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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Saturday Night Live: How it Shapes Our Politics & Culture, September/October 2011

Dear Marvin,

I have never been interested in smoking anything other than a good cigar and I have always tried to be thoughtful about others around me who may not be fans of the aroma.

For the better part of 25 years I have led a graduate/professional program which combines high tech and business. I founded it in 1985 and we have produced some very successful people as we turned out about 1,500 alums. 

Part of their development opportunity includes a student social learning program experience which introduces them to wines via an annual wine tasting, golf, skiing, sailing and lots of small group dinners after which I have always offered a cigar experience to both males and the occasional female who was interested. It was always an option and outdoors or in a vented room.

Having always enjoyed cigars with friends on boats, by the pool or by a fireplace in that 30–60 minutes of extraordinary camaraderie, I have tried to help these young people learn that the special experience with friends or business associates created by the sharing of cigars is both unique and universal.

Now, as I gather with alums in the Colorado mountains on a sailboat in the BVI’s or wherever, some alum will inevitably produce cigars and share them with me and my graduate students if they are present.

Recently on a trip to West Cork in Ireland to visit an old friend and colleague, I produced some Cubans which we have shared often over our 20+ year friendship. Due to some health issues, this octogenarian had to decline but he joined vicariously and savored the aroma while we spent the better part of a special hour together.

 My point in sharing the above is a simple one. We live in most awkward times where “purity,” ideology and political intrusions on a number of our freedoms have become almost commonplace.

The unique elements of our culture are either passed from generation to generation or they are lost, since without experience no one will know what to fight to protect in the end.

A good cigar, and more importantly, the freedom to enjoy that special 30–60 minutes with friends which it provides, is a part of life which I have tried to share over generations. You have done a superb job of doing the same with the magazine and the events you arrange.

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