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Stogie Exclusive: Meet George, a Real Winner

19 Sep 2006

In our September 7 post, we told you how readers could win two free tickets to Cigar Artisans 2006 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino on in Tampa, Florida courtesy of To win the prize to the Thompson Cigar-sponsored festival of big names, great smokes, and serious giveaways, all readers had to do was send us an email before September 15 stating why you should be selected as the special correspondent for the event.

After sifting through dozens of competitive entries, George Edmonson of Tarpon Springs, Florida came out on top. His sincere enthusiasm for stogies and impressive journalism experience guaranteed a spot for him and his wife on Saturday, September 30 at one of the year’s premier cigar events.

It’s my pleasure to introduce George to Stogie Guys Nation. As per our request, he wrote the following bio for today’s post:

My eyes sure lit up when I read the email from telling me I’d won two free tickets to the Cigar Artisans 2006. It’s hard to imagine an event that promises more fun for a cigar smoker.

I’ve been smoking cigars for a few years, enjoying the hobby even more since last year’s move from Maryland to Tarpon Springs, Florida. Even with the Tampa’s rich cigar history, I didn’t know whether there would be as many great places to smoke as I had found in the DC area.

Well, I need never have worried. Within a comfortable drive from my new home there are so many wonderful places to buy cigars and enjoy a smoke. From the extraordinary selections at MJM in Palm Harbor and Cigars & Pars in New Port Richey, to the ambience of Cigar Central in St. Petersburg and the friendly atmosphere at Blue Smoke and Central Cigar – Tampa is a cigar smoker’s paradise. (And I didn’t even mention the rollers on the Tarpon Springs’ Sponge Docks. That’s one of their cigars I’m enjoying in the photo taken in my backyard.)

You asked about my favorite cigars and that’s tough. I’m constantly struck by how many really fine sticks there are these days. Fuente Sun Growns and Hemingways, Don Lino Africa, Toraño’s entire line, Padrons, Bolivar, Excalibur, CAO, Punch…And that’s really just a start off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m leaving many favorites out.

As far as my professional life is concerned, the move to Florida coincided with my retirement after nearly 35 years in newspapers. The last four or five were spent primarily covering the Pentagon for Cox Newspapers, experience I figure should come in handy when I get to talk to the cigar representatives at the event. Before that I was in Atlanta at the Journal-Constitution as an editor in a variety of roles. Earlier stops included about seven years as an editor at USA Today, beginning before the paper launched; the Rocky Mountain News in Denver; and the (late) Baltimore News American.

One of the primary issues I’m hoping to explore with the cigar experts at Cigar Artisans 2006 – and report back on – is the concept of aging cigars and whether manufacturers believe their cigars need time in the smoker’s humidor, or are ready to go as purchased. Another topic I hope to learn more about is how much of a threat cigar beetles really represent and whether manufacturers do the things we’ve heard about, such as flash freezing and irradiation. And, hopefully, I’ll be able to discuss even more.

So congratulations to George on winning the free tickets! We’re sure he will make a great correspondent to Cigar Artisans 2006. Be sure to keep it right here to read George’s report and see exclusive photos shortly after the event.

Patrick A


4 Responses to “Stogie Exclusive: Meet George, a Real Winner”

  1. Anonymous Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 6:47 am #

    Lucky, lucky. That's going to be one hell of an event.

  2. Jerry @ Stogie Revie Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 9:45 am #

    I know a George Edmonson! Couldn't of gone to a better guy! Have fun George…

  3. litedave Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Hey George, Hows those hurricanes down there. I'm in New Orleans for last 30 years. New Orleans unfortunatley does not have many cigar bars. The Tampa area is really good for stogie guys sounds like.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. The Stogie Guys » Blog Archive » Stogie News: Stogie Year In Review - Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    […] – On September 7 we announced a contest to win two tickets to Cigar Artisans 2006. The winner, George Edmonson, later joined as the Tampa Bureau Chief. […]