Cigar Aficionado

My Daughter’s Cigar

I will start this blog by making a full disclosure. In writing about this subject, I’m violating my own standards set years ago when we first started doing tons of picture pages in the magazine. Every June, I would get a stack of pictures from graduating high school students, holding up cigars in their caps and gowns, or blazers and chinos. You could presume many were 18 at their high school ceremonies, so in many states, they weren’t violating the law. But we just didn’t feel it was appropriate to print those pictures, given all the criticism the tobacco industry takes for marketing to kids.

My resolve vanished last Saturday morning, the day of my daughter’s high school graduation. As were making some final preparations around the house for the avalanche of family and friends about to descend on us, my daughter sidled up to me and sweetly asked, “Dad, would you pick out a cigar for me today?” OK, I admit it, as the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado, it was music to my ears. Now, as it turns out in the aftermath, I have discovered that at many high schools, especially private schools on the East Coast, the post-graduation ceremony tradition of lighting a cigar is very widespread. I should have known given all those pictures and, in fact, it seems like a pretty harmless way of saying to the various school authorities that they have no more claim on your behavior.

I asked her a few open-ended questions about what size or shape she wanted, but immediately realized that if she actually had an answer for me, I probably wasn’t going to be entirely happy with the fact that she had an answer. So I interrupted and told her that I had just the cigar for her. Years ago, the Fuente family sent my wife a box of her favorite cigar, the Fuente Fuente OpusX Perfecxion No. 5, which I have always believed is one of the greatest petit coronas ever made. Now, they have more than 10 years box age on them, and thanks to the Fuentes, the ones I have come with a cellophane that touts them as my wife’s private stock with her name. I figured her mother’s private stock would be prefect for my daughter’s first cigar (to my knowledge).

She has been exposed to my love of a great cigar many times over the years. I can remember her at about three years old, sitting on the front patio with me, waving the smoke toward her nose so she could really get a good whiff. Of course, I can also remember her crying upstairs in her bedroom on the night of my 40th birthday, when I smoked cigars in the living room with some of the dinner guests, saying it smelled bad in the house. But I’m sure that she will be one of the women who in her later life will say, “Oh, I love the smell of cigars. My dad smoked when I was growing up.” Since I never subjected her to the stogie in the car with the windows rolled up, she will have mostly good memories.

And, I suspect, she might even enjoy a nice hand-rolled cigar from time to time. You go for it, girl. Good luck, and congratulations.

P.S. Don’t bother sending in your high school graduation pictures with cigars. We still won’t publish them.

"Gordon, great story, I am looking forward to sharing my daughters graduation the same way. On Thursday June 7th I became a proud father for the first time, we had a baby girl. A lot of people were looking forward to this day, not just because of the welcomed new addition, but I am known sort of as "a Cigar Snob", or said a better way an Aficionado. Knowing this day was coming and the reputation I have been given, I new I needed the best. I volunteer as a firefighter, in a rescue and engine company, and usually can be found with a Padron 1926 Maduro #9, or a 100 Anos. Needless to say the pressure was on, and I wanted to be almost as proud of my cigar selection, as I am of my daughter Jillian. I made the decision to go with the best. I took your advice, and got a box of the Bolivar Royal Corona, Cigar of the Year, and a box of one of my favorites, and recent addition to my humidor the Montecristo Petit Edmundo. I have to admit though I was selective in who received what. The regular cigar smokers received teh Bolivar, I felt they would appreciate it more. " —June 13, 2007 13:25 PM