Cigar Event: A cigar tale in Cambridge, Ma. mid 1980’s
Cigar guys tend to gravitate towards each other, even with distinct and different backgrounds.
The first connection this cigar group had, were all of us were members of the Cambridge YMCA. The group were in great physical shape, we all ran stairs and had a no nonsense attitude about our workouts. We socialized but not while the workouts were going full tilt. Besides the hard core workouts , we also truly enjoyed our cigar time.
The group consisted of:
A blind from birth Ph. D. who might have been the strongest person I have ever met. His clean and jerk move was legendary and his signature cigar was a Fuente sun grown robusto.
A Billy Dee Williams look alike with Golden Glove, quick , slashing hands, intense boxing skills, but his rap with the ladies was even quicker. Liked milder cigars but with light beer.
A dangerous looking dude well known in Cambridge for his hand stand push ups and ending up in a jail cell Friday nights for his own protection. His favorite blend did not matter as he only smoked Churchill’s.
A imposing ex Marine who owned a construction company , was a quiet sort but you did not want to get him angry. Fortunately I never saw that happen. He also liked Churchill size cigars but only smoked Ashton VSG’s.
An MBA from Wharton , had a oil company in a sketchy area of town , quick witted with a hankering for full bodied smokes. He hit the heavy bag and often killed it.
Throw me in this mix and at the time, ran under 40 minutes, 10 K’s and benched 225 lbs. ,15 times. I totally grooved Gloria Cubana’s when they were actually good.
There were several other fellows who joined us when they could but this was the primary crew.
We often socialized after our workouts at the Y. in Central Square Cambridge. Central Square would eventually rise up in later years and almost become respectable. At that time, it was an area where you would lock your windows, speed through and not stare at anyone.
I once witnessed a shooting which originated in front of the main post office and ended up on a side street next to the Y. The person in question did not survive the onslaught of police bullets.
There were a number of small eateries which actually were quite good as the rents were cheap so the restaurants survived and had good followings.
Our main choice was a Japanese establishment with reasonable prices, a good menu selection and a fond welcome from the Japanese owner. She was quite amused by our presence as we represented very well with large biceps and ethnic backgrounds. Kiko was also enamored of one member of our sect and made that very clear. This gave us lots of rope to do what we wanted to do.
Our routine was pretty much the same. We order food, drink beer, were loud and mostly obnoxious. The owner loved our rowdiness as she never made it an issue. She also allowed us to smoke cigars without penalty and did not care what other patrons might think. We also knew if we were heading overboard which never happened. Our relationship with the owner was a good one and did not want to risk her business.
Whatever cigars we choose, or meals we ate were done with plenty of energy and fun. The cigars we smoked regardless of brand gave us camaraderie all cigar smokers seem to get and enjoy. The circumstances of the events may be different but the feeling is always the same.