January 1st, 2021 by Gary Osberg

I celebrated my tenth birthday on a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean. My mother and her four children were returning from a stint as a US Army Dependent Family stationed in Vienna, Austria. Dad was in the Fifth Army.  He and the family dog, Mickey, got to fly home later. 

When he arrived in Upsala a few weeks later, Ma and baby brother Brian were in New Ulm visiting her cousin Helen. Dad borrowed a brand new 54 Chevy from Uncle Duke who owned Hagstrom Chevrolet in Upsala. My brother Bill and I rode along with Dad 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 can still remember the pain when they lifted me on to the X-Ray table at the hospital in Cokato. The cast that they put my leg on went 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 house which was the Dokken Funeral Home in Cokato.

I had to spend a night on a cot on the main floor in the living room next to the viewing room. The next day they took me to Upsala in a black Studebaker hearse. That explains a lot, huh!

I spent the next two months sleeping on a cot in Grandma Laura’s dining room behind Ramlo Grocery.  I think that I gained 30 pounds.  When I went back to Upsala school, I remember falling down a flight of stairs the first day.  No one had taught me how to use crutches to go down stairs.  I quickly learned how not to do it.

“Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out” Chekhov

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