Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
John Travolta, Jan/Feb 99
(continued from page 1)
Two weeks ago, while camping, I actually came to appreciate my moments of time to myself. Late one night, beside the campfire, I enjoyed a "real" Cohiba while gazing at the stars and absorbing the tranquility. I reflected upon the man I had become--thanks to my father, and also the tremendous sacrifices that were made by my mother and father on behalf of my brother, sister and myself. In my reflection I came to realize that if you love someone, tell him or her. I also realized that my father is now at peace with God and knows what I had neglected to tell him all too often when he was alive: Thank you for everything, and I love you, Dad.
For me, a cigar will never again be just a good smoke.
Thomas G. Pramberger
Queens, New York
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I am an airman in the United States Navy stationed in Puerto Rico. I am not a spokesperson for my command, nor do my views represent the Navy or any part of the Navy. I am an avid reader of your superb magazine. Yet, I cannot receive it overseas. I do however, find time to enjoy some of the finest cigars available in this area.
Getting to my point of this letter: as the world knows, we were hit by one of the largest and strongest hurricanes known to this area, Hurricane Georges. After a day and a half of strong winds and heavy rains, there was damage that one would only see on the television. You could only compare such devastation to a war-torn city: trees lying on the rooftops and in roads; cable and telephone poles snapped in half, destroying cars that were stranded on the street. Broken glass from windows scattered across the ground. Shoreside houses now part of the sea, and a golf course that is now a lake. Not to mention, many other damages to the quality of life and operational status of the naval station.
After the all clear sign was given, the people began to filter out of their houses and clean up what was left of their lives and get things back to normal. Without water and electricity for up to two weeks on base, the rest of Puerto Rico would be at a loss for months to a full year for recovery. This little Caribbean paradise no bigger than one-third the size of Vermont is now a disaster.
After the reality hit me and the family I was staying with, I made my journey over to my home, the Bachelor Quarters. I walked up the stairs to the barracks, and realized the roof to the three-story building had been ripped off by the hurricane. As I walked into the passageway I was thinking, "I'm glad I live on the first floor." I opened my door and about five inches of water spewed out of my room. A hi-fi stereo system was trashed, as well as many other items. One of the most prized possessions, my humidor. A collection of cigars I have been acquiring in the Caribbean area--GONE! Very upset with these losses, I packed what I could and moved to another place.
Someone must have been looking over me at that moment because just before I threw the last thing in the truck, a cigar fell out of a box of papers! A Partagas No. 1, 6 3/4 inches by 43 ring gauge. Although it was not in the best condition, it was all I had! After returning to my buddy's house, grief stricken, I sparked up my cigar and gazed at the magnificent stars in the dark blue sky. We recapped the past few days as I puffed away at my only remaining cigar.
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