The healing properties of a good cigar



On May 28, 2009, a number of us associated with lost a friend. At age 47, Tom Long suffered an apparent heart attack and died. Tom was a follower since the beginning, as he knew some of the founding members and wanted to support the fledgling enterprise. Though Tom could certainly be described as a man’s man who enjoyed many of the topics covered by Bullz-Eye firsthand, he was also a devoted family man, a baseball coach of young men, an individualist and a loyal friend. He especially liked to read the cigar reviews, but smoking was never something he found worthwhile. He read them as a means to be a little knowledgeable on the topic, and mostly as a way to stay connected with the good friend of his who wrote them. That was just the kind of guy he was.

Tom Long was the proverbial guy who would give you the shirt off his back to help you out. He also looked at the world and whatever experience came his way with a “glass half-full” attitude and he lived life to its fullest. Knowing him as I did, I sensed that if he could have made a farewell speech before being laid to rest, it would have been reminiscent of the great and widely loved New York Yankee baseball player Lou “The Iron Horse” Gehrig. In Lou’s case, he was dying quickly of a rare cancer, but he did get to address his fans at Yankee Stadium one last time, and surprised everyone with the famous, “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech. Like Tom, Lou saw the glass as “half full.”

Very little in this world could bring his spirits down, and I am confident he left this world with only the regret that he could not stay longer. In the immediate days following his passing, I relied on some old friends to get me through the saddest hours, namely Jim and Arturo. More specifically, Jim Beam bourbon was a favorite of Tom’s, so I chose this libation to honor him. I chose my old friend, Arturo Fuente, a “go to” cigar that is guaranteed to deliver. The two combined did get me through, along with the support of family and a few good friends Tom and I shared.

I am reminded that long ago, Native Americans believed that tobacco had healing properties. They would burn it, and the rising smoke was used to cleanse and heal. It was also believed that tobacco smoke could promote well being and good thoughts. Today, modern science teaches us that tobacco presents risks to the physical health of the human body, to which I cannot disagree. However, this same body of science also professes a link between a human’s physical and mental condition and vice versa. So, I cannot help but believe that the Native Americans themselves saw the healing properties of tobacco to be associated more with the spirit and soul, versus the physical body. In modern times, I empirically conclude that there are a number of things, when done in moderation, that may help to heal the soul.

A couple of Arturo Fuente cigars and a glass or two of Jim Beam on the rocks helped me start the healing process on the day we laid Tom to rest. In memory of all the good friends and family who are no longer with us, honor their spirit as the original Americans would – Let’s get smokin’!

Rest in Peace, Thomas J. Long (1962 – 2009).

I elected to skip a particular review on the Arturo Fuente cigars that I smoked as the setting was not appropriate to provide an objective opinion – though I can say that Arturo Fuente cigars were chosen as they are one of the most consistent and well-made cigars for your money on the market.


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