The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Memory Revisited (Part 2)

[Please note, if you have not done so, and wish to read part one of this essay, please scroll down to the first entry where the "A Memory Revisited (Part 1)" essay begins.  Again, please remember that these words reflect my mindset from several years ago.  They were my views, but are not wholly reflective of me today, although they show both the memory and now also a memory of sorts of how I wrote several years ago.]

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As I continued to talk with my father about my school day, I also continued to more acutely watch my father's actions as well. After he had filled the bowl of the pipe with the crumbles of leaf, he (again not diverting his gaze from me or our conversation) used tactile sensation to gently tamp the leaf a bit more firmly into the bowl. He brought the curved black stem of the pipe up to his mouth and gripped it between his heavy and very white teeth. The grip was a gentle and loving one, and I noticed how the heavy hairs of his moustache and beard encircled the stem of the pipe, his moustache cascading over and around the top.

Striking a match, my father brought the flame up to the bowl and began to draw the flame into the leaf, melding the two together and causing thick, rich, grey plumes of smoke to be emitted. Only after the bowl was well-lighted, and after he responded to another one of my statements with a question of his own, did my father slowly draw on the stem of the pipe, and inhaled one of the great plumes of rich, vanilla tinctured smoke deep into his lungs. As he slowly exhaled, I watched in amazement as I could notice very perceptible changes in my father's facial features. His furrowed eyebrows seemed to grow less intense, the bristling of his moustache and beard quieted and seemingly relaxed, and even his eyes seemed to grow softer and more contented. His grin became broader and more gentle.

I found watching this process very interesting as a youngster of eight. I kept trying to figure out what had happened. My father is and always was a kind, attentive man, but there was a perceptible change I could see in his whole demeanor in just the span of perhaps 10-15 seconds, where he became EVEN more himself, and less affected by the work he had been engaged in. His face grew even more kindly and more the father I was used to interacting with.

It was surprising and interesting to see these changes, but what was the cause? To me, this was many years prior to my becoming a scientist well-versed in the scientific method, but even at that young age, I believe I enjoyed and appreciated order and began to look at the situation as systematically and logically as an eight year old could. After bypassing a few other possibilities, I concluded that his pipe must be the likely source.

As you would expect, my father was a venerate pipe smoker for decades before I was even a twinkle in he and my mother's eyes. It was always a friendly companion of his, emitting a variety of pleasant aromas with vanilla-tinctured, whiskey-tinctured, cranberry tinctured, and apple-tincured being his favorites. While I was always aware of the site and odor of my father and his pipes, I had never really examined he and his pipe smoking behavior in any depth. It simply seemed to be a hobby or avocation he enjoyed. The reason for his enjoyment was not particular understandable to me, but neither did I think about the issue all that much.

Seeing that change in his expression was interesting, and noteworthy, however. When my father inhaled the tobacco smoke, he became MORE his happy, contented self, in ways I could easily, visually discern. To me, linking his pipe smoking to his demeanor was the first clue I had about why he enjoyed his pipe. To understand more, I decided to watch him more closely and carefully.

That is what I did for the next couple of weeks.

[Another good stopping point for now. Comments or suggestions are always appreciated.]



Blogger Sharon Qualls said...

I can see where you equated your father's caring look with the pipe and his enjoyment of the tobacco. It really did stick to your memory. When did you first try the pipe?
I watch a lot of old movies and everyone smoked in them. It looked like party time, all the cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. (Occasionally a chew)
My grandfather smoked a pipe, and seemed to enjoy it for relaxing. He died from unrelated illness at 93 or 97, I'm not sure which. My father smoked cigarettes - not sure how much he enjoyed them close to his end, but think it was a matter of needed to. He had a heart attack and died at 58.

Friday, 21 July, 2017  
Blogger JACKIESUE said...

I love this..and now see where your addiction to the pipe came's not the's not the's your daddy..every time you light that pipe, it brings your daddy back..but I bet if he knew that tobacco would cause so much cancer in people..and maybe give it to his son..he might not have you sweetie.

Friday, 21 July, 2017  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

You were a very observant child, Professor. The source of your preference for facial hair is now apparent. This, at least, is not a habit that needs to be dispensed with.

Sunday, 23 July, 2017  

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