Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Michael Richards, Sep/Oct 97
(continued from page 9)
The next day, determined to get to the bottom of their switch on cigar policy, I spoke to the reservations woman again. She said she worked for two bosses, the restaurant manager and the assistant food and beverage director, the very guys who ordered me to ditch the cigar. She said she couldn't recall who told her to call me back to OK my smoking a cigar in Sandcastles. Then the assistant food and beverage director got on the phone. He admitted that there had been a screwup on their part and said that I had been needlessly embarrassed. He offered to take some of the sting out of the affair by refunding the cost of the dinner.
When we checked out, there was a credit for the meal on our bill. And I'll say this for the Marco Island Hilton: when they get contrite they really do a mea culpa. A few days after our return from Florida, I received a letter signed by yet another level of management, the food and beverage director himself, apologizing "for the confusion" they caused.
Pleasantville, New York
I am writing to you today regarding a disturbing letter published in the May/June Cigar Aficionado. I wholeheartedly agree with the writer's commendations of your journalistic excellence, but I cannot say the same for many of his opinions.
Specifically, I am extremely bothered by his characterization of Cigar Aficionado as catering to readers who are "primarily (even if not exclusively) upper middle class, the wealthy, and those who want to be wealthy."
I am a young professional, recently graduated from a four-year university, and have recently discovered one of life's fine pleasures in an occasional smoke. Along with my moderate indulgence, I thoroughly enjoy reading Cigar Aficionado. I don't need to tell you that when starting out in any new career, a tremendous salary is difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate. My ambition in life, however, is to be happy with my career choices and lifestyle decisions, not necessarily to be wealthy (although it would be a nice added benefit). One of those choices I make is to allow myself the privilege of being able to enjoy fine cigars in moderation. Though I must admit I cannot afford the high-end line of fine tobacco products and all of the glorious accessories, I very much enjoy and treasure my prerogative to indulge in some of the finer things that life has to offer.
With any new trend, like the increasing popularity of cigars, a diverse group of people will be captivated. I think that Cigar Aficionado realizes that within each issue. And for the reader who has such a bleak outlook on the increasing diversity of cigar smokers, I say relax and have a nice smoke!!
Chad R. Beckstrom
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