Sunday, May 6, 2012

Saturday at the Hut - 5/5/12

Aaron digging into Don's delicious BBQ
(click to enlarge). For other photos,

see The Tobacco Hutters.
We celebrated Cinco de Mayo in style on Saturday at The Tobacco Hut. Well, we didn't really celebrate Cinco de Mayo per se, but we did have some fantastic BBQ and other fixins from Don W. He announced on Thursday on The Tobacco Hutters that he was bringing his world famous BBQ on Saturday and it was well worth it! Don urged folks to bring Coronas for the minor Mexican holiday, but nobody obliged. But no matter, his BBQ'd pork butt and shoulder was out of this world! He supplied buns and his secret sauce, as well as boiled peanuts (yechh!) and I brought some potato salad. It was all very well received and we had a full house enjoying the feast. A big thank you to Don for supplying this and all his preparation - 12 hours to smoke it properly!

So who was there chowing down? Peter G, Joe K, Scott R, Jeff D, Bob (not me, and not Bobby M, but another Bob), Aaron C, Don of course, Tony, Lou, and myself. Paul O probably would have been there but he's in Vegas on some company junket.

Paula and I enjoying the Rays game
from the Times suite Friday night
(click to enlarge)
Allow me to back up a little...Paula and I hosted the Times suite at Tropicana Field on Friday night and watched the Rays beat up the Oakland A's, 7-2. David Price was on fire with 12 strikeouts, striking out every batter in the lineup at least once. Looks like they're playing okay without Evan Longoria who's out for several weeks with an injury. I would have strolled over to the Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar to enjoy a smoke but, as host, I had to stay in the suite for the duration of the game. In any case, we had a great time, even though the food and beer tab was outrageous. A thousand dollars to feed 15 people wings, hotdogs, peanuts, and beer.

A little discussion came up on The Tobacco Hutters recently about attendance at the Trop and the reasons why it's so low. There are a lot of factors involved, ranging from the lousy economy to every game being televised to a short tradition of the game in the area. All I know is that right now the Rays have the best record in baseball and are playing exciting ball and to be ranked 28th out of 30 teams in terms of attendance is pretty crappy. They deserve better from the Tampa Bay area.

So if you're not a member of The Tobacco Hutters and have missed the e-mails I've sent out about it, you might be thinking, "What is this 'Tobacco Hutters' he keeps mentioning?" Well, it's our own social network, just for customers and friends of The Tobacco Hut. As of this writing, we're up to 22 members after just a week and participation and content is growing steadily.

It's a virtual space that is intended to be an extension of the real Tobacco Hut, a place that friends can come together, talk to one another through forums, write their own blogs on topics important to them, post status updates, upload photos and more.

How is it different from the blog you're reading right now? Well, The Sweetest Smoke is my blog where I write seemingly endless drivel and a handful of people read it. But there's very little room for discussion and the commenting mechanism is clunky and problematic. The Tobacco Hutters, however, is easy to participate in and is not meant to be just me creating content. It's your space, your community. Use it in whatever way you want.

It's free to join, but is not open to the public. To become a member, simply click on the highlighted links above, or right here: I'll get notified that you've clicked on the link and approve your membership. Feel free to invite your friends if you like what you see. I encourage everyone to sign up though, if you haven't already - the more the merrier!

(The group is limited to 150 members - after that I have to go up to the next level which is quite a bit more of an investment. But that's a good problem to have and I'll cross that bridge when we come to it. If it comes to that, I'll probably lay out the cash for it and then accept advertising on the site to defray the cost. No worries about that now, however.)

Toward the end of the afternoon, most of the folks had split for the day and who remained were Don, Peter, Scott, Lou and myself. We started talking about the "good old days" in radio and music, got into a debate about who the greatest guitarist ever was (Scott's vote was for Eddie Van Halen, Lou voted for Les Paul, and I topped them all with Jimi Hendrix), and finished with an informal game of "Name That Tune". We all tried stumping each other by naming a song and the others trying to guess the artist.

Scott stumped us a couple times with some April Wine songs (didn't know Scott was such a fan of the Halifax band), Peter tried to stump us with the song "96 Tears" but I immediately shouted out the answer - ? and the Mysterians. A little aside, there was a customer that wandered in during the quiz show segment of the afternoon and he said that Todd Rundgren wrote the song "96 Tears", but I can find no evidence of that, no connection whatsoever between him and ? and the Mysterians. The group formed in 1962 and the song was written by band member and lead vocalist Rudy Martinez. The only connection I could find between Todd Rundgren was that he covered the song in 1998 with his band Utopia.

Peter stumped us with "Come On Down to My Boat" by Every Mother's Son, which frustrated me because I have the song on my iTunes collection.

Scott maintains that Kansas was a one-hit wonder with "Dust in the Wind". Peter and I vehemently objected to the notion that they were a one-hit wonder but when Scott challenged us to name another song of his, we had to quietly agree with his assertion.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun shouting out song names and artists, especially the one-hit wonders, and even employed my iPhone to play samples of the songs. Lou was feeling a little left out so I played the opening couple notes of Glen Miller's "In The Mood" and he nailed it right away.

We were having so much fun playing Name That Tune that something happened for the first time ever, I think, at the Hut. I failed to finish my pipe. When it was closing time, I had about a third of the bowl left. I was so busy looking up songs on my iPhone and racking my brain trying not to be stumped by what Peter and Scott were throwing at me that I simply neglected my Ser Jacopo filled with G.L. Pease's Westminster tobacco. It was a fine smoke but, alas, I got too wrapped up in the fun to finish it.

And that brings me to the finish of this week's blog. See everyone next week, and see you around The Tobacco Hutters!


  1. Helluva blog Bob! I will be there next Saturday as well. As to Lou's recommendation to try a Cain, good call! Probably top 5 for me...thanks again Lou for the expert advise.

  2. Bob, that comment was was from me...Aaron.