Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Ron Perelman, Spring 95
(continued from page 22)
After we completed dinner and ordered Cognacs, we asked our waiter to have Tim stop by the table and explained why. The waiter's response was that we would probably be asked to move to the bar area, and that he would begin preparing a table for us. This was an acceptable solution, and my friend and I agreed. A short time later, Tim delivered an ashtray to the table and asked us to enjoy our cigars. After preparation and cutting, we lit our cigars. My friend's was a Romeo y Julieta Corona. Mine was a Punch Double Corona. We proceeded to have the perfect conclusion to a most enjoyable restaurant experience. The Assembly has earned the honor of being recognized as a cigar-friendly restaurant.
I truly enjoy Cigar Aficionado and hope someday to meet you in a cigar-friendly restaurant.
* * *
A group of seven friends and I, all seniors in colleges scattered throughout Pennsyl-vania, get together when we come home to enjoy a good smoke. Our smoking parties began innocently with a few cheap, handmade cigars and took off as if they had a mind of their own. Following our sophomore year, the gang and I were getting out at least five nights a week to meet at a local park and enjoy the higher-quality cigars that one of our buddies had discovered. My first quality smoke was a Don Diego (I still have the band).
Near the end of that summer, we decided that to secure the smoking bond we'd established, we'd spend one night camping out, smoking cigars and enjoying the friendship. We labeled it the "World Series of Cigar Smoking." The night would not be complete, however, without our first taste of the fabled Cuban ci-gars. We devised a plan for a day trip to Canada "to see the Falls," we told our parents. Early on a warm August morning, we set out from Tyrone, Pennsylvania, on "Operation Cuba."
Once in Toronto, we wandered the streets for nearly an hour before seemingly stumbling upon the Havana House. We were overwhelmed when taken to the humidors upstairs, where we saw hundreds of the finest cigars in the world. After browsing for several minutes, we each chose four cigars. I chose a Montecristo, an H. Upmann, a Romeo y Julieta and, of course, a Cohiba.
We stopped at Niagara Falls on our way back and avoided a potentially unfortunate run-in with the border patrol by the skin of our noses when returning to the United States. We had placed the cigars in the trunk, but while at the Falls, my friend said that we should keep them with us in the front of the car because, though not always, the border patrolmen sometimes check the trunks of vehicles returning to the United States. I felt they'd be fine where they were but eventually agreed. We placed the cigars in plastic bags underneath our arms. It just seemed like something smugglers might do, and we were so excited.
When we reached the border, the patrolman asked if he could search our trunk. You can imagine the combination of fear and excitement with which we were overcome--we'd just missed having our treasure possibly confiscated. In retrospect, we may have gotten off with as little as a warning. But at the time, with nearly 20 Cubans distributed throughout the car under the arms of four young cigar smokers, it seemed that no punishment could have been too severe, were we to be caught. Once across the border, we were so proud. We really thought we'd accomplished something.
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