Cigar Lifestyle

That Other Cigar Binder: Back Porch Cigars & Conversations with My Son

Reading Time: 3 minutes
A Guest Post from Shane Speal

Worldwide, I’m known as “The King of the Cigar Box Guitar,” but at home, I’m just “Dad.”  I have two boys and my eldest son recently graduated high school.  The closer he got to the end of the school year, the more I noticed him paying attention to the little things that grown-ups do:  paying bills, doing home improvements and even enjoying a good cigar on the back porch.   

I’ve always let him try a puff on my cigar, describing the flavors and aromas.  It was a way of piquing his curiosity on finer things in life, even as we live in a blue-collar neighborhood.  He’d take the puff, smile and hand it back.  

shane speal sharing cigars with my son lessons

Now that he’s older, he’s been asking for his own cigar as I pull out the humidor.  I smile and open the lid, telling him to select one. 

Allowing him to smoke a cigar with me has opened up new conversations and connections with him that I’ve always dreamed about.  It’s a deeper communion with this kid that I sacrificed so much for over the years.   

Here’s what I’ve learned: 

  • Showing your son the art of cutting and lighting a cigar teaches him respect and reverence.  Because modern culture has promoted cheap cigars and rolling blunts, this step shows him to rise above what’s hip and concentrate on something finer.  “Here, you toast the tip of the cigar first,” I tell him as I rotate it slowly around the flame.  (I learned this technique from Cigar Advisor’s video with Nick Perdomo.) 

  • Sharing a cigar with your son tells him that you view him as an adult.  Conversations are deeper, more mature and focused on how to navigate adulthood. When your son knows you view him as an adult, he’ll start asking about the challenges you had at his age.  This is where wisdom is cultivated. 

  • A good cigar will cause you to tune-out distractions of life.  I’ll be honest, my boys spend way too much time in their rooms gaming on their devices.  But the appeal of a good cigar, smoked late at night is the perfect thing to draw my older son out of his cave.  Time stops when we’re sharing sticks.   

  • Teaching cigar culture is a great way to show your son how to be a good host to other men.  When we have friends or family over for backyard barbecues, I always bring out the humidor after the meal.  Because my friends aren’t frequent cigar smokers, they see this as a true delicacy when they visit my house.  My son has been observing this and is noticing the power of being a gentleman host.   

  • Trying different cigars together opens up a new friendship with your son as you discuss flavor profiles.  It’s just one more way to connect with him and learn about something together.   

  • Currently, our cigar of choice is the Drew Estate Tabak Especial DulceThe sweet tip and coffee infused tobacco serves as a dessert after dinner for us.  It’s mild enough that it won’t pummel his palate and serves as a nice stepping stone into cigar appreciation.  I’m looking forward to trying samplers of many other cigars together. 

  • I’m not looking to just be a cigar smoking buddy with my son, trying to be his best friend.  Hell no.  There is no substitute for me being a father.  However, there are lessons to be learned in his life that can be taught on the back porch with a fine cigar and good conversation with someone who cares about his venture into adulthood. 

I’ve always been thankful to the cigar companies for making the beautiful boxes that I fashion into guitars.  Now I’m even more thankful for them as they draw my son and I even closer.    


Hear Shane’s music on Spotify and other streaming services.  For more info, check out and   

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Diana Klunk
2 years ago

And in 3 short years you can introduce him to the amazing Shane Speal Old Fashioned! Yum!

Shane Speal
2 years ago
Reply to  Diana Klunk

Maple syrup is the secret ingredient!

Old wolf
2 years ago

Now that’s parenting , you can’t stop our kids from trying things in life . But you can teach they the right way to see if they really like it or cause friends talked them into it . When friends show them things it’s never the right way . But if you teach your kids things with no pressure on them , they learn the truth about everything they see and hear about . That’s what raising our is about . Or at least that my oldest son said about the way I raised him , his sister and younger brother . Their all in their late 30 now and doing great in life . I even got them and my grand kids playing cbgs lol

Shane Speal

Shane Speal

Shane Speal is a blues musician and the lead instigator for the modern cigar box guitar movement. His book, Making Poor Man's Guitars (2018 Fox Chapel Publishing) features cigar box guitar plans and more. His music can be heard on Spotify and other streaming services. For more info, check out and (Photo by Kevin Stiffler)

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