Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Denzel Washington, Jan/Feb 98
(continued from page 2)
As my reward for being selected "Sailor of the Quarter" in September 1959, a chief petty officer treated me to dinner one night. He took me to the Cuba Alliance in Yokosuka, Japan, where we had an excellent meal followed by a Drambuie and a corona--a Golden Tabacalera cigar. It was the finest meal I had ever eaten, my first Drambuie and my first cigar. By the end of the evening, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!
I spent 25 years in the Navy and never forgot that wonderful experience. When I became a chief petty officer and then a warrant officer, I often used a good meal and a good cigar as a reward for a job well done by one of my sailors. I also used a good meal, a good cigar and a Drambuie to reward myself for having had a good day, or a bad day, whichever.
Then, when my children got old enough to be a major pain in the neck, they joined their mom in a campaign to make me give up cigars. So, in 1986, I gave up smoking altogether because I love my wife and children; I also love a little peace and quiet around the house.
My son, Walter, grew into a fine young man and started his own business here in Austin. He is a good son and often comes to visit his old dad, usually to borrow something or use my nice garage to work on one of his classic old Mustangs. Imagine my surprise when one day he offers me a Macanudo Ascot! My first reaction was, "Is this some kind of joke?" "Well Dad," he explained, "Austin is a pretty happening place for cigar smokers these days. Almost all of my friends visit brew pubs and smoke good cigars now." He then tells me he often goes out for a fine meal followed by a B&B and a good cigar. "Yeah, Dad, you ought to try it yourself sometime!"
Well, since that memorable afternoon, Walter and his friend, Luther, and I have enjoyed some of the finest cigars made. I smoke mostly Cuesta Rey Cabinet 1884. However, Walter and Luther both have well-stocked humidors and often share one of their aged treasures with me, or they stop in at Wiggies on 6th Street and buy something special when they visit. To date, we have enjoyed Don Lino, Arturo Fuente, Dunhills, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo and many more. Life doesn't get much better than having a good cigar after dinner with your older and wiser son, and his friends. We often sit on my front porch in the soft summer evenings enjoying each other's company with a Drambuie or B&B, and a fine cigar.
In an odd twist of fate, my son, Walter Payne, is now president of the Texas Cigar Smokers Association. Here in Texas, they have an old saying: "What goes around, comes around." Must be something to that.
Robert R. Payne
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