*This article is part of our Consumer Article contest. Whichever article has the most likes on our blog at the end of the contest will be chosen to be published in the next issue of Ash Quarterly Magazine.
What makes cigars unique? There are many answers to that question. The many different places around the world where cigars are created and hand-rolled. The different tastes and scents from regions all over the world. The many different shapes and sizes. The different kinds of wrappers and fillers. The way a good cigar makes one feel in that moment when you're having a good smoke either alone or with friends. The different beverages either alcoholic or non-alcoholic that a cigar can be paired with together to make that perfect pairing and experience for you. As I said, there are many different answers to what makes cigars unique.
But, in my opinion, it's the personal story of every cigar enthusiast or cigar aficionado that makes a cigar a unique topic. The personal story as well as the significance of an original and personal story of someone who shares the same passion of smoking, collecting, and aging cigars is the most unique element in the cigar world to me. I enjoy hearing anyone's story pertaining to how they started collecting cigars. What intrigues me about everyone's individual story is there's a starting point and you're not sure where it'll take you. Sometimes, it's many stories connected and combined to make one current and existing story. In other words, the story doesn't end. It continues like a journey. It's a unique and different journey for all of us! Which I think is pretty damn cool and awesome at the same time! So, with that being said, I will tell my own unique story.
Another passion of mine that my three sons share with me is fishing. We fish all year long. Living in Northeast Ohio, every season is different and has a uniqueness to it. In the spring, we have the Steelhead Trout run, the Walleye run, and the White Bass run. In the Summer, it's Smallmouth Bass and Channel Catfish. In the fall, you have the Steelhead Trout and the Walleye bite that moves to the streams, the rivers, and the boat docks and the piers away from the deep waters of Lake Erie with the game fish coming closer inland in search for baitfish before the winter. In the winter, it's Ice fishing for Steelhead Trout or Walleye usually. But there's also a great metro park system that stocks rainbow trout in the local metro park lakes and ponds which is fun to ice fish for if we have safe ice. Safe ice is four inches or more of good solid ice on a lake or pond. Why am I telling you all of this stuff about fishing in Northeast Ohio? It's because it's how my story started.
In the winter of 2017, our area had safe ice and rainbow trout were stocked in the metro parks which is a safe and ideal place to take your kids ice fishing. So I took my three sons ice fishing. I froze my rear end off, to say the least. After a few hours, I was ready to head home and my kids wanted to stay in the ice shanty and continue to fish for trout. So fast-forward it a couple of days. I was talking to a friend at work and I told him my dilemma. I told him how cold I became on the ice and I was ready to head home before the boys were ready. His response to me was, "Next time take a cigar!" "It'll keep you warm! So the next time we went out on the ice, I brought myself a Padron 2000 Maduro. It was my first Cigar ever at 46 years old. And you bet your ass, it worked! It also was very relaxing for me. I also enjoyed the flavor of the cigar. Plus as I just said, it did the trick. I was able to outlast my sons on the ice. So, the story continues as all stories do.
In Spring of 2019, I separated and divorced from my wife of nineteen years. I knew it was going to be the second hardest thing to face and deal with in my lifetime. The first hardest lifetime trial and tribulation will be a story for another time. So anyway, I know some people run marathons. I don't even like to drive twenty-six miles! Some people worked out and others read the Bible and do other so-called constructive hobbies. For me, as taboo as cigar smoking appears to be to the general population, it was and is for me. It was and is currently my outlet. My meditation time for me to work out my problems. For me to have two to three hours to myself to clear my thoughts and to focus on who was and is the most important to me which of course is my children. To focus on them and ensure a strong relationship with them as well as getting them through their own personal hell! Because if you've been there, you know that divorce sucks for kids too! So like many of you, I continue my cigar journey in the unique hobby or passion of being a cigar enthusiast. Like many of you, I'm like a little kid in a candy store when I buy, collect, and store my humidors with great meditation sticks that help me deal with this great thing we call life. I hope you enjoyed my story. Stay Smoky!