I just finished reading the August 2010 issue of Cigar Aficionado (with Sly Stallone on the cover) and am compelled to respond to a letter written by Christopher Salvetti of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. He felt insulted and alienated by the high tone of your magazine. Well, I too am a “regular guy.” I drive a truck to pay the bills. When I’m home I enjoy a premium cigar on occasion, yet my usual routine is to pour a can of Miller High Life in a frosty glass and light up a $2–$3, maybe $4 cigar.
As I thumb through your magazine and look at all the cool stuff that is clearly out of my reach, I realize that those rich and famous people profiled in each issue get no greater pleasure from happy hour than I do. They are striving for the same thing I enjoy—a relaxed hour or two to set down the work and worries of the day and take pleasure in a good cigar, good company and whatever drink might hit the spot. The sight of pricey watches and expensive hams have no ill-effect on me. My cell phone keeps perfect time and my grill pleases my palate (catfish, burgers and the occasional steak). I am interested in how the other half lives, and all the new gadgets they have, so keep up the good work. Your coverage reassures me that while I can’t afford most of the items in your magazine, I’m not missing out on the simple pleasures that are the good life.
In response to Christopher Salvetti’s letter to the Editor: There are three kinds of people in life: those who have made it to the top, those of us who work hard and dream of getting to the top (although we may never make it, we will go to our final resting place knowing we tried) and the bitter men that loathe anyone who has achieved more than they have.
I look forward to reading about the finer things in life as featured in this magazine, even though I may never obtain any of them. Cigar Aficionado should start a section just for you, Christopher. Features will include best buys at the Walmart closeout bin, cheapest malt liquors and convenience stores that feature two-for-a-dollar grape-flavored cigars. On second thought, they can just keep the magazine the way it is and leave the bitter men like you behind.
Your article on Sly Stallone was right on the money. I was just a fan of Stallone’s, but after reading the story and the way he put his feelings to words, it felt like he was talking to you one on one. I felt a strong dose of humility from him, as it seems he has mellowed well as an actor and a human being any intelligent person can relate to. The only part of the article I disagree with are the last two sentences. Because as I too have gotten a little older, it is much easier to relate to Sylvester Stallone the man!
Round Rock, Texas
My father Dr. William Marcrum has been an avid cigar smoker for about 15 years. When I deployed to Afghanistan in January, he asked if there were any special requests I had for care packages. Most of the soldiers in my unit are smokers (I am not), and Cubans can be purchased in Afghanistan, so most of them took to smoking some cheap Cubans that (thanks to my dad’s training) I could tell were not of high quality. I suggested he send a few cigars for the soldiers to sample so they would know what a good cigar can be, and not just revel in bucking the system by smoking low-quality Cubans.
Ever since I made that request, each month my dad has sent hundreds of dollars worth of cigars to not only my soldiers, but also other soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq that I know enjoy smoking a cigar to relax at the end of a 14-hour work-day, long convoy or a dismounted patrol. His contributions to the morale and welfare of the soldiers have earned him multiple certificates of recognition from various echelons of command, and one unit even had a flag raised in Bagram in his honor on the 4th of July.
From the soldiers of 577th EPBS, 419th MCB, 524th CSSB, 18th MCT, and countless other units overseas, we would like to give a big, “HOOAH!” to Dr. William Marcrum. We wanted other cigar enthusiasts to know of his support of the troops, his love of his country, and his desire to share the love of a fine cigar with others.
Thank you for your time.
1LT Katherine Vessels
18th MCT, FOB Sharana, Afghanistan