From Chester County High School to Stockholm and Birmingham (England)

Michael Lowrey, a.k.a. “Orange Mike,” is with his wife Cicatrice at the 2014 Milwaukee Laborfest. Photo by Helen Lococo.

On Jan. 13, it was announced that Chester County native, Michael J. Lowrey, has earned the chance to travel to Stockholm and Birmingham, England through the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF).
TAFF is an organization that has been sending science fiction fans the opportunity to travel overseas to meet with their fellow fans at conventions and club meetings since the late 1950s.
Lowrey, known as “Orange Mike” in his fan circles, has been invited to be a guest at the Swedish national SF convention, Fantastika 2020, in Stockholm in late March, travel across to other parts of Europe and end as a guest at Concentric, the British national convention, in Birmingham, England in mid-April, before returning to Milwaukee, Wisconsin which is where he now resides.
He said he’s already talking with fans in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands.
By winning this opportunity, he will be administering the fundraising for future TAFF winners to go overseas next year.
Lowrey has been attending these conventions since 1975 and loves it. He said he loves how the conventions are filled with interesting, intelligent people. The interaction of science fiction fans overseas is awesome as well he said.
“I got people I consider good friends that I never met before,” he said.
He actually met the woman whom he would spend his life with and marry, C.K. “Cicatrice” Hinchliffe of Bertram, Iowa, at the local Milwaukee science fiction convention in 1981.
Lowrey graduated from Chester County High School in 1971 and earned a magna cum laude degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to his job with the State of Wisconsin, he’s been working as a writer and editor since 1984.
He is also a bookseller, serves as a local president and state executive board member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and acts as a volunteer administrator for Wikipedia. He has had book reviews published and also Dungeon and Dragon articles published in Dragon magazine.
He is the son of Medon native Jim D. Lowrey, who was a reporter for the Jackson Sun, and Deanburg native Sybil Blondell (Scarbrough) Lowrey.
His parents are buried in the old Lowrey Cemetery on Lowery Road between Deanburg and Medon.