No, this is not about spending a day at the Quantico Marine Base. Instead, C.O.R.P.S. stands for the Conclave Of Richmond Pipe Smokers and this post is about my day at their 28th Pipe Show & Celebration on Oct. 6 &  7, 2012. The Richmond Pipe Show is like your birthday, Halloween and Christmas all rolled into one. I can not say that I’ve been to every show over the past 28 years but I can say that I’ve been to a fair number of them.

This year, the show was at a completely new venue: The Richmond Convention Centre. The 1st ones I attended were at the Holiday Inn on Boulevard. One good thing about that location was that Bill’s Bar-B-Que was just a couple of blocks down the street. For a good number of years, the shows were held at a Holiday Inn at the Koger Centre on Midlothian Turnpike. The hotel finally went completely smoke-free two years ago. It was a familiar place but no great loss to me as the room was small, cramped & had limited ventilation. The aisles between the tables were so narrow that one guy jawing with an exhibitor meant that there was literally no way to get around him. That meant that you’d have to do-se-do around the row of tables & approach from the other direction only to find that the aisle was blocked by a different guy.

Last year, we were in a hotel next to Short Pump Town Centre. this one had more aisle space & a higher ceiling which meant less “fog” but there was no back door for ventilation like at Koger Centre. That meant that all the smoke went out the door to the ball room  and into the corridor. It smelled heavenly but I was pretty sure we wound not be back there this year.

The Convention Centre had plenty of room, a high ceiling & an industrial strength ventilation system. The show actually looked smaller because there was so much room. As always, there were a few exhibitors who could not make it at the last min., some who bought a table with good intentions but things just didn’t work out and others who decided to go to the Chicago or Las Vegas shows instead. They say that the show gets a little bit smaller every year and I suppose that is true as the older exhibitors/vendors retire from the business.

Nonetheless, there were plenty of opportunities to rid yourself of unnecessary cash. After all, one can never have too many pipes!

There is a story & side-show in the Richmond Times Despatch.

NB –  I was going to write more about the show but I lost a lotta time trying to find a slide-show plug-in that worked. I’ll probably add to this post over the next few days.

[zooeffect AILAx-qnTTrL]


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