Old coffeehouse friends




I saw Craig Seimsen and his wife Patty Stevenson performing last night at the 19th street coffeehouse. It is hard to imagine how long I have known them. I met them when they were living in a community house. It was long ago and far away. In between, life happened. He had a long career with the Milwaukee Public Schools. They went on countless walks, made albums, love and almost met wild animals.. Now they are the proud parents of a teenage daughter.

I never met a more perfectly matched couple. Craig has grayed nicely while Patty is probably a witch because she doesn’t look any older than when I first met her. I bought Craig’s cd, It’s About Time, which has one of my favorite songs calledĀ  We’d Rather Make Toys.The cd had originally been released in 1990. Wow, 24 years ago.

It was not the first time I had been the only African-American at the coffeehouse but it was the first time I had bought cds and albums in the same day. Earlier I had been with Liz and bought some Art Blakey, Johnson Coltrane and Dave Brubeck albums. I had started out in the coffeehouse scene as a high school student listening to songs of peace.

I was hoping after the concert to see a classic edition of Saturday Night Live with Richard Pryor and Gil Scott Heron but it was not meant to be. As it happened, the episode had aired when I was still at the coffeehouse.

There were many others at the coffeehouse besides Craig and Patty. For instance Bill Murtaugh, a long time poet, was in the crowd. Other coffeehouse performers were there, too.

To say I have eclectic tastes would be an understatement. As Craig would say, it’s about time. Are you ready to roam?


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