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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Winter 95/96

(continued from page 17)

The discriminating cigar lover is presented with a fairly impressive display of Cuban as well as Dominican tobacco treats. I, of course, ignored the Dominican shelf since they are widely available in the States, and spent a few wide-eyed moments perusing the Cuban selection. Large sizes were in short supply, but Partagas, Bolivar, H. Upmann, Cohiba, Punch, El Rey del Mundo and others were represented.

The prices certainly make Americans, used to paying $3 to $5 for decent Dominican, Honduran, or Mexican cigars, pale with shock at the sight of how so much will buy so little. "What the heck," I said, and plunged in, realizing the rarity of this possibility--the possibility to circumvent the most ridiculous embargo in the history of the United States. I leapt in, picking up one here and another there. I was the proverbial "kid in the candy store" while I satisfied a 10-year desire to own and enjoy the best in the world. I did and I do. At about 15 British pounds each (about $22), my seven Romeo y Julieta Churchills made up the heart of the purchase.

I then found by chance a very nice little tobacconist at London's Covent Garden. My tour guide, knowing my passion for cigars, found me in the crowd and sent me to it, credit card in hand. The shop is Mullins and Westley Ltd.'s Segar and Snuff Parlour. In a shop approximately the size of a closet, I looked over an inventory that included small numbers of several brands and sizes of Cuban delights.

Of course, I smoked and disposed of all Cubans purchased before I left the European continent and returned to the "land of the free and the home of the brave."

I will now retire to my backyard for a family barbecue, after which I will enjoy a very, very, good cigar!

Ron Sebestik
Mahomet, Illinois

* * *

Dear Marvin,

I work for AT&T GIS (the former NCR), as a marketing coordinator in Turkey. Being involved with one of the world's most high-tech and competitive markets, a person deserves to celebrate his business success. One of the best ways--a conversation with best friends in a chic restaurant or bar near the Bosporus, the strait that runs between Asia and Europe, on a breezy summer evening, accompanied by a puro Habana.

During my early days in the United States (I was then living in Dayton, Ohio), I was at a nightclub with some friends, dancing around and smoking a Cuban Davidoff. A lady approached me and said, "Do you know what kind of men smoke cigars in this country?" I said, "Who?" With a very mean facial expression and a loud voice she said, "The men who are really something, or the men who think they are something. Which group do you belong to?" I was amazed, but I said, "Lady, I don't know which group I belong to; all I know is that I really enjoy cigars. Is that enough?" She looked at me one more time, and went away. I continued smoking. For reasons of this kind, I really feel sorry for American cigar smokers. There are many beautiful things about living in the United States, but one of the most unnecessary things is this: Why don't people have respect for other people's ways of enjoying life? Perhaps because they never enjoy life themselves, and don't want others to do so, via a cigar or anything else.

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