by Dennis Dalman
Rose Kosloski wanted so badly to give her great-granddaughter, 2-year-old Gwen Wendler, a certain book for her birthday, but she couldn’t manage to find a copy of it.
The book is “Old Turtle” by renowned Sartell author Doug Wood. It’s a book Kosloski has always loved and cherished.
Kosloski called book stores and just did not have any luck finding a copy. One nationally known book store promised to order the book for her, but it wouldn’t have come in time for Gwen’s birthday.
Finally, in a last-chance desperation, Koskloski decided to call the celebrated author himself to see if he’d be willing to sell an extra copy. She nervously dialed the phone, not knowing what to expect.
To her delight, Wood was gracious and charming and more than willing to give Kosloski a copy of “Old Turtle.” Not only that, but he told her he was about to leave his home to bring Koskoski a copy – a free copy.
Kosloski has lived in the Country Manor Apartments for six years.
“From my apartment window I saw Doug Wood arrive on his motorcycle,” she said. “Oh, my! That is such a beautiful bike. I waved at Doug from my window.”
Kosloski was overwhelmed by his kindness. The two sat down for a chat and then Wood autographed the book for 2-year-old Gwen.
“I thought to myself, ‘Wow! This is really something!’ The author of the book was right here in my apartment, autographing his book. My, oh my, he was so gracious.”
Wood’s visit moved Kosloski to tears.
After Wood said goodbye, Kosloski cut apart a brown paper bag to use as wrapping paper. Then she wrapped “Old Turtle” and addressed the birthday package to her great-granddaughter, who lives in Burleson, Texas. Her son picked the package up and mailed it from Sauk Rapids.
A couple of days later, Kosloski was doubly surprised when she received a letter from Wood.
“Dear Rose,” the letter said. “It was a great pleasure meeting you at your lovely apartment. I’m so glad you called to get a copy of ‘Old Turtle.’ I hope your great-granddaughter, Gwen, will enjoy it. It was also nice to hear about your family farm between Foley and Gilman. It sure must have been a beauty. And let me know if you need any more books. We’re friends now.” – Doug.”
“Well, I just couldn’t believe it,” Kosloski said, tears in her eyes. “He took the time to write that nice letter. A famous author! That was one of the greatest days of my life.”
Kosloski, who is 89, was born on a farm between Foley and Gilman. Throughout her long life, she worked at many jobs, including Fingerhut, Stearns Manufacturing and as a nursing assistant in Foley nursing home. She lived on the farm for 45 years and raised five children until she and her husband, Clifford, moved to a house in southeast St. Cloud. Clifford died nine years ago.
She hasn’t heard yet if Gwen has received “Little Turtle.” She is eager to find out how her great-granddaughter liked her birthday present.
“Oh, that little girl just loves books,” Kosloski said. “She is so cute. Oh gosh, I’m not just saying that. She really is. She’s just a little doll!”