January 2021 Newsletter

The latest in our series…

The People of the Park:

A Visit with The Koboskis

By Dale Dauten


It is always surprising to me to discover how many residents of The Resort grew up on farms. To those of us who came up in cities, it’s easy to romanticize life on a farm and wonder why anyone would want to leave it. But, as so often happens, when I asked Margie Koboski if she missed the farm in Bagley, Minnesota where she grew up, her answer was immediate and emphatic: “No!” And when I asked Oscar Koboski if he ever longed to return to the apple orchards in Yakima, Washington where he spent his early years, he replied, “Absolutely no desire.” Why? Margie recounted the hard work, especially the milking of cows in wintertime. And Oscar said that of the orchards,” There are too many variables you can’t control– the prices, the weather, the bugs – well, you can usually control the bugs, but it’s expensive.”

So it isn’t surprising that when Margie graduated from Bagley High she went to a tech school in Bemidji and then, after moving with her family to Corvallis Oregon, went for an office job, working in the accounting department of the local school district. As for Oscar, after some time in the local community college and in the Army reserves at Fort Ord, he went to Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, choosing that college because they offered a Bachelor’s degree in automotive technology– he had, by that time, realized he was a “car guy.”


Backing up for a minute to while he was still in school, Oscar worked for two different motorcycle dealerships, and after graduating, took a job in a Ford dealership, working his way up to Service Manager. It was during those days that his vet’s club in Klamath Falls was putting together a Reno Night party. Oscar described how it happened: “One of the guys was dating a girl in Corvallis and he asked her if she could recruit some girls to serve beer at Reno Night. Margie was one of those girls.” The two started dating, despite living hours apart in two different states.” After work on Fridays,” Oscar recalled,” I would jump on my motorcycle and ride five hours to Corvallis.” They took turns visiting one another until they got married and settled in Yakima. Eventually, Oscar took on a franchise with Snap-on tools, then added a second franchise, and, with Margie assisting him, the two put in 22 years. Along the way, the couple had two daughters, who each now have two kids, all in Yakima, where the Koboskis spend their summers.


Let’s pause there a minute because I asked the Koboskis my favorite question, the one about the best advice they’d ever gotten. It was Margie who credited Oscar for her best advice; however, it was advice she ignored.

“We were into boating,” Margie remembered. “And water skiing. And one of those times someone asked if I wanted to try her double-boot slalom ski.” [The slalom being where you use just one ski, and the double-boot where you lock both feet in place, rather than just one.] “Oscar told me it was a bad idea, that it was too different from what I was used to, but I can be bull-headed and so I went ahead anyway. I pulled a hamstring and took a fall, my leg was black-and-blue from my butt to my ankle. There are days I can still feel that muscle. I’ve never admitted it to his face, but he was right.”

(Photo: The Koboskis on a Panama cruise in 2019)


Oscar retired in 2013. By then, Margie had taken on a part-time accounting job and she wasn’t ready to join him in retirement. “So I was at home,” Oscar recalled, “and Margie was working, and then she’d come home and make dinner. That wasn’t right, so I started making dinner. Cooking became my hobby.” So much so, that when the couple ended up getting an RV and spending winters at The Resort, Oscar started working in the kitchen. “For the past couple of years,” he said, “I was assisting our cook, Doreen, and I became her right-hand man. But then she and her husband decided to move back to Michigan. I sure miss her – it was so much fun working together.”

And with Doreen’s departure, Oscar became head cook for The Resort. However, like so many things in the time of the pandemic, food service has been limited. Oscar said, “This year most of the meals are done by volunteers, so I order food and get things set up and help where I’m needed.” But then, finally, Oscar got his first major cooking assignment: “It was for the golf cart parade, and I made chili for 140. People seemed to like it.” Now Oscar is looking forward to the return of bingo, hopefully in January, saying, “If they can get it started, then we’ll have a bingo night dinner every week.”

By the way, while you will often see Oscar in the kitchen, you might encounter Margie at the Activities desk – she volunteers there one day a week.


Let’s close with that other question I love to put to people, “What would be a perfect day?” The answer Margie gave is ideal for a snowbird couple: “In the summer, in Yakima, it would be a barbecue with our girls and their families around. In the winter, at The Resort, it would dinner with friends, then playing cards… and the girls’ team wins.”



If you’d like to volunteer to be the subject of an article, or have someone you’d like to learn more about, please let me know.

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Dale Dauten