October 1st, 2021 by Gary Osberg

In October of 1956, Ma was 36 years old. Two months earlier she had given birth to her sixth child, a boy.  Our family of eight lived in a small house at 1620 Colorado Avenue in St. Louis Park.  Dad had just smashed up his third car in as many years.  Ma’s mother, Grandma Ramlo, drove her 1952 Chevy down from Upsala, placed Dad in the backseat and drove him to the Chemical Dependency department at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis.  She said, “He is a veteran, he is a drunk and he is your problem now.” Then she packed us all up and we moved into the apartment above the Ramlo Grocery in Upsala, Minnesota. 

The one bright spot for me was that I would not have to serve the 20 hours of detention that I had racked up in eighth grade at St. Louis Park Junior High.  I had two paper routes in St. Louis Park, so I was able to buy a brand new Schwinn complete with a tank, a horn and mud flaps.  The first day of school I rode my shiny red and white bike to school.  When I got out, the tires were flat.  That evening I stripped the fenders and all other fancy stuff off of the bike.  The kids left my bike alone after that.  

Next Friday is homecoming at Upsala. I plan to be there in my shiny red and white lettermen’s jacket.  I will not sit too close to any cute single women that are wearing a blue suede jacket with fringes. 

 “If you are going to expect, you have to inspect”  Grandma Ramlo

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