The recent passing of Edward James AKA Ozark Southpaw was some sorrowful news not only to me but all the members of the Dr.Grabow Collectors Forum where he was a long time member, moderator and mentor too many of us . He was also a member of other pipe forums around the internet.
Ed had the best Dr.Grabow collection in the world as far as i know , even building a Skyliner (behind him in the picture shown) with all the correct pipes. A quest that took him years of searching for good quality originals. He also had a multitude of Linkman’s among other various makes and rare pipes and tobacciana.
Not only was he a master collector , pipe restorer, pipe and tamper maker but he was a wonderful human being as well. He always was wiling to answer questions , help solve problems and give wonderful tips to people having pipe issues or guidance in restoring a pipe.
Sadly I never did get to meet Ed in person but spent many a conversation on old pipes made during and before World War II. We also shared a love for old cars ,especially Mopars (Dodge , Plymouth ,Chrysler).
I also never got Ed to commission me a pipe or tamper but i did acquire a few parts i needed for restoration work on pipes from him.We also exchanged ,traded and gifted each other tobacco from time to time.
One of my first Linkman pipes i ever got was a early 1940’s era #9732 that was missing a stem that fellow Dr.Grabow Forum member Tim Pollock gave me. After posting that i was looking for a Linkman Canadian parts stem that may work on it , Ed sent me a message saying that just send me the pipe and I’ll make you a stem with correct stinger, inlaid propeller emblem for free. Touched by his kindness i sent him the pipe and a couple of tins of tobacco as a gift. A few weeks later it returned not only with a a stem like a factory original, it was even better! He had made the stem out of German Ebonite.
Here is a few pictures i have taken of the pipe during the few years now that i have owned it.
The pipe has been very special to me since ,but now i consider it priceless with his passing.
Ed was a avid Carter Hall smoker , its pretty much what he smoked 95% of time i would say. In fact for the longest time its hard for me not to see a tub or pouch of Carter Hall and not think of Ed.
From now on as long as I live and own the Linkman Canadian it will never have another tobacco in it but Carter Hall as a honor to Ed’s memory.
Here’s to you Ed , thank you for being a mentor and mostly a friend. RIP