For Jay and Christi Turner, the end of the summer is also the end of of an era: their oldest daughter leaves for college this month.  She’s going to their alma mater, and they’ll try to keep a close eye on her at a distance.  Vanderbilt is, after all, where Christi and Jay met (“She came over one day to play volleyball.  I was living in a house off campus that she rented the year before.  I still remember the first time I saw her,” Jay muses.)

Jay is, among other things, a real estate developer who has helped transform Nashville’s hottest commercial and residential area – the Gulch – over the last 15 years.  He serves on the Boards of Capstar, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Golf Club of Tennessee, and Centerstone.  I cross paths with Jay at the gym, where he’s always working out a lot harder than I am.  He loves to play golf on a day off.  Christi would rather be on the court with her NALTA team or around the table with her bridge group, but she’ll happily hit the slopes with Jay when the temperatures drop.  They’re both avid skiers (along with their kids) and love to spend time in Montana, winter and summer.

Christi serves on the Boards of the American Red Cross, the Tiffany Circle, and Ensworth School, and she “freelance volunteers” all over town.  She’s got a business plan in the works for spring or summer of 2017, something fun and new for Nashville!  She’s excited about it but keeps a calm demeanor.  A fellow bridge player describes her as “calm on the surface, with an insatiable intellectual interest and a tender heart.  Clever and kind.”  Still waters run deep.

Today, Jay and Christi answer a few questions about their summer reading and otherwise…

What do you love about summer?

Jay:  The long days.  I love outdoor activities and vitamin D.

Christi:  That it stays light so late in the evening.  Endless sunshine, lighter clothes, lighter mood, unstructured days (although by the end of summer, I’m usually ready for a routine).

What did you love about summer as a kid?

Jay:  No school and spending time with friends.  I grew up in Scottsville KY, population 4800.  I rode my bike all over town or to the farm.  A great place to grow up.  Like most children, I just couldn’t wait to move to a bigger town.  I love Nashville but cherish those summer days in Scottsville.

Christi:  Hanging out at the pool with friends; playing tennis; traveling; lots of free time (not much has changed).

Loved camp/hated camp/didn’t go to camp?

Jay:  Not much of a camper.

Christi:  I loved camp.  I went to tennis camp; Camp Skyline; Young Life camp.  New friends and new experiences were the highlights.

Memorable summer job as a teen?

Jay:  Busboy at Dalt’s.  First closing shift, first week on the job, my mom called to check on me because it was after 1am.  So embarrassed!


Christi:  Lifeguard.  I about had a heart attack one summer when a four year old went off the high dive.  Turned out, he was a great swimmer.

I worked in Yellowstone National Park one summer between sophomore and junior years at Vanderbilt (I was 18).  I rented fishing boats on Lake Yellowstone.  We worked four 10-hour days and had three days off to explore the park.  My kids would be shocked that I was quite the camper (I like a little more cushy bedding these days!)


Disneyworld, SeaWorld, or Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Jay:  I just visited Wizarding World with my son.  Spectacular but crowded.  I mean really crowded.  Still fun.

Christi:  Wizarding World.  A few years ago my family coaxed me onto the Dueling Dragons ride and I LOVED it!  (I am usually a big chicken when it comes to rides and end up holding all the gear while they ride the roller coasters.)  We made sure to go back and get the front row seat.  I won’t say I wasn’t nauseous, but I definitely get the appeal of those rides.

Ice cream or sorbet?

Jay:  Ice Cream

Christi:  I love ice cream, but it doesn’t love me back.  So, begrudgingly, I say sorbet, but it must be chocolate.

Sweet tea or Long Island Iced tea?  Favorite summer drink?

Jay:  Sweet Tea

Christi:  Sweet tea. Lemonade, Mojitos or Rosé

South Beach, South of France, Southampton or other: what’s your favorite beach?

Jay: Pebble Beach


Christi: Gulf Coast or Caribbean.  Doesn’t really matter, as long as I’m on a beach.

If you were getting a tattoo, what would it be (and where)?

Jay:  Not getting one.

Christi:  Ankle, small, something nature inspired – flower, bug, etc.  But, since we’ve forbidden our children from getting one, I should probably set a good example.

Best summertime restaurant in Nashville?

Jay:  Little Octopus – relocating to the Gulch!

Christi:  Before it gets too hot, I love the outdoor space at Epice.  Summer always makes me think spicy, Mexican food (counterintuitive?) – San Anejo and Taqueria del Sol are my go-to’s.

What are you reading this summer? 

Jay:  The Last Mile by David Baldacci.  I’m a sucker for mysteries.


Christi:  In the summer, I like to catch up on back issues of Vanity Fair.  I think they have some of the best journal writers.  We are traveling overseas soon and I have loaded onto my Kindle: The Summer Book; Everyone Brave is Forgiven; The Nest; Modern Lovers (thanks Bacon and Parnassus for recs); The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace (I find myself more drawn to non-fiction these days and this was recommended by my friend, Sarah).  Just finished Be Frank with Me and loved it.


What would you recommend to a friend as summer reading?

Jay:  If you haven’t read Red Notice about Bill Browder it’s a great read.


Christi:  If you loved Wonder, check out Be Frank with Me; Boys in the Boat if you’ve not yet read it; Swans of Fifth Avenue was good read and really captures the 1950’s New York high society.


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Image of Yellowstone sign from grandtarghee.com

Image of Pebble Beach from mgatravelcenter.com