About/Contact Steve Cole

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    Above: Pat, Steve and Sam Cole on Mount Lykavittos, overlooking Athens, Greece.

Like many people of our time, Steve Cole has reinvented himself more than a few times. Until he retired in early 2014, he had been a database developer and data architect in the health care industry. As a young man, after leaving UW-Madison without a degree, he worked in factories, on the docks of Milwaukee, and in in Milwaukee and Chicago as a community advocate and political activist. From 1976–1986, Steve wrote articles for a community magazine, Keep Strong, and a biweekly newspaper, All Chicago City News.

Steve starting writing Citizen Cárdenas in earnest in 2007, encouraged by a writers group he joined. He wrote many chapters of his story while riding on Chicago’s Blue Line “L” to and from his job in Rosemont, Illinois.

Steve and family have lived in their Chicago three-flat for 30 years. They travel frequently to Greece to visit relatives and have made learning Greek a family project. They are also active in St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church and, in particular, its prison ministry.

Citizen Cárdenas is a semi-autographical novel, largely based on experiences he and his wife Pat had, helping a man similar to “Gato” Cárdenas get through several life crises, including homelessness. Although most of the story take place in Chicago’s Westtown neighborhoods, Steve believes it is informed by the values he learned, growing up in Roselle, New Jersey.

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