Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bonjour, Cleveland!

Yes, Cleveland!  I loved it!

This was my first visit to Cleveland, ever.  What a treat.  I had been invited to speak at the 21st Century Club to a group of lovely femmes and total Francophiles.
They were so gracious.  And notice how they thoughtfully arranged sunflowers on the tables and added Provence blue napkins.  Tres francaise!
But first, the hostesses arranged for me to be picked me up at the airport in style--a town car, driven by a very handsome driver.  I would tell you his name, but he wanted to remain mysterious.  Also, very French!
He gave me a history lesson on Cleveland.  Did you now it was originally given to New Englanders by the King of England in the 17th century because the early settlers had suffered so much during the first few brutally cold winters in the New World?  In fact, the first settlers were actually called "The Sufferers."  After such a harsh time in New England, they were given land in Ohio--which was truly the wilderness back then.  That's why it's called "The Western Reserve."  So, what did these brave souls do with all this beautiful land in the west?  Why, they created replicas of the beautiful villages they left behind.  Look.
When I woke up the first morning, I opened my eyes, looked out the window and for a fraction of a second, I imagined I was back in my my childhood home in Connecticut!
I was staying at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club.  
It was really very old school.  Very Ralph Lauren.
Early American chic.
Oh, and look--I found a family of foxes sitting in the den!
My "Bonjour, Happiness!" event was held at The Country Club.  There was coq au vin for lunch.  So French and very yummy!  I really had a wonderful time with the ladies of Cleveland and even got to play my concertina.  (Not very well, but still--I got an A for effort.)
 Afterwards, thanks to my lovely driver, I got to visit The Cleveland Art Museum.  I met up with my friend, Norma.  She has always lived in Cleveland and loves it.  She's also married to a scientist, like moi.  Anyway, lovely Norma met up with me at the museum and we went on a whirlwind tour (as I only had an hour and a half before my driver would whisk me away to the airport for my journey home.)
Here I am with a mysterious femme in white by the famous John Singer Sargent.
Finally, it was time to leave, beautiful Cleveland.  Merci beaucoup to all the lovely ladies (and the gents, too) that made my stay so memorable.
Oh, and if you want me to come and speak in your town, well then just say, bonjour!
(Oh, and send me an email, bien sur,)
Au revoir, Cleveland!


  1. Chere Jamie,

    What a lovely experience! Those little foxes are too sweet:)
    And, since you asked..please come to the Twin Cities!!! We are very nice! hee..
    Nous sommes tres Francophile ici, with all of our French explorers;) We would love to hear you speak, and play your concertina!

    - Irina

  2. Bonjour, Irina and dikvipreal--Merci beaucoup for your sweet comments. I really want to visit the Twin Cities. I've even contacted the Loft Literary Center to give a reading. No word yet, but please know I am trying. I love Minneapolis and St. Paul and I know for a fact that you are all very, very nice!! Tres gentille! So, hopefully, I will meet you one day. In the meantime, a bientot, xo Jamie


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