North Texas Daily

Couple helps students get back to the coffee grind

Couple helps students get back to the coffee grind

Couple helps students get back to the coffee grind
August 26
13:42 2015

Erica Wieting | Features Editor

@ericawootang

Any student lucky enough to walk down Fulton Street Monday and Tuesday morning was asked the same question.

“Good morning. Would you like a free cup of coffee?”

Last year, Anne and Hugh Simmons started giving out free coffee in front of their house during the first week of school. Anne, who made the coffee Tuesday morning, said she drinks it strong and black.

“That weak coffee is just not coffee,” she said. “I brought some water to dilute it if it was too strong, and I brought milk.”

The Simmons stand behind a coffee cart equipped with lids, cups and a large shaker full of sugar. They cater to students scrambling to class on the first day of school.

“They may not have time for coffee,” Anne said. “They may be in a terrible rush, and maybe we could help them out.”

Hugh especially understands the value of a helping hand. He grew up in the South during the Great Depression.

“We were poor Southern white trash,” he said.

Both Hugh and his wife had careers in education before they retired. Hugh worked at a textbook company called Silver Burdett. Anne taught Kinesiology at UTA for 29 years and did a stint in Puerto Rico before that. She said she misses her students.

Now, the coffee cart is a way to meet their college-age neighbors.

“We met some of the kids that live in some of these apartments, and we never would meet them [otherwise], because they’re either coming or going,” Anne said. “They’re busy. It’s a delightful way for us to get to say hello.”

coffee_2_EW

Anne and Hugh Simmons pose in front of their coffee stand on Fulton Street Tuesday morning. The two hand out coffee to students during their first week back to school. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

One student, stopping by on her way to a 9 a.m. class, was particularly grateful for the generosity.

“I made y’all a pound cake for making coffee,” dance and education senior Christen Uselton said, handing them a loaf and a card. “Thank y’all so much.”

Anne enjoys getting to know the people around her. She and neighbor Sherri Guthrie see each other daily.

“The beauty shop was open this morning,” Guthrie said, a long braid rolling down her back. “She does it for me every morning.”

Anne and Hugh have lived in their duplex for 20 years. Anne originally helped design the place when her mother was living with them, but the couple decided to stay after she died.

“We never see any of this at all, this parade of coming and going,” she said. “It’s either commuters or people who live in the apartments, and we just enjoy doing it.”

Featured Image: Anne Simmons pours coffee for her neighbor Sherri Guthrie at their coffee stand on Fulton Street Tuesday morning. Erica Wieting | Features Editor

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