Sunday, April 30, 2006


EH Editors Find Themselves in Tennessee State Penitentiary

....Or we would have, had we not realized we missed the turn for CAO Cigars a mile earlier. We have to admit we were a bit dubious that we would have any audience come out that day given the rainy weather and the remote location, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a full parking lot and the second largest crowd of our entire tour so far!

The 42 people in attendance on Sunday, April 30th filled every available chair in the luxurious showroom of premium cigarmakers CAO, owned by the Özgeners, a family whose matron Esen seems to be the patriotic pinnacle of Nashville Turks. Esen, a former Vanderbilt professor of Child Development, had primed the audience well-- and admitted to having given away most of the books she had intended to sell that day. There were Turks of all generations present, as well as Esen’s book club friends who had already read and discussed the book. She even brought along her water aerobics classmates!

Adding to the inquisitive and participatory audience were: travel author and editor of the Perceptive Travel website Tim Leffel (Tim reviews Expat Harem in the May/June issue of PT's online magazine as well as blogs his impressions of this event on his BookLocker site); photographer and wanderer Todd Adams; Vanderbilt Professor of Psychology Dr. Richard Odom; Dr. Yıldız Binkley, Director of Libraries for Tennessee State University –Oprah Winfrey’s alma mater (Dr. Binkley and other audience members suggested EH is a project that would certainly appeal to Oprah and we agree!); German ladies Karsta Eryaşa and İnka Odom (İnka is seen as the local authority on some of the best things to see and do in Turkey!); and Barbara Card and Bruce Poag, Jennifer’s longtime friends from her high school days in Nashville.

Thank you to Madonna Coffman and Esen, Aylin, and Murat Özgener for a wonderful event! Thank you also, to Cynthia, Greg, and Hubbard Weil, who hosted us (along with their dogs Bubba and Cassius).

Milemarker 2000
While in Nashville, we clocked the 2000th mile of our tour, right at the intersection of Hillsboro Road and Harding Place in Green Hills, just a block from Nashville’s famed Bluebird Cafe, known for its history as a “launching pad” for country music songwriters.

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