February 23rd, 2024 by Gary Osberg

Next Tuesday would have been my cousin Tom’s 77th birthday.  Tom died way too young. He passed in November of 2019.  Back in the fifties, Tom was the first kid in Upsala to see the newest Chevrolet model every fall. His grandfather, Bill Hagstrom, owned Hagstrom Chevrolet.  The auto transport would come to Upsala in the evening with the car wrapped in a tarp. Grandpa Bill would have it delivered to his home on the edge of town.  He would hide the car in the garage behind his house.  Later, he would let Tommy into the garage to get a look at the brand-new model Chevrolet before the unveiling at the dealership. It was a huge event in this small town.

It must have been exciting to work in the design department of Chevrolet back then.  The 1954 Chevrolet was quite different from the ’55 and the ’57.  Today, both of those models are a car collector’s prize possession.  In those days there was only one body design with the addition of chrome being the major difference between the Biscayne and the Bel Air. In 1958 Chevrolet introduced the top-of-the-line Impala.

I bought my first car from Tom’s dad, Uncle Duke.  It was a white 1954 Chevrolet “150” which was the low end of the line.  Black rubber took the place of chrome on various parts.  I paid $300 for it and my grandmother Laura Ramlo had to co-sign the loan from Farmers State Bank.  The owner of the bank, Axel Borgstrom, was not very loose with his money. 

Today “Hagstrom Chevrolet” is Upsala Motors.  They are in beautiful downtown Upsala.  Upsala Motors is a sponsor of programming on KNSR 88.9 MPR News every Saturday here in central Minnesota.  Stop in and say hi to the Peterson brothers, Dean, Tim, and Mike. 

Tonight, there is an Organ & Cello Concert in Saint John’s Abbey Church on the campus of St. John’s University.  Organ Maestro Greg Zelek and Cello Virtuosa Dr. Tommy Mesa perform at 8pm.

On Sunday afternoon at 2pm the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and Great River Chorale, along with the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir, perform “Requiem and the Perennial Question” in the same Saint John’s Abbey Church. There is a pre-concert discussion at 1pm and a reception in the Great Hall after the performance.

“Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay.  Love is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart; and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with love, earth is heaven, and we are gods.”  Robert Green Ingersoll.

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