The Seattle Seyers

One of the things Wife Lila had on her to-do list when we hit Seattle was to look up Ralph Seyer, one of her eight Seyer cousins. We were supposed to meet Ralph and his wife, Debbie, at their home at 4:30 for dinner. We were standing in line for a quick snack when Ralph said he had gotten home early and we could head up any time.

We decided to leave the restaurant in the south end of Seattle and head up to his place in the north end. I have been stuck in traffic before, but I have NEVER seen miles and miles of traffic backed up as far as it is here. It is such a normal occurrence that the Tune-to-XXX-for-a-Traffic-Advisory-When-Flashing signs weren’t flashing.

Seattle traffic worse than Atlanta’s

I looked at my GPS, which gives traffic conditions in near real time. Every alternate road we could take (and there aren’t many) was as red as the one we were on. I never thought I’d see a city with traffic as horrendous as Atlanta, but Seattle just bumped it out of first place.

Ralph and the GPS cooperated in getting us to the right address the first time, even though we were warned that the place normally doesn’t show up correctly.

The meal was worth fighting the traffic

I’m not going to pretend that I’m a foodie like my friend Jan Norris. In broad terms, we had grilled chicken; fresh asparagus wrapped in prosciutto put on the grill; seasoned carrots and potatoes baked in the oven, fresh corn on the cob, and fresh blueberries and strawberries for desert.

Food photography isn’t my specialty. I’m always too interested in eating than shooting. This is how it showed up on the table.

Helpful tourist tips

Ralph and Debbie gave us plenty of advice on what to see, what to avoid, how to get there and when we should go. Then they dropped a real time and money-saver on us: they offered us the use of their guest room for part of our visit.

We decided to stay in the south end of the world for the first part of our trip to go to places like Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier, then concentrate on attractions in the north while we take advantage of their hospitality.

Ralph LOOKS like a Seyer

Ralph picked the Northwest because he liked the variety of climate and terrain. “You can be in the mountains one minute and the ocean in the next.” He should work for the chamber of commerce. The first myth he dispelled was that Seattle is a rainy city: it gets a lot less rain than many of the other major cities (then he listed them). Seattle can be cloudy, gloomy and have a drizzling rain, but it doesn’t have the deluges like Florida experiences.

Looks a lot like Dan in the 60s

I was struck by how much Ralph of 2011 still looks like his brother, Dan Seyer, when he was playing with The Impacts at the Teen Age Club in 1966 or 1967.

Janette Seyer, Ralph’s sister, shows up at a “Nun Circus” at the old St. Francis Hospital.

Diane Seyer and friends

Here’s an unpublished photo of Margie Hoffman, Diane Seyer (Ralph’s sister), Lila Perry (Steinhoff) and Dorothy Magg.  (Margie, Lila and Diane are cousins.)

Ray and Rosemary Seyer

I spent the better part of a day with Wife Lila’s aunt and uncle (Ralph’s parents), Ray and Rosemary Seyer, last fall, talking about their experiences before Swampeast Missouri was drained. I have a massive video editing project in front of me before that’s ready to publish.

Ralph commented that his dad’s stories are remarkably consistent. “All of the facts may not be exactly right, but the stories haven’t changed a word over the years.”

11 Replies to “The Seattle Seyers”

  1. Great article, if I may say so myself! Of course, I am bias being that I am a Seyer also(by marriage). Dan is my husband,Ray and Rosemary and Ralph are my in-laws. Good bunch of people to be related to and as always, Ken you did a good story telling of you own. Thanks and enjoy your visit!

  2. I will have to show this to my mom (Joyce Seyer Bruenderman – Ralph’s sister). Great pictures. Thank you for sharing them and your story!

  3. My husband Don appreciated the Seyer photos. He grew up a block away from the Seyers and attended St. Mary’s with them. Mike was in his class and a good friend. Don said Ray and Rosemary were wonderful parents and welcoming to the neighborhood kids. Ralph was just a young kid then. Great family!

  4. okay i always learn something new when i read your articals, now it is a new way to do asparagus, the only thing i have ever wrapped in prosciutto is melon. and i think after while you all would find my vacations borrrring, how many times can you take pictures of cabo and come up with any thing new of course there is a hotel and restrurant in del cabo that makes the very best french toast in the world.

    1. Hello, I am attempting to reach my aunt Marsha. My name is Mike Durham, and I know this is odd, but I have been estranged from my family for some time. If you are aunt Marsha, please email me at theactualmiked@gmail.com thank you so much. If I am mistaken, please accept my apologies.
      Sincerely,
      Mike

  5. The Seyer clan is amazing .. very talented .. Roger Seyer’s story (star on Broadway) is in my forthcoming book “Dreamers: From Small Town to “The Big Time!” Should be out in early Oct.

  6. Hey Ralph! I was in Cape Girardeau last week for a soccer match against your alma matter, Notre Dame. I was greeted by one of the Garner boys whom I remembered from my days as a soccer coach in the youth leagues and during my one year stint as the J.V. soccer coach at Notre Dame. During our brief, but pleasant conversation I casually asked about you, he happened to have your e-mail address so he passed it along (I will email in the event you do not see this posting). Over the years I have wondered what you have been doing and always regret not accepting your invitation to see Asia when they were in St Louis in 1981. Anyway, it appears that you are doing well and I would very much like to rekindle what started as a friendship years ago. I have recently made contact with Mike Cook, who is in Wisconsin, and Darryl Hendrix, in Delaware. Throughout I have maintained my friendship with Charles and Bradley Baldwin. Anyway, I hope to hear from you. Luke Cano

  7. Hey Ralph!
    I was in Cape Girardeau last week for a soccer match against your alma matter, Notre Dame. I was greeted by one of the Garner boys whom I remembered from my days as a soccer coach in the youth leagues and during my one year stint as the J.V. soccer coach at Notre Dame. During our brief, but pleasant conversation I casually asked about you, he happened to have your e-mail address so he passed it along.
    Over the years I have wondered what you have been doing and always regret not accepting your invitation to see Asia when they were in St Louis in 1981. It appears that you are doing well and are thriving in the Northwest. I have been in St Louis for the last 18 years where I have been teaching art and coaching soccer and after three boys through high school and college I have been thinking about old firends and acquaintances. I would very much like to rekindle what started as a friendship years ago. I have recently made contact with Mike Cook, who is in Wisconsin, and Darryl Hendrix, in Delaware. Throughout, I have maintained my friendship with Charles and Bradley Baldwin.

    Anyway, I hope to hear from you.

    Luke Cano


    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

    H. G. Wells, The Outline of History (1920)

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