December 7th, 2017 by Gary Osberg

Christmas Eve is only two weeks from Sunday. I think that I have it covered, but I still have a couple of gifts to buy. I used to wait until Christmas Eve, but I have improved in that regard. I trust that your plans are all coming together.

In 1958 I was the youngest member of the Black Knights Car Club in Upsala, Minnesota. One of the older members borrowed his dad’s 1950 Ford and we ended up in a drag race with another member. I was riding shotgun. The Ford slid off of the gravel road into the left side ditch and hit a bridge. I can still remember the horn blaring, the rear tires spinning and the sound of the windshield breaking. I had put my arm up to protect my face and the force of the impact broke my wrist. I was a sophomore at Upsala High and that fall I had to stand on the sidelines instead of playing football. The sling that held the cast that surrounded my broken wrist did provide a perfect place to hide the “tools” that I shoplifted later on. The car club had plans to drop a V8 engine into the 1936 Chevy Coupe that the club had acquired from our leader, Duane, (AKA “Punk”). We needed tools. The old Chevy was stored in a garage that was behind the house that my mother rented on Borgstrom Street in Upsala. When the Morrison County Sheriff showed up at our front door with a search warrant, Ma fainted dead away. They were going to charge her with “fencing” since we had hidden some stolen goods in the barn next to the garage. The club house for the Black Knights was an old chicken coop next to the barn that we had cleaned out. The garage was still there in 2010, surrounded by trees growing out from the foundation. It has since been torn down.

The entire gang was brought to trial in the Morrison County court house and we each received a sentence of six months probation. “Punk” was held in the county jail for almost two months without bail. Our school superintendent was named as our probation officer. Two of the gang went to the boys reform school in Red Wing, but they both went on to lead productive lives. One was a successful franchise salesman and the other is a lay minister in the Twin Cities metro area.

The St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra will performing both its St. Cloud Holiday Fantasy concert and its Children’s Fantasy concert on Saturday. The St. John’s Boys Choir will perform at both the 10am children’s program and the main event at 3pm. All of the symphony orchestra concerts are performed in Ritsche Auditorium at St. Cloud State University. Tickets are available at or at the door.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mohandas Ghandi

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