Out of the Humidor

| From Damian Lewis, January/February 2016

Dear Marvin,
Your Editors' Note came during a very, very important time. We do live in a media-crazed era where ratings and drama thrive. I struggle with finding my own outlets and often find myself turning to international sources. I see this struggle through my peers. While some hold their sources on a pedestal, others denounce anything that contests their standard. Jim Morrison said, "Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." So far that quote has rung more true than not.

Alas, I do have faith. I hear questions being asked and I see status quos being confronted. In this roaring storm of political unrest, media agendas, and unfiltered reporting your note and Jeff Greenfield's article ["Can You Trust the Media?" December] are the calm of the seas. Thank you.
Matthew Dwyer Hingst
Denver, Colorado

Dear Marvin,
Your article on the ‘21' Club ["The ‘21' Club's Havana Gamble," December] brought back the memory of a great lunch there years ago. A year or so after our wedding, my wife and I were in New York City and invited our best man, a New Yorker, to lunch at ‘21.' We asked our waiter if he could take a photo of us and were informed photos were not allowed in the restaurant. A gentleman at the next table turned to us and said, "I made the rule, I can break it." We handed him our camera and he took a picture of us. I now see from your article and his photo that it was Mr. Tannen. Upon learning that we were from out of town, we were invited by the wine steward and taken on a tour of the kitchens and the wine cellar, seeing the brick "door," the wire "key," wine bins for celebrity patrons and an endless collection of vintage wines.
Keith Heldenbrand
Freeport, Maine

Dear Marvin,
My wife and I just returned from our first trip to Cuba. We bought several guidebooks and consulted dozens of Internet articles but without fail, it was your special "Welcome to Cuba" issue [June] that never steered us wrong. From an amazing romantic dinner at La Guarida to buying cigars at Club Habana along a perfect stretch of beach in Miramar, your magazine's suggestions were always perfect. In a country with limited access to the Internet, even your one-page map became my Rosetta stone for navigating the confusing streets of Havana's old town. We were also lucky enough to take a trip west into the epic and lush valley around Viñales to see where the best tobacco leaves in the world are born. I spent time touring the Torres family farm where the next generation of crops are in the skilled hands of Michael Torres. He showed us the process from tending the plants in the burnt orange clay to curing leaves in thatch-covered barns. Finally, he turned what seemed like a pile of aged leather strips into a rich, smooth corona in seconds. It's a trip we'll never forget.
Stephen and Cali Saylor
Miami Beach, Florida

Dear Marvin,
After being a longtime subscriber from "across the pond" it was a great moment when my best pal and I caught up with you at the Old Course at St Andrews during the recent Dunhill Links Challenge. It was so good of you to take time out to chat and pose for photos.

My signed copy of Cigar Aficionado will always be treasured. I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Home of Golf and home to two great fans of the magazine.
Keith A. Shearer and Stuart M. Carnegie
Dollar, Scotland

Dear Marvin,
I loved the story on Richard Overton ["A Cigar Smoking Life," June]. Is there any chance that there may be a cigar on the horizon named in Richard Overton's "the nation's most senior cigar smoker" honor? This would be a hell of a story for you to cover and break.

I am already clearing my artifact shelf for the cigar label brandishing his name. 

Looking forward to some progressive news.
Al Busybro Long
San Pablo, California

Editors' Response: Count us as members of the Richard Overton fan club. He's 109 years old, a veteran of the Second World War, has a great sense of humor, smokes cigars regularly and enjoys the occasional dram of whiskey. We know of no cigar in his name, but we'll raise a toast to this great man. Cheers to Mr. Overton.

Dear Marvin,
While enjoying your latest magazine I was especially interested in the discussion concerning the cigar lounges on cruise ships ["The World's Best Cruises," December]. While in New York City this summer I discovered the rooftop cigar lounges at the Knickerbocker Hotel, the Peninsula Hotel and the Carnegie Club, as well as the cigar lounge at the Wellesley Hotel in London.

Your magazine used to have a running list of cigar-friendly venues all over the world. I really miss that and feel there are many world travelers who would appreciate the heads up.
Jim Baughn
Lincoln, California

Editors' Response: As the saying goes nowadays, "There's an app for that." To help our readers find cigar-friendly venues around the United States we recently introduced Where To Smoke, available in the iOS and Google Play stores for use on your phones, tablets and other mobile devices, and on our website www.cigaraficionado.com for use on your desktop. All are free of charge. It has more than 2,200 places around the United States that welcome your cigar. Future versions for international locations are planned.