Cigar Aficionado

Left Behind

So I get the chance to play this great golf course the other day: Quaker Ridge in Scarsdale, New York. One of America’s greatest tracks, according to Golf Digest magazine. And to top it off, I was playing with Marvin Shanken and Gordon Mott, plus my coworker James Molesworth, a senior editor at the Wine Spectator.

I brought along a few baggies of cigars. I had a variety of smokes: Padilla La Perla 1932s, one of my favorite small cigars; Tatuaje RC 233s, big, bold monsters that are absolutely gorgeous; an Oliva Serie V Torpedo, a really nice, flavorful smoke, and a few random milder ones in case anyone wanted a break from the heavy stuff.

It was a stolen day, bright and sunny, if just a bit windy. It could easily have been a rainout, with the remnants of Hurricane Ike storming north and (thankfully) west of us. I get to the driving range and hit a few balls to work out the kinks in my game, then reach into my bag for a cutter and lighter.

No dice. I had packed enough cigars to supply an all-night poker game, but I didn’t have a lighter or a cutter. Not even a match. Whenever I leave the house, I usually grab a lighter and a cutter. When I’m heading to some cigar-smoking venue, I typically bring two lighters, just in case the first one runs out of juice. (You’d be surprised how often that happens.) But for whatever reason, on this day I left without grabbing anything.

And my backup lighter and cutter wasn’t where they were supposed to be, in the small, highest pocket on my golf bag. Nothing in there except for tees and ball markers. Try lighting a cigar with one of those.


Given what I do for a living, this is pretty inexcusable. Given that I recently filmed a video on the very subject of what cutter and lighter to bring to a golf course? Absolutely pathetic.

I could live without the cutter—I just used my fingers to take off a little bit of cap—but I needed fire. Thankfully both Gordon and Marvin were packing flame, so I was able to have a smoke. That was a close one.

"David, After working 12 years in NJ, I just starting working in Jericho, NY. I searched 2 weeks for a upscaled cigar shop, Since I was not from Long Island, I was just lost and fustrated that I could not smoke anywhere. I could not take it anymore and starting reading back issues of Cigar Aficionado and looking online for some reviews. I missed my old cigar shop, Smokin in Fort Lee. After reading your review about June Barbera's Tobacconist, I made a few phone calls to see what this place is all about. I was able to talk to George & Witt, I can't believe a store actually opened past 9pm. The place is great, the best selection of Opus X, they actually have huge humidor room just for them. The atmosphere is business attire and locals. I would definitely recommend it to any who lives in Nassau County and Suffolk County. I live in Westchester County and took the drive there. Witt understood what I was looking for and in 5 minutes he picked out some Opus X's and Padron 1964 and 1926 for me. I smoked a couple of cigars and watched baseball on his 3 flat screen tv's. Keep up the great reviews and smoke a nice stogie for me. Definitely a winner.Robert A. Balzano,Cigar Aficionado subsciber since the very first issue. " —September 27, 2008 14:20 PM
"One of my friends just laced into me for this blog. He says I could have rubbed two wooden golf tees together to make a fire. I'm not sure if that's allowed, but it's something to file away in case of future cigar emergencies." —September 18, 2008 09:35 AM
"I thought all CA employees were required to call Marvin "The Shotmaker" !" —September 16, 2008 17:31 PM
"Along with my cutter and lighter, I usually leave my game behind as well..." —September 19, 2008 18:38 PM
"Yes Patrick, Marvin and Gordon did provide much-needed loaners, bailing me out of my predicament. And I should mention that Gordon also gave me a great cigar, a Coronado by La Flor Double Corona with a bit of age on it. Very nice indeed." —September 17, 2008 10:20 AM
"You mean Marvin or Gordon wouldn't loan you his?? With friends like that. . . . " —September 16, 2008 15:09 PM