2 February 2007

Tuesday, February 6
Informal Smoker

Tower Club Bar

Thursday, February 22
Cigar Society Dinner
Speaker: Rick Kogan

Tuesday, March 6
University Series
Speaker: Robert Wallace

Tuesday, March 20
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

Tuesday, April 3
University Series
Speaker: Jack Zimmerman

Tuesday, April 17
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

Tuesday, May 8
University Series
Speaker: Charles Wheelan

Tuesday, May 22
Informal Smoker
Tower Club Bar

Tuesday, June 4
University Series
Speaker: Ted Foss

About the Cigar Society

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the University Club is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits. 

The University Club Cigar Society embraces this tradition and extends it with its fortnightly Informal Smokers, monthly University Series lectures, and quarterly Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.

The Informal Smokers meet at the round table in the Tower Club bar.  There are no reservations or cover charges, and each member signs his own chit for drinks a lá carte.  Sometimes a theme is published in advance, but the table talk always strays. 

The format of the Cigar Society University Series includes cocktails at 5:15pm, a lecture or reading starting at 5:30 sharp for about thirty minutes, and discussion and more cocktails to follow.  Premium open bar and light snacks are included in University Series events; members sign a chit for $30 and guests may pay $40 (inclusive) in cash.

All University Club and Tower Club members and their guests are invited to all Cigar Society events.

To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the Secretary, Curtis Tuckey, at tuckey@post.com.

With my cigar, I'm sage and wise;
without, I'm dull as cloudy skies.
When smoking, all my ideas soar;
when not, they sink upon the floor.
The greatest men have all been smokers.
And so were all the greatest jokers.
University Club Cigar Society
Officers for 2007

David O'Connor, King.
Gerald I. Bauman, Treasurer.
Curtis Tuckey, Secretary.
J. Douglas Johnson, Liaison to Chicago Croquet Club (Honorary).
Jeffrey Dean, Chair of the Subcommittee concerning Pipe Smoking.
Alexander Sherman, Metropolitan Philosopher.
Thomas O'Brien, Stentorian.
John H. Nelson, Herald.
Informal Smoker at the Tower Club, February 6
On this coming Tuesday, February 6, the University Club Cigar Society will be observing the 96th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, the fortieth president of the United States.  Stop by between 5 and 7:30pm for an informal smoke and a drink. Our toasting theme this week will be "one more for the Gipper." Chit bar.

Now is also a good time to reserve your spot at the Cigar Society Winter Dinner, which will be held on George Washington's birthday (February 22) at the Tower Club. Recommended reading: Our Presidents and Cigars from Cigar Aficionado.

I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.   —Ronald Reagan

Groundhog Day, February 2

Text excerpted from the Wikipedia entry for Groundhog Day.  Photo courtesy of the Groundhog Pipe Smokers Society.

IN WESTERN COUNTRIES in the Northern Hemisphere the official first day of Spring is about six weeks after Groundhog Day, on March 20 or 21. About 1,000 years ago, before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar and when the date of the equinox drifted in the Julian calendar, the spring equinox fell on March 16 instead. This was exactly six weeks after February 2. Assuming that the equinox marked the first day of spring in certain medieval cultures, as it does now in western countries, Groundhog Day occurred exactly six weeks before spring. The custom of prognosticating the weather on Groundhog Day could be a folk embodiment of the confusion created by the collision of two calendrical systems. Some ancient traditions marked the change of season at cross-quarter days such as Imbolc, when daylight first makes significant progress against the night. Other traditions held that Spring did not begin until the length of daylight overtook night at the Vernal Equinox. So an arbiter, the groundhog, was incorporated as a yearly custom to settle the two traditions. Sometimes Spring begins at Imbolc, and sometimes Winter lasts 6 more weeks until the Equinox.

Cigar Dinner, Thursday, February 22, Tower Club
The Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan will be guest speaker at the Cigar Society's Winter Cigar Dinner.  Mr. Kogan will discuss his new book, A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, A Curse, and the American Dream.  Cocktails at 5:15, dinner at 6:00.  Author's remarks during and following dinner.  Members are asked to bring old tavern stories (or old tavern owners) to share.  $75 includes cocktails, dinner, and wine.  Bring your own cigars.  RSVP to Sarah Lewis.

Rick Kogan began his career at sixteen, working for the Chicago Sun-Times during the tumultuous Democratic Convention of 1968.   He is currently senior staff writer and columnist for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine and host of the popular WGN-AM "Sunday Papers" radio program, which airs in thirty-eight states and Canada. He was named Chicago's Best Reporter in 1999, Chicago's Greatest Living Journalist in 2002, and was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in March 2003.  Mr. Kogan lives with his wife in Chicago. 

It is our good fortune that Rick Kogan, of a fabled Chicago legacy, has put forth a work so whimsical, wistful, and wondrous.  Studs Terkel


University Series, Tuesday, March 6, Tower Club

Robert Wallace, professor of classics at Northwestern University and cigar club regular, will present A Whirlwind Tour through Greek and Roman Coins, from the world's first issues struck in western Asia Minor in the sixth century BC, to the silver-washed masterpieces of ancient art that marked the fall of Rome. A bit of economic history, a bit of politics, a slide-show of lots of smashing images, and plenty of glittering silver and gold.  Cocktails at 5:15; lecture at 5:30; discussion to follow at 6:00.  $30 includes open bar and light hors d'oeuvres.  RSVP to Sarah Lewis.

Professor Wallace (BA Columbia '72, MA Oxford '77, PhD Harvard '84) has an ongoing project with the American Numismatic Society to analyze the metallic composition of early electrum coinage.  He is recently co-editor of Poet, Public, and Performance in Ancient Greece (Hopkins, 1997), and is currently writing a book about Damon, the Greek music theorist and teacher of Pericles.


University Series, Tuesday, April 3, Tower Club
Chicago author Jack Zimmerman will join the Cigar Society to open the spring baseball season with readings from his southside-Chicago baseball novel, Gods of the Andes. Cocktails at 5:15, reading at 5:30, discussion to follow at 6:00.  $30 includes open bar and light hors d'oeuvres.  Bring your own cigars.  RSVP to Sarah Lewis.

Jack Zimmerman grew up on the southwest side of Chicago and graduated from the Chicago Conservatory of Music.  He spent four years in the Navy during the Vietnam War and worked as a college instructor, freelance trombone player, piano tuner, newspaper columnist, and PR man.  Presently, he works in the public relations department of Lyric Opera of Chicago and writes newspaper columns for Liberty Suburban Newspapers and the Chicago Journal.  His novel, Gods of the Andes, was published by New Leaf Books in September 2006, and a collection of his short writings, 10,000 Years in the Suburbs, was published in 1994 by Lake View Press.  He lives in Chicago with his wife, Charlene.

Jack Zimmerman writes like the guy next door—if you happen to live next door to Richard Russo, Studs Terkel, or Mark Twain. Gods of the Andes is funny, touching, compassionate, the story of all of us who grew up on pavement in the city with the big shoulders. Harold Ramis

University Series, Tuesday, May 8, Tower Club
Charles Wheelan, club member and lecturer in public policy at the University of Chicago, will talk about his forthcoming book, An Introduction to Public Policy.  Cocktails at 5:15, lecture at 5:30, discussion to follow at 6:00.  $30 includes open bar and light hors d'oeuvres.  Bring your own cigars.  RSVP to Sarah Lewis.

Professor Wheelan has a PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago's Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton.  He is the author of Naked Economics, a book that the Chicago Tribune described as "clear, concise, informative, and (gasp) witty."   He also wrote a series of essays to accompany Terry Evans's photographs for their recent book, Revealing Chicago.  He is currently the author of a regular Yahoo! column, The Naked Economist, and a frequent contributor to the Motley Fool on National Public Radio and to 848 on WBEZ.  He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.

Reading for February

A Valentine for Miss Chesterfield

To my sweet cigarette I am singing
This joyous and bright bacca-role;
Just now to my lips she was clinging,
Her spirit was soothing my soul.
With figure so slender and dapper
I feel the soft touch of it yet,
Adorned in her dainty white wrapper,
How fair is my own cigarette!

'Twere better, perhaps, that we part, love;
'Twere better, if never we'd met.
Alas, you are part of my heart, love,
Destructive but sweet cigarette!

Though matchless, by matches she's fired,
And glows both with pleasure and pride;
By her soft, balmy breath I'm inspired,
And kiss and caress my new bride.
E'en the clouds of her nature are joyous,
Though other clouds cause us regret;
From worry and care they decoy us,
The clouds of a sweet cigarette.

'Twere better, perhaps, that we part, love;
'Twere better, if never we'd met.
Alas, you are part of my heart, love,
Destructive but sweet cigarette!

The houris in paradise living
Dissolve in the first love embrace,
Their life to their love freely giving,—
And so with my love 'tis the case;
For when her life's last spark is flying,
Still sweet to the end is my pet,
Who helps me, although she is dying,
To light up a fresh cigarette!

'Twere better, perhaps, that we part, love;
'Twere better, if never we'd met.
Alas, you are part of my heart, love,
Destructive but sweet cigarette!



Respectfully submitted by

 Curtis Tuckey, Secretary


A Valentine.
Of all the hearts that near to mine entwine,
none is so near or seems so dear
as this cigar of mine.