Out Of The Humidor

| From Arnold Schwarzenegger, January/February 2017

Dear Marvin,
It was sad for me to read your story about the passing of Carlos Fuente Sr. 

Back in the spring of 2011, my brother, my nephew and I took a mini trip to Tampa to celebrate my retirement from the fire service and to watch our beloved Chicago White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays. While down there, we went to the "Little Cuba" area of Tampa, Ybor City. We visited some small shops, ate local fare and went cigar shopping. My brother Tom said we need to check out this factory where cigar "seconds" are sold. Walking inside, up a flight of wooden stairs, we entered a small shop filled with many boxes of cigars. Inside were three people who turned out to be part of the Fuente family. They each helped us choose our cigars. I didn't know who it was at the time, but Carlos Fuente Sr. started asking me questions on my preferred taste in cigars. He also asked me why we were in Tampa and congratulated me on my retirement.

He noticed my Chicago sports clothing—a White Sox jersey and Blackhawks T-shirt—and asked me if I knew the man in the picture on the wall. It was a picture of Chicago Bears player and Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Ditka. Standing next to him in the photo was Carlos Fuente Sr.

Carlos Jr. suggested that the three of us take a picture. I am honored to have met these men and wish the family strength during this difficult time.

Please extend our sympathy to the Fuente family on the passing of their father.
Pat Trunda, Tom Trunda and Nicholas Heer
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Marvin,
Your enticing feature on greens of the Emerald Isle ["Ireland's Stunning Coast," October 2016], notes that farther out of the way, but perhaps worth the effort, is the Dingle Golf Club on the Dingle Peninsula. I can vouch that it is well worth the visit; not only because it is the westernmost course in Europe, but as a stiff challenge for the strongest of storm lighters in lighting a cigar and composing that moment to remember. For a unique pair of photographs, you need to travel 2,000 miles west before encountering the easternmost golf course in North America, the Terra Nova (Twin Rivers) on Newfoundland. Go to it readers!
Malcolm Watson
Welford, Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom

Dear Marvin, 
Thank you for another outstanding issue of Cigar Aficionado. Receiving the magazine in the mail and reading it in my backyard villa while smoking a cigar is a luxury in my life; one for which I am very grateful.

I really enjoyed reading "Top Chefs Who Love Cigars" [December 2016]. I look forward to future issues featuring actors who love cigars, politicians who love cigars...And it got me to thinking. How about featuring ordinary Joe's who love
cigars? These are regular people not necessarily celebrated
beyond their local community, with a "common man/common woman" story that would be of interest to your readers.

By the way I appreciate your carefully considered Editors' Note regarding the introduction of new cigar brands and
releases into the market. Who is the government trying
to protect?
Joe Calenda
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Dear Marvin,
A past issue of Cigar Aficionado published a letter from a Canadian subscriber criticizing the diverse articles and non-cigar issues covered in the magazine. The response from the editors was respectful and deft. The kind, uplifting reply to an otherwise acerbic snip at the magazine galvanized my affection for Cigar Aficionado.

The one- and two-page articles covering fine items and diverse locations from around the world go well with the exposés on fine cigars. Holding your upscale publication to single-subject entries would be a kiss of death to the publication.

Seldom do we see or hear of a person that likes to sit in a self-imposed sequester isolated with a hand-rolled cigar and kept from other boutique items. In contrast: At times I personally have savored the draw of a handmade cigar in one hand and a shot of 100-year-old Grand Marnier in the other, watching the sun set across a Nassau beach (of Graycliff fame), with gratitude for those and other fine things in life. Cigar Aficionado extends the exposure and thus awareness to even more abundant and boutique opportunities.

The cigar industry is rife with cross-business fertilization. Many do not travel as I do. Thus they are left with Cigar Aficionado to fill the imagination. That we may further the joy of such learning, please keep the format and publication as it is.
J. Bradley Oakes
Milpitas, California

Dear Marvin,
Just wanted to personally thank you and the gang for putting on another great Big Smoke event in Las Vegas. My friends and I had a great time and enjoyed the company of fellow cigar enthusiasts. As I listened to the "Next Generation" panelists, and especially since two of them were women, I wondered: will the tagline of the magazine, "the good life magazine for men" soon be revised to "the good life magazine for cigar enthusiasts," or something along those lines?
Mark Sehgal
McAlester, Oklahoma 

Editors' Response: Thanks for being part of the Big Smoke Las Vegas seminars. While we appreciate the many women who read our magazine and enjoy fine cigars, our tagline will remain unchanged. Cigar Aficionado is, and has always been, a men's magazine.