Lifestyle:Virtual Herfs, The New Temporary Normal – By Mike Holmes

As of the weekend of March 20-22, the cigar community has seen a tremendous spike among cigar enthusiasts who have started herfing with brothers and sisters of the leaf from all parts of the United States. “Virtual Herfing” isn’t a new phenomenon, but the sudden spike in use of technology due to the Corona Virus or COVID-19 has many cigar enthusiasts turning to virtual herfs to fill the void of not being able to visit their local cigar lounge and to combat loneliness.

No matter which state you live in, we are pretty much all in the same boat – so moral support during this rough time is very important for mental health. We are facing many uncertainties and life for many isn’t “Normal” right now. As a result of this, numerous cigar shops, mainly the ones that serve alcohol are having to tweak their business model to avoid large gatherings of people to be in compliance with the orders of their state. Many brick and mortar retail locations are offering curbside pick up and delivery during this time of social distancing to limit contact with others. It is important to make sure we do our best to support our local cigar lounges even if they are not able to conduct business in the “usual way” for now.

One of the best ways to pass time during this social distancing period is to smoke the cigars that you pick up at your local lounge during a virtual herf! As a matter of fact I have had the privilege of joining a couple of virtual herfs this past week and can personally attest that the interaction with brothers and sisters of the leaf from different parts of the United States this has been top notch!

How do I start?

I would start by keeping an eye out on social media for someone hosting a virtual herf. Many of the herfs are held on Zoom.com, which is an app that allows participants to come together and video chat. It is free, but with limited capabilities. They do offer paid plans that provide more advanced capabilities. If you are just a participant and not a host you won’t have to come out of pocket if you don’t want to. Paying for zoom is more of a benefit for someone who wants to use it for hosting and live broadcasting on Facebook like we do on Stogie Press.

After you find someone hosting a virtual herf all you have to do is click the link and join. Then turn on your camera and audio and you’re on! You can view individual participants in a square and see everyone in front of you or you can swipe in the app and see whoever is talking and the screen switches back and forth. Zoom is a very easy app to use for doing a virtual herf. You don’t have to use Zoom you can use other multi user platforms to chat with people like Skype, Instagram Live, or Microsoft Team. I use zoom and so does Boston Jimmie for recording “Taking It To The Nub” every Saturday at 7pm. Naturally this is the platform that is easiest for us.


Stogie Press will be hosting a V-Herf as part of Taking It To The Nub this Saturday at 7PM.

Topic: Taking It To The Nub – Virtual Herf Episode
Time: Mar 28, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/942407227?pwd=TFl3amFrSTZoVnNTamZPOEZlcEJPZz09

Meeting ID: 942 407 227
Password: 028788


My Experience on Virtual Herfs

Friday night

My first experience on a multi person virtual herf came late Friday night. I jumped on Instagram live with my buddy Diggins from the I’d Tap that Cigar show and we started off having a live herf on Instagram for a little while. Our other buddy Moe from Frontline Cigars then invited us over to a virtual herf that he was apart of with Rob from The Cigar Talk Podcast, Tim and Kyle from Dad’s Smoking Cigars, and a few other awesome brothers of the leaf throughout the night. The conversation was raw and uncut and ranged from dirty humor to lots of love and support for one another. This particular herf lasted for around 5 hours, although I joined for only about 2 or 3 hours. The herf was very entertaining and at one point everyone was taking shots, so this inspired me to get my bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey and join in the fun. I had quite a few shots and was feeling good. After the chat ended Diggins and I chatted for a while on Instagram but not publicly.

Overall, the whole v-herf experience was awesome and goes to show, that although we have to modify how we are living our lives right now, the one consistent thing is a true brotherhood through the cigar community. We need to support each other as much as we can right now. Although Friday was a really late night I had even more fun on Saturday and Sunday night!

Saturday and Sunday Night

After Taking It to The Nub, I ventured over to the Frontline Cigars v-herf at around 9:30/Est and 8:30 CT. Some of the same people were there that night along with new participants. Over the course of the weekend I smoked with people from Florida, Chicago, North Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Minnesota, Virginia, Boston and so many other states. Every subject was covered except for politics and religion and there were still plenty of things to talk about.

Cigars transcend race, religion, nationality and any other label that is placed upon us from birth. When you get together with different personalities from different parts of the country you begin to realize that we are all going through similar circumstances so the best thing that we can all do is to be there for one another, in whatever capacity you are able. Above all, just a listening ear will get us through these hard times that we are facing, until life gets back to “normal”. Even then we need to carry this over to our lives and keep the same energy and foster those relationships that were made during a difficult time.

After the weekend

After the weekend full of v-herfs the fun continued after work and other responsibilities. Moe from Frontline cigars kept the v-herfs going and what a week it has been! Every night after work I spent the last several days chatting with everyone that I met previously and even some new faces. As a matter of fact, Moe decided to make it a regular thing. If you want to participate add me on fFacebook: Mike Holmes .

For more information and to look out for Virtual Herfs add Moe on Facebook: Moe Madgia and also like his page: Frontline Cigars. Moe has a cigar called “Blue Line” that he sells and donates a part of the proceeds go to help the sick and injured first responders specifically law enforcement, firemen and military.

Boston Jimmie also occasionally has a virtual herf going on as well. The best way to stay informed is to add Boston Jimmie on Facebook and also follow Stogie Press, since you are reading this on Stogie Press I assume that most of you already follow Boston Jimmie!

Other Virtual Herfs going on (times may vary so follow up with info)

  • Cigar DOJO (Follow Cigar Dojo for info)
  • Jennifer Nichole (Add or follow on Facebook for times)

If you know of any more virtual herfs please comment on this article.

Conclusion

Virtual Herfing doesn’t have to be just a thing we do because we have to limit human contact, we should all strive to v-herf throughout the year because the cigar world is very small and everyone knows everyone anyway! Is this the new normal? Or just the temporary normal? You decide! As for me I am going to do more v-herfing when I cannot be with my cigar family in person because I have never received as much support from any other circle than the cigar community. So sit back, relax and connect and keep each other from going crazy!

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