Cigar Aficionado

Out of the Humidor

Dear Marvin,
For me, being able to sit on my deck with my wife Patti and our friends and smoke a cigar with a good vodka helps me to unwind from a 65-plus-hour work week and all the hustle and bustle life brings me. No matter what issues are going on in my life, the simple act of smoking a cigar allows my mind to wander and it puts a relaxed smile on my face.

While reading the October issue, I came across an ad on page 88-89 from Litto Gomez that is better than any Super Bowl ad I've ever seen. This ad should be read by every person who is trying to tell us how we need to live our lives by infringing on our right to make a choice on our own. I'm impressed by the fact that the purpose of this ad is not an attempt to sell us anything other than to be aware or our freedom of choice.

Thanks to you and the folks at Cigar Aficionado for your magazine and thanks to Litto Gomez for his message.

Terry Garr
Marietta, Georgia

Dear Marvin,
As a cigar aficionado myself, and a recent magazine subscriber, I do look forward to the one- to two-hour mini-vacation with a good cigar and music. However, nothing brings me more sense of accomplishment than spending some quality time with my father. I only wish it would happen more often.

Our encounters occur only twice a year: Thanksgiving weekend and Easter weekend, when we visit our homeland, Puerto Rico. My father, who has lived most of his life in Buffalo, New York, has been a cigarrette smoker most of his adult life. Being involved in politics in Western New York and other venues, he's had access to some great cigars from Cuba, including Cohibas and Montecristos. However, he never really paid them their deserved attention, letting them dry or even disposing of them. This changed a year ago, during a surprise Labor Day visit from him, when I gave him as a late birthday present a makeshift humidor filled with cigars. The conversation sparked an intense interest in the cigar lifestyle and its appreciation-becoming an aficionado himself. I was amazed in learning that our family has a rich history in the tobacco-growing industry during the early years of the 20th century in Puerto Rico. Entwined with the subject, I learned so many other things about my family I would've never known otherwise.

One year later, on Labor Day (today) he paid us another surprise visit, making the trek from Buffalo to Dover, Deleware, where I currently reside. Of course, my humidor has been raided. But this time, he received a nice, well-seasoned humidor, filled again with premium and a few "forbidden fruit" cigars. For the first time in 40 years, I saw my father react with the joy of a child on Christmas morning. However, the highlight of the weekend has been simply the long, rare hours of bonding, sparked by the simple action of sharing a cigar. For the first time, we actually spoke-and listened. Humility, laughter, and genuineness abounded. To my joy and accomplishment, I managed to start this by the simple gesture of sharing my passion for cigars with my father. I actually shared something for him to cherish the rest of his life-and mine.

Alan W. Garcia
Dover, Delaware

Dear Marvin:
Thank you very much for a great magazine. I like the balance of articles throughout every single issue but have one small problem every now and then.

I use your cigar tastings to test some new sticks, but miss some information concerning where they rank on the strength scale. No big deal if you have an associate helping you buy the right one that fits your liking but I have had some guys sell me a supposedly medium-bodied cigar and the next thing I knew, this new cigar of mine knocked me off my chair.

Therefore my suggestion: please put the strength rating right below the wrapper section and shopping would be made much easier for me.

Michael Arendt
Marietta, Georgia

Dear Marvin,
This letter is penned to address Christoper Salvetti's (Dearborn Heights, Michigan) letter written in the August 2010 issue. I take issue with Mr. Salvetti's letter. Working folks, like him and I, should be inspired by the advertisements in Cigar Aficionado and products in the Good Life Guide. It not only shows the readers what the "other half" have the means to buy, it gives guys like me (and Mr. Salvetti) something to shoot for.

I guess I'm most bothered by the fact that it sounds like he has given up. I'm hearing, "I'll never get there, so why bother dreaming about a Triumph Bonneville or $35,000 watch." I say, shoot for that watch, celebrate those who have worked hard to earn the wealth required to own these items, and push yourself to get to the level where you can do the same, not just for you, but for your family or others. It is the American dream. Work hard, dream big, don't give up, and you can get there!

Cigar Aficionado should continue to showcase the premier products in their pages. When I'm in the position to make these purchases, responsibly and without massive, unjustified debt, I'll send you a picture. I will get there, as will my kids. I believe in the American dream, American ingenuity, and the American people.

Keith Northey Jr.
Woodbury, Connecticut

Dear Marvin,
In response to an August 2010 Letter to the Editor, Mr. Salvetti doesn't understand the meaning of good life.

A hard worker for his family? Congrats, so am I.

A disbeliever in real luxury? No.

No one can afford all and everything she/he may dream of-and maybe this "protection" is the best of all. If everyone could have everything, what would you be dreaming of and what would all this be worth anyway?

Watching a Business Augusta helicopter taking off does not make me (a CPL-H for Bell and Eurocopter) feel sorry for myself. I feel proud both for the owner and the pilots!
Someone savoring a rare and fine cigar after dinner, well prepared, accompained with proper liquids-for me this is real living, not the "living" proposed in glossy advertisements or condemned by some Unions.

But for those without any feeling for what makes life really worth living (and this does not have to be caviar and Champagne, perhaps just a slice of home-made bread with fresh butter and salt at 4:00 am), the "luxury cigar" will not help them anyway.

Martin Feichtinger
Austria, Europe

Editor's Note: We received a lot of letters about Mr. Salvetti's comments. We do believe that part of our job is telling the world about the Good Life, and how to get the most out of living. It's not always about expensive items but about things that we believe represent quality. Our real desire is to point people in the right direction so they can make the right choice for themselves.