After an entertaining and interesting time at the Hammer Museum, enjoying among other exhibits, the Ricky Jay Broadside Show. I made a quick stop to pick up a few cigars at the Original "Tinder Box". When Bing Crosby needed a smoking pipe, or George Burns needed some fresh cigars, they didn’t just go to any old store. They went to the Tinder Box, a little Old World European cottage style shop on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica, run by long time tobacconist, Edward Kolpin Sr. Since 1928, Kolpin had operated tobacco and pipe shops, serving the needs of many old Hollywood stars. In 1948, he opened the well known Tinder Box shop on Wilshire which grew into a franchise of 200 stores.
Kolpin said of George Burns, “He was a great guy” who “smoked 99-cent cigars, but $10 ones to hand out. He wouldn’t spend $10 on himself.” Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, and Pat O’Brien had all ordered pipes from Kolpin. Crosby had purchased as many as 16 hand crafted pipes from Kolpin’s store, and even posed with one of the pipes on an album cover. Marlon Brando never came in himself, but the pipe he smokes in the film, The Brothers Karamazov, was made by Kolpin. Milton Berle was even a spokesperson for the Tinder Box franchise.
I headed further west on Wilshire Blvd. all the way to the ocean. I took Ocean Blvd. To Venice Beach, where after a walk I was going to meet Chris Korn for dinner to discuss his upcoming season. He's leaving Sunday for Bahli, where they will shoot 6 episodes of Mondo Magic in two weeks.
The beach was stunning this cool fall evening. The young tarts looked good enough to eat and muscle beach provided more than enough steroid ridden testosterone. The sunset was a delight. It felt good to get out on the beach for a brisk hour long cigar walk. Here is one of the pictures I took.