Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Greg Raymer, Sept/Oct 2004
My blood is boiling with anger. I am just pulling my hair out as I type away. The treatment of Mr. Richard "Mick" Connors is just out-of-this-world wrong. As we all know by now, Connors did break the law according to the U.S. government, but this is just silly. We are talking about cigars here, not cocaine. I am outraged. I mean, I cannot believe the time, manpower and tax dollars that went into putting a fellow cigar lover in jail for a crime I consider harmless. I know that there are those out there in this community that are against the smuggling of Cuban cigars into the United States, but really, should a man go to jail for over three years for it? I think not, my friends. What really angers me the most is that all of that time and tax money could have gone to stopping drug runners from entering our country and bringing their terrible cargo into the United States.
What is going on out there? Is everything going completely crazy? Putting a man with Cuban cigars in jail is more important than stopping drug runners? There are people walking the streets today who have committed worse crimes who have received lighter sentences than Richard Connors.
I hope there are others out there who agree with me on this matter and would gladly voice their own opinions. We have more important things to take care of in this country than busting a cigar smuggler. Wouldn't you say that stopping drug runners is more important than putting Richard Connors in jail for three-plus years? In closing, I just want to say that I think we have much bigger fish to fry here and abroad, and putting this man in jail is just wasteful. He has been put through hell for too long now and it's only going to get worse for him. My thoughts and prayers are with him, as a fellow cigar aficionado.
Editor's note: Well said. We have argued for years that the amount of manpower devoted to interdicting Cuban cigars, a legal product in every other country on Earth, is simply ridiculous.
I was reading the Editors' Note in the August 2004 Cigar Aficionado about golf courses being the last frontier for cigar smokers to enjoy a good cigar. I was reminded of the EDS Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas, this year. I was sitting with a friend on the 18th green on the final day of the championship when two gentlemen lit two very nice cigars. They were standing several people away, so I couldn't see the bands, but they were either Churchills or double coronas. It was a warm, breezy day and was just beautiful. I had set out two A. Fuentes for my friend and myself, but forgot them at home. I was bummed out most of the day. The smell of the cigars was wonderful. I couldn't help but hear a man and a woman behind me complaining about the stink coming from the two gentlemen smoking their cigars in public. They both went on and on about the rudeness of the cigar smokers. Being the troublemaker I am, I starting talking louder than normal about how good the cigars were and how I wished I hadn't forgotten mine at home. This was not lost on the couple behind me or the two men smoking. The smokers looked over at me and grinned about it. I am just glad they continued to smoke and ignore the jerks behind me.
My worry here is this: One person sued and got prayer out of public schools, and now one man is suing to get the Pledge of Allegiance changed because he doesn't like some of the wording. How long is it going to be before one person sues the PGA to have smoking banned from an outdoor golf tournament? Then how long will it be before public and private courses follow the lead? This will stop golfers and golf fans from enjoying themselves even more. When is this P.C. crybaby stuff going to stop? When are like-minded Americans going to stand up and say enough is enough? The smoking police have already done enough. We pay our taxes, go to work every day. We are Americans, too. Leave us alone.