In 1996, the cigar boom was in full swing. Clinton was president, Schwarzenegger graced the cover of Cigar Aficionado, and President John F. Kennedy's humidor was sold at Sotheby's auction for a record $575,000. That same year, I made my way into a cigar shop in Southern California, purchasing Prometheus Neptune, my first premium cigar lighter. Over the years, the lighter has seen some rough times, being passed around at many poker tables and cigar events. My Prometheus Neptune performed flawlessly for 14 years. A friend of mine once referred to his hot cup of coffee as a "familiar old friend". Indeed, this old lighter felt familiar like an old friend. Last year, I had to send my old friend to Prometheus Service Center for repair.
The lighter was so old that there were no photos available on the Prometheus web site for its discontinued models. To be completely honest, when I sent the lighter back to Prometheus Service Center, I had no expectation of getting it back because of its age. But my Prometheus Neptune was not only repaired but also restored to its former glory. It performed just like when I first purchased it 14 years ago.
When I fired it after getting it back, I felt like I was standing in that cigar shop 14 years ago, testing it for the first time. I would like to express my great appreciation for returning my old friend, which has served me so well over the years. Maybe, someday, this old Prometheus lighter will sell at Sotheby's auction for $575,000. You never know.
Michael Crupi, who is a financial advisor (www.thetrustpros.com), also serves as an Ambassador for The Cigar Rights of America (www.cigarrights.org), and publishes Crupi's Corner (www.crupiscorner.com), a men's interest blog where he reviews, among other things, cigars.