| 9-Aug-08 |
humidor hangin' tonite with rocky...
Some background on Rocky …..
Rocky Patel is a shining example of what passion and hard work can achieve. He uses what he calls the shoe-leather express, his arduous but successful way of getting out the word on his cigars. He started in LA but now home and headquarters for the energetic 45-year-old is in Naples, FL but you rarely find him there. His road shows began in 1998, and they never seem to end: in both 2001 and 2002 he logged more than 300 days on the road. His travel schedule never seems to get any lighter.
Patel, an entertainment and product liability lawyer turned cigar salesman, had a cigar-smoking girlfriend who “made him” join the Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills. He went to his first cigar trade show in 1996 and was mobbed for business. This was the beginning of his strong relationship with the cigar industry as a major player.
Rocky says, “The problem with practicing law was it was like taking a final exam all day long. You’re always stressed. In this business I’m always thinking about cigars and how to make them better — but I’m excited about it. I’m a perfectionist and I live to win, not just play. The cigar business is the same thing: acquiring the best leaf, creating the best packaging — it’s constantly on my mind.”
Per a quote on his website, the Hollywood lawyer turned cigar maker loves the quality of Padron, the construction of Davidoff, and the consistency of Fuentes. Patel wants to incorporate all of these admirable qualities into his cigars and make them affordable. His are definitely great cigars, so it would seem he is succeeding.
Patel’s original Indian Tabac brand has nothing to do with his heritage (he was born in India, and his real first name is Rakesh) but everything to do with the on-again-off-again Indian Motorcycle brand. Patel, who owns the Indian Tabac Cigar Co. with a silent partner, has to pay Indian Motorcycle a licensing fee on the brand. In 2003 he put aside the Indian Tabac brand name he worked so hard to build to create another — Rocky Patel Vintage Series. It was risky, but a huge success.
Since both still exist, a point of clarification on the relative importance of the Indian Tabac and Rocky Patel brands to each other. As of the end of 2006, Indian Tabac sales were steady but made up only about a third of their revenue. The Rocky Patel branded lines made up the rest. When Rocky introduced the Vintage 1990 and 1992 Rocky Patel lines at the 2003 RTDA, it was a calculated risk. He wanted to change the direction of the products and marketing but felt it would be too difficult to do with the Indian Tabac brand. His intuition proved correct as the Vintage brands were a run away success. The Vintage 1990 and 1992 cigars are still the company’s flagship lines today. The Rocky Patel lines with their extensions now represent 70+% of company revenues.
Patel’s cigars are currently manufactured in Nestor Plasencia’s El Paraiso factory in Danli, Honduras. Rocky works with Plasencia to develop and refine the blends they want to offer. In fact, Rocky spends 60-70% of his time in Honduras working with the factory. The rest of his time is split up between marketing and running the operations.
- self-portrait, ks -
| 4-Jul-08 |
Arts in the Aspens:
a unique twist on fine art
By Sara Miller , Canyon Courier, Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008
Robert Frost wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” In the case of artists Kevin Scofield and Christian Dore, good aspens make good neighbors. Or, inversely, good neighbors are brought together by good aspens. Most importantly, great art made by good neighbors looks even greater hanging on good aspens.
Let’s start at the beginning. In 2001, photographer Kevin Scofield and his wife, Pam, relocated to Morrison. By day, Scofield is the news operations manager at Fox 31 Denver. In his free time, Scofield is a fine art photographer who specializes in “adventurously manipulated photography.” More on that later …
Several years later, painter Christian Dore and his wife, Kate, moved in next door to Scofield. Dore’s day job is working as an on-air designer for Starz Entertainment. His free time is spent creating vivid paintings whose abstract images and textured surfaces provide the viewer with a mind’s-eye view of the Colorado landscape.
Between the houses grew a stand of aspen trees. The trees were being choked out by knee-high brush and a dense thicket of shrubs. A lot of back-breaking hours and a few colorful words later, the Dore’s and the Scofield’s found themselves with a prime meeting ground.
The couples often get together in the reclaimed aspen grove to share an evening cocktail or the details of their latest adventures. It was on one of these languorous nights that Dore and Scofield created the idea for their latest fine art show, Arts in the Aspens.
“We’d never heard of anyone doing something like this. Living up here in the midst of all this beauty is so inspiring for both of us as artists. We figured, ‘What better way to display our work than to hang it in the trees?’ ” says Dore.
Scofield and Dore gathered up their latest works and hung a show — on the aspen trunks. The show’s tagline was a cryptic phrase: “Come and see what hangs in the undergrowth.” Admittedly, walking up the long driveway and into the aspen forest was a bit like falling down the rabbit hole. Sunlight streamed through the leaves, burnishing the otherworldly images of both artists.
Scofield describes his work as “adventurously manipulated.” Viewing his painstakingly altered digital photographs is like taking a trip through a parallel universe. “Deer Creek Saucers” is a stunning aerial photo of Deer Creek Canyon with three UFOs hovering in the foreground. “Stable Apparition” is a black-and-white photo of a rugged ranch hand whose head has transformed into the horse that he is bridling.
Scofield experiments not only with images but with artistic media as well. He often prints his images on canvas or watercolor papers, and even hand-paints some details with acrylics after printing. These techniques give the photographs additional texture and depth.
Artistically, Dore’s work is entirely different than Scofield’s, but his paintings also take the viewer on a journey of the mind. Born and raised in Kent, England, Dore’s professional career brought him to Colorado. His art has taken on a new life since he moved to Colorado. Heavily influenced by Native American imagery and what he sees in nature, Dore frequently uses complex symbolism within his paintings to tell a story.
For example, a litter of fox kits was born this spring in the valley across from Dore’s home. The oblong images in the corner of “Five” represent the young kits shaded by the aspens and evergreens of the surrounding forest.
In “Crow,” Dore uses a brilliant blue palette to capture the iridescent feathers hidden in a crow’s plumage. The bird’s wise eye stares at the viewer from within a flurry of abstract feathers and wings.
Before applying the paint, Dore textures each canvas with loose swaths of gesso, a paste-like substance made from plaster of Paris or chalk and glue. In some paintings, you’ll even see bits of window screen or hardware beneath the endless layers of paint. Each textural element draws you more deeply into the painting’s intricate narrative.
Whatever the subject, Scofield’s and Dore’s works are well thought out, as well as flawlessly executed. It’s obvious that many hours of thought and discussion are behind each work. It is only fitting that the aspen grove in which these two artists ponder their lives and work becomes a gallery in which it is displayed.
For more information on the artists or Arts in the Aspens visit;
www.kevinscofield.com or www.christiandore.com.
Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.
| 30-Jun-08 |
Plates, Screws, Pins, Pain
After spending the past five days in excruciating pain,
with little more than her skin and a ligament or two keeping her foot attached to her leg,
I am happy to report Pam’s surgery this morning was a complete success!
The patient is now at home and resting comfortably…
(Resting comfortably? perhaps unconscious, in a pharmaceutical stupor would be a bit more accurate!)
Ahead of her, the long, difficult road to recovery!
X-Ray images courtesy of;
Swedish Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Surgery Center
| 26-Jun-08 |
Going Green, Bike to Work Day and the Broken Ankle
When a broken ankle occurs, the injury may be to the end of the tibia (the medial malleolus) or to the fibula (the lateral malleolus),
or in Pam’s case…both. A bi-malleolus fracture…
The tibia, also called the shin bone, is the larger, weight-bearing bone of the lower leg. Of the weight transferred through the leg, about 90% is carried by the tibia.
The fibula is the smaller bone on the outside of the leg. It only carries about 10% of your body weight.
Both the tibia and the fibula wrap around the talus to form the ankle joint.
The bony prominences at the ankle are called the medial malleolus (the end of the tibia) and the lateral malleolus (the end of the fibula).
The ends of both these bones, which also provide the attachment point for ligaments, have broken away…
Surgery, scheduled for Monday…
- ks -