Each Year the Chez Francois, a fine eating establishment in Vermillion, Ohio, hosts "The Spring Cigar Smoker." Roger, Danielle, Chris Burkett and I joined a few hundred friends for drinks, a great meal, much wine, and many cigars. The weather, the canal, and the atmosphere combined to make for a perfect evening. The conversation was good and full of serious humor, inspired by this wisdom from George Burns on their menu: "Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal and a good woman --or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle." Here is the fully articulated statement (found on the back of the menu) that the event stands for:
The Chez Cigar Club
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of a good smoke. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new organization, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. We believe that in the right to smoke a Handmade Premium Cigar, sip Single Malt Scotch, enjoy a good Steak with a fine bottle of Red Wine, eat Foie Gras, have our French Fries cooked in trans fatty oils, to discharge firearms for recreational and or self defensive purposes, to invoke God’s name in the public sphere as an acknowledgement of our heritage, to defend our brothers and finally to honor America as the sole lynch pin holding Western civilization together! We support our Soldiers fighting terrorism throughout the world, our Police and Firefighters, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Cigar Manufacturers, Square Groove Gold Irons, Citizens for a free Cuba, The Sopranos and Dancers for Democracy. We hold in esteem William Wilberforce, King Edward VII, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, George Patton, Winston Churchill, Sigmund Freud, JFK, George Burns, Peter Falk and Ronald Reagan.
"Gentlemen You May Smoke"