December 7th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

Seventy seven years ago, on this date, Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor.  That Sunday morning some soldiers at Pearl Harbor detected a large number of planes heading their way.  The word came down that they must be American B-17s on their way to base, so no alarm went out. At 7:48 am, Japanese planes began dropping bombs and dive-bombers strafed the base.  Most of the damage occurred in the first 30 minutes.  The U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized and the California, Nevada and West Virginia sank in shallow water. The U.S.S Arizona was completely destroyed, killing more than 1,500 sailors.

There were ultimately 2,390 Americans killed at Pearl Harbor and 1,178 were wounded.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan the next day. 

Live From Here this week is another live show from Town Hall in New York City.  Special guests include Maggie Rogers, Vulpeck and Chris Gethard.  You can watch live on YouTube or tune in on your radio or smart phone. 

Tomorrow, the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with The St. John’s Boys Choir, will host this year’s Holiday Fantasy Concert.  The Children’s Holiday Fantasy concert is at 10 am in Ritsche Auditorium at St. Cloud State University.  The St. Cloud Holiday Fantasy concert starts at 3 pm at the same venue.  I hope to see you there.

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882-1945

November 30th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on this day in 1835. He is better known by his pen name Mark Twain. His family moved to Hannibal, Missouri when he was 4 years old. When he was 16 he began working as a typesetter and contributor of articles and humorous sketches for the Hannibal Journal. In 1867, he published his first book, a book of short stories called The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Two years later he published The Innocents Abroad, a humorous book of travel writing. It was an immediate best-seller. Mark Twain is best known for his books Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


I visited his home and museum in Hartford, Connecticut in June of 2012. He was famous for entertaining and the home was often filled with admirers. He lost his only son at 19 months and two of his three daughters died before he died on April 21, 1910. He invested in an automatic typesetter, the Paige Compositor and he was forced to file bankruptcy. In 1905 he held a huge party at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City to celebrate his 70th birthday. He had a tough life, but he lived it fully.


Live From Here this week is a live show from New York City.  Special guests include Cat Power, Jacob Collier and Matteo Lane.  You will be able to watch the show live on YouTube if you choose.  Otherwise, tune in on radio or your smart phone at 5pm CST on Saturday and 11am CST on Sunday on your favorite MPR News station. 


“The secret to long life is to only smoke when awake and avoid exercise at all costs.” Mark Twain. (1835-1910)

November 16th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

Years ago I met a woman whose father was a doctor in Cold Spring.  His brother was also a doctor and they would take turns covering for each other during vacations.  One year the brother and his family drove to California in their “woody” station wagon.  At the end of the first week the doctor received a telegram from his brother in California telling him how great a time they were having and asking him to wire some money.  The next week another request for more money arrived. This time, the doctor sent a telegram back to his brother telling him that there would be no more money and that it was time for him to come home.

Some time went by and one day the railroad station manager called the doctor and told him that he should come to the depot.  There was a C.O.D. for him.  The doctor argued that he had not ordered anything C.O.D.  The station manager told him to get down there, that there was no doubt that the package was for him. When the doctor got to the train depot, he discovered that his vacationing brother had loaded the “woody” onto a railroad flat car and shipped himself and his family home C.O.D.

Live From Here this week is another re-broadcast.  The second act of the new season starts December 1st from New York City.

“We judge others by their actions and we judge ourselves by our intentions.”  GMO

November 9th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

Sunday is Veterans Day. Building a monument to honor our veterans requires dedication, commitment and a team to get the job done. It takes an artist willing to spend the time researching, designing and creating the paintings. It takes a committed group of individuals to share the dream and raise the money. And most importantly, it takes donors like yourself to make it come true!


The Veterans Art Monument was commissioned by the Minnesota State Veterans Memorial Association and consists of five 8’ X 10’ oil paintings; each paying tribute to the men and women of the five branches of the U.S. Military: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Four completed paintings (Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps) are installed in the Committal Hall at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls. The Air Force painting is in progress and the artist, Charles Kapsner, plans to complete it by September 11, 2019. The paintings tell the story of each branch of service, commemorating the sacrifices of all who have served. Besides being a memorial to our nation’s military men and women, the paintings are educational tools which will help citizens and future generations to understand the vital role that the U.S. Military plays in maintaining our freedom and democracy.

Millions of men and women have served. Many were wounded in battle. Many died to keep us free. The least that we can do is to remember them. You can help by going to and donating any amount to help finish this unique monument.  The artist, Charles Kapsner, will be at the Committal Hall on
Monday from 1pm until 4pm.  


Tomorrow night I will be working the table at Ritsche Auditorium on the campus of St. Cloud State University. The St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra is performing “Coming Home” a tribute to the Armistice Day 100th Anniversary.  The concert begins a 7:30. A pre-concert discussion with the conductor Brian Dowdy is scheduled for 6:30.  I hope to see you there.


Live From Here is another re-broadcast.  Tune in Saturday at 5pm CST on your radio or your smart phone.


“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”  Henry James (1811-1882)

November 2nd, 2018 by Gary Osberg

In January of 1971 I went to my city council meeting in Coon Rapids to complain about snowmobiles running up and down the streets in my neighborhood. I came home and told Marcia that I was sure that I could do better than those who were representing us. I had met Pat Cleath at a caucus meeting, so I called him and told him that I had the five dollar filing fee, but that was it. They would have to raise the rest. My next door neighbor, Mary Jo Hecht, was a co-chair along with a local doctor, Dr. Moriarity who helped mostly with his contacts in the community. I was 27 years old. 


The incumbent was going for his third three year term of office. He was a vice president with a large insurance firm and what seemed to cost him the election was his decision to publish a legal size flyer that listed all of his many qualifications on one side and my very short list of qualifications on the opposite side.  Stuff like “Attended St. Cloud State University”. The voting public thought that this was just not “Minnesota Nice.” When he and his wife came to my door on election night to congratulate me, I stood in the doorway hiding my bottle of beer behind my back. I am not sure why I was embarrassed.


I represented Ward 3 from 1972 until 1974. It was fun to participate in the process but I never even considered running for re-election. It was hard work. Every five years, four of us that served in 1974 get together to share stories.  Ironically, we all ended up working for non-profit organizations.


Tuesday is election day.  Be sure to get out and vote.   The Live From Here show this week is a rebroadcast.  I was not able to find out the details.

Tomorrow night I will be working the table at The Paramount Theatre in downtown St. Cloud.  The Chamber Music Society of St. Cloud will perform with Tapestry Vocal Ensemble honoring the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. I hope to see you there.


“Always vote for a principal, though you vote alone, and you may cherish the sweet reflection that your vote is never lost.”  John Quincy Adams

October 26th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

Wednesday night is Halloween, the night before All Hallows Day. According to Wikipedia, though the origin of the word Halloween is Christian, the holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots. Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while “some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain”, which comes from the Old Irish for “summers end”. Samhain was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar.

Samhain was seen as a time when the ‘door’ to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings such as fairies, to come into our world. Guising – children going from door to door for food or coins is a traditional Halloween custom and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children “guising” around the neighborhood. I am not sure that there are any outhouses left to tip in central Minnesota.

Live From Here this week is another live show from Lincoln.  Special guests include Jeff Tweedy, Diana Gordon, Todd Barry and Madison Cunningham.  Enjoy the show.

Tomorrow night I will be working the table at Escher Auditorium on the campus of the College of Saint Benedict.  Ronald K. Brown & Evidence will be performing at 7:30.  They are a dance company that seamlessly blends contemporary and African dance styles.  I have a pair of tickets that can be yours if you respond to this email.  I will leave them for you at the will call desk.

“It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul”.  From the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

October 19th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

MEA weekend is a special time of the year. Many a father/son(daughter) combo head for the woods or ponds to bring home the “bacon” in the form of grouse or duck. Larry, a friend of mine who died way too young, knew that I had never taken up hunting, but he wanted my son and myself to experience a weekend of grouse hunting, up north at “the shack”. He invited our friend Ron and his son Matt, my son’s best friend, to join him and his son Danny. So there were three dads and three sons along with a black lab, “Bear”. We formed two teams and I was the “bird dog” on the dads team. Bear went with the boys.

The first day we brought back 17 grouse and Larry fixed a meal of grouse with wild rice and cream of mushroom soup in the giant iron skillet that hung from a nail in “the shack”. It was one of the most memorable feasts of my life. I trust that you are doing something special with your family this weekend. If you want to see examples of other hunting experiences go to

“Live From Here” this week is a live show from The Fitzgerald Theatre in downtown St. Paul.  Chris Thile will introduce you to “The War and Treaty”, a couple of very talented singers.  Check out their video online.  Other guests include, singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, comedian Negin Farsad and Aoife O’Donovan is back to join Chris in a couple of duets.  Enjoy the show on your radio or you can watch it live by streaming on your smart phone or smart TV.  Follow the directions on

“Do all you can, with what you have, in the time that you have, in the place where you are”. Okasi Johnson, 14 old aids patient in South Africa.


October 13th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

“What is that strange orb in the east”.   Finally some sun.  Here on campus, folks were taking photos by the lake this morning.

In September of 1956 I was enrolled in the eighth grade at Junior High in St. Louis Park. The previous month my mother had given birth to her sixth child and Dad was once more in trouble. My mother’s mother, Grama Laura Ramlo, drove her 1952 Chevy from Upsala to our rented bungalow at 1620 Colorado Ave in St. Louis Park, put my dad in the back seat, drove to the VA Hospital in Minneapolis and said, “Here! He is a veteran and a drunk and he is your problem, not mine”. She then took her daughter and my five siblings into her house in Upsala above Ramlo Grocery. On October 1st, I rode my Schwinn from Ramlo Grocery to the Upsala school. I had earned the money for my shiny new red bike by delivering newspapers, both morning and evening, in our St. Louis Park neighborhood. Of course, that first day, someone let the air out of the tires. That evening I removed the lamp, the tank and the fenders from my bike. No one messed with the bike the second day of school.  Another plus related to this move was that I did get out of the 10 hours of detention that I had accrued at school in St. Louis Park.

The next Monday, the student body was ushered into the school auditorium to watch game five of the World Series. We watched Don Larsen pitch the only perfect game in post-season major league baseball history. He’d had a disastrous game two, lasting only two innings and allowing four runs on four walks. When he reported to the locker room that day, Larsen was astonished to see the baseball tucked into his shoe by the manager Casey Stengel. He faced 27 batters that day and not a single one made it to base.

The Live From Here show this week is a live show from St. Paul.  Musical guests include the Dirty Projectors, The Sklar Brothers and Madison Cunningham.  Enjoy the show.

“If you are going to expect, you must inspect”  Laura Ramlo


October 10th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

Tomorrow is homecoming in Upsala. In my day it was the Upsala `Cardinals’, but some time ago Upsala football merged with Swanville and now it is the USA (Upsala Swanville Area) `Patriots’.
Some of my favorite memories of football games are those played in the mud. I was an overweight freshman on the Upsala Cardinal team in 1957. Freshmen wore the old uniforms and helmets and we did not win any fashion awards. John Atkinson, a senior running back, ran with his knees pumping up and down high and hard. He still managed to make yardage. In practice, I would simply bounce off of his knee pads. The memory of the pain is still with me. That was the year when no other team even scored on the Upsala team. Clarissa got to our three yard line, but our defense held.

A couple of years ago, the 1957 Upsala football team was inducted into the Upsala Sports Hall of Fame. I was one of nine of the twenty-nine original members of the 1957 Upsala Cardinal football team who showed up for our induction into the Sports Hall of Fame. One of the guys, Dave Chuba, came all the way from Ohio. The quarterback of the 1957 team was Bob Soltis. Bob was named All-State in 1957.

This was the second year that inductees to the Upsala Sports Hall of Fame were chosen. Bob’s brother John was a junior on the 1957 football team and he accepted an individual award for his older brother.  The first year of the Hall of Fame, Bob’s brother Ralph was chosen. There were lots of Soltis boys and they all played football. No one lifted weights in those days, they just threw bales of hay all summer. Those of us who were “village kids” had a tough time keeping up with the “farm kids”.

The Live From Here show this weekend is the kick-off of the new season with a live performance from San Francisco.  Special guests will be Lindsey Buckingham, Hurray for the Riff Raff and Erin Foley.  Tom Papa will be reporting his usual “Out in America”.   More details can be found online at

“Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others.”

September 28th, 2018 by Gary Osberg

Fall is here and there is a forecast for frost tonight.  The Millstream Art Festival is on Sunday in vibrant downtown St. Joseph.  The event is from 11am until 5pm.  There will be 55 artists and 8 authors displaying and selling their works.  There will be live music and a wide variety of food available for purchase.  I hope to see you there.

I have to leave early to drive up to Breezy Point for our fall retreat. One of the cabins that is available is the 11 bedroom Fawcett House. It was Breezy Point Resort’s founder Captain Billy’s personal residence. My mother, Bernice Larson was a nanny for the grandchildren of Captain Billy Fawcett in the 1930s. She had a bedroom in the Fawcett House and spent the winters in Los Angeles with Captain Billy’s son Gordon Fawcett, his wife Vivian and their two children, Gordon Jr. and Dennis.

Wilford Fawcett, better known as Captain Billy, was a millionaire publisher from Robbinsdale, Minnesota. His most famous publication was the Capt. Billy’s Whiz Bang magazine. The book “Humor Magazines and Comic Periodicals” noted that “Few periodicals reflect the post-WW I cultural change in American life as well as Capt. Billy’s Whiz Bang. For much of the 1920’s Capt. Billy’s was the most prominent comic magazine in America.”

Captain Billy purchased Breezy Point in Pelican Township, from Fred LaPage in 1920 and soon the main lodge was built along with his personal residence. The original lodge was destroyed in a fire in June of 1959. Of course he rebuilt the lodge and the “Fawcett House” still stands. With 11 bedrooms it is perfect for large family reunions. It was recently renovated. For details on rates and golf packages, go to

This week Live From Here airs the final summer repeat, originally from Ravinia back in June, with Parker MillsapThe Secret Sisters, and Hawktail. Plus: Tom Papa reads a few excerpts from his book Your Dad Stole My Rake, including a proposal for new restaurants sure to please both kids and parents.  Chris Thile’s Song of the Week, “Best Life”; Gaby Moreno’s “Fronteras”; and the radio actors present a lesson on Chicago-style food from Chef Mike Katz.

“Make up your mind that no matter what comes your way, no matter how difficult, no matter how unfair, you will do more than simply survive. You will thrive in spite of it.”