Stories, some true some not, shape who are as individuals and who are as a culture. Think about the bedtime stories you heard as a child. You loved the story and its moral molded your character. We at Tabanero love a good story too. So we thought we would share some tall tales involving tobacco.
The first is an ancient native myth that tells the take tale of how tobacco became a part of people's lives. It begins in a time long ago when there was only one tribe in all the Americas. They lived together following the buffalo wherever they roamed (‘Oh give me a home…’). To a couple was born a girl who grew up to be beautiful, just beautiful, she was the most beautiful. The original language says the she was ‘powerful beautiful.’ We can only speculate what they meant, but one doesn't have to imagine too deeply to understand the power that beauty can wield.
This child in time had children of her, twin boys to be precise. One boy had a light complexion with a head full gold hair. The other boy had a ruddy hue and dark brown hair. Everything was perfect, well except no one knew the identity of the father, including our powerfully beauty lady. Right now you're thinking…- but, no. The legend seems to dismiss that whole train of thought. Instead it tells us that two fathers stepped forward - and again you're thinking…but, no. One pronounced himself to himself to be the father of ruddy boy and the other to be the father of the fair boy.
You are probably thinking that the story is going to become one of those paternity fights, but once again, no. The twin boys legitimately had two different fathers. Umm, just roll with it. The father of the dark haired boy was Earth and he named his son Earth Boy. The father of the golden haired boy was the Night and he named his son Star Boy (you have The Weekend to think about that one).
Over time the boys grew up, of course they did. When they became older they began behaving differently than the others. Earth-Boy stopped going out with the buffalo parties and instead stayed among the reeds and flowers. Star-Boy also stopped following the buffalo. He would sleep during the day and go wandering at night. One night he discovered a mountain no one had ever found before. He climbed it and kept climbing until he almost reached the sky. Then he grew faint and fell down. A silver man appeared to him. It was his Star-Father.
He said, “Son why did you climb up this mountain?”
Star-boy said, “I was trying to reach you.”
The father replied, “My life is spent walking far beyond here and I will not return to this mountain in your lifetime. As sign of my love I’m giving you a great gift that contains the strength and colors of the sunset. Keep this plant with you wherever you go and in the springtime plant it wherever you are. Give great care to this sacred plant and when the stalks are tall harvest them.”
He then plunged his hand into his silver body. White light burst from his chest and he pulled out a tobacco plant.
“Son this plant is sacred. It will make your people strong and free, but in order to partake they must take them in as family.” He handed the tobacco plant to Star-Boy and then he was gone.
Star-Boy returned home where he found Earth-Boy. He told him the story and offered to take him in as family (yeah, we wondered that too – aren’t they already twin brothers?)
Earth-Boy said, “I didn't need to go to the top of a mountain. While you were gone my father came to me also. He taught the secrets ways of the earth and told me to tend all plants save the special star plant. My people will rise with sun and farm the land. Your people will be wanders after the sunset, but we are brothers.”
To seal their bond Earth-Boy made a pipe from rock and wood and Star-Boy prepared the tobacco plant. They smoked the medicine pipe together and pledged their love and declared the peace between them.
Here at Tabanero Cigars we affirm the moral of that story: we may have differences but we are family and there should be love and peace between us. Come on down to Ybor and let’s celebrate what we have in common.
It was an unexpected gift of beauty. It evoked the old adage: ‘take time to smell the flowers.’ How often do I? Am I aware of the beauty around me? Or do I allow the busyness of each day to hold captivate my attention and keep my focus so inside my own thoughts and concerns that I don't see the beauty around me?
Our attention this week was focused upon the draft of players into the National Football League. As I was watching the first round of the draft, while enjoying a Taba Big Daddy (it just seemed appropriate for the occasion) something occurred to me. Most of the world was watching the draft along with me, but at that same moment, the NBA was in middle of their playoffs. How discouraging it must be for them. If all American sports were a family, then Major League Baseball would be the older brother who rebelled a long time ago but now is quietly getting the right thing done, the National League Football would be the baby of the family who is always in trouble but gets all the attention, and the National Basketball Association would be the middle child who as harder as he tries just can't get the attention...Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.
Anyway, the opening round was a surprise as the Bears trader only one spot to ensure that they got their man Mitchell Trubisky. Two other teams, the Chiefs, and the Texans traded up as well to garner their signal caller of the future. Were those mistakes? Add a comment and let us know your thoughts. Mistake or mad genius those unlikely picks caused several players to fall down the board.
We here in Tampa were thrilled as O.J. Howard became of those players. We were able to snatch him with the 19th pick. It was completely unexpected that the Alabama standout would be available that far into the draft. The scouts believe that he will a perennial Pro Bowler because he is accomplished not only as a receiver but also as a blocker. He gives Winston a big target as an option that will keep defenders honest in covering Mike Evans and newly acquired DeSean Jackson.
Welcome to Tampa gentlemen: Howard, Evans, Godwin, Beckwith, McNichols, and Tuikolavatu. Come down to Tabanero and enjoy the finest hand made cigars! You find a community of people sharing life as they share a cigar.
We were fortune enough today to be invited by Eric Newman and Bob Newman to a lunch in at the JC Newman factory with people in the Cigar industry that are having the same pain no matter the size of their operation with new Regulation from FDA.
Senator Bill Nelson Litsen to our concerns of deadlines approaching on the different regulations and we haven't had any success changing how drastic the regulations are.
They allowed me 60 seconds to share how these regulations will affect a small industry that I represent in Ybor. Senator Bill Nelson even spoke Spanish with me to show his symphony for our cause. Please in any way you can share our pain with the president of the United States do so. We have to rescue the novel industry of Cigars.
This cigar was given to me at the meeting by Jeff Borysiewicz owner of Corona Cigars
The first was the brainchild of Harvey Wiley who was concerned about the preservatives that were put into food. In 1902 he recruited twelve young men for an experiment. They lived on a designated compound and ate only the menu that he supplied. The twist was that his menu included increasing doses of chemicals that were at that time being used as preservatives. Over time that gang of twelve men (possibly even angry men) became known as the Poison Squad. In 1906 Wiley presented his findings on the effects of those preservatives on those men. That presentation was one piece persuading Congress to form the FDA.
The second piece was a novel that was also published in 1906: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. This novel, although fictional, realistically portrayed the struggles of an immigrant family working in the meatpacking industry of Chicago. One incident in the novel told of how a man fell into the meat grinder and the meat was packaged and sold anyway. Although it was a novel and not a news report, it persuaded public opinion and pressured Congress to be the watchdog guarding public safety in regard to food. That is the FDA’s past and I doubt there is anyone who sees those early years of the FDA as anything but good.
Today the FDA still upholds the role of a consumer watchdog and we don't dispute that most of what they do is good. However, we do question some regulations and restrictions. In particular, we have concerns about the huge net they cast in regard to tobacco. Until recently the agency recognized a distinction between cigarettes and cigars, and we think rightly so.
Now they have placed similar restrictions on cigars. The financial costs of compiling with new regulations and restrictions threaten to bankrupt artisan boutiques like Tabanero Cigars.
If the current regulations go into effect could be a sad and ugly for Ybor City. The future hasn't been written yet and there still may be time to save this beautiful dream. We invite you to be wily like Harvey Wiley and research the differences between our non-additive, all natural, handmade cigars and their cigarettes. We also ask you to stand with us to be a voice for change like Upton Sinclair so together we can preserve our business and our rich heritage.