Saturday, June 27, 2009
Saturday at the Hut - 6/27/09
We celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Tobacco Hut today in fine style! I'll try to list here everyone who attended, but I'll probably miss a few. Anyway, here goes: Lou & Dotty, of course; their lovely daughter Diane; their part-time-but-still-highly-valued-employees Joe K, Peter G, and me, your humble narrator; Scott R; Paul V; Trucking Broker Brian; Print Shop Brian; Major Brian; Ed B and his father in law Jim; Darryl; Barry C; Steve B; Joe D and his son Larry D; Tom L; Paul who didn't win a thing until Lou was almost out of door prizes; Undertaker Tom; Kevin who made Lou a table; Frank B; Irish Tenor Buddy; Hollywood(?); and probably half a dozen or so others whose names I didn't catch. Late in the day Mike G called in his congratulations from the mountains of Tennessee (I wonder, was he at the top of the telephone pole like Oliver Douglas in Green Acres making his call?).
There was food aplenty including pizza, wings, homemade pasta salad, a meat and cheese tray, chips, salsa and dip, and homemade cookies. According to Tom L there was also a carving station in the back with roast beef and ham, shrimp cocktail, and lobster tail on the grill. We found out later that the stuff in back was only for the special guests.
I committed the ultimate faux pas by bringing in the wrong type of chip. It's not that what I brought was a corn chip and Lou only likes flour chips, or they were the wrong color, or they tasted bad, or that Lou prefers the scoops. No, I brought in the wrong brand. Yes, I tried to be helpful and supply some food that would be appreciated, but I unwittingly picked up the incorrect brand of chip at the grocery store. It's my fault of course, because I've heard more than once about how Lou had some sort of legal battle with the company-that-shall-remain-nameless fifty years ago and now never buys any of their products. My bad that I didn't examine the fine print on the bag. I had poured about a dozen of the chips in the bowl when Lou discovered what brand I had supplied and he bolted out of his seat, picked up the bag and - I'm not making this up - threw them in the trash.
As tempted as I was to simply leave and go find another cigar and tobacco shop that was celebrating its 25th anniversary - hopefully one where the brand of chips doesn't matter - I took the high road and fished the bag of chips out of the trash and served them. So yes, everyone who ate the Brand X chips today was essentially eating garbage.
Drawings were held throughout the day and Lou obviously negotiated well with his vendors to supply some great prizes...shirts, hats, cigars, insulated bottles, lighters, ashtrays, playing cards and more were raffled off. There was so much horse trading going on between everyone that at times it seemed like a Chinese Christmas gift exchange, but I think everybody came away with at least one item.
Lou also had some excellent deals on cigars including Nestor Miranda 20 Anniversario Danno Cigar from Miami Cigars. The cigars were made in extremely limited quantities and shipped to only 100 select tobacconists. Lou received two boxes and made them available at a discounted price to those in attendance.
I lit a pipe for the first time in almost two months, since before my accident and surgery, and did it taste good! I smoked my favorite tobacco, Tinder Box Reserve 1928 in an Ascorti Pepino - always a great combination.
Everyone asked about my recovery and wished me well. Tom L felt so compassionate he offered to wait on me hand and foot, filling a plate with pizza and cookies and offering to rub my feet. I appreciated the food, but had to draw the line with the foot massage. Now if it had been Sue Ann offering...!
Joe K's son James was sorry he couldn't make the event. Apparently a 3000 mile journey for anything other than a party revolving around him is too much to ask, but he did convey a special greeting to Lou for the auspicious occasion. This being a family blog, his special greeting will not be repeated here.
Lou enjoyed a great turnout with probably thirty people in attendance at its peak, spilling out to the sidewalk in front of the store. Fortunately it was overcast and breezy, making both inside and out quite comfortable. Of course inside there was so much smoke it was hard to see the person beside you.
Congratulations to Lou & Dotty on 25 years in business - quite an achievement!
For the regular Saturday crowd, don't forget the Hut is closed next Saturday for the Fourth, so we'll meet on Friday the 3rd instead. I'll bring the chips!
Check out the pictures below - click each one to view at full size.
Diane, Lou, and Dotty
Me, Peter, Joe (labor); Diane, Dotty, Lou (management)
Shameless plug: If you like the looks of that t-shirt your humble narrator is sporting, check out his designs at The Erudite Outlet - Smart gear for the smart set!
Lou and Diane with the table Kevin made (on left, in background)
From left to right in foreground: Scott, Kevin, Paul, Can't Remember.
Diane drawing a raffle ticket for a valuable prize.
Darryl and Jim
Ed B, Joe D, Don't Know
Lou, Scott, Kevin, Paul V
Kevin, Paul V, Can't Remember, Tom L
See the chips and salsa in the uppermost corner of the table? Mmmm...
Lou on his way to rudely give back the chip I left for him at his seat.
It wouldn't be a party without Steve enjoying the wings!