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Out of the Humidor

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As a teenage girl, I was often bemused with the dreams and plans of how I was going to fall in love. You know--the courtship, the roses, the letter sweater and all that Gidget-type stuff.
Well, here I am, 25 years later, and I have never actually fallen in love--until now.
A couple of years ago, an attractive gentleman sat at my game (I deal blackjack in Las Vegas) smoking a handsome Churchill. I think he was surprised at how welcomed he was with his cigar and at my extreme interest in what he was smoking. When he learned through further conversation that I smoked cigars (what I now realize was garbage), he presented me with a beautiful Montecristo. He was the first man I had met that didn't frown on my indulgence of cigars.
This experience prompted me to purchase my first copy of Cigar Aficionado in hopes of gaining more knowledge about the smoking of fine cigars. Not only did I find your top-notch publication very educational, but it really opened my eyes: I was not the only woman in the world who smoked the occasional stogie!
Several visits and months later, my cigar smoking player blurted out an invitation to join him and his traveling companion for dinner that night. (It just so happened to be Valentine's Day). I met them for dinner. We ate, we drank, we smoked, we talked, we laughed and a sweet connection occurred.
He returned to the Midwest the next day and has called me every day since. The courtship has begun, and though it has its challenges with 1,514 miles between us, it has its own uniqueness as well. Instead of sending roses, he makes sure my humidor is filled with my favorite smokes. Every time I light up, I feel a sweet presence of this special man who has touched my life. Instead of a letter sweater, he gives me his boxer shorts and oxford shirts. I still have the cigar band he slipped on my finger recently--we're going steady. He visits frequently and we enjoy checking out the local tobacco shops, selecting and experimenting with a variety of fine cigars. Some of my most cherished moments with him have been simply sitting, smoking and talking.
In the not too distant past, if anyone would have suggested that a cigar would be an icon of my falling-in-love experience, I would have laughed. Not only have I fallen in love, but I no longer smoke in secret.
Life is good.
Melinda Quick
Las Vegas, Nevada

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Dear Marvin,
Following a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to stop at my favorite tobacconist, Liberty Tobacco in San Diego, to replenish my severely depleted humidor.
You can imagine how thrilled I was as I entered the humidor room to discover my name inscribed on a brown paper bag. As I slowly opened the bag, I was delighted to set my eyes on 15 Partagas 150th Anniversary robusto-sized cigars.
When I arrived home, I found my wife and two small children, ages three and 14 months, all enjoying an afternoon siesta. I immediately placed 14 of the cigars in my humidor, opened a bottle of Samuel Adams and headed for the patio to experience one of these rare beauties.
I must say this was one of the richest and deepest-flavored cigars I'd ever experienced. Twenty minutes into my smoking pleasure, my three-year-old appeared on the porch with one of the cigars in each hand, completely damaged and torn. My blood pressure went through the roof as I sprinted through the house toward the humidor in the living room, where to my dismay I found my 14-month-old with a Macanudo Hyde Park Cafe in his mouth and an array of shredded cigars, including my coveted Partagas, scattered throughout the room.
As I finished my cigar, my wife vacuuming the tobacco, a tear fell into what was left of my second Sam Adams, and I realized the saying is true: When the Partagas 150th Anniversary cigars are gone, they will be gone forever.
John F. Hiser
Poway, California

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Dear Marvin,
I thought your readers would enjoy this news item:
Coolidge Discards Cigar; Riot Starts in Los Angeles
Los Angeles. February 19, 1930. (AP) Former President Calvin Coolidge threw away a half-smoked cigar here and a crowd of souvenir coveters immediately started a fight for the butt. Some hands were stepped on and some kicks administered. A woman who refused to give her name won the stub. She put it in her handbag and hurried away.
Louis Phillips
New York, New York

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Dear Marvin,
Your article on Tom Selleck was particularly insightful. I'm writing to put Tom's mind at ease on an issue so close to his heart.
My son, Max, and Tom's daughter, Hannah, attend the same school on the outskirts of Los Angeles. I have, on numerous occasions, seen Tom and Jillie standing dutifully in attendance at early Friday morning school assemblies, spending quality time "being there" for Hannah. This at an hour when many other, much less-famous fathers are onto their 10th telephone call or third business meeting.
To you, Tom, take pride in knowing that you are a great father. Although we've never met, I have a Cuban Montecristo No. 2 waiting in my humidor for just the right early morning introduction, a symbol of your commitment to your family.
If only all daughters had such concerned daddies.
Greg Ström
Malibu Lake, California

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Dear Marvin,
In the Autumn edition of Cigar Aficionado you mentioned that President Clinton should admit that he is a cigar smoker. Then I read with great interest the article in which Arthur M. Schlesinger stated that the Cuban embargo was now useless since the Cold War was over and Cuba is no longer aiding guerrilla groups in Latin America.
So, I wrote a letter to the president asking him about his Cuban policy, and also asked him about his favorite cigars. I have enclosed the letter I received from his office.
Keep up the great work! Cigar Aficionado is truly a superb publication. My only grievance is that it is not printed monthly.
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