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Cachao

El Alcalde (The Mayor)

I wrote this 9 years ago, following the death of Cuban composer Israel “Cachao” Lopez. I had lit a Padron 1964 Anniversary Maduro. A flood of emotion came over me that night. Heritage, loss and Read more…

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Marcos Ruiz

Marcos Ruiz

Marcos is a black beans and rice fed Miami native. The son of Cuban exiles, he grew up steeped in Cuban Guaracha with a Miami Freestyle tinge. He enjoys venturing out on Biscayne Bay on his paddle board and trying to strike up conversations at various cigar haunts throughout the Magic City. Marcos works in the insurance industry, but don't hold that against him. He is also husband to his wife Ceci and they have 2 "Chiluban" (Chilean and Cuban) children. Marcos is the founder of El Lector and the dubious gathering of men (or gathering of dubious men if you prefer), The Eagle & Child Men's Forum, both of which have been secretly conjuring up stories shrouded amidst a cloud of smoke in Miami for 8 years.

Matthew Hedinger

Matthew Hedinger

Matt grew up in the shadow of Chicago, son of an artist/educator mother and a police officer father. Venturing out on his own to see the world he spent his entire military career (3 months) an hour away from home at Great Lakes Naval Base. When he followed his calling to go into professional ministry it led him to Covenant College in Lookout Mt and eventually to Miami.
It was in Miami that he found a family and a home.

Matt loves movies, cigars, grilling and shooting. It’s also been said by his lovely wife Jennifer that his priorities are 1.God 2.Cheese 3.Her. He also loves introducing great music to his 9 yr old daughter.

Victor Labrada

Victor Labrada

Victor is a sincere man from where the palm trees grow. Victor graduated from the University of Miami back when they were still good at football, and received his Master’s of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, where they still routinely beat the Lutherans in friendly soccer matches.


Victor celebrates his Cuban heritage through cooking delicious food and watching baseball. When he’s not doing that, he likes to kayak, read, and play board games. At the same time.

Mark Norman

Mark Norman

Mark's mom always taught him, "If you can read and follow directions, you can do anything." Mark adds "especially if there's a YouTube tutorial." Growing up in Indiana, but the Chicago part of Indiana, Mark developed a deep love for the Cubs, Apple computers, and Jeeps. In college he developed a taste for beer, and moving to Miami in 2006, added cigars to his affinities.

A husband to Crystal, father to Addison, Michael, and David, Mark is rarely well-rested, but always seems to be having a good time.

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Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. -Plato

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