Cleaning Out The Garage

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Cleaning Out The Garage
SMOKE SIGNALS MAGAZINE - July - August 2014

So, after years of procrastination, we finally did it.

We took several days and went through somewhere between 15 and 20 huge boxes of VHS tapes which have been sitting in our garage, mostly untouched, for more than a decade.

Yes, that's right - the Smoke Signals "library."

Some date back as far as the late 1980s, when we first discovered a few small glamour and adult producers who actually sold videos of women smoking (thanks to tips from the few other "crazies" who haunted online services searching for any trace of what we would later call the "smoking fetish").

Some are the very first attempts at smoking video production by pioneers like Tom Compo and Ed Luisser.

Some are the "complete libraries" produced by video companies or solo girls who dipped their toes into the water of the emerging smoking video market of the mid 1990s. And some are private amateur tapes, mostly of wives or girlfriends, traded among a small group of people around that same time.

There are hours and hours of short smoking scenes taped from TV shows or movies, candid videos filmed by smoking fetishists who traded them for similar material, and subfetish videos on such topics as female slaves smoking for Mistresses, and women boxing while smoking cigars.

There's old material originally shot for Smoke Signals by just about everyone you can think of.

And, of course, there are the full catalogs of almost every smoking producer, from the "long-gone" like HH Video, TLS and Cinesmoke, the "still alive" producers like Smoking Females and Bob's Videos, and the producers still active in our community like Specialized, IRL and Random Snaps.

It was quite a chore to go through them all - and to actually get rid of duplicate copies (of which there were quite a few). But we learned several things during the work - since, of course, we needed to take some breaks - and just happened to bring some of the videos into the room where we keep our VCRs.

1. VHS tapes which have been well-preserved still play just fine, even if they're as ancient as 25 years old.

2. Some of the oldest material produced in our community still holds up well today; the earliest work from Tom, Ed and Steve K., for example, is just as stunning as it was when it opened our eyes in the '90s.

3. A lot of material doesn't get better with age. We looked at a few of the tapes we'd watched a few times and grew tired of - and to put it simply, they still sucked. And some of the videos we'd marked with asterisks or other excited notations, just weren't as good as we had remembered. In those days, beggars really couldn't be choosers.

4. On the other hand, we rediscovered some old "gems" (both commercial and amateur) which had been long forgotten, but would quickly become many people's favorites if they were available today. We were thrilled we still had them.

5. Some of the productions which were staged with plot and dialogue by small or niche companies such as Customized and Stevi's Secrets, remained intriguing; but we wished they had been filmed with digital equipment and "modern" lighting techniques - they would have been extraordinary.

6. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the people who went out on a very large limb to film these videos, whether they were amateur or professional, simple or complex. Without all of their efforts, we all might very well still be taping scenes from TV shows in order to get our fix.

7. Videotapes are very heavy - and a very big pain in the ass!

Of course, we couldn't bring ourselves to toss any of them (except for the duplicates) - so we didn't really end up cleaning out the garage after all. If we're all still around, we'll update you in another 10-20 years on whether they still play; and whether they're still worth watching one more time.

Enjoy the July-August issue!

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