Notebook
May 18th, 2020 by Gary Osberg

Today will be a 10 on the scale of 1 to 10.  No bugs yet and in the seventies.  Working from home is getting better.  I can eat my lunch on the front porch watching my bubbling boulder.   Both Bello Cucina and The Local Blend offer take out. Once we are allowed to meet again, stop by and meditate.  Just plug the cord in that is behind the chair and enjoy.

I have never gone on a fishing opener, but my grandson Walleye Willie, age 11 had a great opener.  His dad had gone out at midnight and fished until 9 am when the snow chased him, and a lot of other folks, off the lake.  He caught a number of nice Walleye.  He went home and took a nap.  About 7 in the evening, Willie said it was time to go out once again. Walleye Willie caught a 25 1/2 inch Walleye.

Live from Here this week is a special Live from Home show.  Enjoy.

“Remember, it’s not about having time, it’s about making time”   Erik Osberg     

May 8th, 2020 by Gary Osberg

75 years ago today Nazi Germany surrendered its armed forces to the Allies of World War II.  Today is a national holiday in the Czech Republic, France and Slovakia.  The rest of Europe celebrates the day in a variety of ways as national observances.  Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed to wander incognito among the crowds and took part in the celebrations. 

This year the celebrations will be different with the “physical distancing” that is required.  The photo attached was taken in Times Square after VJ day, but it serves as an icon.   

My heart goes out to the many millions that served in the military during the war and to the families of those that made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Live from Here this week will be a rebroadcast of an old show. 

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with the cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

May 4th, 2020 by Gary Osberg

Many times we end up taking a path quite by accident.  My second career was drafting.  I faked my way into that field, but it ended well.  In 1969 I was involved in the very first computerized drafting service bureau in the world.  My third career was office furniture. 

Norwood Engineering, the computerized drafting company, was founded by a salesman with Twin Cities Blue Printing, Dick Engebretson.  He hired my boss, Ron Crew, at Control Data who in turn hired me.  Our plans included franchising service bureaus, so my title was Franchise Manager.  We hired General Office Products to design and furnish our office in Roseville and our one and only franchise that we sold to Bob Johnson in Seattle. 

To make a long story short, the business failed and I ended up as the last General Manager.  I had to write a letter to about 14 companies explaining that Norwood Engineering had filed for bankruptcy and we could not pay the bill.  I did add my home phone number at that bottom of the letter, in case they wanted to talk it over.

Jim Helstrom, sales manager for General Office Products, called me.  Of course he wanted his furniture back.  I had to explain that Ron Crew had taken a loan out at the bank and pledged the furniture as collateral.  The bank took the furniture.  GOP did not “have a position” on the goods sold.  At the end of the conversation, Jim said, “Well if you ever need a job, let me know.”   I spent 22 years in the office furniture industry and I loved every minute of it.  I called Jim this week.  He is 81 years old and lives alone in the woods near Hibbing, Minnesota.  I thanked him for the awesome sales training that he had provided.  “Distancing” does not mean you can’t call an old friend. 

Live from Here this week is either a Live from Home or a rebroadcast of an old show.   Enjoy and stay safe.

“Tell me, what else should I have done?  Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?  Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  From The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

May 1st, 2020 by Gary Osberg

Good morning from Mill Stream Village,

What a difference!  On March 3rd, Dr. Benjamin Mueller, with the Twin Cities Spine Center,  performed “spinal cord de-compression surgery”.  It worked. The pain in the back and legs has been replaced with a dull ache.  It will be many months before I am able to free myself from the heating pad, but “time heals all wounds”.  

However the world has changed.  Today, I would not be able to have that surgery, since it would be considered “elective”.  Working from my kitchen table in my cottage is not the preferred way, but hopefully soon I will be able to return to the third floor of Wimmer Hall at St. John’s University.

One year ago today, 12 students from Upsala High and 20 adults including myself and my granddaughter Chrissy checked into a quaint hotel in the village of Aufkirchen, Germany.  Aufkirchen is a suburb of Munich.  Later that day we visited Dachau, the concentration camp where thousands died.  Our tour guide, Sergio, told how his grandmother had thrown her baby daughter from the moving train into the arms of a total stranger.  That baby girl was Sergio’s mother.  I am so glad that Ms. Poissant, the art teacher in Upsala scheduled our “trip of a lifetime” in 2019 and not 2020.

Live from Here this week is another Live from Home broadcast.  Stay safe. 

“This too shall pass”.  

February 28th, 2020 by Gary Osberg

My second car was a 1957 Chevy four door hardtop, red with a black top and spinner hub caps.  In 1962 I was working up the ladder on my way to be a Gas Station Manager.  I worked the night shift at a Standard station on highway 55 in Plymouth.  One evening a client needed a ride home so I offered to give him a lift.  On the way back, an old man made a left hand turn from the right lane and I hit him going 55 mph.   No seat belts back then so I had a very serious back injury. 

I ended up in Swedish Hospital (photo attached) in downtown Minneapolis and I laid there for three weeks undergoing tests.  One of my classmates, Martha Gustafson,  from Upsala class of 1961, was a nurse at Swedish and she did give great back rubs. Finally Dr. Virgil P Lundquist told me that there was a chance that a risky operation would work.  I told him to go for it.  A week later I took a bus home to my mother’s house in south Minneapolis.  I suffered for a while but the operation was a success. 

Now I have been dealing with terrible pain and an inability to walk normally, due to compressed nerves in my spinal cord.  Dr. Benjamin Mueller, of the Twin Cities Spine Center,  will be performing surgery next Tuesday morning at United Hospital in St. Paul.  I don’t know how long I will be out but Dennis Brooks, dbrooks@mpr.org will be covering for me.  I hope to be as good as new in a little while. There will be no Friday notes for a while.

Live from Here this week is a rebroadcast of a show with special guests The Lumineers, Raphael Saadiq, Sarah Jarosz, Jeff Daniels, Aparna Nancherla and Maria Popova.  You can enjoy the show on your radio, computer or your smartphone. 

“Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.”  Joyce Brothers

February 21st, 2020 by Gary Osberg

I celebrated my seventh birthday in Vienna, Austria. I was an army brat. Dad served in the navy during the war and later he joined the army. In 1950 he was a Sergeant in the 5th Army stationed in Vienna. As “dependents” we were housed in an apartment building that was quite nice. There were two marble faced fireplaces and a baby grand piano along with a crystal chandelier in the dining room. I ran with a group of other army brats and I was the oldest in the group.

One day in February we were hanging out in front of the large estate on the corner next to our apartment. One of the kids stuck his hand in the fence opening and a dog took his mitten. I bravely offered to go through the gate and recover the mitten. I still remember starting my walk across the large yard toward the two “Boxers”. They greeted me by jumping up and knocking me to the ground. They proceeded to chew on my arms and legs until an Austrian man who we referred to as the “fireman”, (he took care of the furnace in our apartment building) came in and pulled the dogs off of me.

I walked home nearly naked and my mother fainted when she opened the door. I spent about 6 weeks in the army hospital. It took me a while to get over my fear of dogs. The occupant of the estate was a Colonel in the U.S. Army and they gave me a new winter coat. 

In April of last year I returned to Vienna and I was able to take a cab ride to 41 Gregor Mendel Street.  We had lived in an apartment on the second floor.  I told the cab driver to wait for me and I approached the front door. A resident was getting into his car and he asked me if I needed help. I shared with him that I had lived here as an Army brat in the fifties and was hoping to see the apartment. He told me to push the button for Benedict, the owner of the building.  Someone buzzed me in and I walked up to the second floor.  The lobby looked very familiar.  The elevator was new.  The faucet which provided water for the flower garden was still there.  (photo attached).  The guy that let me in was a live in boyfriend of the owner, Verena Benedict.  He let me in but he would not allow me to take pictures.  I would love to return to Vienna to take Marcus and Verena out for dinner.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Live from Here this week is a live show from the Town Hall in New York City.  Special guests include Nathaniel Rateliff, Haley Heynderickx, Aoife O’Donovan, Rachel Syme & Josh Gondelman.  Last weeks show was one of the best I have ever heard.  You can enjoy this week’s show on the radio, on your computer or smart phone or you can watch it on YouTube.  

The St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra is performing Horizons” Saturday night at 7:30 at Ritsche Auditorium on the campus of St. Cloud State University.  Tickets at the door or at www.stcloudsymphony.com 

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”  Abraham Lincoln

February 14th, 2020 by Gary Osberg

It is still winter and I for one am growing weary of it all. The days are getting longer but I have not heard any Cardinals singing their songs looking for love.

Today is Saint Valentine’s Day, “an annual holiday celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.” (Wikipedia) The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine, established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD.

Some claim that the first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules by Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote: “For this was sent on Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” This poem was written in 1382 to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia both of whom were 14 years old.

The sending of “Valentines” probably started in Great Britain. Esther Howland developed a successful home-based business in Worcester, Massachusetts making Valentine cards based on British models. The US Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, second only to Christmas. There are many ways to demonstrate affection to those that you feel love towards. Gifts of music is one.

If it is romance that you are looking for, check out Melody Gardot’s “One and Only Thrill”. I have a close personal friend that unwittingly revealed his unique love for his wife. He is a retired business man who has a cell phone, but the only person that has his cell phone number is his wife. Every time his cell phone rings he knows that it is the love of his life who is calling him. Now that is romantic.

Live from Here this week is a live show from Town Hall in New York City.  Special guests include Indigo Girls, Ken Burns, Real Estate, Lewis Black and Amanda Brown.  Lewis Black on public radio?  Edgy. 

February 7th, 2020 by Gary Osberg

I celebrated my tenth birthday on a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. My mother along and with her four children were returning from a stint as US Army dependents stationed in Vienna, Austria. My Dad was held over in Vienna and when he arrived in Upsala a few weeks later, Ma along with my brother Brian age 2, were in New Ulm visiting her cousin Helen. Dad borrowed a brand new 1954 Chevy from Uncle Duke who owned Hagstrom Chevrolet in Upsala and my brother Bill and I rode with him to New Ulm.

I was napping in the back seat and I woke up when our car was broadsided by a dump truck. I had a broken leg. I still can remember the pain when they were putting me on the X-Ray table at the hospital in Cokato. The cast was from my toes to my crotch. I was in the hospital for a few weeks and when it came time to transport me back to Upsala, Dad took me to Uncle Elmer’s. Uncle Elmer and his wife Ethyl owned the Dokken Funeral Home in Cokato. I had to spend the night on a cot on the main floor of the funeral home. There were coffins in the next room.

The next day they hauled me to Upsala in a black Studebaker hearse. That explains a lot, huh!  I was placed on a cot in the dining room.  I gained 30 pounds due to Gram’s over feeding and no activity.

Live from Here this week is a live show from the Town Hall in New York City.  Guests include Andrew Bird, Bedouine, Sarah Jarosz, Jia Tolentino and Tom Papa.  Enjoy the show on your radio, smartphone or computer.

Tomorrow night there is a very special event at the St. Cloud Country Club.  The St. Cloud Symphony is hosting their fundraiser, Duets!   There are still tickets available.  Simply go to www.stcloudsymphony.com

“Any idiot can face a crisis; it is the day-to-day living that wears you out”.  Chekov

January 31st, 2020 by Gary Osberg

I choose to come to work by the “back door”. I take County Rd 51 to County Rd 159 and drive past Lake Sagatagan.  This morning it was like a Currier & Ives print.  Hoar frost on all the trees.   

Tonight is the first night of music, food and beer at the third annual Otter Tail County on Ice.  This year my son Erik and his crew moved the tent to the parking lot of Thumper Pond in Otter Tail.  Too much snow created bad ice. You can still get tickets by going to www.otconice.com  

If you want to participate in a fishing tournament, simply download a free app,  “Fishdonkey” , search for the tournament OTC ON ICE and register.  I just did it and if I can master it, so can you.  What is special about this tournament is you can fish on any body of water in Otter Tail County. There are prizes for largest Blue Gill, Crappie, Walleye and Northern.  My grandson, Walleye Willie is in third place for Crappie.   The Outdoor Report will be giving a $500 check to someone.  Everyone that catches and registers a walleye on any lake in Otter Tail County will have their name put into a hat and there will be a drawing.  An 8 inch Walleye could win $500.

The headliner is Tigirlily.  They are from North Dakota and they are an awesome act.  Enjoy.

Live from Here this weekend is a rebroadcast.  Next Saturday the show will be live from Town Hall in New York City. 

“ I love it when a plan comes together.”  Me

January 29th, 2020 by Gary Osberg

Two days ago we celebrated the 53rd  anniversary of the first broadcast on KSJR 90.1 from here on the third floor of Wimmer Hall. The first words uttered by engineer Dan Rieder were, “Heed my words, Earth People. You have 10 minutes to live.” The first concert aired was a pre-recorded concert by the Cleveland Orchestra. What began as Minnesota Education Radio became Minnesota Public Radio on January 1, 1975.

This is a version of the story of how Bill Kling was selected to lead the creation of what has become the largest network of public radio stations in the United States. It was written by our first intern, Ellen Newkirk. Ellen now lives in St. Joseph and works for the College of St. Benedict.

“The Saint John’s University monks chose Bill Kling to help start their public radio station, Minnesota Education Radio because of his “bright mind” – literally. SJU graduate Marty Mahowald told Ellen the story of Bill Kling’s selection as the station’s leader as told by his professor Fr. Gunther Rolfson.

Fr. Gunther told Marty that in the 1960s, Saint John’s had a mandatory lights-out policy at 10pm when the faculty residents would flip a switch that turned off all power on each floor of the residence halls. However, one evening, during walk around campus , Fr. Gunther noticed a light illuminating from a single room in Benet Hall. The next day, Fr. Gunther used a master key to enter the room and found a system rigged to keep the power on after the switch was flipped each night. The room belonged to Bill Kling. Eventually, the monks decided Kling’s innovative and determined spirit was just what they needed for their new endeavor. According to Mahowald, “Fr. Gunther said that they knew that starting a new campus radio station would present struggles, budget challenges and many other issues to deal with and it would take someone with a lot of moxie to lead it through to success.”

It turned out to be a very good decision; Kling served as president of Minnesota Public Radio until 2010 and created one of the greatest public radio station networks in the country. “  Ellen Newkirk, CSB, Class of 2013.

Live from Here this week is a compilation of warmups and encores.  Special guests include Nathaniel Rateliff, Sarah Jarosz, The Sklar Brothers and more.  Enjoy the show on radio or by streaming it on www.livefromhere.org  or on the MPR Radio app for your smartphone.

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past.  You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”  Johnny Cash