After a short illness, Gary J. Arzt passed away on Saturday, April 2nd, 2011. He was a staunch proponent of our cigar rights and well-known in the cigar community. He was also a great guy.
I first met Gary in late 2009 in Miami. There was an event planned at Cuban Crafters and I happened to get there a few hours before the event started. Gary was there to facilitate a meeting.
Not knowing Gary’s background at the time, the first thing I noticed was how respectfully people treated Gary, almost in a deferential way.
After his meeting, I had the pleasure of talking to Gary for most of the evening while we enjoyed wine, rum, cigars and hors d’oeuvres. He was very kind and took the time to introduced me to everyone who was anyone in the cigar biz and there were many owners and reps that night.
About a month later, I had another opportunity to met Gary, this time in Tampa. He had a meeting in Tampa that also coincided with a Cain tour stop at Tampa Humidor. Again, it was just a great time talking with Gary and hearing about his past experiences and taking in some of the knowledge of the cigar industry that he possessed.
Sadly, that was the last time I got to see Gary, although we were in contact via email and phone conversations.
Upon hearing of Gary’s death, I had a tree planted in the Holy Land of Israel as a living reminder to Gary’s memory. I felt it was a fitting tribute for a great, kind and generous man.
zikhrono livrakha – זיכרונו לברכה – May his memory be a blessing