Thursday, July 28, 2011


One of the things I like about G+ is the "sparks" feature... which allows you to specify interests and then gives you a daily list of articles from around these inner-nets that fall into the category or categories you've defined.  I've defined a few interests, all of them obvious, like cigars, beer, and single-malts.  Here's a few grafs from a lil sumthin' in the Beaumont, Tejas local paper that popped up in the "cigars" category yesterday:
Cigar boxes are no longer a part of childhood. In an office supply store last week I saw a display of plastic boxes for children for use in school, for storing pens and pencils and glue and scissors and all the other easily-misplaced little impedimenta of very young artists.
Once upon a time, children employed wooden cigars boxes for such purposes; if one's father didn't smoke cigars then someone else's did, and so nice little wooden boxes were as common as 1943 steel pennies. I suppose that if now a child were to carry his art supplies to school in a cigar box he would be sent for therapy and his parents filed on with some state agency for Not Thinking Correctly.
The plastic boxes for sale now contain only air, and to a father that's disappointing; wooden cigar boxes came filled with, well, cigars, so everyone was happy. Contemporary boxes are filled with nothing more than the chemical aromas of Shanghai, and no one ever celebrated an accomplishment or a birth by lighting up a victory Chinese air molecule.
In another time-space dimension, the birth of a child was celebrated by the proud father handing out cigars to his pals. Upon retrospect one realizes that the young mother probably needed a cigar more than anyone, but such an image would not make an appropriately-sentimental greeting card. One wonders if somewhere there is at least one mother who smokes cigars while holding her infant, in Newton County, perhaps.
The article goes on at some length and it's quite a good reminiscence.  I do relate to the first few thoughts expressed above... I kept my childhood treasures in Dutch Masters boxes that were handed down from the Ol' Man.  My friends all had cigar boxes, too.  We kept our baseball cards in 'em, our marble collections (yeah, I shot marbles as a kid... do you know ANY kid that does that today?), and, for me, my model airplane paraphernalia... paint brushes, glue, small bottles of Testors paint, not to mention scads and scads of leftover decals.  I had more than a few cigar boxes.

I still have more than a few cigar boxes (see right), even after I've "gifted" ("pawned off" would be more descriptive) more than a few of 'em to grandson Sean and even some friends.  I find it hard to throw away these small objects of beauty, as I struggle to find some sort of use for 'em.  They only take up valuable and limited space right now, even considering the fact a couple o' boxes hold my Small Treasures, even today.

So... we have boxes.  If you have a child you want to indulge with a nostalgic sort of gift, drop me a line.  I've been known to ship, gratis.  And I have a few boxes on hand.


  1. You know how I love boxes, but I still have some from your first "gifting."

  2. I saw a PBS show about the garbage collectors of Cairo. Seems they were being shut out by a foreign company that came in and just buried everything.

    Recycling is what they did, and after watching them recycle plastic, I was both impressed and disturbed.

    After they grind up the plastic they send it to China. I was so disturbed I will probably never put a plastic bottle up to my lips again.

    Can you imagine drinking from a bottle, that was created from plastic ground-up in the inner city of Cairo. Yech!

  3. Lou: It's good to know those things are still around.

    On: I saw that show and thought it was pretty good, except for the European trash collectors moving in.

  4. My older brother kept his model car stuff in cigar boxes. And I do remember having one or 2 for various little girl doll items. Not sure where they came from - my dad never smoked cigars and neither did anyone else that I remember.

  5. I remember shoe boxes more than anything. Some cigar boxes, too, but mostly the shoes.

  6. Another use we had "back when" was for the bug collection required in biology.

    Might you know anything about London Whiffs made by the Feder Bros in Ohio. I have what appears to be a really old wooden cigar box that probably belonged to my grandfather or maybe a great-grandfather.

  7. Kris: Those things got around. Everyone had 'em when I was a kid, no matter if their fathers smoked cigars or not.

    Andy: I don't remember shoe boxes from my youth. But I DO remember them from past girlfriends...

    cladd: A quick inner-net search turned up a few hits on London Whiffs, all from around the turn of the 20th century (c. 1900 - 1905). You apparently have an OLD box on your hands... and that's pretty cool!

  8. I had a CO who smoked cigars that were so cheap they came in a big round can. I think they were called Headliners. We hated when he'd come into CIC with those things. It took forever to get rid of the stink. They were worse than the smell after we ground up rubber bands and put them in the division officer's tobacco pouch.

  9. What a charming reminiscence.

    I have an old cigar box picked up in an antique shop. I use it to support a frail old wooden frame containing an old sepia-tone picture(kinda like your picture) of my husband's family.

    Those cigar boxes are small treasures in themselves and worth saving. It doesn't seem right to save your precious personal treasures in a plastic box made in China.

    We're moving to an apartment in a while, in preparation for eventually buying a retirement home in Texas. So I'm throwing stuff out now - nothing comes in. But, dear Buck, I would love to have a sweetly fragrant cigar box from you when I am settled in a home again. So save one for me, please.

  10. Skip: It was a different day back then, eh? And cheap cigars DO stink... that's where cigars get their bad rap.

    Red: There are always a box or four hangin' around ECMdP. Lemmee know when you want one. And thanks again for the good words.


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