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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Wayne Gretzky, Mar/Apr 97

Dear Marvin,

When you smoke cigars you never know who you might run into. As a landscape and wildlife photographer, I travel quite extensively to some of the most beautiful places on earth. During a recent trip to Aspen, Colorado, to shoot wildflowers at the Maroon Bells wilderness area, my photographic sidekick, Tom Kennedy, and I found ourselves on the receiving end of cigar praise from a most esteemed aficionado.

We had just used up the good morning light and put away several rolls of film. It was time to celebrate with a couple of fine cigars. As we headed down the trail to the truck, our tripods slung over our shoulders, we passed by a man wearing dark sunglasses. We really didn't pay much attention, until we heard him talking (the voice was very familiar). Ten paces later we both looked at each other, then gazed back up the trail; "Jack Nicholson!" we said in stereo.

Upon reaching the truck we dug into our cache and pulled out two Joya De Nicaraguas and a pint bottle of Red Hook's Double Black Stout (a very nice combination), walked back to the trail head and sat on a big rock to toast a fine day of shooting. Not too far into our cigars we noticed Mr. Nicholson checking us out from afar, probably thinking of us as a couple of paparazzi. Not being the case, we continued to enjoy our cigars and made no move to grab our cameras. He then continued down the trail and right up to the base of the rock where we sat. Politely we tipped our cigars. He stood there looking us up and down, placed his hands in his pockets and with that unmistakable style and voice said, "Excellent, gentlemen. Excellent!"

Robert E. Long II
Lake Forest, California

***

Editor's note: I received this copy of a letter from Rich Andresen of Dallas, Texas. I wanted to share it with you.

To: Steve Bartolin, president
The Broadmoor
cc: Marvin Shanken
I recently spent four nights at the Broadmoor. After hearing so much for so long about the Broadmoor, I am pleased to say that it met or exceeded my expectations in all areas, except one. The service is exceptional, the food is four-star and the surroundings are majestic. Truly a "class act." However, I am sorry to say that I find your policy regarding smoking to be arbitrary and not at all in keeping with your image.

Most establishments which have a reputation for fine food, fine wines and in general the finer things in life, have an appreciation for fine cigars as well. I am very surprised and disappointed that the Broadmoor does not.

However, allowing the smoking of cigarettes and disallowing the smoking of cigars goes beyond a lack of culture; it is an outright insult. Put simply, cigarettes stink. They are full of chemicals and paper which produce an acrid and irritating smoke. Cigars, on the other hand, are not made with paper or chemicals, and produce a fragrant, rich aroma. Yet to take the provincial and arbitrary position that cigarette smoking is acceptable and cigar smoking is not, I think you need to reexamine your policy in this area.


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