They say timing is everything, and it seems so right now. Not being a great study of history, I admit to knowing little about the personalities listed in this comp, and thus had little intention of participating. Then I spent the day yesterday helping my parents prepare for a downsizing move, mainly sorting through 60 years of accumulated stuff to decide what moves with them and what goes elsewhere. This book caught my eye:
My stepdad has been a fairly well acclaimed artist for decades here on Maui, and has accumulated a collection of books on the subject over the years that is vast and wide ranging. The majority of his collection will be donated to Friends of the Library. But happening upon this book, the author immediately beckoned my attention - so home it went with me.
I decided to pair this well written short treatise on the virtues of painting as a pastime with a relatively young Sir Winston (MOL Jun 17) and three fingers of some damn fine Bourbon. And what a unique treat of a pairing this was.
The book begins with several pages of an incredibly well written argument for taking up painting as a healthy antidote to the mental rigors of every day life...keeping in mind that every day life for Sir Winston Churchill was anything but ordinary.
The cigar starts out extraordinarily tasty, as one can expect from such a fine smoke. Sweet cedar, toffee, baking spices, and a touch of almond extract. Such a treat.
This is perfectly complimented by the Col. E. H. Taylor Rye Boubon, which has bright flavors of caramel and honey on a backbone of oaked goodness.
It turns out Winston Churchill discovered and took up painting at the age of 40. This quickly became an important outlet for a completely different type of mental stimulation than he was accustomed to, and became a necessary diversion from the darkness of war that surrounded him and consumed his daily attention. Far from being a commander and architect of such a high-stakes and challenging endeavor, I can certainly relate to the need for meaningful change ups in one’s life in order to achieve some sort of balance.
About halfway through the cigar, changes develop. The sharper notes of cedar soften into freshly baked bread, along with a more intense combination of honey, caramel, and of course the wonderful baking spices that really help define this cigar.
At one point in the book, Winston Churchill asserts that taking up painting as a pastime mid life requires a certain Audacity. In the excerpt below, he describes his very first experience of putting paint to canvas:
In the final throes of the cigar, a slight bite enters - a sign of youth no doubt - but the main flavors remain pleasant to the end. The Sir Winston is quite complex with slight changes throughout, yet remains very simple in its impeccable balance of flavors. A beautiful cigar that was perfectly complimented by a unique sample of the wisdom and wit of the man himself.