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Cigar Aficionado

Out of the Humidor

Dear Marvin,
Thank you for the De Niro interview. I always wanted to meet him and now I feel like I have. Keep up the good work.
Phil Firich
Wadsworth, Illinois

Dear Marvin,
 As a relatively new subscriber I was surprised and pleased to see your cover interview with Robert De Niro, a notoriously private person. Not only did you get the interview, but you continually pressed forward with great probing questions gaining further insight into this legendary actor and entrepreneur.
Kudos on a job well done.
Chuck Campbell
Malven, Pennsylvania

Dear Marvin,
I'm delighted you had the opportunity to interview Robert De Niro. From your comment(s) in the Editor's Note, speaking with him had been a longtime goal for the magazine. Mr. De Niro is a brilliant actor and my wife and I have enjoyed many of his films. I wish he had been more gregarious with his answers.
Tom Syferd
Pleasant Hill, Iowa

Dear Marvin,
Having just returned from a week in Havana, I wanted to express to you what a tremendous resource the recent Cigar Aficionado issue on Cuba was to our explorations in and around the city. From late nights at the El Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, to casual rooftop dinners at places like Café Laurent, Cigar Aficionado became our constant guide as we made our way throughout the winding maze of the Old District. The show and cigars on the terrace of the Hotel Nacional, the Buena Vista band at Café Taberna and the biannual art show at the old fortress filled our days and evenings with music, laughter and the vibrant rhythm of Cuban culture.
In Cuba, it's not about the country, it's about the people. Their spirit, like their music, is profoundly free. Their humanity is on display everywhere; particularly at the seawall on the Malecón, where long evenings are passed with rum, music and far away dreams of what lies beyond the sea. The beauty of the Cuban people is unlike anything I've experienced in my travels abroad. Their pride, humor and genuine affection for others in the face of economic struggle will stay with me always. One cannot visit Havana and not wish the very best for the people, for to know Cuba is to know the heart of mankind.
My favorite memento from the trip (other than my Hoyo de Monterreys) is an etching a little boy drew of me while having a cerveza at the square off the Plaza de San Francisco. After studiously watching me smoke my cigar, he presented me with a surprisingly well-drawn caricature, which now finds itself on my desk...a constant reminder of the magic of this unique island nation.
Steve McGuire
Louisville, Kentucky

Dear Marvin,
I enjoyed your article on Cuba in the June edition. I've had visiting Cuba on my mind for a while now and was surprised when our president made moves to normalize relations with Cuba.  And after reading your article, I'm even more interested than ever. I never had an interest in traveling outside of the U.S.A. before, but something is pulling me to venture out and visit Cuba. I picture myself fishing off a pier in Havana next to a local, talking about whatever comes to mind and smoking a great cigar.
I hope our president leaves politics out of the mix and accepts the Cuban government as is. True change will only come when the people are ready and I bet it won't take 50 years to come about. I can't wait to go.
Richard Smith
Roach, Missouri

Dear Marvin,
The article on Jack Nicklaus ("The Golden Age of Nicklaus," April 2015) shows that a legend in golf still has time to allow an average guy to enjoy a round of golf on his champion course. I have his Golden Bear notecard with his signature. It sits on my desk in a special frame. He is one of our true legends. Great
article and a great magazine.
John Kerestan
New Castle, Pennsylvania

Dear Marvin,
I'm new to cigar smoking. In all of the pictures I see of boxes of cigars, and cigars in humidors, the cigars are always unwrapped. Should I unwrap them or leave them in the individual wrapper they come in?  Thanks.  
John E. Waldschlager
Columbia, Missouri

Editors' Response: You've asked a question that we hear quite often. You are referring to cellophane that covers some, but not all, premium cigars. (The wrapper of a cigar is the outer leaf of tobacco.) There's no need to remove the cellophane from your cigar until you are ready to smoke it. We've smoked very, very old cigars that have aged quite well in cellophane. Cellophane adds a level of protection to cigars, which comes in especially handy in cigar shops, where consumers are very likely to buy individual cigars rather than whole boxes.
For guidance on other cigar topics, visit the Cigar 101 section of www.cigaraficionado.com
And welcome to the wonderful world of cigars.