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Out of the Humidor

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

(continued from page 5)

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.

Cenk Kiral
Istanbul, Turkey

* * *

Dear Marvin,

I must express my enjoyment with Cigar Aficionado. I find the columns and articles informative and interesting and have heard the same sentiments from other people. I was at a bookstore in the magazine aisle, looking for the latest car magazine (I already subscribe to Cigar Aficionado), when I noticed a lady flipping through your magazine. Her voice carried far enough that I could hear her. She was showing the magazine to her husband (or boyfriend), commenting how elitist and superficial Cigar Aficionado was. But what really hit my switch was when she said, "Anybody who reads this is just a wanna-be." Without causing a scene or arguing with this lady, I walked up to her and asked her politely, "Are you going to buy that LAST copy of Cigar Aficionado?" She looked at me, closed the magazine, handed it to me and walked away.

I am 29 years old and only smoke cigars. I began about five years ago. I consider myself a "special occasion" smoker, only lighting up when I get together with my best friends. During these memorable occasions I have smoked the best cigars your magazine rates: Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, Cuban Punch, and the Hoyo De Monterrey Double Corona. I have introduced my friends to a new unexplored area of pleasure and they have added to this experience with the addition of well-aged single malt Scotch or a fine bottle of wine. My friends know my love of cigars and it's an affection I take very seriously. I have gone that extra step and had a humidor custom-built by a professional craftsman. For a finishing touch to my humidor, I had a small shiny brass plaque attached with the engraved A LITTLE TASTE OF HEAVEN.

I have only been subject to one unfortunate incident while smoking a cigar. My best friend and I were in a bar where we were planning to spend an hour or two talking, having some drinks and listening to a live band perform. After the waitress took our order, I scanned the surroundings and estimated that half the clientele were smoking. I then gave my friend a Romeo y Julieta Churchill. He ran the cigar across his nose to savor the aroma of the tobacco. We clipped the ends of the cigars and were ready to ignite these babies, then our drinks came. The waitress placed our drinks down and then she noticed the cigars. She asked us not to light those smelly things; the smoke bothered her. I thought she was joking. When she left we lit up the cigars and continued with our conversation. Ten or 15 minutes later my friend finished his drink and I was almost through mine. We were ready to order another round but she ignored our table and served the table next to us of four men, three of them smoking cigarettes. The waitress passed our table two more times without even a glance. At that point, my friend looked at me and said, "Who needs this crap, lets go." We paid for our drinks and left the bar (leaving a nickel as a gratuity). Fortunately, the night was not ruined. We decided to walk back to my place to play some billiards. We continued our philosophical discussion of the 3-F's. I enjoy the late-night walks with my friends--we discuss a wide variety of topics, and recall old times. I feel a good cigar enhances the event.

Alex G. Yuen
Collingwood, Ontario, Canada

* * *

Dear Marvin,

I am a 45-year-old plant scientist living in Lima, Peru (an ideal natural humidor), working at the International Potato Center. Let me tell you how cigars helped me to meet my future wife, Doris Valle.

I was picking her up in my car for our first date, when I realized I had forgotten to hide my cigars. But it was too late--she saw them, and her large eyes opened wide. I went into a cold sweat for what seemed an eternity. A microsecond later she said, "Don't tell me you smoke cigars? I have always loved the smell of cigars, because my father always smokes around the house." That explains why, only two months after that first date, she became my wife. I'm not a fool! By the way--my father-in-law is a true connoisseur, and most Sundays we sit down after lunch and share some wonderful treat.

Noel Pallais
Lima, Peru


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