To this day, I can sometimes hear his comments and imagine his reactions and I often think of one evening in particular. We had just finished a meal and we were smoking while coffee brewed. I studied my pipe and he stared ahead as streams of thin blue smoke rose from the cigarette in his mouth over his eyes and around his head, mixing with my pipe smoke and finally drifting upward. I watched a smile grow on his lips; the angle of his cigarette barely changing. It moved to his eyes, but he crinkled his eyelids into slits almost obscuring the dark blue behind them. He then asked me why my pipe was caked with crud and I told him it made the smoke taste sweeter. I asked why he had a cigarette resting over his left ear and he explained that he would light it “as soon as I’m finished with this one, man. But its really there for you to ask about.” We both smiled.
- Roy Schatt