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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Demi Moore, Autumn 96

(continued from page 4)

Dear Marvin,

On Feb. 18, 1987, my beloved parents were killed in an automobile accident on the Atlantic City Expressway in New Jersey. I was required to inspect the towed wreckage of their car for any personal belongings I might wish to keep. In the trunk I found my dad's last Macanudo Portofino. He mostly smoked inexpensive cigars but kept the Portofino around for special occasions.

Despite the intense grief I experienced at the time, I managed to hold onto that cigar, and vowed that when my first child was born, I would smoke it and make a toast to Dad. Unfortunately, I was single at the time with no prospects.

Three years later I met a wonderful lady and we were married in 1991. On Nov. 9, 1994, my son, Andrew, was born at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. After ensuring that mom and baby were resting comfortably, I took that cigar out onto the hospital lawn--you can't smoke in any hospital these days. It was evening, quite dark, and quiet. I smoked that Portofino, and was overcome with sadness at the thought that my dad would never see this beautiful thing that had just been created, his first grandson. I cried like a baby.

I have tried many cigars since that moment, but for some reason, I prefer Macanudo Portofinos. I like to think that it's because of the mild, consistent taste. Or maybe it's my love of things Jamaican. But somewhere in there is the link to my father and his memory, the father-son continuum. I think of my dad whenever I smoke one, even feel like him. For this I am grateful. He was a great guy, and I miss him every day.

Lawrence E. Ginsberg, M.D.
Houston, Texas


Dear Marvin,

I am a traveling businessman from Atlanta, Georgia, and I wanted to share an experience that I had. While awaiting my flight in the Fort Lauderdale Airport, I went to the airport lounge and found a small corner table to sit down and enjoy a smoke while reading my new issue of Cigar Aficionado. The lounge was three-fourths full of people. I opened my briefcase and pulled out my traveling cigar box, which contained several different brands of cigars that I had purchased from a Miami tobacco shop. I pulled out an Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur No. 1 and sniffed it as I slipped the wrapper off. I then noticed that a gentleman from a few tables away approached me and asked me what brand of cigar I had in my hand. We talked about cigars for a moment and then a second gentleman from the same table came up and started talking about cigars. A few minutes later, two more gentlemen joined the group to talk about their cigar experiences. A few tables away was a woman sitting alone who saw me showing off all of my recently purchased cigars. She got my attention and asked me if I knew about the JFK humidor. Since I had just finished reading about the humidor in your Summer 1996 issue, I told her all about the humidor's history, original cost, etc. Then a man from another table in the lounge turned to me and said, "Which actor gave the humidor to JFK?", and I told him that it was Milton Berle. Within five minutes I had captured the attention of so many people in the lounge that I immediately got the urge to write this letter for your other readers.

My point is this: cigar smokers seem to be in their own fraternity. I have met many people in the past few months since I became a regular cigar smoker. This pastime is definitely a great way to start conversations or meet people, and I'm glad that cigar smoking is getting so popular. Many business people, especially salespeople, go to cocktail parties and other social events to seek out "potential prospects." Well, now you don't have to attend these events anymore. Just pull out a large cigar (double coronas are great) and you will gather attention for sure. And since a cigar can now be considered a business tool, I wonder if I can include this item on my expense reimbursement report! That would be wonderful, but I don't think that my company is going to buy that one.

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