When a Cigar-Lover Becomes an Institution

By Dylan Bailey

Scott Weaver, a retired Navy man, is an institution of sorts. His life is a blend of adventure and camaraderie. I met with him recently to uncover his vibrant journey and learn more about his unique bond with cigars and Amelia Island.

Born in 1954, Scott hailed from French Lick, Indiana, which is known for its ornate hotels and golf courses. His quaint town, despite its relatively small population, was home to two remarkable hotels with exquisite aesthetic appeal. These architectural wonders would later influence Scott’s appreciation for unique and grand spaces, especially cigar lounges.

Scott’s time with cigars began as a teenager. At the age of 13, his grandfather introduced him to his first cigar. Though the initial encounter resulted in a rather unfavorable reaction, it marked the beginning of Scott’s lifelong reverence for them. Over the years, he honed his knowledge and palate, growing admiration for the art that went into crafting cigars.

Attracted by the lure of adventure and duty, Scott enlisted in the Navy. His time in the Navy exposed him to various cultures, experiences – cigar bars around the world. From the small, intimate ones to the more grand establishments, Scott’s curiosity and love for cigars grew. He discovered the joy of sitting back with a good cigar, engaging in stimulating conversations, and soaking in the conviviality that such spaces offered.

Scott’s life was not just about work and cigars. He held a deep-seated love for backpacking. His adventures often saw him embarking on daring hikes across the United States. One such memorable event was his 50th anniversary hike into Charlies Bunion, which he commemorated by donning a Hawaiian shirt and breaking out a flask of Baileys.

In 1988, Scott and his wife Barbara moved to Amelia Island. The island, with its pristine beaches and welcoming community, was the perfect place for them to seek a peaceful life. Scott quickly fell in love with the island’s laid-back lifestyle and the sense of community it offered.

After 30 years in the Navy, Scott retired in 2010. In his quest to combat boredom, Scott stumbled upon a cigar store, Waterwheel Cigar, on Amelia Island. His frequent visits to the store and his knack for cigars led to him accepting a part-time job there. That soon grew into his being the general manager, and becoming a familiar and jovial spirit to all who entered.

Scott cherished the diversity and the sense of community that Waterwheel Cigar offered. He enjoyed the lively discussions and the friendly banter. It was here that he truly understood the power of a good cigar–its ability to bring people together, spark conversations, and create lasting memories.

Scott’s love for cigars was not just about the act of smoking. It was about the experience, the history, and the friendships that came with it. He believed cigars to be a great equalizer, bringing together diverse individuals and fostering conversations. For Scott, smoking a cigar was not about showing off or indulging in a harmful habit. It was about cherishing the art, appreciating the craftsmanship, and enjoying the shared fellowship.

Now that Scott is retired, for the second time, he looks forward to a life filled with leisure, adventure, and of course, cigars. His plans include continuing his love for backpacking, spending time with his wife, and being a part of the cigar community on Amelia Island. His journey so far has taught him the importance of slowing down and cherishing the simple things in life, like a good cigar and a great conversation.

Scott Weaver’s story is a testament to a life well-lived, full of adventures, passions, and a deep-rooted love for cigars. His journey serves as a reminder to all of us to follow our passions, cherish our hobbies, and most importantly, enjoy the simple pleasures of life.