August 26th, 2021 by Gary Osberg

This is going out early because tomorrow I will be attending the “Celebration of Life” of my ex-wife Marcia Julia Rudie Osberg.  We were married on August 21, 1965.  I could have gone to see the Beatles at Metropolitan Stadium, but I got married to Marcia at St. Olaf Catholic Church in downtown Minneapolis instead.  The reception was on the Rudie farm northeast of Upsala.  They killed the chickens that morning. 

Marcia was born in a house on that farm on May 8, 1942.  Her dad had built the house along with the barn, the shed and the milk house.  During her final days, Marcia told our son Erik that her happiest times were on that farm.  She used to say that she could run barefoot across a newly mowed alfalfa field and she was proud of it.  Three of Marcia’s older siblings lived in California, so the evening of our wedding day we left on a four week honeymoon to California.  Her mother’s half-brother Bill Heisick and his wife Maggie also lived in California.  Maggie made quite an impression on Marcia.  So much so that when she got back to Minnesota she enrolled in the Patricia Stevens Finishing School in downtown Minneapolis.  Quite a change for a girl from a farm northeast of Upsala. 

Perhaps one of the most dramatic events in our marriage was the purchase of  a place on the north side of Cedar Lake west of Upsala.  Marcia’s mother Irene had mailed an auction flyer to Marcia.  We lived in Coon Rapids, Minnesota at the time.  So on September 15, 1973 we drove to Upsala and parked in the hay field near the house.  There was a huge turnout for the “Agnes Olson Auction”.  The small farm had 900 feet of lakeshore.  Marcia took me into the barn and said  “Gary, I want this place and this is how you win at an auction.  When it is your turn to bid, you do not hesitate.  Understand?  You react immediately.”  I said ok and went to see the banker who was a very close friend of my father. In fact he was Best Man at my parent’s wedding.  I had to tell Roland that I wanted to bid, but that I didn’t have the $3,000 earnest money check.  I told him that we would go to town and get the check from Marcia’s mother if we were the high bidder.  He took a long time thinking about it, but he finally said okay. 

The auctioneer started out and I jumped in.  After a while my bid was $50,000 which was the maximum that Marcia and I had set.  The auctioneer milked the amount of $50,500 out of the only other remaining bidder.  It went on and on.  Finally the other guy said yes to $50,500.  He turned to me and asked for $51,000.  I did as I was instructed and nodded.  It was over.  Later it was reported to me that the other bidder stormed away with the comment.  “That kid will never stop!”  Marcia was 100% correct.  The point is we never would have had the 16 years of fun and joy of living on Cedar Lake if had not been for Marcia. 

We were married for 32 years, 1 month and 8 days and we were friends for the next nearly 24 years.  May my first date and my first love rest in peace. 

“Understand, you react immediately.”  Marcia Osberg                     

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