my first experience with cigars was at my sister's wedding. it was a big ceremony, with all of the pomp that a west point wedding could muster. i was only a kid at the time, in my late teens, impressed by the big show. all of the officers and my bil's new hoo-rah farm boy family (he was from hudson city, iowa) felt it was time to induct their new little bil. so at the reception, all of the good ol' boys pumped me full of wild turkey and stuck a cheap stogie in my mouth.
the next thing that i remember was being dragged away from a toilet stall and being tossed into the back of the limo.
i thought i'd never smoke a cigar again.
but years later, on a decadent trip to bermuda, i was offered a big snifter of gran marnier cent cinquatenairre, and a fine, small ring pre-castro cuban cigar. it was another world all together. it was like tasting something silky, smokey, and smooth. i then knew what the fuss was all about. so bought a box of cuban monte cristos and smuggled it home.
i became a big fan of snifters and cigars for a while, especially after a good albeit overpried meal. but the way i looked at it, why not have the icing if you're gonna bother to eat the cake?
so, i kept a humidor for a few years, enjoying my cigars on vacations and special occasions.
aa few years passed, and at my friend's wedding, of which i was the best man, i got swept up in the revelry and gave out my remaining cubans (monte cristos, cohibas, and romeo y julietas). that was a big mistake. except for my buddy's dad who enjoyed his smoke thoroughly, the rest of the ushers just chewed up and burnt the smokes, mostly using them as props for pictures, not understanding the semi-religious experience that was at hand. the cigars, i mean, not the wedding...
since then, i've gotten a few good cigars here and there, and tried to keep up the humidor, but unless you smoke with some regularity it's a losing cause. once dried out, it's not the same, no matter how good the leaf and wrapper.
when given the chance though, from some other thoughtful soul offering a well kept stogie, i'll sit back and send my soul to heaven in the wafting smoke.