Retired Teacher/Administrator/Librarian Media Specialist
Hi, I’m Cosy Wright, my storytelling names are “Cosybear Tales and “Sister Tales”. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and I am the third child of seven children, 5 girls and 2 boys. We lived in an area of downtown St. Louis, that was a few blocks southeast of the “Mill Greek Valley”. We attend Lincoln elementary in Mill Creek, one of only two elementary schools for Blacks in the area. There were just a few Black families with children living close to us. So, we spend most of our time playing together, with an occasional visit from the three White children whose family lived around the corner from us. Although we couldn’t go to school together, we had fun playing one movie we saw I fell in love with this over-weight character and I can still remember running around saying to my siblings “I want to be the fat man”.
Like many families, before TV, storytelling was a big part of our families’ entertainment and listening to the radio shows helped to increase that love of listening to the spoken word. My siblings and I spent hours playing with our paper dolls and doll houses, the boys along with the girls. We created all kinds of story plots for our make-believe families. One of our aunts, Auntie Grace even built us a playhouse in the back yard. My mother and father were also natural storytellers.
My mother told stories about monkeys escaping from the zoo and roaming the city looking for someone’s bed to share. And our father who was normally pretty quiet, until he had a drink or two, liked to tell stories about how he had been a boxer or a Cab Calloway type singer.
I began teaching in 1971 at Eugene Field Elementary. While there I attendeda summer workshop for teachers on storytelling, my instructor was Janet Kiefer, now known as January Kiefer, she told the class about Gateway Storytelling. In March of 1978, while still teaching, I joined the MO Air National Guard. I retired in June of 1999 at the rank of Lt Colonel and Squadron Commander and the first female to command an Air Guard Unit at Jefferson Barracks. I retired from teaching in 2007 as a Library Media Specialist from Ames Visual and Performing Arts School.
What tellers have been influential in my life?
January Knefer, Annette Harrison, Sue Hinkel, Bobby Norfolk, Gladys Coggswell, Lynn Rubright, and my brother, Glen “Papa” Wright
What is my favorite story, movie or song?
1. The Sound of Music2. Tina Turner’s life story and her song “Rolling on the River”
Memory of Christmas: The smell of fruit all through our house, my mother’s home make “decorated brown bags” with fruit & nuts in each of our bags. (who needed Christmas stockings?)
Valentine Memory: A “Big Valentine” card made by my second-grade teacher, because I was new to the class and did not get cards from the other kids. SO, as a
teacher I would always take two or three extra bags of cards and candy for kids who may not have anything.
Senegal and Cuba
reading, traveling, learning to play the piano, puzzles, working on family genealogy and creative writing/storytelling
American Legions, St. Louis Service Women’s Post 404
My marital status:
Single, no children, lots of nieces & nephews (and god children)