Out of the Humidor

| By CA Readers | From David Caruso, Jan/Feb 2007

Dear Marvin,
I am a trial lawyer. There are many joys in life but few are as sweet as winning a trial or smoking a fine cigar (not necessarily in that order). There are some trials that I have won that I should have lost and there are some that I have lost that I should have won. Today, I lost, and despite the fact that we are seriously considering an appeal, it was still a bitter pill to swallow.

My mood lightened near the end of the day as I enjoyed a Cuban cigar by my outdoor pond. The leaves fell gently around me on one of our last days of the beautiful and warm Indian summer. The pleasure of these precious moments is often heightened when I read the newest issue of your magazine and today was no different.

There was one exception. Your piece on the Comprehensive Secondhand Smoke Control Ordinance passed by the shortsighted city council of Calabasas, California, was upsetting and is surely a wake-up call for all of us. The prohibition against smoking in all public places—even outdoors—is truly Orwellian, but as a trial lawyer, I fear that an alarming precedent has been set. It may not be long before this latest in a series of infringements on our freedoms spreads across the United States and to us here in Canada.

It is time for all good people who love freedom to realize that it is time for us to stand up for what we believe and to make the sacrifices necessary to reverse this trend. We need to realize that we can't leave our futures to chance. I would challenge everyone reading your magazine to consider running for political office or otherwise taking positive steps to advocate against these types of ordinances. We can't afford to sit back and smoke while Rome burns. It's time to stand up and be counted, and at the end of the day, after the work is done, we need to stay vigilant and, God willing, enjoy the freedom of lighting up without fear of prosecution from the overzealous and misinformed.

Dan Mailer
London, Ontario, Canada

Dear Marvin,
I wanted to share my story of how I was introduced to the world of cigars and your publication. I've only started smoking cigars over the last five years. I had enjoyed cigars at the occasional wedding, but have come to appreciate a quality cigar due to an unfortunate incident.

I had a friend who passed away unexpectedly and I "inherited" a big portion of his cigar collection. He was a world traveler and had accumulated quite a collection. To become knowledgeable about these gifts left by my friend, I did as much research as I could on each cigar and subscribed to your magazine, which has become my favorite.

Those cigars are long gone, but through a lot of trial and error, I've come to have my own favorites. I've also created my own tradition, taking the band off each cigar I've smoked and writing the date and occasion on the back of it. The Cohiba Siglo II on a Honduran beach, the Fuente Fuente OpusX Robusto with friends in New Orleans, the Montecristo No. 2 catching up with a childhood buddy on a hotel balcony in Vancouver.

Many times cigars are shared among friends and happy conversation, but many cigars have been enjoyed alone on my backyard patio after a hard day at work. Each cigar has become a time for reflection, an experience to remember and a reminder of a great pastime that my late friend has left me. Each time I light up a cigar, I think of my friend, Ken.

Kevin Taniguchi
Seattle, Washington

Dear Marvin,
As a Cigar Aficionado subscriber and an occasional cigar smoker, I want to say thank you for perhaps the classiest magazine on the market. I particularly enjoyed the "Smoke Screens" article the October issue.

As one who has completed his graduate degree, I'd be more than happy to tell anyone that while good research and statistics can bring about accurate conclusions on a subject, improper research or research conducted to promote a political agenda can be nothing short of misleading. I'm sure none of the research conducted on secondhand smoke has any political agenda, right?

Does anyone remember a few years ago when it became politically correct and safe to attack cigar smokers and a few joked that the government would one day come after the type of foods we choose to eat? Most folks laughed, a few cringed. No one is laughing anymore. After all, we as adults cannot correctly choose what we should eat, so Big Government is going to step in and tell us.

If we take a look at all the other potential harmful products and practices available, we should start worrying about such things as cell phones, alcohol, sports cars, skiing, mountain climbing and even sex. I am most worried about my backyard barbecue, as I know that thing releases far more harmful chemicals into the air than a cigar.

So after reading your magazine, I decided to do the right thing. I purchased a box of La Aroma de Cuba Robusto cigars. It was the first box of cigars I have ever purchased. "Do all things in moderation" is the famous saying, so it just seemed the right thing to do.

Keep the fires burning.

Jeffrey W. Scott
Cibolo, Texas

Dear Marvin,
Here's a thought for my fellow smokers regarding those who persecute us: At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: reason and right.—Don Miguel de Unamuno Best regards and wishes for continued success.

Bob Perez
Beechhurst, New York

Dear Marvin,
Recently my family got together for my aunt's birthday. Most of the time these events are very predictable and, for lack of a better term, mundane. However, on this occasion it was very different.

Some of my family smoke cigars on a regular basis, but not very often do you find us all smoking together. On this night after a cookout, several of my cousins and I pulled out cigars and began to cut and light them. As this occurred you could feel an energy come over the family as we sat outside looking over a lake. My aunt suddenly wanted a cigar and we gladly gave her one. Then my grandfather, who has not smoked cigars for almost 30 years, suddenly wanted to partake in the event. Before I knew it, nearly every member of my family had a cigar in their hand. As this occurred, the mood of the entire event changed. People began to laugh more and some even began to dance. We all howled with laughter when my grandmother, in her mid-'80s, took a cigar and looked like a pro as she took a few puffs.

While watching this I just smiled. I was happy to see the family having a good time, but I was even happier to see the family enjoying a fine cigar and seeing how much they can enhance the moment. For years I've tried to explain to non-cigar smokers how smoking a cigar heightens the moment. It allows you to step away from your troubles and have a brief relaxing event just for you. I don't smoke just to smoke. I smoke when I have the time and I'm enjoying catching up with friends or relaxing after a meal.

I wanted to thank the magazine. For years I've read it and loved when other readers wrote in to explain the same feeling they get when they smoke. We should all feel privileged that we know about this little secret and how it enriches our lives.

Eric Hampton
Altamonte Springs, Florida