Recently my brother and I played in my Club’s golf invitational; although we didn’t win, we had a great time. My brother enjoys a cigar while golfing so as he was playing a hole, he suddenly realized his lighted cigar was on a cigar holder like shown above stuck into the ground near the green of the previous hole. Since our group had a fore caddy to help hunt for lost balls, rake sand traps, clean golf balls and tend to the flag, we sent him in our cart to the previous hole to retrieve the cigar while we finished putting out. By the time we got to the next tee, he was just returning with cigar in hand, but no holder! Somehow that had disappeared. But the sight of this young kid holding a lit cigar reminded me of an escapade from my youth.
Back when I was about 8 years old, during a wedding at the Osgood Legion, a few of my cousins and I were able to latch onto a cigar that traditionally in those days was handed out by the groom after the wedding dinner. So here we were behind the wedding hall, matches in hand, lighting up our first cigar and passing it around for a whiff. After a few puffs, I became white as a sheet and felt really lightheaded. Soon I began “tossing my cookies” behind some bushes, drawing a big laugh from my cousins, until suddenly one of them started as well. Soon the entire bunch of us were sick as dogs! I recall spending the whole evening in the back seat of my parents car, periodically sticking my head out the window to barf! Not a pretty picture, but I sure learned my lesson by not ever getting into the smoking habit thanks to that dreadful incident.
I do recall a year or so later; however, watching an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies with Granny making a corn cob pipe that we kids had to try making as well. We stuffed it with corn silk and lit it up. It tasted so bad that the experience just reinforced my earlier disaster with the cigar.
And once during college, I took a puff of a friend's stubby marijuana joint, which burned the back of my mouth terribly, so for the third time, I again swore off smoking of any kind. So just like Bill Clinton, I never inhaled!
All these negative smoking experiences occurred before it was proven to cause cancer, so I’m thankful to have learned some early life-saving lessons.
My parents did smoke at that time; Mom Viceroy’s and Dad Winston's. I couldn’t stand the smell of their burning cigarettes and was really glad when they quit in the late 60’s. However, I’ve found cigar smoke much more tolerable, especially outdoors in a golf cart. Wonder if our fore-caddy took a drag on my brother’s cigar while returning to the next hole? Unlikely, as he never missed a beat tending to his caddy duties.