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bruceolee
12-06-2016, 03:13 PM
So, for all you guys and gals lurking around, not posting, reading up on us as much as possible, praying and hoping for sources someday. here's the story of my first herf and a brief history of my cigar life.

First things first, Join the conversation with us and have fun. When i first found a forum (and there were many 10 years ago) i was 28 and completely lost when it came to cigars. The first cigars i ever purchased were from cigar.com (rookie mistake) and it was a five pack of Gurkha pre-embargo cuban cigars (yet another rookie mistake) so, like many people just starting out in cigars i was LOST. I didn't even know how to cut a cigar so I followed the only material i had on hand. Western movies! So, i bit the ends off my cigars! SIGH! I made a lot of rookie mistakes. Thankfully the internet had the info i needed and I learned a lot after that but the biggest lesson for me was joining a great forum and reading up on everything i could. After a while i also learned that i needed to participate in the forums as well. So, if you're just lurking around for info and nervous to join the conversation please take the risk of introducing yourself. you won't regret it i promise. Just follow the rules and have fun! :)


Okay, so my first herf just kind of happened by accident. There was a cigar store in deerfield beach called tobacco world that was advertising on our forum. Several BOTL already knew of it at the time and said it was a great place. I have MANY medical issues that require i travel to Miami a lot which is 2 hours away so I told Marit (the internet rep for tobacco world) that i would stop by because she told me she had several boxes of a long discontinued but infamous series X. So I went to miami as usual and on the way home I stopped by and met Marit who took me right to the series X's she had and we were just being conversational when A gentleman named Kris (the owner) came out and said "You're Jason from Club Stogie?!" i told him i was and he told me "I wanna buy you a cigar! pick anything you want" and before I could pick he went right to the Padron Anny 64's and told me I "had" to smoke one of these. So, Kris and I smoked a cigar and he gave the grand tour of the humidor and his members area and basically said our forum could use it anytime we wanted as long as it didn't interfere with an event.
So, I went onto the forum that night to tell this story and the conversation kept growing into "let's get together for a herf there." Eventually we planned a herf and it was settled. I was VERY nervous to meet up with a bunch of strangers i'd only known from a forum and the occasional trade or bomb. I'd also been trying to get my brother and best friend into the cigar culture so I asked if anyone minded if they could come. It all seems naive now to even ask but everyone seemed cool about it.
So, i arrived at tobacco world (no longer in existence sadly) with my brother and friend and went to the members area at the bar. The first guy i met was neuromancer. He asked me who I was and i said bruceolee and he exclaimed "YOU'RE BRUCEOLEE!" and that was pretty much it. Everyone heard it and before I could even turn around Skip (opus) handed me a Monte #2 and shortly after that I was handed something like 10+ cigars. Honest to God I felt like a small time celeb thats how welcome the guys made me feel and not only that but i didn't have to worry about my brother or friend because everyone took them in and made them feel like family. I think up until that night I'd smoked 2 Habanos in my life and I don't count that Gurkha as a habanos. By the end of the night I'd smoked roughly 8 or so. I really felt overwhelmed and very much the rookie that i was. All the guys made that night so special to me that it forever made me an addict to cigar culture. The funny part is due to my chronic pancreatitis I can't drink but you'd better believe I certainly felt drunk. I don't think I've ever had that much fun since or laughed as hard since then. I brought a small humidor of cigars for everyone (a young guys humidor so nothing of the quality that they were handing out) and ended up needing bags to carry everything out. Kris was also a VERY gracious host and we certainly spent our fair share while we were there.
That night was really a blur and certainly didn't expect the warm welcome i received but looking back on it and the quality of the gentlemen I met I really should have expected it. They took me in as one of their own and made me really feel a part of something much larger. Since then I've enjoyed a couple other herfs and each one was special in its own way. We live now in a very private yet public culture of Facebook and twitter. People interact through FaceTime, snapchat or google hangouts but I rarely see people getting together just to hangout and celebrate each other the way you do in a herf. If I can give any advice (as if I haven't left enough already) it's hangout with us, get to know us, and come to the next herf in your area. You really will not regret it and if nothing is happening in your area then make it happen yourself. These guys and gals here are loaded with wisdom to help you out and a final warning. They also tell some of the most messed up jokes you've ever heard so PC culture is out the window at these events. :)

Anyways, no real point to this. I just kind of wanted to tell a story from my early days and just encourage anyone lurking out there to join in the conversations. I've been gone a long time and really did miss hanging out with everyone. I missed you all a lot and hope to make up for some lost time as long as my health holds.

stearns
12-06-2016, 03:25 PM
Great story Jason, reminds me a lot of my first herf. Nothing like it in the world :ss

icehog3
12-06-2016, 05:25 PM
Great story, Jason. Miss a couple of those guys you mentioned as well.

bruceolee
12-06-2016, 05:52 PM
Great story, Jason. Miss a couple of those guys you mentioned as well.

I was just thinking that Tom. I hope that some find their way back. I know how life gets in the way sometimes and if they never come back I certainly hope they're happy. ALL were and are great BOTL.

mahtofire14
12-06-2016, 05:56 PM
Agreed. I don't get to herf with CA members very much at all so when I hear someone is coming to town from CA I always will make an effort to meet up.

And yes, there is no better place for tips, techniques, or current events in the Cigar world than here.

massphatness
12-06-2016, 06:59 PM
Really great story! Made me look back on my own first herf & rookie mistakes with a smile.
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Ogre
12-06-2016, 07:17 PM
Really great story! Made me look back on my own first herf & rookie mistakes with a smile.
Posted via Mobile Device

:tpd::tpd:

SD Beerman
12-07-2016, 10:05 AM
Great story Jason.

Dave128
12-07-2016, 10:18 AM
Love the story, Jason. :tu

yourchoice
12-07-2016, 10:34 AM
Fantastic post and story! I don't get to as many herfs as I wish I could, but the handful I have been to have been a great time. I agree with your sentiment. If you have the chance to go to a herf and your on the fence about it...do it!

G G
12-07-2016, 12:17 PM
Awesome story Jason!!!