Pretty Blond Has Date With Elvis
Little Mary Kosloski had a date with Elvis Presley and he kept her waiting for more than two hours.
But if she ever thought of chiding the tardy, apologetic side-burned singer as he took her in his arms at his opulent Graceland home yesterday, you could never tell it.
"Mmmmmm," murmured Elvis, nestling his cheek into those blond dancing curls. "If you were 10 years older, honey, I wouldn´t let you go."
And from the expression on her pretty bright-eyed face you could see that all was forgiven.
The crippled 8-year-old Collierville girl, who was the national March of Dimes poster child in 1955, was supposed to meet Elvis at 3 p.m. She was to be pictured giving him a kiss on his 23rd birthday for the trunkful of teddy bears and pandas he sent to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis for auction during this month´s fund drive.
But when Mary, along with reporters, photographers, her mother, Mrs. Peter Paul Kosloski, and Mrs. Joyce Gingold of the local polio chapter arrived at the famous Presley gate, an unhappy surprise was in store for them.
The guard said he had received no instructions about letting such a party inside. Nobody knew what to do. The guard couldn´t get either Elvis or his father, Vernon Presley, who had helped arrange things, on the phone.
Mary hobbled up to the gate on her crutches and brace-supported legs and peered wistfully thru the wrought-iron image of the guitar-strumming owner.
"I wonder what the matter is?" she said.
She got back in Mrs. Gingold´s station wagon to keep warm. About that time Elvis´ father, Vernon Presley, drove up in a pink Cadillac. Mr. Presley said he was sorry, but Elvis couldn´t keep the appointment until 5 p.m. He said he had called Mrs. Gingold to tell her, but missed her.
"Elvis had a birthday party last night and was up all night," he explained. "He´s in the house sleeping."
There was nothing else to do but come back later. Mary and her mother passed part of the time having a Coke in the Dobbs House at the airport, where some of the newsmen they were traveling with had to go on another assignment.
When they returned, the gate opened wide and Mary soon found herself in the plush wine-carpeted living room of the $100,000 Presley mansion.
Mr. Presley apologized again for the delay, said it was his fault, not Elvis´
"Elvis is getting dressed. He´ll be down in a minute."
Mary amused herself by looking at some of Elvis´ favorite teddy bears as she waited. Mr. Presley showed off his son´s new movie camera to photographers. The camera was a Christmas gift from Elvis´ manager, Col. Tom Parker.
About 15 minutes later Elvis came downstairs looking fresh and rested. He was wearing a red, sleeveless sweater, dark pants and white shoes.
" Sorry I´m late folks," he said, "but I just got up."
He kneeled down in front of Mary. "Hi honey. Aren´t you cute, tho." Mary produced her autograph book.
"Before they start taking our pictures Elvis, would you please sign my autograph book? You can put your name on the page opposite President Eisenhower´s autograph, if you like."
Mary got Ike´s signature when she was in Washington as the polio poster girl. Elvis wrote, "Loving you, Elvis Presley."
ALL FORGIVEN - - Mary makes a picture of happiness in Elvis´ lap on the stairway of his home, amidst a forest of teddy bears.
Source: Memphis Press Scimitar, January 9, 1958
Polio Poster Girl, Mary Kosloski, with Grace Kelly.
February 1, 1955.