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Out of the Humidor

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

(continued from page 3)

I am a 35-year-old physician who, as an avid runner, recently finished the 10-mile Annapolis Road Race with some 4,000 other runners. The Annapolis 10-miler is Maryland's premier road race, attracting runners from all 50 states, who enjoy the beautiful scenery, the naval academy and other sights of the state's capital. As an aficionado, all I could think about during the last two miles of the race was lighting up the H. Upmann Churchill stashed in my glove compartment and awaiting me at the finish line.

With the race completed, and most of us adequately rehydrated, I returned to my car for my "race prize." Unfortunately, just putting this gem in my mouth drew stares from my fellow runners in the congested parking lot. This confirmed my prior suspicions that as a group, runners are pretty uptight. I waited until I was on the road before lighting up, but still enjoyed the ride home and the accomplishment of the day.

Christos M. Ballas, M.D.
Westminister, Maryland

* * *

Dear Marvin,

I am a 27-year-old graduate student in political science at a midsized campus in central Illinois. I have been smoking cigars for over 10 years, and I love them. They soothe and relax me and bring me lots of joy, even when the burdens of school and work start to bear down. I just wish Iwan Ries & Co. and the Up-Down Cigar Shop were in Bloomington!

I am writing to tell you that I support your fight for cigar smokers' rights. As a political consultant, I am dismayed that I, among others in my profession, are not allowed to smoke in most areas. The days of smoke-filled rooms are, alas, coming to an end. I would prefer not to spend my life subjugated to standing outdoors or being forced into exile to enjoy my cigars. Many of my mentors in life have been cigar smokers, and they are respected professionals. They, too, are forced out, due to the concerns of those who feel they need to protect everyone from our "dangerous" habit.

As a courteous smoker who asks before I light up, even in places where smoking is allowed, I urge you not to give up. I will help fight the battles here; I know you'll help us win the war.

Brian A. Bernardoni
Bloomington, Illinois

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