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Out of the Humidor

The Editors
From the Print Edition:
Orlando Hernandez, Mar/Apr 99

(continued from page 9)

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Dear Marvin,

I am a 24-year-old African-American male who absolutely loves the taste of an occasional cigar. One day while in school I saw a couple of gentlemen smoking outside. I decided that it would be nice to join them; after all, fellow smokers should stick together. As I walked over and introduced myself, it became very obvious that they did not appreciate my company. I tried to converse but I was very abruptly cut off and then ignored.

I moved to the side and felt very upset over what had occurred. I hoped that it was not due to my race that this incident happened, but I knew it was. The only thing on my mind was how to handle the situation. A late friend of mine once told me, "When you smoke a cigar, relax. Use it as a form of meditation and relate to your surroundings; but most importantly, always be calm." The same man helped me to achieve my goals, even though my surroundings did not allow me to move ahead.

The point--I was very upset after this incident occurred. I was in a new environment with a lot of people that came from very different social and ethnic backgrounds. I grew up in public housing in New York and they in the suburbs, but my late friend taught me that there is no obstacle too high for me to conquer; I am everything I want to be and more. Most importantly, he taught me how to use a cigar at the time of this incident. I guess Don Tomás prevented a situation from getting ugly. Thank you, Don Tomás.

Donnell Nichols
United States Navy

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Dear Marvin,

Thank you for the informative article on the Great Wall of China cigar dinner, which was published in the December 1998 issue of Cigar Aficionado. We are very pleased that your magazine was able to cover this unique and special event, which was organized by The Palace Hotel, a Peninsula Group property.

While we have normally hosted cigar dinners at our Roma Ristorante Italiano, this was the first attempt by The Palace Hotel or anyone else ever to bring such an event to the Great Wall. It might interest your readers to get a glimpse behind the scenes.

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