Silver Lake was the place to be last week. Not only is the swimming and fishing going strong but so are the celebrations. About 100 people attended the Silver Lake Pavilion dedication and 150th Anniversary of the park. On Saturday, an even larger group attended the 50th Anniversary celebration for Bill and Mary Woytassek of Rutland and to celebrate Bill’s 70th birthday. Bill and Mary first met at the Hankinson Academy and were married in 1962. The resided in Cayuga for several years and in 1966 they moved to Rutland where Bill engaged in farming. Their seven children, spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all came home to help celebrate the milestone events. It was a grand party with music provided by the Earl Fust Band and the festivities continued until early morning Sunday.
Many area residents may remember Rev. Gary Clark, pastor of Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman in 1963-1964. In 1964 Nordland called Rev. Rod Anderson to serve as its Pastor and Rev. Clark continued to serve the Trinity congregation in Forman for several years. Rev. Gary Clark has cancer of the pancreas and liver. The Caring Bridge site for Pastor Gary Clark is http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/garyeclark1. He was living such a great life visiting the sick in nursing homes and hospitals and now he is sick and needs to be visited.
Back in 1969, Bill Anderson of this community was a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps learning the skills of the profession of arms at The Basic School (TBS), Marine Corps Base Quantico VA. The unit Bill was a member of, Company K 10-69, also known as Kilo Company 10-69, consisted of more than 200 officers being trained in the basic skills of a Marine Corps rifle platoon commander. The Marines train everyone to be an infantryman first and the training for other specialties, such as armor, artillery, air operations, etc. comes next. For most of the officers of Kilo 10-69, the next duty station after Quantico was in Vietnam, where American forces were then involved in a long and bloody struggle to secure the independence of the Republic of Vietnam, also known as South Vietnam. For the Marine Corps, Army and Air Force, 1969 proved to be the costliest year of the conflict, and several Kilo Company officers were among the casualties. Last week, from Thursday, June 21, through Sunday, June 24, forty-six friends and comrades, about a third of the surviving members of Kilo 10-69 gathered in New York City to renew old friendships and reminisce about times past. Headquarters for the reunion was at the Holiday Inn at 440 West 57th Street on Manhattan, a hotel owned and managed by Kilo Company alumnus and New York City native Joe Cecala, known to New Yorkers as “The Mayor of 57th Street”. Most of those attending the reunion had served their 3 year obligation and returned to civilian careers, but several had made the Marine Corps their career and retired as Colonels and Generals. Two members of Kilo Company, Les Steckel & Mike Sweatman, made careers in professional football, with Les eventually becoming head coach of the Minnesota Vikings following the tenure of Bud Grant, and Mike serving as an assistant coach for the New England Patriots and New York Giants when both teams went on to Super Bowl victories. Despite temperatures in the Big Apple hitting the 100 mark on Thursday and Friday, many of those attending the reunion took tours of the city, visiting the site of the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Yankee Stadium and many other places of note. Bill made the trip from Fargo to New York’s JFK Airport via Delta Airlines, and reports excellent service, although the CRJ 900 plane he was on for one leg of the trip was kind of cramped. The shuttle bus driver from the airport to the hotel was a native of Colombia who spoke English like a native New Yorker, as well as his native Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. The shuttle driver told Bill that he loved America, where it’s so hard to go hungry that even the bums are fat. It’s not that way in Colombia, he said. Bill returned to Rutland on the afternoon of Sunday, June 24, and is making plans to attend the next Kilo Company gathering in 2014.
The United Blood Services Blood drive that was held on Tuesday, June 26, in the Rutland Town Hall drew 46 total volunteers, according to Janet Kiefer, one of the local coordinators. Thirteen of the 43 able to donate gave double units of red blood cells, setting a new record for the area drive. Everything ran like clockwork this time through thanks in part to the local coordinators: Janet Kiefer; Sheila Wyum; Pam Maloney; Joanne Harris; and, Beverly Kulzer for their work on the effort. Lunch for the donors was provided by the Rutland Community Club. The next blood drive in Rutland will be in February 2013. If you did not make it in for the Rutland drive, there will be drives in Forman in August, October and December.
The Wise Men’s Round Table group apparently have spent time reading this column the past two weeks demonstrating they do more than just talk. The title alone has seemed to create a stir so much that one of the group stopped by to set me straight. He, who shall remain nameless at his insistence, straightforwardly stated that hens cluck and roosters crow. The title may state they crow but it us not as bold or brazen a crow as the old Rooster produces. We had an interesting discussion and I sent him on his merry way home to Havana until our paths cross again.
Well, that’s it for this week and for this guest writer. Next week, we return you to your regular programming but hope you have enjoyed the brief interruption. Be sure to visit our website at www.rutlandnd.com to leave your comments or suggestions for further topics. It’s been fun but one thing is for sure — I am glad it’s not a permanent gig!