Lena Spencer & The Caffe...
In May of 1960, Lena And Bill Spencer first opened the doors to a small cafe on Phila Street in saratoga Springs, New York.
They called it Caffe Lena. Neither one had ever done anything like this before. But they figured it was a good place to open a cafe, make enough money totravel and pursue their individual interests. He was a sculpter. She was an actress.
Like a lot of things in life, if Lena knew then all that would take place as a result of opening those doors, she would probably would never had starrted.
Bill left. Lena stayed. "There were so many bills, I had to keep going", she explained.
In the ensuing years, Lena created a legendary place and ethereal moments in time. It is the oldest continuously running coffeehouse in America. She has been called "The Mother Theresa of Folk Music". (No, not because she took in hordes of dying folkies from the sidewalk... )
Bob Dylan played there on his first Eastern Tour. Don McClean first played "American Pie" on The Caffe Lena stage. Arlo Guthrie sang there long before the rest of the world heard his music.
While a lot has been made of the many artists who have performed at Lena's, the real secret to the magic of Caffe Lena was, and continues after her passing, Lena herself.
She and her cafe became one. It was more than just one of the finest listening rooms anywhere. The charm and simplicity of the woman is reflected in the cafe and evenings she created. It was a home for artists and audiences alike.
Lena has now passed on. She has left a legacy which friends all over the world recognioze as a special place, where artists endevors of all kinds can feel welcome.
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