Strano

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Al Strano was National Brand Manager of Wally Frank Ltd. He died March 1, 1998. After he left Wally Frank he did a number of other things including real estate sales before buying Hildebrandts, a eating establishment in 1974(?). It is still owned by his family and has been the subject of articles in the New York Times among others. It is renowned for its chocolate and ice cream.

Joe Strano is Al's older brother, and operated a small pipe shop in Ridgewood, Queens, NYC called Northampton Tobacconist. He was a very talented pipe maker, too and spectators could watch him working on his handmade pipes or doing repairs in the window of his store. Joe Strano also sold private label pipes – the bulk of these were supplied by Weber Pipe Co. in Jersey City, NJ. And he is furthermore famed for his own tobacco blends; his Tom's #1 blend is still idolized as amazing. Joe invented precision pipe repair tools which he used and sold to other pipe repair stores. People sent him pipes to repair from all over the world.

The Northhampton Tobacconist store closed in the late 1970’s. Joe now lives in Allentown PA and has been lately talking about getting back into pipe repair.