Kathy Connor was born in New Jersey in 1951 and was baptized in Maryland (1954). She was in Hawaii when it became a state (1959) and Viet Nam when it became a war in 1963. Those were the first twelve years of her life as an Army brat.
Traveling ended in November 1968 when her father retired from the Army and the family moved to Tucson. She married Roger Dobronyi in 1970. Kathy received her degree in Secondary Social Studies from the University of Arizona.
Storytelling was always a part of her teaching. She first learned her craft listening to great Hawaiian storytellers in Oahu. Wherever she went, she always found people who had stories to tell.
In 2003 Kathy faced a major challenge when Roger and she retired to the west coast of Florida. She didn’t know anything about the state, its history, or its people. When a elderly friend declared, “I sure wish someone would tell my story,” Kathy embarked on a new career telling tales of Florida Cracker History.
Her popular performances led to an interview and meeting with H. Lee Helscel, editor of the South Marion Citizen, a small Ocala newspaper. Lee was surprised to learn that Kathy and her family were living in Saigon, Viet Nam in 1963. The first visit between editor and storyteller led to an eight-part series in the paper. Reader response was overwhelming with demands for Kathy to tell more about her nine months in a country on the brink of the Vietnam War.
Under the Wings of a Good Luck Phoenix: Memoir of an American Girl in Saigon 1963-64 was the result.
Kathy shares her personal discoveries and painful memories with truth and honesty.