Local stories at March membership event

Lynn Richardson (left), Sandy Pjescich and Kim Medin enjoyed the evening's cartered Somali meal and stories about old businesses on Lake Street from Joyce Wisdom. Sandy's family has lived in Corcoran for generations and she can recall a time when the alleyways were unpaved. This group of women also are organizers of the well-loved "Flamingo Fridays" social group.

Over 30 community members of Corcoran neighborhood came together to listen and share local stories on the evening of Thursday, March 19. We feasted on a delicious East African meal of chicken legs & stew, goat meat, Somali rice, hummus and bananas.

Joyce Wisdom, Executive Director of Lake Street Council, shared several histories of properties along Lake Street, the storied commercial main street of South Minneapolis. Wisdom spearheaded the Museum in the Streets project, which features bilingual plaques and walking tours that capture the area’s historical identity.

Did you know that there used to be a Porky’s Drive In restaurant and headquarters of Burma Shave on the corner of 21st Ave and Lake Street?

Osman Ali, Founder of the Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum, also shared the stories behind several artifacts that were brought to the event. One of the favorite artifacts was a wooden head rest that Somali men used more 100 years ago. While sleeping in the bush, men would prop their heads up with the wooden rest so that they would avoid waking up to a bad hair day.

Stories from community members are currently being transcribed, so make sure to pick up the next edition of the Corcoran News to read more histories that were shared during the event.

Special thanks to all those in attendance, and to Osman Ali for hosting this community event at his Sanaag Restaurant at 3007 Cedar Ave S.

Inside Sagaan Restaurant space during the March 19 event, An Evening of Storytelling, organized by CNO. 


From left to right: Erin Salinas, Anna Baker, Myra Burnette, Ryan Peterson and Gerry Tyrrell share stories about the founding of the Midtown Farmers Market.

Andres Diaz (left), Andrés Salinas and Silvia Perez share "unos gran historias" about the Corcoran and South Minneapolis community.

Osman Ali (center) spoke about his founding of the Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum, which is open for scheduled tours at Plaza Verde, 1516 East Lake Street, Suite 11.

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