February 26, 2005: Headlines: Giants: Obituaries: Staff: History: Writing - Staff: Washington Post: Peace Corps Staffer Coates Redmon Dies, was author of "Come as you are"

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: History of the Peace Corps: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: History of the Peace Corps : February 26, 2005: Headlines: Giants: Obituaries: Staff: History: Writing - Staff: Washington Post: Peace Corps Staffer Coates Redmon Dies, was author of "Come as you are"
Coates Redmon, Peace Corps Chronicler  Date: February 26 2005 No: 457 Coates Redmon, Peace Corps Chronicler
Coates Redmon, a staffer in Sargent Shriver's Peace Corps, died February 22 in Washington, DC. Her book "Come as You Are" is considered to be one of the finest (and most entertaining) recountings of the birth of the Peace Corps and how it was literally thrown together in a matter of weeks. If you want to know what it felt like to be young and idealistic in the 1960's, get an out-of-print copy. We honor her memory.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-123-27.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 10:42 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Staffer Coates Redmon Dies, was author of "Come as you are"

Peace Corps Staffer Coates Redmon Dies, was author of Come as you are

Peace Corps Staffer Coates Redmon Dies, was author of "Come as you are"

Author, Speechwriter Coates Redmon Dies

By Joe Holley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 26, 2005; Page B07

Coates Douglas Redmon, 73, a speechwriter for first lady Rosalynn Carter and author of a book about the Peace Corps, died Feb. 22 at George Washington Hospital of complications from pneumonia.

In 1962, the witty and irreverent Mrs. Redmon was living in Colorado Springs while her husband taught at the nearby U.S. Air Force Academy. She was not happy.

"I was a liberal Democrat among a bunch of right-wing Republicans and warriors," she told Washington Post writer Elisabeth Bumiller in a 1983 profile. When her husband was transferred to Washington, she was able to move to the city of her dreams.

She had heard Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy propose the Peace Corps in a speech at San Francisco's Cow Palace on Nov. 2, 1960, and from that day forward, she wanted to join.

When the Redmons got to Washington, they drove to a house in Georgetown, where a cousin of Mrs. Redmon's lived. The cousin happened to have a roommate who happened to have an uncle who happened to live in the Georgetown house that Kennedy and his sister Eunice had shared while he was a congressman.

"And so," Mrs. Redmon told Bumiller, "totally smitten with the New Frontier as we were, and I do mean totally, we went over there, and people were in the back yard playing touch football. And honestly, we thought we had died and gone to heaven. People were playing touch football in back yards everywhere! It was a mania. Everybody wanted to be just like the Kennedys. Touch was it."

 Coates Redmon

Mrs. Redmon eventually wrangled a job at the Peace Corps, helping write annual reports and presentations to Congress. She and her friends thought they had the best jobs in town, and they looked down on their peers in the rest of government, particularly in the State Department.

"They thought we were totally obnoxious," she said in the Post profile. "Well, we were. We knew it at the time, but we were arrogant anyway. . . . We believed we were going to save the world, and that our wonderful volunteers would show the Third World how horrible the communists were."

Mrs. Redmon was born in Danville, Va., and grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y. She attended Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Parsons School of Design. She left school without graduating to take a job as features editor at Glamour magazine, beginning in 1953. She was at the Peace Corps from 1963 to 1967.

From 1967 to 1969, she lived in Boston, where she was fellowship chairman for the Institute of Politics at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. From 1972 to 1974, she was a writer and producer for Children's Television Workshop.

Mrs. Redmon came back to Washington in 1975 to write speeches for U.S. Sen. Charles Percy (R-Ill.), and then, in 1977, for Carter. She left the White House after a year, amid rumors of her displeasure over pay-scale disparities between the West Wing (the president's office) and the East Wing (the first lady's).

She was a freelance book reviewer for the Post in 1978-79 and executive director of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and Robert F. Kennedy Book Award from 1979 to 1984.

 Come as you are

Her book about the Peace Corps, "Come as You Are: The Peace Corps Story," was published in 1986. Post reviewer Joanne Omang called the book "a delicious yarn and probably the definitive inside scoop of how the Peace Corps got going."

"The Peace Corps was the first love," Mrs. Redmon told The Post in 1983. "I knew, and everyone knew, that we would never again have as much fun in our lives."

In recent years, she lectured at elder hostels on the subject of presidents' mothers and wrote feature articles for Georgetown and Country newspaper.

Her husband, Evan Hayes Redmon, died in 1973.

Survivors include two children, Evan Redmon of Washington and Skipwith Banker of Guilford, Conn.; a brother; and two granddaughters.

When this story was posted in February 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in over 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related reference material in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can use the Main Index to find hundreds of stories about RPCVs who have your same interests, who served in your Country of Service, or who serve in your state.

Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.
Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot? Date: February 17 2005 No: 445 Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot?
Bulgarian writer Ognyan Georgiev has written a story which has made the front page of the newspaper "Telegraf" criticizing the photo selection for his country in the 2005 "Peace Corps Calendar" published by RPCVs of Madison, Wisconsin. RPCV Betsy Sergeant Snow, who submitted the photograph for the calendar, has published her reply. Read the stories and leave your comments.

February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: February 19 2005 No: 449 February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
NPCA Board positions are open for nomination 17 Feb
Mike Tidwell on trial for climate action protest 17 Feb
Katie Dyer is co-owner of Cadeaux du Monde 16 Feb
Cyclone misses Tonga and Samoa PCVs 16 Feb
Phil Hardberger in debate for Mayor of San Antonio 16 Feb
Edmund Hull is Princeton Diplomat-In-Residence 16 Feb
Bruce Greenlee is longtime friend of Latino community 15 Feb
Mike Honda new vice chairman at DNC 15 Feb
Jospeh Opala documents slave crossing from Sierra Leone 14 Feb
Dear Dr. Brothers: Aren't PCVs Hippies? 14 Feb
Joseph Lanning founded the World Education Fund 14 Feb
Stanley Levine draws Marine and Peace Corps similarities 14 Feb
Speaking Out: JFK envisioned millions of RPCVs 13 Feb
Chris Aquino visits mother's homeland of Vietnam 12 Feb
Is PCOL blocking users from posting messages? 12 Feb
JFK Library opens Sargent Shriver Collection 1 Feb
RPCV responds to Bulgaria Calendar concerns 28 Jan

WWII participants became RPCVs Date: February 13 2005 No: 442 WWII participants became RPCVs
Read about two RPCVs who participated in World War II in very different ways long before there was a Peace Corps. Retired Rear Adm. Francis J. Thomas (RPCV Fiji), a decorated hero of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005 at 100. Mary Smeltzer (RPCV Botswana), 89, followed her Japanese students into WWII internment camps. We honor both RPCVs for their service.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.
RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service Date: January 30 2005 No: 405 RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service
RPCV Groups mobilize to support their Countries of Service. Over 200 RPCVS have already applied to the Crisis Corps to provide Tsunami Recovery aid, RPCVs have written a letter urging President Bush and Congress to aid Democracy in Ukraine, and RPCVs are writing NBC about a recent episode of the "West Wing" and asking them to get their facts right about Turkey.
RPCVs contend for Academy Awards  Date: January 31 2005 No: 416 RPCVs contend for Academy Awards
Bolivia RPCV Taylor Hackford's film "Ray" is up for awards in six categories including best picture, best actor and best director. "Autism Is a World" co-produced by Sierra Leone RPCV Douglas Biklen and nominated for best Documentary Short Subject, seeks to increase awareness of developmental disabilities. Colombian film "El Rey," previously in the running for the foreign-language award, includes the urban legend that PCVs teamed up with El Rey to bring cocaine to U.S. soil.
Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Washington Post

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Giants; Obituaries; Staff; History; Writing - Staff



By Carter Banker ( - on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 10:31 pm: Edit Post

Coats Redmon was my grandmother-I miss you gammy

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.