Tiger, did you ever read my QUIT SMOKING tale? I had smoked my entire life.. I don't remember even starting, but as a young farm boy it was just accepted...Little cloth bags of BULL DURHAM and ZIG-ZAG papers, the latter would be substituted with toilet tissue if the Zags run out... Oh, I smoked them all...LUCKY STRIKES, OLD GOLD, CAMELS.....the last smoke I had was SALEMS...I remember it well...the time of day, the exact date, and the
location...8 March 1968 way up on the DMZ Vietnam....body counts generally exceeded the hours of the day...that early morning, before the coffee and the first 'nail' of the day, those little bandy-legged bottom-feeders began hammering the forces with artillery and rockets.. any
over-shoots to the Dong Ha Combat base with the Marines come into Seabee Camp Barnes, 2 klicks to the south....
I had scrambled for the trench without my SALEMS...there, all hunkered down, a smoke sure would have been.....what...reassuring, comforting, brassy-feeling...Yes, troops do pray when the drama plays with their otherwise, carefree nature...Yup Tiger, long, loud, and frequent the
words that amounted to begging passed my purpled, scrunched-up lips in the form I meant to be prayers...
Did I make it without rating a 'purple' ..yeah,not a blemish...did I keep fright-uttered promise, you wonder....Dang, that's is onto 40 years now...had grand kids and
great grand kids born in that time frame...never bought a smoke of any kind to celebrate those
events as I'd done with my own kids...I passed out candy bars... amazingly now, as a recollection, I don't remember missing smoking that much....could that have been a positive
feeling to the sincere 'begging' done that day amongst the smoke and noise. JW

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