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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Michael Richards, Sep/Oct 97

(continued from page 1)

A nurse on the way home from her hospital shift arrived on the scene. She asked if anyone knew CPR. I told her I did. At first she was a little hesitant to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. There was so much blood she didn't know if she could do it. I encouraged her by saying we could do it! She agreed. She asked the others around to find her a plastic bag, then she tore a hole in it and placed the bag with the hole over the victim's mouth. I began the chest compressions, one, two, three, four five, and she would breathe in. Nothing happened. His chest did not rise. We had to turn his head to clear the airway, so I carefully cupped the man's head in my hands to feel if the bones of his lower head and upper neck were broken. His neck was broken. We had to turn his whole body. I carefully placed my arm under his frail body and on the count of three, while she held his head straight, I turned his torso. The blood quickly ran out of his mouth. We rolled him on his back and started again. This time we saw his chest rise slightly when she blew in.

It seemed like everything was going in slow motion, but it was actually only a few seconds. We applied CPR for about 20 minutes, stopping from time to time to clear the blood from his mouth and throat. The fire department and paramedics finally arrived. They didn't think he was alive, but the paramedic also found the pulse. Within minutes they had his heart stabilized enough to stop manual chest compression. He still could not breathe on his own. I will be surprised if the man survives! The trauma to his head was very severe. All I know is that the 30 minutes that the nurse and I had with him we were able to keep his heart and lungs going. He was airlifted to a hospital in El Paso. I never knew his name, or even if he made it. As a matter of fact, I didn't even get the nurse's name. Thank God she was there still in uniform, looking like an angel. We just high-fived each other when the helicopter took off. She went her way and I went mine.

I climbed back into the truck feeling every emotion from excitement to sorrow. That evening, 300 miles down the road, I stopped and pulled into a scenic overlook on a mountain pass. I took out my plastic humidor, found my last Fuente that I was saving. I lit it, climbed down out of the cab of the truck, and sat down on a large rock overlooking the valley below. Looking up at the stars I said a prayer. It was a good and a bad day. I smoked my cigar for him! I saved the paper ring off of the cigar, and I'll keep it forever!

Douglas A. Narigon
Hurricane, Utah


Dear Marvin,

Once in a blue moon I smoked cigars and really didn't care about the brand or type of flavor. I just smoked them for the sheer fun of it. All I know is that tobacco has been a big part of my life and my native culture, since we offer them to the spirits with our prayers and ceremonies.

Late last summer while on the set filming the movie, Copland, I had a sudden urge to smoke a cigar. Brad Anderson, who does Sly Stallone's wardrobe styling, was around and I approached him and said, "Brad, I feel like a cigar. I'd like to buy one from you." I didn't know the proper etiquette of asking somebody for a cigar. Anyway, he said no, just let me know when you're ready.

Soon, he asked me if I was ready. Yeah, I said. He drew out his leather-fingered case and started explaining the cigar we were about to indulge in and the ritual that goes with it. This is why I like cigars; the meaning behind every detailed act shows reverence for one's self and to the people who took care of the tobacco seeds to the finished creations of art. It is a thanksgiving.

I believe it was the lunar eclipse that gave birth to the genesis of a passion within me. Like a seed, my interest in cigars grew and now I am enjoying the potpourri of flavors that are offered. I knew that it was just a matter of time before I would claim that I am indeed a cigar aficionado.

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