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Pre-Weekend Roundup

The cigar news well had just about run dry this week, but when it rains, it pours, and today I found five stories worthy of mashing into one post. So without further ado, here’s this week’s epic, five-story cigar news roundup!

First off, Bill Paley of La Palina Cigars was just profiled in the Wall Street Journal, and the piece gives a lot of insight into his background prior to getting into cigar manufacturing. According to the article, Paley served as a combat cinematographer in Vietnam, and during his time there, he smoked wood-tipped cigarillos because, as he put it, “You want to have your hands free in Vietnam.” Anyway, check out the piece for a great read about a truly standup guy.

Next, we have some slightly disappointing news about the typically cigar-friendly state of Texas. According to an article on, the city of San Antonio just banned smoking in restaurants, bars, and municipal worksites. What makes this only slightly disappointing is that smoking is still allowed in cigar bars, private clubs, American Legion and VFW posts, and (I can only assume) public parks. Still though, it’s worrisome to see a smoking ban like this one pop up in a state like Texas, where there is still no statewide ban.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, chefs are saying that when paired with certain foods, smoking cigars during a meal can create some awesome flavor combinations. According to Voracious, a Seattle Weekly blog, several restaurants who are participating in this weekend’s Seattle Cigar Expo plan to pair cigars with several foods, including slow-roasted pork, oysters, and bacon mac and cheese, which might be the greatest food on the planet. Jason Wilson, who helped organize the culinary aspect of the event, recommends more robust foods to play off of the complexities of a cigar. Anyway, since I’ll be on the opposite side of the country during this event, maybe I’ll have a stogie with a burger this weekend.

On the political side of things, Cigar Rights of America recently posted an article recommending a “National Cigar Town Hall.” This would involve inviting local, state, and federal legislators to cigar bars, clubs, associations, etcetera to give them a feel for the community of cigar culture. In my opinion, this is one of the best ideas the CRA has ever had. I think this would help to give the cigar rights movement a real “face,” and give bills like H.R. 1639 (and S. 1461, its counterpart in the Senate) a fighting chance. Anyway, expect a follow-up to this one once some related stories trickle in.

Finally, according to a post on WEEI Sports Radio’s website, a cigar that was signed by Red Auerbach has been posted on eBay for $309.99 (or best offer). Auerbach signed the cigar, which I can’t recognize for the life of me (I actually just messaged the seller asking what type of cigar it is, so expect a short follow-up to this) at his very last signing in 2004. It’s pretty cool that something as obscure as a signed cigar is still floating around years after Auerbach’s passing in 2006, and it leads me to ask the question—would you smoke a cigar that was signed by a sports legend? Better yet, would a sports legend mock you for not smoking a cigar just because the cellophane had his/her signature on it? Just some food for thought.

Anyway, that’s all for this week’s slightly-longer-than-usual news roundup. Have a great weekend, and if you think there’s anything I missed, feel free to post it in a comment.