I grabbed a Cigar Aficionado baseball hat from the closet on Saturday as I set out to forage for dinner in the local farmer's market. Early September harvests are bountiful this year in the Hudson Valley, so it was great to pick through the heirloom tomatoes, the last of the sweet corn crop and fresh peaches. The stalls were packed with people on a sunny morning.
We're lucky to have a Long Island fishmonger at the market, too. I had already cleared a scallop entrée for dinner with my wife, and sure enough, he had some fresh scallops waiting for me. As he began to fill up a plastic bag, he said, "Cigar Aficionado, I read that magazine all the time."
Although I usually don't say much, I said, "Yes, I'm the executive editor of that magazine."
"Really," he said. I apologized for not having some cigars with me to give to him. We had a brief conversation about what kind of cigars he liked, and then I went on my way.
But I was reminded later just how often I'm surprised when I'm out in public by people saying they love cigars or that they read the magazine or both. They love to talk about cigars, and want to know everything they can.
In the magazine's early days, back in the mid-1990s, it was always exciting to hear from readers, in part because it made us feel like we're weren't alone. It felt good to know we were building a community.
I'm gratified to know that the cigar clan has spread far and wide. Whether it's on a golf course, in an airline terminal, walking down the street or buying fish at a farmer's market, it is always fun to know there are fellow lovers of the leaf in every walk of life. If you're like me, and there's some hint that the person shares your passion for cigars, take the time to stop and talk with them. We may not be a huge community, but it is important to keep the clan alive and thriving.
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