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Michael Sickler
Poet
I started going to Rocky’s Cigar Shop on North Salina Street to smoke cigars. The city had that big push to resurrect Little Italy. They started out with these little Italian shops, with Italian men sitting outside, drinking their espresso, smoking cigars. Sadly, that seemed to go nowhere. With harder times, many of the shops closed. Of course, Rocky’s is still there. Rocky’s will always be there—open twenty-four seven. There are a lot of Italian men who go to Rocky’s. It’s also a real cross section of people. A cigar shop, like a barber shop, is one of the last places to have a small-town feel to it. You meet some interesting characters. Everybody from the down and out buying lotto tickets to “hit it” to wealthy Italian men sitting around, smoking a cigar, and talking about their mothers.

Men in fedoras
sit in Italian cafes
espresso and smoke.

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