Saturday, May 13, 2006


The Godfather of Adana

We spent the weekend relaxing and soaking up the summer temperatures of Sacramento with Anastasia’s sister Monika Ashman. Though it was over 90 degrees in the shade, our visit was cool and comfortable with a barbecue party in the garden with Monika’s pals Colleen Stanturf and Sarah Obermeier.

In addition to the fabulous portabellos Colleen prepared, we had fresh local asparagus and sweet corn from a veg stand in Dixon, veggie kabobs, shrimp stirfry, and even some fresh coconut (after our agressive attempts with various tools and hardware to crack that sucker open).

Sasparilla (aka Sass), Monika’s regal black cat, played coy most of the weekend, but allowed us to bestow our congratulations on her for her 13th birthday Sunday.

Sunday afternoon we cruised through Sacramento’s Old Town which sports the original wild west style buildings and historic-looking storefronts from its pioneer past, complete with saloons, a riverboat, wooden “gangplank” sidewalks, and horsedrawn carriages.

On the airplane to Seattle that evening, we met The Godfather of Adana, Milton Ruffins. Now in the office of Washington’s Attorney General’s Office, Milton was once stationed in Adana, Turkey during his time in the US Air Force JAG Corps. Milton had such a wonderful time in Turkey that he’s maintained his friendships with his Turkish “family” for over 25 years, even acting as the godfather to his friend Cahit Gezir’s daughter Yasemin. Milton returns to Turkey frequently and even participated in Yasemin’s wedding, to which 4,000 guests came (many out of curiosity to see the American godfather)! Aside from being a one-man promotional team for Turkey, Milton also writes for an Olympia-based newspaper on cross-cultural events and issues.

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