Downtown Journal: Summit Avenue through Coco's eyes

By Sarah McKenzie
Downtown Journal

Irvine_Through coverWay back in the day when children still kept diaries instead of documenting their lives via status updates on Facebook, Clotide “Coco” Irvine kept a record of her life as a 13 year old living on ritzy Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

Even though she wrote the diary in 1927, anyone who has experienced teenage angst should be able to relate to her troubles. She writes about being annoyed with her mother but desperately wanting her approval, getting in trouble at school, sibling adventures and the frustrations of romance.

Local history writer Peg Meier of Bryn Mawr has brought Irvine’s diary to life with the new book, “Through No Fault of My Own: A Girl’s Diary of Life on Summit in the Jazz Age.”

The phrase “through no fault of my own” often graced the pages of Irvine’s diary and preceded her account of some sort of trouble she found herself caught up in with a friend or sibling.  

Coco’s diary has also been adapted for the stage by Ron Peluso and Bob Beverage. “Coco’s Diary” — a three-actor play — will premier at the History Theatre in St. Paul on March 3.

Read the full article.

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