20 March 2007

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.
Informal Smoker, Tuesday, March 20, Tower Club, 5:00
Vowing "I shall return," cigar club anchor David O'Connor (Holy Cross '68), with a retinue of a dozen or so others, retreated from Chicago, Illinois to Dublin, Ireland for a St. Patrick's Day celebration, knowing full well he would not return in time to recount anecdotes for the Cigar Society on the 65th anniversary of Douglas MacArthur's famous utterance, on March 20, 1942 in South Australia, as he retreated, on orders from President Franklin Roosevelt, from his worsening position in Bataan, in the Battle of the Philippines.  Nevertheless the Cigar Society shall meet for an Informal Smoker in the bar at the Tower Club on this day, from 5-7pm (at least).  No need to RSVP.

One notable MacArthur anecdote concerns both the Philippines and the Chicago-based William Wrigley Company: "In August 1943, US Colonel Courtney Whitney suggested that Macarthur's “I shall return" promise be used as propaganda to the Philippine people and that items bearing the message be dropped from planes over the Philippines. Not long after his forced departure from the Philippines, General MacArthur bought up the entire production of chewing gum made in the Wrigley’s factories in Australia, and dropped the lot over the Japanese-occupied Philippines. Each piece of gum was wrapped in paper bearing the promise 'I shall return —MacArthur'." 

This March also marks the 105th anniversary of William Wrigley, Jr.'s free distribution of chewing gum as an incentive to buy a cake of soap from his father's William Wrigley Company, whose flagship product at the time was Wrigley's Scouring Soap.


In our last meeting, Robert Wallace (BA Columbia '72, MA Oxford '77, PhD Harvard '84), professor of classics at Northwestern University and cigar club regular, gave us a blockbuster lecture on the history of coinage in A Whirlwind Tour through Greek and Roman Coins.  Etched in our memory is Professor Wallace's delightfully learned storytelling as he balanced a cigar and a scotch in one hand and a pointer in the other while gesticulating alternately between projections of brilliant slides of coins and an enormous map of ancient Greece.  Guests included John Morrison, OBE (Hon.), whose Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race Dinner at the University Club adventitiously introduced Professor Wallace to the Cigar Society, and Carl Subak, numismatic historian and author of Large Scale Coins of the World.

Reading for Early Spring

"Don't be flowery, Jacob."   Charles Dickens

When the year is young, what sweets are flung
By the violets, hiding, dim,
And the lilac that sways her censers high,
Whilst the skylark chants a hymn!

How sweet is the scent of the daffodil bloom,
When blithe spring decks each spray,
And the flowering thorn sheds rare perfume
Through the beautiful month of May!

What a dainty pet is the mignonette,
Whose sweets wide scattered are!
But sweeter to me than all these yet
Is the scent of a prime cigar!

Delicious airs waft the fields of June,
When the beans are all in flower;
The woodruff is fragrant in the hedge,
And the woodbine in the bower.

Sweet eglantine doth her garlands twine
For the blithe hours as they run,
And balmily sighs the meadow-sweet,
That is all in love with the sun,

Whilst new-mown hay o'er the hedgerows gay
Flings odorous airs afar;
Yet sweeter than these on the passing breeze
Is the scent of a prime cigar.

When all the beauties of Flora's court
Smile on the gay parterre,
What glorious color, what exquisite form,
And dainty scents are there!

They bask in the beam, and bend by the stream,
Like beautiful nymphs at play,
Holding dew-pearls up in each nectar cup
To the glorious God of Day.

Oh, their lives are sweet, but all too brief,
And death doth their sweetness mar;
But fragrance fine is forever thine,
My well-beloved cigar!


University Series, Tuesday, April 3, Tower Club, 5:15 pm
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 Laura Herold, Tower Club Manager.

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, 5:15 pm
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 Laura Herold, Tower Club Manager.

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.


Respectfully submitted by

 Curtis Tuckey, Secretary

University Club Cigar Society Officers for 2007. David O'Connor, Supreme Allied Commander.  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 S. O'Brien, Stentorian. John H. Nelson, Herald.