Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Cuba, May/June 2007
(continued from page 1)
I have been a subscriber to your fantastic magazine for a few years now and, like that first meeting of the parents, my heart beats faster every time I open the mailbox and the gift of Cigar Aficionado is waiting for me inside. As I look forward to every new issue, I continue to trust that your publication will be a beacon for everyone who loves a great smoke.
Chris W. Menke
Mason City, Iowa
Today I received the latest issue of Cigar Aficionado and yesterday a box of cigars. So what better than to get out of work early, sit on my back porch of our third-floor apartment that overlooks our beautiful small upstate New York village and partake in both? Here in New York you don't get too many sunny days, so you best take advantage of them when you have the chance.
What I love about "Out of the Humidor" is that they are stories by and about ordinary people. And that is me. My story is common and I thought I would share it with you. I am 26 years old. I started smoking cigars when I was 18 and was introduced to H. Upmanns by my older brother and his college roommates. Over the last year, after receiving a subscription to Cigar Aficionado, I have become more knowledgeable about good cigars. It has been a lot of fun introducing my friends to quality cigars, which has led to our informal cigar club, "Long Ashes."
What I have been reflecting on as I read this issue's letters is the fact that men and women will and can do what they want. My wife and I don't have a lot of money in the world's eye, but what we always have is a good smoke, good coffee and good wholesome food. The other day my wife came home with Starbucks coffee ice cream, so I paired that with my favorite coffee and was delighted with the tastes. I also love that we take time to walk three blocks to buy the best fresh homemade bread in town.
I love that even though we don't have much of the stuff that many others deem necessary for living and survival, we do without, and you can be guaranteed that we will always be going for walks, reading Cigar Aficionado, smoking good-quality cigars and having good friends around us to enjoy life with.
Long ashes to you and your readers.
Owego, New York
I read every month about the personal stories that grace your pages, and without fail, they make me recall a number of fine cigar moments that I have had over the years. I started smoking machine-made cigars back in the '70s while working as a foreman in a General Motors plant in Michigan—mostly for something to do—but when I discovered quality, handmade cigars, I started smoking, and collecting, in earnest.
I recall one evening at the fishing cabin while on vacation on Drummond Island in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where I had taken my family for their favorite vacation. I have three wonderful boys (youngsters then) who adore fishing out on Lake Huron, and I had invited my wife's cousin and his fiancée up from Milwaukee to meet us for the week. He promised to bring the winners of the bratwurst/mettwurst competitions held that summer, as well as the winners from the local microbrew competition. He also told me that he was bringing along his cigars, so I decided to bring my entire humidor just in case.