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The Dictator and the Dentist

William Weiss
From the Print Edition:
Orlando Hernandez, Mar/Apr 99

(continued from page 1)

I presently have 19 of the original 25 cigars. I smoked several cigars myself. Another was consumed by a trustee at Hahnemann, who had dinner at my home soon after. I told him of the experience; he asked to see the cigars and promptly lit one up. Still another one was taken by a neighborhood child. It went to school--for show and tell. Regrettably, as so often happens with great cigars, that one was lost to history--possibly smoked by some lucky teacher.

Cigars bring joy, comfort and relaxation to the smoker. However, they can also serve as a celebration or even as a memento. My "Somoza cigars" were an enduring gift in that I preserved rather than smoked them. If I had not saved them, I doubt that I would recall these events in such great detail.

Subsequently Somoza was overthrown by Nicaragua's Sandinista movement, in 1979, and assassinated in 1980, while in exile in Paraguay. I retired from oral surgery 10 years later. The cigars, the largesse of an infamous man, sit in my humidor to remind me of the only time I operated on a man whose face was on a postage stamp.

William Weiss lives in Pennsylvania and Florida.

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