cigars, dogs, and trading cards

I have tried to hold to a discipline of writing every evening, but a stressful workday has made me dull in the writing department this week.  Dexter and Comet no nothing of  objectives or deadlines. They only care about results – have they gotten a walk?

On my way home today, a friend who carpools with me occasionally ( I welcome this on Friday) and I stopped for a beer with him at a small tropics-themed brewery near my home.  It seems to have a regular crowd of people getting off work, a few couples with their young kids, and a few with dogs.  If it is dog-friendly AND is tropical-themed, it must be a good place.   A couple sitting next to us had their dog with them, and all of us soon chatted about adopting dogs from shelters.  Before my “carpool buddy” days, my evening commute was an excuse to stop at a favorite cigar lounge – where people rarely talked dogs and instead talked sports and politics.  Not good for stress-relief.

On our walk this evening,  I started to think whether I had any cigars.   I have allowed myself an occasional cigar this year, particularly on an evening walk with the dogs – or  resting on my front patio.  While walking with two leashes is challenging sometimes,  doing this and smoking a cigar – well, there just is no enjoyment in it!  Dexter and Comet will join me on the patio some evenings as I can pet one or the other AND smoke my cigar.

Given one of the keepsakes I have, there may be connection between men, smoking and dogs,  stronger before the culture banished tobacco to corners and back alleys.

This meandering, dog-chasing-tale was to write that I found (again) my grandfather’s leather-bound set of tobacco cards from 1930’s Britain.  It was only as an adult that I understood that one card was included in one pack of cigarettes.  These were much like baseball trading cards in the chewing gum packs that kids bought for a nickel or dime.   The set I have in front of me now features 48 different dog breeds, and are in very good condition considering they have been in drawers, jewelry boxes, a cigar box, and a curio cabinet for 50 years since my late grandfather gave his keepsakes to my late mother for me.

My grandfather died of emphysema in the mid-1960s.  I have no intention, should there be anything remotely worth collecting by smoking, to gain that consolation prize.  I will stick to the dogs, outdoors, and an occasional vice.


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