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Travel Diary

  • AutorenbildKatja

My Day with Detra

Dear people,

I needed a few days for this blog post: the impressions had to settle down a bit first.

This article is solely about Detra, nothing else. I will dedicate a story to her in the next Cigar Journal. And you know what? For the first time, I'm a little afraid I won't be able to put her story into words at all - either no words, or not the right ones, or too many. You could write a book about her and yes - even Hollywood has taken notice. The screenplay is in the works.

I met Detra during a Zoom meeting of the SOTL association ( At this point a big thank you to Anastasia and Lefty - it's great how you bring people together ! Detra's story touched me so much that I decided to fly spontaneously to New York, meet her and write about her.

I don't want to get too much ahead of myself, because I want to write about her in Cigar Journal. But briefly, Detra blew the lid off her old life seven years ago, in the middle of a nowhere street. What her old life was? Wife of a Baptist pastor, mother of seven kids, oppressed, patronized, not seen, not appreciated, shackled in a life of oppression and pain and no love. A life in coldness and condemned to obey.

After hard months - no years - in New York, four jobs at the same time, a time in a homeless shelter, she has since found her home. She has never lost faith in people and has been able to experience unbelievably beautiful things alongside all the suffering.

A decisive and extremely important station in her new life was the Harlem Cigar Room; Detra found there in the cigar community as almost the only white woman not only help, but even protection and friends for life. She started smoking cigars and has since launched her own brand.

Photo by Odin/Cigar Room

I would like to report on her cigar story in the next issue.

It was wonderful to be able to meet this strong and yet so soft woman, to listen to her story and to dive a little into Harlem with her.

Thank you, Detra.

All my love,


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