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Linda Kosloski

Linda Kosloski

Lebanese American Growing Up During the Great Depression

Born: Minneapolis, MN, United States
Heritage: Lebanese

I think to do what you want to do with your life, but to read a lot and you’ll learn a lot.

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Linda Kosloski

Lebanese American Growing Up During the Great Depression

I was born Linda Bartlett on August 27, 1938. I was the fifth child out of eight. I have five brothers and two sisters. My father was Irish and my mother Lebanese and her maiden name was Nesser. My mother was a stay at home mom. We played in our neighborhood. My father was a truck driver. For a while he didn’t work because it was during the Depression. We didn’t have much food. My mother talked to the Red Cross so we could have food to eat.

My father got drafted for World War II. I was about three years old. The main war going on was the war against the Germans. The War ended in 1944 and we all took our pans and spoons and had a big parade because the war was over.

My grandfather and grandmother came here from Lebanon. My mother was born here. I was raised in the Maronite religion. The mass was said in Arabic. We still have a mass in Arabic but there is an English mass now. We grew up in northeast Minneapolis. Lebanese is a different culture. The food is different. We eat a lot of rice and lamb. We eat generally with bread and do not use silverware. When my children grew up I cooked a lot of Lebanese.

I lived in Minneapolis and graduated from vocational high school. I went to nursing school and worked a short while and then I got married and had a baby. I had four children and they all went through this school and graduated from Columbia Heights High School.

My husband was Wynne Kosloski. He was a four-color pressman. He ran a printing press. I met my husband when I was young and graduated from high school. My husband and I got married in a Lebanese church. He passed away in 1987. I worked in Unity Hospital for a while.

I have four children, three boys and a girl and I have 13 grandchildren. I have no great-grandchildren. The oldest grandson graduated from college. My son Michael is married and has three boys. My daughter is married with five children. I have another son who moved two years ago to North Carolina and has two children and I go down to see them for two weeks. My youngest is in Mounds View and has three boys. I talk to my children every day.

I’ve volunteered here for Mrs. Hinkle for over ten years. I still see her and I’m very close to her. I don’t volunteer much anymore. I helped Ms. Hinkel to correct papers. If someone was having a hard time with reading or spelling, I would work with them. I worked with them on the computers. Anything she needed I did.

For 20 years I volunteered. I started at 2 days a week. Then at the end I came every morning. I learned a lot about the computer from the kids. Now I’m on the computer all the time. I’ve learned a lot from them and they were good kids.

I like the closeness of Columbia Heights. We lived in a very big neighborhood. When we first moved here after 49th it was just dirt and I remember trying to push our baby in the baby stroller in just sand. Of course you didn’t have bus service like now. You didn’t have the stores. It was quite different then.