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Name withheld by request
Upon finishing the Spring 1996 issue of Cigar Aficionado, I felt the urge to have a late-night smoke. My choice on this early March evening was a Partagas 150th Anniversary robusto, which was buried deep in my already crowded humidor. These cigars are so enjoyable that I am almost afraid to smoke them, knowing that when my small supply runs out there will be no more. But with a warm breeze moving through the air, a fiery full moon in the sky and my favorite chair waiting, I felt this was a perfect time to smoke one of these gems. So with cigar in hand, and one of my favorite Bruce Springsteen CDs, I headed outside for that favorite chair.
As the music played and the warm breeze blew, I savored every draw I took, while watching the thin clouds move gently across an almost florescent moon. As I smoked my way through one of the most relaxing 30 minutes of my life, I could not help but think what a great country we live in. A place where freedom, coupled with great opportunity, make America the greatest country in the world. And as I took the last draw from the cigar, which by now was down to my fingertips, I could only think about how fortunate I was to live in the U.S.A.
Glenn W. Fleming
Greensboro, North Carolina
Several weeks ago, while attempting to pay a luncheon bill in New York City, the waiter told me my American Express card had expired. Since I have been a member in good standing since 1970, I searched my wallet for my current card--but to no avail. I therefore paid the bill with another card and immediately called American Express for my current card.
I was astonished to learn I had been purged from the file because I had not used my card in a while.
Since I have an impeccable credit record, American Express was happy to reinstate me, however my new card would have a 1996 membership date.
My 1970 American Express card is my "lucky" card. Now what could I do?
I remembered an article on [American Express vice chairman] Jonathan Linen in the Summer 1995 (Jack Nicholson) Cigar Aficionado. I quickly sent Mr. Linen a letter explaining my problem. Needless to say, Mr. Linen has the grace and style and class that personifies most cigar men and women.
The common bond of cigar lovers is a wonderful thing. I received my new American Express card with the 1970 membership date. (Thanks to the aforementioned Mr. Linen). I sent Mr. Linen my favorite La Unicas as a thank you. I hope he enjoys them as I do.
Convent Station, New Jersey
As many of my fellow Cigar Aficionado readers will attest, there is simply no better combination than a good cigar and a round of golf. However, recent experience has brought to my attention that this opinion can be raised to a new level.
I was on a golf outing with business associates on Hilton Head, South Carolina, a few weeks ago. The weather had been a bit uncooperative during the three previous days of our stay; however, our last day turned out to be simply gorgeous. As we stepped up to the Number 8 tee box of Old South Golf Links, a member in our group asked, "Could it get any better? A Monday, no work, great day, good company, golf and cigars."
I studied the hole, a beautiful par-3 over marsh and water. A true island green completely surrounded by hazards. Any mistake and your ball ends up as an alligator appetizer.
For some reason, I had had trouble all week achieving my typical distance with my clubs. It could have simply been fatigue from the late nights spent carousing on Hilton Head. The friendly pro had suggested I consider clubbing down since we were at sea level and I was accustomed to playing at a slightly higher altitude in the Chicago area. I took his advice, but I still think it was acute Mondavi/ Johnny Walker/ Fonseca/ assorted brews fatigue syndrome. Very common ailment on four-day golf outings.
There was a slight wind off the intercoastal waterway and I held up my Arturo Fuente 858 to get an exact wind read. This was a practice I had witnessed my Uncle Shorty Monroe do hundreds of times. He was one of the people responsible for my love of a great cigar. Based on my read from the smoke of the 858, I determined that I should go with a seven iron. The flag was playing 147 yards. Usually I would hit an eight iron, but I listened to the pro.
I teed the ball up and made a comment to my playing partners that I needed to put this close to get back into our little Nassau golf wager. I took one last puff on the 858, let the smoke slip out, set up the ball and tried to emulate a Freddie Couples swing. The ball came off the club head so sweet and true. I knew by watching its flight that this one would be close. The ball landed on the green, took a small bounce, skipped once and started rolling directly toward the flag. It seemed as if it was going to roll forever, and then it simply disappeared. A hole in one! I almost swallowed the 858. My playing partners were ecstatic.
As anyone knows who has ever hit a hole in one, it is quite a unique golf experience. I'm sure it is a little different for each of us. One of my first thoughts was, I wish all of my golf buddies that I've played with over the years could have witnessed this with me. Then I wondered, Wow, I could have a good round. Will I win anything for this? How much are drinks going to cost me? Are they going to put my name up in the clubhouse? Let's celebrate!
With this last thought, I went to my golf bag and pulled out four fresh La Gloria Cubanas, presented to me as a gift from our Hilton Head host, Jim Channell. I passed them out to my partners and we celebrated the moment, the achievement and the beautiful day the good Lord had provided us.
As we walked up to the green and looked into the cup, sure enough, there was my ball. I had to reiterate my friends' earlier comments. Could it get any better? A Monday, no work, beautiful weather, good company, golf, great cigars and an ACE! No, it sure couldn't! I wish every day was that wonderful.
Jim Bob Morris
P.S. For the last several years, I have made a practice of playing golf with a trusted cigar in my mouth during all of my shots. Not only for the great taste and experience, but for the fact that I do not move my head as much, especially on putts (when you haven't made a hole in one!). My head stays steady and over the ball and my alignment is much improved. I have not heard of any pros coming out in support of this theory, but it works for me. I went from an 18 handicap to a 10. I do know that I smoke a lot more cigars now. I think the correlation is actually: more golf equates to more cigars or vice versa and more cigars equate to a lower handicap or vice versa. Let the handicappers figure it out.
I feel like the luckiest man in the world. I just married the perfect woman. I wanted to share my happiness with your readers for two reasons. First, to let my fellow cigar lovers know there are wonderful ladies out there (although one less now) that do like cigars and know how important cigars are to their men. Second, to your female readers, I want them to know just how much a man appreciates an open-minded wife who is willing to try a new experience just because she knows her husband enjoys that activity. A little compromise goes a long way.
Keep up the good work.