The next installment of Ex Fabula’s storytelling series, “Terminal Milwaukee,” will take place Saturday, November 5 at Sherman Perk Coffee Shop, 4924 West Roosevelt Drive, Milwaukee,  The theme will be “Intersections.”  Through the Terminal Milwaukee series, Ex Fabula will see Milwaukee through the eyes of lifelong resident, Tom Crawford, and visit the neighborhoods he grew up and worked in over the years.

Tom came to this project as a standout storyteller from Ex Fabula All Stars 2010 and a self-described “terminal” Milwaukeean.  His visceral personal stories are gripping, vivid and filled with detail and affection for the neighborhoods in which they are set.

Sherman Perk, built in 1939, located at the intersection of N 49th St., Roosevelt Dr., and Keefe Ave., served as a gas station for most of its existence.  Despite being one of the nation’s few remaining examples of unaltered Streamlined Moderne architectural style gas stations, the building was ordered to be razed in May of 2000.  Through a grassroots effort that married Sherman Park’s varied community organizations with the ingenuity of its diverse residents, the dilapidated gas station was stayed from its raze order. The building remains under the care and ownership of the Olin family who have operated Sherman Perk since it opened in August of 2001.

The theme of “intersections” highlights both Sherman Perk’s physical location and the intersecting communities, cultures, and religions characteristic of the Sherman Park neighborhood.   In a metaphorical sense, the theme also pays tribute to the role that the neighborhood dividing highway system and the Menomonee Valley viaducts played in bringing new worlds and new experiences into Tom Crawford’s life.

This event, like all the Terminal Milwaukee events, will feature additional storytellers preselected from neighborhood residents. Time permitting, audience members will have the opportunity to share their memories and experiences of the neighborhood as well.  Finally, Milwaukee historian, John Gurda, will contribute historical vignettes to this and every event throughout the Terminal Milwaukee Series.

There is a suggested donation of $5 for this Terminal Milwaukee event.Seating is limited, so the audience is encouraged to arrive early to ensure a spot.  There will be coffee, tea and other specialty drinks for sale by Sherman Perk.  Alcohol is also permitted on a “bring your own” basis.
While we count down the days to November 5, here’s a video recap of the Septemeber 9, Terminal Milwaukee event at Satin Wave Barbershop in Capitol Heights. The theme was Barbershop.


“Terminal Milwaukee” is funded in part by a major grant award from the Wisconsin Humanities Council. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin. The WHC receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin.