Major Props to Us Cigar Smokers by Tommy Zman

“Ah, if only I had brought a cigar with me! This would have established my identity.” – Charles Dickens

Dickens was right, you know. A real, true, dyed in the wool cigar smoker sees his (or her) cigars as an extension of his personality, a kind of a prop, if you will. We who cherish the Latin born leaf are passionate to the point of our cigar smoking experiences being spiritual, as the physical cigar itself becomes a piece of our very being, much like an arm, leg, our sense of humor or the way we talk.

This concept is incredibly difficult to understand for those who have never partaken in the lighting & puffing ritual – to them, cigars are a dirty, smelly, disease ridden habit associated with crusty old men, Mafioso types, and Rich Uncle Pennybags from the game of Monopoly (hey, I love that guy!) To us, it is the way we relax, bond with others, and bring ourselves to an almost meditative state that allows the troubles of the world to float away in a puff of blue swirling smoke. The cigar really does become an extension of both our physical body and our persona, and when we light our La Glorias, we feel a great sense of safety and security within.

“I never can understand how anyone can not smoke—it deprives a man of the best part of life … with a good cigar in his mouth a man is perfectly safe, nothing can touch him—literally.” – German novelist, Nobel Prize laureate, social critic, philanthropist – Thomas Mann

Many a real life person and TV/movie character alike have utilized a cigar as a part of their persona. Winston Churchill was perhaps the world’s quintessential cigar smoker, lighting up absolutely anywhere he went, even having an oxygen mask fitted for a cigar when flying in unpressurized military planes. The guy pissed off many a king, queen, and foreign dignitary, but old Winnie didn’t give a rat’s ash, whatsoever, because the cigar was basically surgically attached to his mandibles.

“My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.” – Winston Churchill

Some TV greats who smoked cigars as an expression of their personality, George Burns, Milton Berle, Archie Bunker, Peter Falk as Columbo, and the surly Sgt. Rizzo from MASH. When you saw these men with a cigar, it made a statement from their character – and long before the politically correct control-our-lives contingent took hold, may I note. I remember in my interview with actor Frank Vincent for the 2006 Cover Story in Cigar Magazine, he spoke of how a cigar actually helped to put emphasis on a particular moment during a TV or movie scene. The man best known as the ruthless Phil Leotardo on the Sopranos and Billy Batts of Goodfellas has this to say about it…

“Well, you look at George Burns; he loved to smoke, but the cigar was certainly a prop for him. As an entertainer or a performer, sometimes you’re required to use it as a prop,” Frank explains. “I’ve  used it in films and it becomes something that’s an extension of the personality; I’ve often used it for that purpose. While in character, you can look at somebody, raise your eyebrow, then take a draw on the cigar – it gives a little more meaning to the moment. So, it’s not always primarily a prop, but used in conjunction with a certain character, it becomes a part of the persona. A puff on a cigar can also give a nice pause for the character while he’s thinking of what to say next.” (Or in Frank’s case, right before he kicks the livin’ Shinola out of someone.)So light ‘em up my brothers and sisters of leafiness, and show the world that we cigar smokers are indeed a proud bunch of characters who have enjoyed our pastime and passion for many a decade, and will continue savor this legal product that enriches our lives while letting the world know who we are.

I urge you to PLEASE SUPPORT Cigar Rights of America as they continue to deal with congress, the senate, and all US legislators who need to be made aware that our cigars are the best friends we know of and we will fight like hell to keep them in our lives! >>

As always, stay smoky my friend


JR Cigars Blog with the Zman

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