SS December 2015

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December 2015 SMOKESHOP 35 A friendly young man visiting from Missoula, Montana is deftly packing, then lighting, a beautiful church warden pipe. "I've been thinking about pipes and to- bacco blends for a while now, and with the great selection and advice from Vaughn's associates, this was the perfect time to get my first 'real' pipe," he said smiling. Boyd's experience of more than 10 years at a California tobacco shop prior to taking the keys to the Deadwood business gave her the necessary insight on how to develop a complete tobacco operation. "Customers are always willing to try new products that fit their lifestyle and recreation demands," she said. "We can supply everything from a great pipe blend all the way up to an hour-long pre- mium cigar for that special occasion." This writer had to bow out before the last notes of the band faded and clos- ing time forced the Deadwood Tobacco customers back out into the night some where near 2 a.m. But early Sunday morn- ing, I return to find the coffee pot full and some very tasty baked breakfast goods in the seating area near the humidors. These have been supplied by a local Deadwood couple that have put a Sunday morning cigar on their weekly schedule. "Vaughn and the crew work so hard during the rally, and we know they can't take normal food breaks and such," the guest hostess said while topping up my much needed cup 'o joe. Crabtree and his compadre Tim are now on the floor to assist Storm Boen with Operation: Cigars for Warriors, which collects donated premium cigars and accessories and distributes them to American service men and women in combat zones. They are garnering huge support from the Deadwood Tobacco cli- entele, which is to be expected given the number of ex-military service men and women that attend the rally. "It's been said that more than 80 percent of the riders every year have a service history. In a lot of cases, the ride is a way to reconnect annually with past brothers and sisters in arms," said Tim. The afternoon crush of customers is quickly upon us and bartenders Kristine, Michelle, and Donna keep up a steady pace popping bottles and refreshing cocktails. Additional hands on deck to- day to help at the store include Patrick Carr of Cigar Rights of America; Blood- line's Micah Johnson; and 'Wild' Bill Rectenwald, Deadwood's Drew Estate sales rep. As the evening draws to a close, a sudden storm has engulfed the Black Hills region and the next few hours of treacherous hail, driving rain, and gale- force winds have sent riders seeking im- mediate shelter. "Every year we get some weird weather during the rally week… It's a tradition," says Crabtree with a wink. A wise man once said that timing is ev- erything, and I take that advice to heart as I start saying my good-byes to my newfound circle of friends and settle into my rainy night's accommodations. The next morning, Monday, August 3, 2015, is the official start of the 75th Anni- versary of the Sturgis Rally, and the town of Sturgis has pegged the official number of at- tendees at 739,000, but officials suggest the number could actually be over a million. The Sturgis Rally may be the biggest local event of the year, but it's by no means the only one. Boyd and her Deadwood Tobacco team will be prepared, the seasoned retailing veterans they have become in handling these waves of customers. Deadwood, S.D. may not be the same gritty frontier town it was when legends like Wild Bill Hickok and Ca- lamity Jane roamed the streets, but it certainly hasn't lost any of its color. > Left (l. to r.): Micah Johnson, owner, Bloodline Cigars; Chris Stone, east coast sales representative, Drew Estate; Fabien Ziegler, vice president of sales, Drew Estate; Vaughn Boyd, Deadwood Tobacco Company. Above: Fabien Ziegler, national events manager at Drew Estate; Ron "Doc" Maltin, Smokeshop Magazine author.

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