Monday, June 09, 2008

Harry the Dirty Dog and Cigar Stories

This is Harry. Harry was the wire haired terrier we got after we moved to Texas in the late 60's. You know there is always that 1 pet which stands out above all others, this was Harry. He was named after
Harry the Dirty Dog of storybook fame. Harry would chase after a ball until YOU couldn't go on. At one point we had a fairly heavy tennis ball sized ball which we could roll down the sidewalk and have it go to almost the end of the block. We lived at one end and in the evenings we would go out and play ball. One person would hold Harry, the other would throw the ball and let is get about halfway down the block before we let him go. And he would run like a demon after than ball and bring it back for another run. It could be 100 degrees outside and he would run until you had to make him stop.

Anyway, how does Harry and cigars figure and why did this even come up? I listen, as I have mentioned a couple of times, to the Southeastern Backpackers podcast. The two guys who do the podcast have been friends for several years and have hiked together for years and get together every week to sit on the patio and smoke cigars. The podcast evolved from this ritual. One of the best things about this podcast is even if you don't hike you would enjoy the podcast. They are very entertaining, to the point I have been laughing as I walked along to/from work listening to it. But mainly because they seem like really nice people, someone you would like to know in "real" life. They speak very fondly of their family and you can tell family is important to them and they have a bent sense of humor, but it is clean humor, which I really enjoy.

So, since I can't go smoke a cigar with them, this is my "cigar smoking" experience I can throw out to the world.

We had moved from Tennessee to Texas just right before I turned 9 and made 2-4 trips a year to/from Tennessee to visit family. In a 1967 yellow Chevy station wagon. My parents learned early on with 3 kids the best way to travel was to fold down the back and make a bed for my little sister and brother to sleep on. I got the whole back seat which I had to share with Harry. After 1 or 2 trips, we started making the trips at night so we kids could sleep and my dad could trip in peace.

For several years we thought Harry was prone to car sickness. He would ride along, hacking, gagging, coughing. Since we never fed him right before the trip, he never actually threw up, but we had tranquilized him once or twice to help him through the trip. Poor Harry.

One of the things my dad enjoyed and helped him stay awake....remember this was before IPods and stereos and you relied on going from radio station coverage to radio station coverage with a lot of static in between.....was smoking a cigar. Dad never smoked expensive cigars or imported ones, just plain old cigars. I learned to enjoy the smell of a good cigar early on, like pipe smoke. However, Harry did not share this affection for cigar smoke, especially when we finally realized we looked like a rolling fog bank going down the road since the windows in the car were rolled up. Remember this was before 2nd hand smoke and seat belts. So Harry was choking on cigar smoke 650 miles in each direction.

With my dad smoking cigars it was always a treat if you got to "moisten" his cigar. I don't even know if people still do this, but dad always would lightly (please note the word lightly) moisten his cigar by licking it. Sometimes, if you were really, really lucky he would let one of us "lick" the cigar. How he ever got them lit after we licked them I don't know. Dogs don't drool that much. Thanks Dad for smoking soggy cigars.


  1. Oh my.... hahaha... What a entry. hehe.

    I admit... I had to force myself to read this because cigars is not on my list of favorite things... but I am glad I did!

    Oh our memories.

  2. I love it Judy!! I'm an inexpensive cigar guy too but I don't have to moisten them. I don't let my kids do that either. I try to keep the cigars and kids far apart. Thanks for the very sweet words about our podcast. But you are wrong on one point. We always have a seat around the table available for guests! Join us the next time you are in or near Alabama.


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