Hand in Hand Productions

An Interview with Kathryn Coram Gagnon

Kathryn Coram Gagnon

Excerpt from: Voices of Rondo: Oral Histories of Saint Paul’s Historic Black Community

Syren Books, September 2005

My life has been about Rondo!

My name is Kathryn Coram Gagnon. [1] I lived in Rondo, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the Thirties, Forties, Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties, and right now!

Kathryn in her favorite purple sunsuit, pictured here with her Aunt BeckyI started nursery school at Hallie Q. Brown Community Center when I was two and a half years old. It was wonderful. The WPA supported it, and we had the best food. Farmers couldn’t sell their butter, so we had spinach drenched in butter. We had cod liver oil laced with a bit of orange juice. It kept us healthy. We learned our alphabet, some singsong, and my prize possession when I graduated at five years old was my purple sunsuit. It didn’t make a difference to me that every-one else had one identical to mine, it was my prize possession.

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1. Kathryn Rebecca Coram Gagnon was born July 11, 1933, and passed December 20, 2004.


Next: < Part II - Skating at The Hollow >

< Part III - Hallie Q. Brown Community Center >
< Part IV - The Eight "Debs" >
< Part V - Skin Color >
< Part VI - The Soul of Rondo >

<< Click here to return to Rondo Oral History Project page

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