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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 4)

Later, though, he offered me a fine Cuban cigar

I thanked him and we both agreed

The embargo went a bit too far.

The next evening, invited over for dinner, I recited my poem to the journalist, explaining that I had written it while smoking the cigar he had kindly offered. He insisted on keeping a copy, and we parted as friends.

Scott Smith
Manchester, New Hampshire

***

Dear Marvin,

I am a 26-year-old cigar lover. I do not smoke cigars because they are trendy or hip, nor do I smoke them because they create the illusion of a wealth or affluence that I have yet to attain. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I must say that I enjoy them for all the right reasons. Please allow me to explain.

My two closest friends, Joe and Mike, also enjoy cigars. The three of us have been friends since childhood, yet for the last three years or so, our friendship has developed a strength and unity that is nothing short of remarkable. I'm not about to say that our shared affinity for stogies is the only thing that keeps us close because that is simply not the case. We have many things in common: similar backgrounds, values, hobbies and passions. However, it seems that most of my fondest memories of time spent "with the boys" involve cigars. I can only guess how many warm summer evenings the three of us have spent on Joe's front porch, sipping wine (or Cognac, Scotch, or beer) while smoking our favorite cigars. Sometimes we'll discuss or debate important topics such as politics or religion, while other times we'll lean toward lighter fare such as sports, entertainment or the like (sometimes we just sit around and talk about the cigars). The atmosphere can be animated and gregarious or it may be more serene and low-key, but it is always friendly, honest and above all, respectful. We are three young men who enjoy each other's company and the fine lost art of conversation. The cigars started out as an excuse to sit and talk but have evolved into a unifying accessory to these cherished moments. There is no doubt in my mind that no matter where our lives take us, Joe, Mike and I will always make the time (at least once in a while) to sit, have a cigar and celebrate friendship.

About a year and a half ago, on a cold Thanksgiving Day, I ventured outside to enjoy a newly acquired Onyx No. 852. My father, whom I'd never known to smoke a cigar, said he "would not mind trying one" if I could find something a little smaller and lighter. I happily offered him a corona-sized Macanudo (a brilliant choice, I must say) and to my delight, he enjoyed it quite a bit. Since then, my father has been a proud cigar smoker. In fact, he smokes more often than I do, and I have to pry my issue of Cigar Aficionado away from him when it arrives in the mail. The two of us often can be seen sitting in the garage, discussing the issues of the day while puffing our stogies. He's told me stories of his childhood that, oddly, he never felt the need or inspiration to tell me before. My father and I have always shared a close relationship, but I can't help but think that it has gotten so much closer since I handed him that Macanudo on Thanksgiving Day. He has gained an appreciation for one of life's simple pleasures and I have gained an unsuspected and most-treasured smoking partner.


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