by Warren Wigutow
Many years ago, before the turn of the last decade, in the year 2006, an event occurred that would shape the future of pipe history. A soon-to-be pipe legend named Bruce Weaver was eating a ballpark frank from his local deli, Castello’s. In his gustatory enthusiasm he squeezed a little too hard on the soft bun and precipitated the palette of his condiments on to his new starched white button-down shirt. This spray of primary and secondary colors fanned out across the cotton/poly blend like the mad genius brush strokes of a 50’s action painter. Weaver looked down at his newly decorated garment and exclaimed, “Here I am, 55 years old and here’s what I have to show for it!”
Many men would have packed it in at this point, but Weaver, full of spit and vinegar (much of it from the collection of sauces and relishes), decided at that moment that he would one day create a pipe that immortalized this turning point in this life and that he would call it the Castello 55.
I am telling you this inspiring story because I have recently come into possession of this masterpiece nearly 5 years in the making. I cannot express to you how fortunate I am to own this vision of greatness. It is very important to me that you all come to terms with the fact that I, not you, own this pipe. Weaver himself has said to me that he believes this to be not only his finest work, but perhaps the single greatest achievement in human history.
As one gazes upon this artis-anal epiphany one sees the tension between the forces of light and dark, the jutting jaw signifying resolve in the face of the mustard spill of life. Indeed, the mustard and ketchup motif carries over into the wash of yellows and reds which dances across this briar palette like wounded marmots. The surface of this pipe is a rough-hewn statement that echoes the weave of rugged cotton/poly blends. Weaver truly has a no iron approach to his art.
Several collectors have approached me offering to trade box-loads of Bo Nordh’s for this pipe and I have merely shaken my head in pity. Such are the false hopes of misguided amateurs. I am, of course, sharing this story with you, not to cause bitter envy, but to give you even more reason to want to buy me a drink when next we meet, oh brothers of wood and leaf!