When CIGAR MAGAZINE first approached me about doing a story about the National Cigar Museum, they asked for a selection of pictures that I thought would be suitable for such a feature. Wanting to give them plenty of options, I chose 312 pictures from my files, including some great portraits taken by my friend and helper, Dr. David Diaz, best known as Doctor Stogie on the internet.  Editors and art directors at CIGAR made their choices and sent me a list, requesting higher resolution photos and caption information, which I provided. In addition to their 20 or so selections, I suggested they add a dozen or so photos I felt were overlooked treasures, and included captions explaining why. Ultimately, a high percentage of my additions ended up making final cut. They really did a fine job of selecting pictures of some of the Museum’s rarest items.

    What didn’t make final cut was my nose...or my jacket. When CIGAR’s editor sent the mock-up I was told the folks who make such decisions had decided that my sunburned nose looked as if it were the consequence of too many brandies instead of living at the ocean for decades. A quick swath of Photoshop became the equivalent of a few months in rehab. Changing jackets was a little more complicated. My 20 year old medium priced favorite was deemed OK for the inside hug of Captain Jack, but not sufficiently upscale for the cover of a high-end publication. Once again, it was Photoshop to the rescue. No, they didn’t “switch heads” as many have guessed. They actually switched jackets. Yes, some model (or maybe the building’s janitor) had his photo taken in a brand new coat suitable for a fashionista, then some clever soul used digi-magic to cut the coat off him and redress me in it. The result? I’m on the cover of a national magazine wearing a jacket I’ve never seen before.

    I can’t say enough nice things about my association with Lew Rothman, J-R Cigars and CIGAR MAGAZINE. From the time I was first approached with an offer to help support my Museum efforts, to the story below, everyone has been courteous, thoughtful and responsive to me. 

    Sadly, Lew Rothman decided to shut down his excellent magazine.



Winter, 2007, Story about the Museum

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