Attended the Up Down Garden Party with Pete, Jose and Janny Garcia in residence. Event was a total success. Weather was fantastic; grilled sausages delish; Goose Island Matilda was flowing ice cold. Oh and by the way, the cigars given away at the event were very good too! My main man and Up Down Manager Phil Ledbetter really knows how to throw a great party. It was also good to see Madame Diana greeting the attendees warmly. She's getting up there in age but her charm and graciousness is still going strong.
Lastly, a major big shout out to Pete Johnson. Pete is arguably the cigar world equivalent of a major Hollywood celebrity ala a Brad Pitt or a Will Smith or a George Clooney. But where he stands out as a world class guy is in the manner in which you would never know the guy is a major (MAJOR) star/player in the cigar business. Extremely low key, gracious, even soft spoken; generous with his time in a conversation and NEVER an attitude whatsoever. My cigar collection has grown to the point where I donate rare, LE's, Limited Production, aged cigars to various charities for their silent auctions. Pete took the time out to personally sign THIRTEEN Boxes of his various cigars for me; even going so far as to suggest what color Sharpie should be used depending on the box color and finish of the box.
In a word, this guy is THE GUY! Although I find a lot of the cigar world icons to be super nice (Litto Gomez - an old school ultra cool guy) Pete, given his biker image (and I say that in a positive way), tattoo's, etc. could be all attitude, etc. - but he isn't. Number 1 in my book and I will always support whatever he puts out regardless of review just because he's that nice of a guy. (But at the end of the day - he continues to make the best @#$%^+_*%M:#@$ cigars out there!!!)