I meet my husband not long after his return from Korea. He was working with his Father in the family business. His Father owned a garage that repaired cars and build stock cars for racing. My husband was standing next to a stock car puffing on a pipe. He was wearing a white tee-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He had on blue jeans that had the cuffs rolled up. I guess you could have said he looked like Fonzie on Happy Days. I was on my way back to the dorm after spending the afternoon studying with my girlfriend.
He saw me pass and turned around crossing his arms over his massive chest and holding onto his pipe in one hand. He strolled over to where I was walking and asked my name. I was very shy and was raised by my Mother alone after my Father died when I was 12. She sent me away to College and warned me about meeting strange men on the street. I was not sure if I wanted to answer him or just hurry on my way. I finally decided to stop and give him my name. I told him my name was Julie Miller. He had the biggest smile on his face which made me blush. I could feel my cheeks turning red.
During the next several weeks I saw him in the garage when I went by to my girlfriend's house. I had the impression that he knew what time I would pass and was always outside the garage with his pipe in his mouth pretending to work on a car engine. He would make sure he had a red grease rag in his back pocket so he could clean his hands and walk across the street to meet me. He started to walk with me to my girlfriend's house and leave me to study. We finally started to date and were married a year later.
I knew he smoked a pipe when we meet and even after we were married. He was very courteous and never smoked in the house or around our two children when they were very small. He would go out in the garage to work on his car and smoke his pipe. He enjoyed the pipe and a few times I made a comment on why he did not quit. He said that it was enjoyable and he liked the order. When his parents came for the holidays he and his Father would go in the garage to smoke cigars. Now this was one order I cannot stand and the smell would stay with him for days. I did complain about his cigar smoking and told him how bad it smelled. He would laugh and say I only smoke a cigar on special occasions and why should I stop now.
As the years pass he kept smoking his pipe. The children were growing up and my daughter would love to spend time with her father in the garage. She would say to me the garage smells so much like Dad. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then one time I found out what she was talking about. My husband had been gone for several months on deployment and my daughter kept asking when he would be home. One day I was looking for her we needed to leave. I could not find her so I went out in the garage where I knew she would be. She was there sitting on the floor next to the car she was working on with her father. She had taken one of his pipes and had it in her mouth with a piece of sand paper in her hand. Thank God she did not try to light this and smoke it. Now this is funny but when it happened I did not think so. She looked up at me and said "Mom look I am just like Dad". She adored the order of his pipe and the smell it left behind in the garage. When my husband returned, I made him lock all of his pipes and supplies in a cabinet in the garage. I did not want our daughter smoking on this pipe one day.
Several years pass and he continued to smoke his pipe. On one of his deployments he had forgotten to purchase his pipe tobacco before leaving. On his return he stopped at a remote store out in the middle of nowhere and bought a bag of pipe tobacco. He was driving home and light up his pipe to smoke it. He said that the pipe tobacco he had purchased must have been sitting in this store for 10 years. After taking a few puffs of his pipe he was so angry he threw the pipe, lighter, and tobacco out the window of the car.
On his arrival at home my daughter had a present she had prepared waiting for him. She would not tell me what it was. She handed him this present and he opened it. She had purchased him a new pipe with money she had earned collecting coke bottle and taking them back for the deposit. He was so touched and surprised. He swore when he threw his favorite pipe out the window on the drive home he would never smoke again. The pipe our daughter gave to him was never lit and he kept it all of his life. He said he could not get rid of the pipe and put it with the other ones that people had given him.
After this day my husband never smoked a pipe or a cigar again. I have never been a smoker but from what I heard it normally is not that hard to quit. For my husband he smoked a pipe and this was something he said he enjoyed. For him to quite like he did was amazing to me. I had been after him for years to give up this pipe. His clothes smelled of the order when he smoked and I did not think it was good for our children to be around him when he smoked. The day he stopped smoking was once to celebrate. I decided that we would all go out to eat this evening to celebrate his return and the decision he made to stop smoking a pipe or cigars again.
We had many happy years of marriage and he lived a long life. He was 81 when he died and it was not from cancer smoking his pipe. I am thankful that he gave up his pipe so many years back and never smoked again. After my husband stopped smoking he was out in the garage one day and found a package of pipe tobacco he had forgotten was there. He opened the bag and started to laugh. I had no idea what was so funny. He said look Julie this is why I quit smoking. He brought the sack of tobacco over to show me. He said to smell this. When I did you could smell the stale order it had. He then explained to me this was the same smell as the tobacco he purchased so many years back. This tobacco was more than 15 years old. Now looking back I can say that I am happy he forgot to purchase his tobacco before leaving. If he had of purchased it I think he would never of given up smoking his pipe.