During our travels to New Hampshire after Thanksgiving we had the opportunity to visit a couple of cigar lounges for a little R&R before moving on again. But one visit in particular stood out at a great little place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire called Federal Cigars.
The building was built in the late 1700's (like many in that area) and the cigar shop itself founded in 1921. A little old world with that wonderful New England feel to it. All wood and brick and the added aroma of tobacco from around the world. But this cigar shop had a hidden treasure (and you know how I love hidden treasures) in the basement.
They had taken this incredible old basement and converted it into a comfortable bar where you could take your favorite stick and hunker down for a relaxing drink to go along with a soothing smoke.
While making my choice in the shop a gentleman happened to be looking for a particular cigar and I commented in passing that it "was a great smoke". Then with our cigars in hand we went down the stairs to check out this hidden treasure of theirs and what a treasure it was.
As we were getting seated in this warm and inviting bar we ran into
this gentleman again who commented that it was indeed "a great cigar". From there the conversation began. Now I want you to know that we love to have a cigar now and then not just for that pleasure but for the social experience of meeting new people.
This meeting was a truly unexpected pleasure and the conversation moved from cigars to the constitution, to sports and more. The conversation just seemed to carry itself. Well it happens that this gentleman is an author who was visiting the area and his expertise is the constitution which in and off itself is thought provoking. But he had this belief that if he gathered people of different backgrounds, races, religions and politics over a cigar (or the leaf as he called it) they could have a conversation and solve any problem.
I tend to agree... You see when you are having a cigar with a group of strangers the conversation never really surrounds your differences it searches for the things you have in common. You tend to be more respectful of others opinions, you tend to listen more and answer more thoughtfully. The conversation never really gets divisive and you focus more on your common ground.
It was a wonderful couple of hours and a time both Jim and I will treasure.
Just for the record the gentleman is Byron Williams and here is a sample of an article he wrote that I know we all agree with... Enjoy! A Free People need to understand Civics