January 15th, 2021 by Gary Osberg

When the family moved from St. Louis Park to Upsala in October of 1956, one benefit was that I did get out of having to do “detention” at Park Junior High school. My rebellious nature had already kicked in. That fall I started hanging out with other “town kids”. The Upsala school population was divided into “farm kids” and “town kids”. For some reason one of us decided to steal a gas cap off of a parked car. I am not sure which “genius” came up with this idea, but in any case the prank turned into a project. Everyone in town was talking about it and I am sure that old man Miller printed a story in the local newspaper. Earl Metzger was the local policeman and in time one of the “gas cap gang” confessed to his parents and we all got busted.

We were gathered up and forced to reveal the hiding place of the gunny sack full of gas caps. All of those who were missing their gas cap were told to come to Earl’s garage and sort through the lineup of gas caps to claim theirs. We appeared in front of the Justice of The Peace in the backroom of the fire hall. Justice Bernard Lunder sentenced us all to “six months of church attendance”. Many years later I would visit Bernard at the nursing home in Sauk Rapids and we would talk about the “separation of church and state”.  He simply laughed and said he thought we would benefit from his sentence.  Not all of us learned the lesson. The “Black Knights Car Club” was born a few years later.

“It is unwise to pay too much, but it’s also unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, all you lose is a little money, but when you pay too little you stand a chance of losing everything because the thing you bought is incapable of doing what you bought it to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It just can’t be done. So, when you deal with the low bidder, it is wise to put a little something aside to take care of the risk you run. And, if you do that, you can afford something better.” John Ruskin

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