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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Claudia Schiffer, Jul/Aug 97

(continued from page 1)

My first fear was put to rest during the flight to England. The other students were not acquainted with each other, either. They also shared the same scholastic fear that I had. Most of us became good friends as we shared our experiences of life and school with one another, and supported each other through the term.

On the first evening after dinner in the Great Hall, Chad Phipps, one of the young men in our group ("The Missouri Contingent," as we became known) was keeping me company as I unpacked. Not being a smoker, he took a special interest in my travel humidor, so I began to expound on the finer points of smoking premium cigars. By the end of the discussion, I knew that he had taken the bait and all I needed to do was set the hook. I told him that the next day I was going to make a run to Oxford's finest tobacconist in order to purchase my first supply of Cuban smokes. Our enthusiasm soon spread to Shelby, a young lady in our group, who asked if she might go along.

The next afternoon the three of us embarked on a journey I will always remember. From the tobacconist's small, ravaged humidor I purchased Cohibas, Romeo y Julietas and Montecristos. We carried our treasure back to my room at Christ Church and placed them in my humidor, which was now "our humidor."

That night after dinner, we retrieved a Cohiba and one of the Romeos and gathered in the Master's Garden. Shelby, who chose to forgo the actual smoking, sat on the exquisitely manicured grass and stared up at us with keen interest as I demonstrated the ritual of cutting, lighting and smoking one of life's precious gifts. Chad was hooked.

On the many evenings that followed, I would have just as many pleasant and tranquil experiences with my new comrades, such as walking with Shelby on my arm (thank God for an understanding wife) around the meadow and along the Thames, standing on a street corner with Chad, and talking to students and others from all over the world, slowly burning our treasure the whole time.

Sitting in that garden alone one night, I came to a realization: I was among the best that my college had to offer, with some of the best people a man could be associated with, drinking the best wines, while smoking the best cigars, at one of the best universities in the Western world. If a guy can do better than that, please tell me how.

Doug Shaw
Carl Junction, Missouri

*

Dear Marvin,

I am a European reader of your excellent magazine; the subscription was given to me as a present by my fiancée last year.


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