Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Cigars, Pipes and Memories

Over at Refractional Darkness, S. was talking about smoking cigars. It reminded me of my grandfather. I know, I read all the time where people hate the smell of cigars and pipes. But not me. It brings back good memories, some of them warm, some of them funny, all of them good. I like the smell of a good cigar and I like the smell of a pipe. It has never bothered me to have a man smoke them around me; I’ve rather enjoyed it. It’s surprising considering how much I cannot stand cigarette smoke.

I was at a wedding 12 years ago, my Better Half’s best friend, and I hung out with all the groomsmen. (Surprise.) The topic of cigars came up and I was saying how I love the smell. One of them smoked them. He looked at me and said, “By chance did your grandfather or father smoke them?” I started to laugh and said, “Why yes, my granddaddy did, why?” and he replied, “Because the women I know that love the smell of a cigar relate it all to the good memories of a man in their family.”

Hmm. Could be.

My granddaddy was an electrician in Birmingham, real gruff. He had a rough workman’s hands and could do anything. He’s the only grandfather I remember everything about, as my Mom’s father died when I was 9. I remember as much as I am capable, sometimes dwelling too much on trying to conjure up memories of my Poppy, but it is, to my dismay, limited. Granddaddy, however, there are many memories.

He smoked cigars and pipes. He was not so clean about it either. Tobacco was always strewn throughout his personal space. He smelled of cigars as he never smoked cigarettes, at least not that I could remember. But he always chewed on the back end of his cigar. I hear one time he accidentally swallowed the back end, while driving, and threw up all over the drivers side, inside his car. That’s a stench you cannot get rid of.

Our funniest memory… I laugh as I write this because I know my sister is gagging as she realizes what I’m about to say!... is one Christmas, Granddaddy gave my little sister a harmonica for Christmas. He always had one at his house and we were always foolin’ with it. So he bought her one. If there was a favorite grandchild, she was it. She opens this gift from Granddaddy and immediately pulls it out of its elongated box, puts it to her lips, and sucks in air… only to start coughing and gagging. Evidently he had tried the harmonica out before he packaged it up and sent it to her for Christmas. When he blew in it, he blew into it pieces of nasty chewed up tobacco and cigar. So Christmas morning, she got TWO gifts. The harmonica and the taste of old chewed cigar! (I’m laughing so hard I’m crying now. Ahhhhh… good memories!) To this day we still harass her about it. She never did master the harmonica, as she proved at last year’s annual Ceilidh, where she played Hot Cross Buns as her talent. I think she may have been emotionally scarred. Heh heh heh.

Granddaddy used to sit on his big lazy boy and smoke his pipe while he watched TV. Sometimes he would fall asleep. Good thing he didn’t smoke cigarettes or he would have burned the house down for sure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, great memories...for the rest of the family! Even with the emotional scars from that experience I still love the smell of a pipe or cigar.


5:46 PM  

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