Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Cuba, May/June 2007
(continued from page 2)
After a long day of fishing northern Lake Huron, and after seeing my three little fishing buddies to bed, the men retired to the upper deck to drink ice-cold microbrews and smoke cigars while the ladies went to the lower deck to talk and do cross-stitch. Cousin Brian brought out his selection of cigars and we each opened an ice-cold Leinenkugel's beer. While his collection wasn't bad, I advised him to put his away for the trip back home while we smoked mine. He protested that he wanted to contribute (as if bringing three cases of microbrew and a case of fresh brats and metts weren't enough), but I wanted him to try a few cigars that I had been saving for just such an occasion. I had been squirreling away Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Coronas for a number of years, and I brought out two that had a good seven years in the humidor for sampling. The look on his face after only a few moments puffing away on those large stogies was priceless.
"Wow! What are these?" and "How can I get some?" was what I heard over and over again.
The Double Coronas had aged magnificently and were a perfect finish to top off the evening after a dinner of freshly caught and grilled chinook salmon. While sitting outside as a full moon the size of a small automobile lit up the shoreline and the calm North Channel waters, we discussed the fishing stories that we were going to make up for the benefit of our coworkers back home. To our surprise, and after the first night enjoying these great sticks, the ladies actually asked us to light up every night as we sat outside because the smoke would drift lazily down over the lower deck and surround them with an effective anti-mosquito cloud. We were only too glad to provide a public service.
I have had many special moments over the last three decades involving cigars, mostly because they feel like a small, intimate vacation from the world at large. They involve quietly reflective microcosms, and quite often the presence of very satisfying discussions with friends under the stars. While it is a shame that I must abide the draconian solutions imposed by the anti-smoking legions (or as I prefer to label them, the "unenlightened") in Ohio where I live, I can still listen to my teenagers recount their fishing encounters on the deck overlooking the water while enjoying my favorite smokes. It is certainly a disgrace that people cannot allow another individual the right to a cigar, or themselves the right to sit back to enjoy the aroma. But then, nothing says that I have to sample or enjoy NASCAR, or skiing, or scuba diving, for that matter. Perhaps some day they, too, will have their rights and enjoyments severely abridged, and if we're all lucky, they may remember how they acted in their reactionary ways and learn from their behavior. Perhaps, but not very likely.
On the plus side, I made the effort to obtain every single Cigar Aficionado issue back to Volume I, Issue 1, so I can stroll down memory lane to past issues. The upside to reaching a "certain age" is that I can read, and reread, articles from years ago and still enjoy them as if reading them for the first time.
Thanks for the memories, congratulations on your success, and here's wishing you continued success for the foreseeable future.
Michael E. "Mick" Susco
I was injured in an auto accident recently and suffered a sprained thumb. The insurance company dutifully listed my injury as a "pain in limb," then went on to list my medical history. Along with high cholesterol, they qualified my smoking three cigars a week as "tobacco use disorder." We all know smoking can cause cancer, but I really doubt that enjoying a few cigars a week needs to be in my medical file, much less an insurance database. The Orwellian 1984 has arrived.
Editor's note: Your "tobacco use disorder" does sound Orwellian. But it is just a sign of our times.