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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Dennis Haysbert, Nov/Dec 2006

(continued from page 5)

By this time, my husband had graduated to Punch, Hoyo de Monterreys and his favorite, Padróns, and went back to getting them via mail order. One of my gifts to him on every special occasion was a box of his favorite cigars. Again, they were his best gifts.

My husband did not die from smoking cigars, but instantly from a fall. Later, I heard one of the youth with whom I worked say, "Mr. Schmader died as he wanted, with a cigar in his mouth and his dog by his side."

A few years later, when my husband's beloved dog died, I had her cremated and put their ashes together. When we went to give the ashes a water burial, my son brought out a cigar and we all smoked it almost to the end and put those ashes with theirs and sent them away together. My husband would have been proud.

During our years in the cigar business, I had learned to identify many different brands of cigars by their aroma. After my husband died, I wasn't around many cigar smokers and had forgotten their wonderful aroma.

Last fall, I attended a dinner and wine tasting in Tampa, and as we got outside the restaurant, I detected a familiar aroma. I mentioned to my daughter and son-in-law that someone was smoking a Punch or Hoyo de Monterrey. The lady in front of me turned around and said that was her husband's cigar I was smelling. We began talking and I told her of my cigar past and how I missed those times. She told me her father was Frank Llaneza, owner of Villazon and maker of Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey cigars. We talked for some time and she said she couldn't wait to tell her father about meeting a woman who knew all about his cigars.

What am I going to do with a box of fine Baccarat cigars? I teased my friends, telling them I was going to advertise on e-Harmony with an ad saying: "A very nice lady with a box of very fine cigars looking for a gentleman who can appreciate both." I doubt I would get a response, but that is OK. I have my box of cigars to remind me of a time when people appreciated romance and cigars and other fine things and took the time to enjoy all of them. The Panama straw hat with the braided horsehair band looks pretty good on me. I may just put it on and go sit on the beach and smoke those cigars myself.

Barbara Schmader
Valdosta, Georgia

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