of tobacco and some other swag for coming down and spending time with him and checking out his place. Again, totally cool guy and terrific experience. Afterwards, my buddies took me out for a steak dinner on the beach. Best. Birthday. Trip. Ever. (without my wife – she wins when she’s involved) 😉
So, that’s the story behind my Clark’s Favorite. It’s still one of my faves to go to when lunting with others, and even when lunting alone. I am totally reminded of the Lord whenever I see this pipe as I was with brothers when I got it, and I’m usually with brothers when I smoke it.