This week has been a very interesting one. It was supposed to be a week spent in South Florida visiting stores and growing our cigar business but things were thrown out of whack by Hurricane Matthew.
My fellow Brother of the Leaf and Cigar Category Manager Steve Mungeer and I made a quick decision to head back north. Steve need to board up his house in Palm Bay and I needed to prepare my home in Green Cove Springs.
After getting things secured on the home front I spent Thursday boarding up ABC stores in the Jacksonville area. Of course the tedious nature of the work was lessened by the smoking of a cigar. A cigar would also help me relax after getting home and hunkering down for Mr. Matthew.
As I settled in for the onset of feeder bands, I lit up a cigar and tried to maintain a line of communication with Steve. We smoked a few cigars together though we were 200 miles apart. The storm nailed him pretty good at about 3 a.m. but he was fortunate to avoid any serious damage and never lost power.
As I type this the eye of the storm is about 30 minutes away from our house and I am hoping for the same results that Steve was blessed with. He felt that the fact that he smoked cigars before helped keep the storm away. Well, I have smoked my fair share yesterday, today, and plan to light up one more before conditions outdoors preclude me from the privilege.
I love living in Florida and wouldn’t trade it for anything. There are very few negatives about being a Floridian and dealing with hurricanes tops the list. I am just glad that they are fairly rare and always give us plenty of warning.
So if you are getting ready for a bad storm just make sure you do two things: Stock up on cigars and keep a close eye out for Jim Cantore.
Chris Gwaltney, Category Manager: Craft Beer & Cigars
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarchris