Dorothy Kowsch spotlight
Model, hospital administrator, ship broker, hotel and hospital owner, circus owner, real estate agent, three time cancer survivor, and now a published author. Dorothy Kowch is awaiting publication of her first novel, Escaping Danger, any day now. It will be published under the name Dorothy Dubel. This book was five years in the writing but decades in the development. The story is an exciting one that spans several continents and decades, with a backdrop of historical events, including World War I and the Depression. It is a story of three women that has its origins in her family’s experiences, based on the life of her Polish ancestors.
Her own life has certainly had its drama (and that will be the inspiration for her second book). She has experienced poverty and wealth, life-threatening illness, and been widowed twice. Her family’s history was equally dramatic: her grandparents were forced to flee Poland, where they had a jewelry store, with her grandmother carrying diamonds sewn in the hem of her skirt. When Dorothy was a baby, her parents lived in New York. One day the family went out for a day at the zoo and returned to find that everything they owned, with one exception, had been cleaned out of their apartment. That one exception is a small stained glass window that Dorothy keeps today as a reminder. The family was forced to spend the night in their car in a garage, where coincidentally a murder was committed that same night. That was too much. They fled New York City for upstate.
As a young woman, Dorothy was a John Robert Powers model, doing TV ads for Iroquois beer and Black Velvet Whiskey. It was glamorous but hard work, she remembers. She married, was widowed and married again, to a very wealthy man, who owned a number of businesses and buildings, including a hospital, hotel, and circus.
They had an apartment in the Waldorf-Astoria and hobnobbed with celebrities, a period she describes as exciting.
After her second husband died, she entrusted her finances to her husband’s partner, only to discover later that he had left her with only $5,000, a Rolls Royce, and a house. So she started over again, doing temporary work and eventually went into real estate. Dorothy has now been married to Gene for 27 years and living in Heathrow for 13 years, battling cancer and family illness for much of the time. She has four children and three grandchildren. And she has written two previous books, not published. One is a children’s book, awaiting illustration, and the second is a trivia book based on the Nancy Drew novels. She sent it out to many publishers, but it was rejected, so she threw the manuscript out, not saving even one copy, a move she regrets today. She is very excited about the upcoming publication of her novel and can hardly believe that her hard work is about to come to fruition. It nearly didn’t happen. She was about three-fourths way through writing the novel, on her computer, when the computer went completely dead and couldn’t be revived. Fortunately, this time she had saved a copy; although t she did have to type in the several hundred pages that were lost.
-- Stephanie Strauss