Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Cigars and Dennis Prager

I have been reading (surprise!). After my hurly-burly schedule it feels like I’m stealing from a deep place and I like it. For my light reading it’s been The Elephant and the Dragon. Very good. To remind me that language at is best is for the sake of clarity, and understatement may be best, I have been re-reading Coolidge’s Autobiography. Splendid! I also remembered that Calvin loved cigars. Which brings me to this piece by Dennis Prager in which he briefly explains (in prose) why he loves cigars and what he likes about cigar stores. I guess that does it, I’ll have to invite him to give a talk at the Center!

Discussions - 4 Comments

Next time you're in Beantown, you should zip out to Cambridge and stop by Leavitt & Peirce. On Mass. Avenue just off Harvard Square. A typical review (no, I don't smoke cigars or pipes, but I bought a hand-carved chess set there, and I stop in just for the heavenly aroma):


Old School Tobacconist, with Chess

You can see Leavitt & Pierce from half a block away by the woman sticking out over its door like the prow of an old-fashioned ship. The smell inside is divine, if you like pipe tobacco, and indeed all your smoking needs should be met here. A huge selection of wares for both smoking and gaming (chess, not LARP), traditional men’s pastimes. A good place to find a variety of clove cigarettes and Nat Shermans, though damn they’re expensive these days. Also soaps and sometimes old-timey tin toys, depending on what’s in the window.

Dennis Prager wrote: "I find great joy in visiting cigar stores and schmoozing with the owners and with the guys smoking there. In fact, cigar stores may be the last place men can get together without women."

Absolutely! And those who understand and agree do so without need of any further explanation.

I too enjoy a cigar on occasion. What I have found is that the experience is much more enjoyable when done in the company of others likewise indulging in the luxury.

One can't really smoke a cigar in a hurry. Not well, at least. And what that means is that smoking a cigar requires the smoker to slow down. That reduction in pace is at the heart of the joy of smoking with others. It allows the participants to engage in conversation with the cigar acting as a prop. Having such a thing between men when conversing is not to be scoffed at. Many things can serve as conversational props between men: a beer, a bourbon, fishing poles, meat on a barbecue.

I enjoy the company of women, but I cherish the company of other men spent in amiable conversation and camaraderie. That is why Prager's comment about cigar stores being perhaps the last place men may congregate without women strikes such a chord. It's true.

Bless the women who understand this, and keep their distance when their men fire up a fat cigar.

Michelle: Thanks, and I will absolutely do that. I'll let you know when I get up there.

Don: Perfectly put. Slowing down has much to do with the enjoyment and the good. The company also, of course (as Roger Beckett knows). Yet, I note that I also enjoy a book more when I smoke. Not just any book, but a good book, one that demands to be read at three-quarter speed, one that demands to be savored.

An excellent defense of a beautiful vice. I most definitely agree with the bit about schmoozing with cigar store employees. Being much younger (24) than most cigar and pipe smokers, I find that spending time smoking cigars and pipes with the old timers at cigar stores (and with those not so old timers at college) is a great, relaxing atmosphere to learn from the wisdom of my elders. We should definitely have him come speak at AU.

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