Rutland has been sprucing up for 2012. A crew of workmen from Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls completed repainting the City’s water tower on Tuesday, May 22. The project, which included power washing the structure, chipping off loose paint, repainting the tower and tank with aluminum paint and re-lettering RUTLAND on the tank, was delayed for several days by high wind, but the workmen took advantage of calm mornings and quiet evenings to get the job done. The tank and tower were constructed in 1954, when Rutland’s municipal water system was installed. The total cost of the project at that time, including the construction of the tower and tank, installation of water mains & valves, as well as fire hydrants, was $59,000.00. The cost of painting the tower and tank in 2012 was in excess of $23,000.00. It has been estimated that it would cost more than $250,000.00 to replace the current tower and tank. When it was built, the useful life expectancy of the structure was 50 years, but regular and careful maintenance has extended the useful life well beyond that span, and with regular maintenance, the tower and tank could well last for another half century, or more, according to the supervisor of the Maguire Iron crew.
Shortly after it was built, one of the 2 by 8 planks in the top of the Rutland General Store’s Round Table split, opening a crack in the table top that resisted normal repair techniques. At the beginning of May, the table’s maker, Alan Olstad of this community, took the table back to his shop, disassembled the top, made the necessary repairs and reassembled the table. Assisted by his wife, Dorene, and a neighbor, Dale McLaen, Mr. Olstad then applied a clear polyurethane surface to the table top, leaving the wood grain and the brands of local cattlemen clearly visible, while providing a surface that can easily be cleaned. The Round Table was returned to the General Store on Tuesday, May 22, and none too soon, either, as the large square table that served as a temporary replacement was not nearly as conducive to the free flowing conversations, discussions, philosophizing and story telling of the Assembled Wise Men as is the Round Table. The Round Table is now back in service, so stop on in. The wisdom is free, coffee extra.
Cayuga native Chuck Kiefer was a Rutland visitor on the afternoon of Thursday, May 24. Chuck accompanied his brother-in-law and nephew, Jim Breker and Kurt Breker, for the afternoon session at the Round Table. Chuck and his wife, Caroline, currently make their home in Houston TX, but spend the summers at their Big Lake MN vacation home. Chuck’s father, Bill Kiefer, and uncle, Pete Kiefer, owned and operated Kiefer Implement and Hardware in Cayuga for many years. Chuck is a 1962 graduate of Sargent Central High School.
Bobbi Jo Manikowski of Geneseo, Bill Anderson of Rutland and Paul Anderson of Rutland drove up to Lindenwood Park in Fargo on the morning of Friday, May 25, to attend a press conference announcing the formation of the Veteran’s Advisory Committee for Pam Gulleson’s Congressional campaign. The 10:00 a.m. news conference was covered by print and broadcast media in the Fargo area. Both Manikowski and Anderson have been named to Gulleson’s Veterans Advisory Committee. Ms. Manikowski is a North Dakota Army National Guard veteran of the Iraq War, and Anderson is a U. S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. Both stressed the fact of Mrs. Gulleson’s strong support for veterans’ rights as a reason for organizing and serving on the committee.
David & Pat Kulzer of Condon MT arrived in Rutland on the evening of Friday, May 25, driving a new Jeep Grand Cherokee and towing their travel trailer. They are planning to visit friends and family in their old home town until Monday, June 4, when they will head back west. The new Grand Cherokee replaces the Dodge Nitro that was the 15th, or maybe the 20th, “last new vehicle I’ll ever buy,” until this one. Dave reports that the Jeep, which has more weight and power than the Nitro, handles towing the travel trailer much better. The Kulzers are residing on the lots owned by their son, Glenn, on the east side of Dakota Street, during their time in Rutland.
The thunderstorm on the night of Saturday, May 26, dropped 1 to 1.25 inch of rain in the Rutland area, but rainfall amounts tapered off rapidly to the east. Jim Breker reported only .3 of an inch at Cayuga out of the same storm system. Scattered hail was also part of the storm package, but no serious hail damage has been reported.
Sargent Central High School Graduation Day was on Sunday, May 27, with 4 young men and women with ties to this community: Ally Peterson; Cole Rohrbach; Tracy Haussler; and, Steed Nelson; graduating. Parents of the graduates are: Jim & Lana Peterson; Vaughan and Polly Rohrbach; Rick & Vicky Haussler; and, Trent & Eva Nelson. A reception for Ally Peterson was held at the Rutland Town Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, May 26. Following commencement exercises on Sunday, May 27, a reception for Cole Rohrbach was held at the Rutland Seniors Center; for Tracy Haussler at the Rutland Sportsmen’s Clubhouse just north of Silver Lake; and, for Steed Nelson at the Silver Lake Park Pavilion, 5 miles southwest of Rutland. The Rutland community extends its congratulations to the graduates and to their parents, and best wishes for success in the future.
Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, dawned overcast and cool, but an 8:00 a.m. rain shower was followed by clearing skies and a pleasant morning. A ceremonial detail composed of members of Rutland’s Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion conducted military observances at the Nordland and Rutland Cemeteries at 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively. Members of the detail were: Larry Christensen; Calvin Jacobson; Andy Hoflen; John Harris; Roger McLaen; Roger Pearson; Roger Nelson; Ted Lee; Tom Manly; Norman Preble; and, Vincent Young. With flags snapping in the breeze, the detail, under the command of Sergeant at Arms Calvin Jacobson, fired salutes over the graves of departed comrades, as members of the American Legion Auxiliary placed flowers and flags on veterans’ gravesites. Buglers Julian Jacobson and Justin Jacobson played an echo version of “Taps” at both cemeteries that added to the solemn reverence of the occasion. A Memorial Day program at the Rutland Town Hall followed at 11:00 a.m. An honor roll of the names of this community’s deceased veterans of every conflict from the Civil War to the present was read by Joan Lee and Larry Christensen. Joanne Harris gave a very interesting presentation on the “pocket flag” program sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, and several e-mails of thanks sent to the Auxiliary from sailors and Marines serving on the USS Pearl Harbor were read. Commander Michael Harris USN, son of John & Joanne Harris of this community, is currently serving as the Executive Officer of the USS Pearl Harbor, and is scheduled to take command of the ship in July. During the program, Blaine Lee sang 2 patriotic numbers, and a duet rendition of “Amazing Grace” was performed by Claire Brakke & Josh Christianson. Piano accompaniment was by Kathy Brakke. Recognized for 40 years of continuous membership in the American Legion were: Bill Anderson; Calvin Jacobson; Roger Nelson; and, Ted Lee. Edith Malpert was recognized for 70 years, and Lorraine Donaldson for 60 years of continuous membership in the American Legion Auxiliary. Edith’s father, Eddy McLaen, was a veteran of World War I, and Lorraine became a member when she married the late Aldon Donaldson, a World War II veteran, in 1952. Ted Lee reported on the work currently underway to create a veterans memorial honoring those from the Rutland community who have served in the military, and Calvin Jacobson gave a presentation on the local cemeteries and the urgent need for funds to keep them maintained. Phil Tveten, a veteran of the Japanese attack onPearl Harbor,Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, was present, and was honored for his distinguished service during World War II. Phil is the father of Wendy Jacobson of this community. On December 7, 1941, he was aboard the battleship USS West Virginia, preparing to attend Sunday morning church services on the fantail of the ship, when she was attacked and sunk by the Japanese surprise attack. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described that day as, “…a date which will live in infamy,…” Mr. Tveten was reassigned to a destroyer, the USS Henley, which was sunk in action after a brutal naval battle off New Guinea in the following year. He then was assigned to the USS Leutze which, ironically, was one of the destroyer escorts for the resurrected, rehabilitated and modernized USS West Virginia when it, along with several other battleships raised and repaired after being sunk at Pearl Harbor, wreaked vengeance on the Japanese fleet at Suragao Strait as part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October of 1944. In that battle, the American battleships smashed and destroyed most of what was left of the Japanese battleship fleet. Rutland native Reynald Bergman, serving on the USS Johnston, was killed in action in another area of the Leyte Gulf sea battle. The Leutze sustained serious damage off Iwo Jima in February of 1945 when a Japanese bomb or torpedo bounced off a damaged warship that the Leutze was assisting and struck the after gun turret, killing the entire gun crew and causing serious damage to the stern of the ship. She was sent to San Francisco for repairs, steaming all of the way across the Pacific at 8 knots, said Phil. The Leutze was not yet repaired when the war ended 6 months later, and she was sold for scrap, instead, along with a large number of other warships that were no longer needed once the war was over. Following the war, Phil got into the grain business in North Dakota, and managed a large grain elevator in Langdon for a number of years before he retired in 1986. Mr. Tveten was given a standing ovation by those attending the Memorial Day program. Following the program, the crowd enjoyed the traditional Memorial Day pot-luck dinner and a great deal of conversation.
Some out of town guests for Monday’s Memorial Day observances were Marvin Evenson and Pam Evenson of Sioux Falls SD; Carl & Doris Olson of Britton; Sarah Dobmeyer of Fargo; Sonja Christensen of Wahpeton; and Blaine Lee of Wheaton MN.
Rutland native Marvin Evenson reports that he has been getting out to play golf a couple of mornings every week this Spring, and often completes the round with a score that is less than his age. Marvin was born in Ransom Township, east of Rutland, in September of 1912, and is currently 99 and going strong. He also keeps active with the Sons of Norway Lodge, senior citizens, historical research and other interests. He plans to be back in his old home town this coming July, to attend the Jacobson-Johnson family reunion, and for Uff-Da Day on the first Sunday in October. Marvin currently resides with his youngest daughter, Pam, at her home in Sioux Falls. They had been in Moorhead MN on Sunday, decorating family graves there, and drove down to Rutland on Monday morning. Pam reported that their progress was slowed by the heavy rain and hail that they encountered along I-29, north of Hankinson.
Rutland’s Pam Gulleson was the guest speaker at Memorial Day observances in McLeod ND on Monday, May 29. Pam, the Dem-NPL endorsed candidate forNorth Dakota’s lone seat in the U. S. House of Representatives, spoke of the need to strengthen and improve education, medical and rehabilitation programs for North Dakota’s returning veterans. During her 16 years of service in the North Dakota State Legislature, Pam was a strong supporter of veterans and veterans’ rights, and worked hard to secure the Federal and State funding needed to build the new North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon. Pam was off on the campaign trail, again, on Tuesday, and has a full schedule from now until Election Day in November.
Cayuga natives Don Isensee (SCHS Class of ’63) and Judy (Isensee) Gette (SCHS Class of ’68), stopped in at the Old Parsonage in Rutland following their attendance at the Memorial Day observances at Cayuga, and also paid a visit to old friends Bill Anderson (RHS Class of ’63) and Paul Anderson (SCHS Class of ’67) while they were in town. The 2 Isensee kids are children of the late Bud & Priscilla (Janish) Isensee, who owned and operated the grocery store in Cayuga in the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. Don has resided at Perham MN since retiring from the Pillsbury Company several years ago. Judy is a Fargo resident, and is employed at Hospice of the Red RiverValleythere. She and Watford City ND native Lloyd Anderson were married in a ceremony on the beach in Hawaii in January of this year, she reports. Mr. Anderson is a former NDSU faculty member, and currently has a consulting business in Fargo.
Jack Brummond drove up from Havana for a session at the refurbished Round Table on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29. Jack reports that only .1 of an inch of rain fell on the flat east of Havana last Saturday, indicating that his Rain Dance routine needs some work in order to obtain a more even distribution of the available precipitation. He refused to make any comment on the non-progress of his non-campaign campaign for the Governor’s office, which would indicate that the non-campaign is going just as he has non-planned it.
Richard “Diamond Dick” Johnson of Hot Sulphur Springs CO stopped in Rutland for breakfast at the Rutland Café and a visit with one of his cousins, Bill Anderson, on the morning of Wednesday, May 30. Both men are great-grandsons of Rutland Township pioneers John & Maria Peterson, who emigrated from Sweden to homestead between Rutland and Forman back in 1887. Mr. Johnson grew up in Drayton ND where his father, Chod Johnson, was president of the bank. In 1960 he was a member of the Drayton American Legion baseball team that played in the national championship series. He retired from the Denver Co Water Dept. several years ago, and is currently on a month long summer vacation tour of North Dakota. During his travels, he is residing in the 1975 31’ Airstream Travel Trailer that he has restored to near new condition. The towing vehicle is a 2008 diesel powered Ford 250 pickup that he states handles the travel trailer with ease. After stocking up on coffee and conversation, Mr. Johnson headed north, bound for his old home town of Drayton and a reunion with old friends there.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For more information about what’s going on in the little city that can, stop by the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com while you’re cruising through cyberspace, and check out the Rutland blog and Facebook pages while you’re at it, too. Congress has not yet acted on Postal Service Reform legislation, so now is the time to keep the pressure on the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.