Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Andy Garcia, Mar/April 2004
(continued from page 1)
Editor’s note: We wouldn’t comment on the private affairs of anyone. But in this particular case, even if General Franks is smoking a Cuban cigar, it was not in violation of the law. The law does not prohibit the possession of a Cuban cigar, just the purchase of a Cuban product with U.S. currency (except fot authorized travelers). If those cigars were liberated from the enemy, then, in the immortal words attributed to many U.S. government officials, he’s simply destroying enemy property, one cigar at a time.
Smoking a cigar to me has always been more than just “lighting up.” It is an event. It provides a moment to slow down and not only enjoy the flavor of the cigar, but time to think.
I found myself in November in the middle of some type of motivational seminar. One man told of his dream to start a magazine and how that magazine surpassed his wildest expectations. Another man spoke of his dream to serve his country and lead his people to a new era. I was sitting there smoking wrappers from around the world. While it was very interesting and educational to learn of their individual distinctions, I became even more fascinated by the history of the industry itself. There before me were men who had spent their lives pursuing their dreams. Not only following their own visions but those of their fathers and even grandfathers. Families having to pick up what little they could and start again, and through their struggles, leaving an even greater legacy. An international industry born from visions that became realities shaped by determination.
Before my first Las Vegas Big Smoke I wondered why premium cigars were so costly. After last year and learning what was involved, I was astounded that they could be made so inexpensively. Last year I learned the value of a good cigar. This year I learned the value of a dream.
Am I being just a little too dramatic? Maybe, but then again, that attention to detail is one quality that separates the aficionados from the neophytes. If you can appreciate the nuances of a cigar, then how can you not appreciate the nuances of people who manufacture and promote them? Thanks for having the courage to pursue your dreams.
Perry D. Harbin