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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Feast of Saint Patrick—2017

I guess everyone knows about Saint Patrick’s Day, right? It’s the day a lot of cities turn a prominent river green, have parades, and drink copious amounts of green beer. It’s a day celebrated by a lot of the world, a day where “everyone’s Irish!” But what does any of this have to do with the actual person of Patrick or his legacy? That’s what this little post is about.
It’d be great to do one of those “person on the street” interviews we see on various late night talk shows. Have someone go out into the cities celebrating Saint Patrick’s day and ask them some questions about Patrick. I’m sure the answers would be hilarious! And I’m pretty sure most of them would be wrong. For starters—and what comes as a shock to a lot of people—Patrick wasn’t Irish! He was British as far as we can determine. On the day when “everyone’s Irish,” the very person we’re celebrating wasn’t.
While he called himself “Patrick” in both of his surviving writings, Confessionand Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus

A Little Piece of Old Hollywood

On a recently trip to Los Angeles, California, I searched around the place I was staying for “briar pipes” in Google Maps. Only two appeared—Kramer’s Pipe and Tobacco Shop and Tinder Box. While Kramer’s was a little closer, I hadn’t ever heard of it and assumed that Tinder Box would have a better selection of pipes and tobaccos. However, when I went to their site, Tinder Box just didn’t seem to…I don’t know…fit. It seemed rather corporate. Along with pipes and tobaccos, Tinder Box sells shaving supplies and beer steins and such things. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. So I checked out Kramer’s.

And, boy, am I glad I did!

Kramer’s was established in 1949 by Allen (Al) and Tina Kramer in Beverly Hills just off Little Santa Monica Blvd. between Camden and Rodeo drives. Al built all the knotty pine fixtures in the shop, including a walk-in humidor! As you can tell by the date, this was back in the heyday of Hollywood. Back…