News & Events

The Rooster Crows – August 23, 2013

The huge combine harvesters, with headers 40 feet wide, chewed through local fields of Spring Wheat like Biblical hordes of locusts, leaving behind only dry stubble and shattered straw.  Harvest of the 2013 wheat crop is pretty well complete in the Rutland area, with reports on the quantity and the quality of the crop ranging from very good to outstanding.  Yields of 60 to 70 bushels per acre and test weights of 62 to 63 pounds per bushel appear to be commonplace.  Protein content varied, though, from a low of 12% to highs of 15%.  Crop prices are not quite as good as last year, when local producers hit the magic combination of good yields and good prices at the same time.  Well, the big harvest, that of the 2013 corn and soybean crops, remains to be seen, and all eyes are now turning anxiously skyward, looking for the rain that will turn the current potential crop into grain in the bin.  The heat that began last weekend, pushing the mercury up to 98 on Tuesday, August 20, coupled with short subsoil moisture, is starting to show its effects in fields where plants are still in the process of filling cobs and pods with seeds.  Well, “every day that it doesn’t rain is one day closer to the day that it will,” the old-timers used to say, and that statement is still as true today as it ever was.

Jim & Debbie Fust of Park City, Montana, were visiting in the Rutland, Lisbon, and Milnor areas from Monday, August 5 to Monday, August 12.  The Montana visitors spent time with Jim’s sister, Kathleen Mehus, at her home near Leonard ND, with Jim’s brother & sister-in-law, Earl & Susan Fust, at their home in Milnor, With Debbie’s brother, Chuck Sundlie, at his home in Rutland, and with Debbie’s parents, Leif & Phyllis Sundlie, at their home in the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon.  Debbie, Jim, Leif, & Phyllis were Rutland visitors on Wednesday, August 7, and stopped for lunch and conversation at the Rutland General Store & Café.  Leif was reminiscing about the semi-professional baseball team that Rutland had fielded back in the 1920’s and early 30’s.  On a semi-pro team some of the players, usually the pitcher and catcher, called “the battery,” and a few other players, were recruited from far afield and paid a per game, weekly or monthly salary, and the rest of the team was made up of talented amateurs who received a share of the gate receipts at the end of the season.  The better the team the bigger the following and the bigger the payday at the end of the season.  When Leif was a young boy, Rutland’s baseball team was noted for having a “colored,” now referred to as African-American, battery.  The most memorable of the colored batteries was made up of a catcher, Emory, and a pitcher named Viviens.  There were other pitchers on the team as well, and one of the locals who was good enough to pitch for Rutland back in the 30’s was Luther “Lutes” Gulleson.  Emory had a bad leg, the result of an episode of polio, and that leg, Leif remembers, was about the same diameter as a broom handle.  Leif recalls watching Emory wrap his leg with gauze before each game until it had enough bulk to hold his stocking up.  Emory, Leif remembers, could throw harder and faster than most local pitchers, and no one ever stole second base while Emory was behind the plate.  One hot summer afternoon Lutes Gulleson was pitching for Rutland, and the heat started to get to him as the game got on into the late innings.  Leif remembers that Emory went out to the mound to talk with Lutes, then waved Wilbur Jacobson in from the outfield, had him put on the catcher’s gear and get behind the plate.  Emory then took Lutes’ place on the mound and “mowed ‘em down,” as Leif recalls, saving the win for the Rutland 9.  Emory and Viviens were from Kansas City MO, as Leif remembers it.  The pro players on the Rutland team back in the 1920’s and early 30’s were paid from $400 to $500 per month from May through September, and were expected to play in 4 to 5 games each week during the season.  In addition, most of them had other jobs, working in the harness shop, implement dealership, or hardware store during the days when the team was not on the road.  This amounted to big money at a time when the average American working man was making about $1,200.00 per year for hard work at a factory, mill or mine, and farm workers made even less.  Leif says that Emory and Viviens would also coach the young boys in the community and helped him and others learn the baseball skills that made the Rutland Roosters the powerhouse team they were in the years after World War II and into the early 60’s.  Leif himself is a member of the North Dakota Baseball Hall of Fame, along with fellow Rooster Harvey Shasky, and his picture is on the “Wall of Fame” at the Rutland General Store.  Leif still holds the record for the most strikeouts, 20, pitched in a single game at the North Dakota State Baseball Tournament in Jamestown.

There are polecats, and then there are polecats, and when a polecat is peeking into your basement windows, it’s time to do something about it.  On the morning of Saturday, August 10, a four-footed, long-tailed, striped, and odoriferous polecat, the kind commonly known as a “skunk,” found its way into a basement window well at the Larry & Carolyn Christensen residence at 309 Dakota Street.  The Christensens are usually pretty hospitable folks, but they just don’t appreciate polecats dropping by to peek into their windows in the early hours of the morning.  Larry got on the phone and called his neighbor, R. Harrington Bradbury III, the former publisher and editor of The Teller, who, by virtue of his long career in journalism, is well acquainted with the wily ways and wherefores of Polecats, whether of the 4-legged or 2-legged variety.   Mr. Bradbury armed himself and strolled across the street with a .22 caliber rifle.  He aimed into the window well.  The skunk looked up at him with a wicked gleam in its eye.  Brad pulled the trigger.  The skunk fell.  Larry & Brad visited for a while about the nature of skunks, in particular, and of polecats, in general.  Larry looked into the window well.  “He’s back on his feet!” he exclaimed to Brad.  Brad shot again.  The skunk toppled over, again.  Larry & Brad visited, again.  Larry checked the window well, again.  “He’s moving, again,” he told Brad.  Brad shot again, and just to be sure, he shot again.  The skunk was dead, but in a final act of defiant vengeance, as he expired, he expelled the contents of his scent sac into the window well and onto Larry & Brad.  By that time, they had been around the skunk long enough that they didn’t even notice.  Everybody else did, though.  Shortly after dispatching the skunk, Mr. Bradbury stopped in at the Post Office to pick up his mail, and the aromatic reminder of his appearance lingered in the lobby long after he had departed the scene.  Larry reports that after a thorough cleaning and scrubbing, taking a breath at the window well no longer makes your eyes water.  Most skunks carry the rabies virus and, although the animal may not appear to be ill, a bite or a scratch from an infected skunk can transmit the rabies virus to other animals and to humans.  If you have a skunk in a window well that is in need of being dispatched, call R. Harrington Bradbury III, polecat exterminator.  “Have gun, will travel,” is his motto.

DuWayne Syverson and Dick Robbins of Bemidji MN were in Rutland on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 14.  DuWayne grew up on the Syverson family farm in Tewaukon Township, 4 miles south and 2 miles east of Rutland, and played baseball with Leif Sundlie on the Rutland Roosters teams of the early 50’s.  DuWayne’s nephew, Joe Breker, and his family now reside on the old Syverson farmstead.  Mr. Robbins stated that his great grandfather had homesteaded 5 miles north and a mile west of Lidgerwood, in Richland County, back in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s, and was inquiring if he might be related to the Harold Robbins family of Rutland and Milnor.  The two men had stopped in at the Rutland General Store for some coffee and conversation with the Assembled Wise Men at the Round Table before continuing on to their destination, the Coteau des Prairies Lodge.

Lori McLaen was down in Arkansas last week, visiting at the home of her sister.  Lori didn’t miss much at home.  The weather was hot and humid here, too.

The Highway Rollers Car Club stopped in Rutland for a catered supper at the Rutland General Store on the evening of Wednesday, August 14.  According to Harley Fink of Forman, an active member of the group, there were approximately 25 classic and antique automobiles and about 45 club members participating in last Wednesday’s tour.  Harley was driving his 2002 Ford Thunderbird on this cruise, but he also has a classic ’65 Ford Mustang convertible that he likes to drive.  “You never get tired of squealing tires,” says Harley.  Many members of the Highway Rollers will be exhibiting automobiles in the Uff-Da Day Car Show here on Sunday, October 6.

The Allis-Chalmers tractor-cade pulled into the yard at the Jim & Ione Lunneborg farm north of Rutland just before Noon on Friday, August 16.  20 Allis-Chalmers tractors from eight different States, including: Florida; Indiana; Michigan; Iowa; Minnesota; Wisconsin; South Dakota; and, North Dakota; participated in the drive that began at Montevideo MN on August 14, according to Jim.  Only one tractor, a D-15 Allis, had a minor breakdown, and that problem just happened to occur when the group was only 7 miles from the owners farm at Browns Valley MN, so he had a D-17 Allis brought out to replace it and had the D-15 trailered home.  On Friday, the group of Allis-Chalmers enthusiasts had driven from the Dakota Magic casino near Hankinson to the intersection with County #10 north of Rutland, then north to the Lunneborg’s farm, then up to County #1 and over to Gene Hajek’s farm near Gwinner, then south to Cogswell and over to Oakes on ND Highway #11.  Seven years ago, many in this group had begun their trek with a trip from Oakes to Portage La Prairie.  They had completed another leg of the journey each year since then, completing the circuit with this year’s run.  Jim says that many firm friendships have developed over the years.  “It was our interest in Allis-Chalmers that first brought us together,” he said, “but it’s the friends we have made that have kept us coming back each year.”  Jim says that his group isn’t planning any more 3-day tractor rides, but expects that many of them will continue to get together for 1-day jaunts, such as The Relay for Life tractor drive that Jim & Ione have organized in Rutland each June.  Congratulations to Jim, Ione and the rest of the Allis Chalmers crowd on their achievement.  As former Allis-Chalmers dealer Norbert Kulzer says, “Going Orange is going great!”

It was a beautiful evening on Friday, August 16, clear, calm, and comfortable, just the right kind of an evening for a “Summer Party” at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge.  The Summer Party, organized by Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson, Bruce & Jackie Peterson, Mark & Kathy Wyum, Bill & Pam Gulleson and Randy & Sherry Pearson, was also a mass 60th birthday party for members of the SCHS Class of ’71.  A potluck supper was served, and a good time was had by all.  The organizers wish to extend their thanks to all who attended the party, and to the staff of the Coteau des Prairies Lodge for their hospitality.

Two of the out of town members of the SCHS Class of ’71 who were back home for the Summer Party at the Lodge were Mary (Olstad) Indridson and Carol (Herman) Shepard of Cavalier, North Dakota.

Rutland’s Rib-Fest V was, by any measure, another good time in the little city that can.  By early afternoon on Saturday, August 17, the aroma of several hundred racks of slow cooking ribs had permeated the atmosphere on Main Street.  At 5:00 p.m., the competing rib chefs submitted their culinary masterpieces to the judges.  Judges for 2013 were: Miss Rutland, Emma Howey; Sarah Roth; and, Trevor Roth.  Miss Rutland had graciously agreed to serve as a judge when Command Sergeant Major Rich Lunzer USA (Ret.) could not be present due to a family medical emergency.  The winners were Lee Hanna of Milnor, 1st; Kenny Hamilton of Weber Township, 2nd; Lee Hanna, 3rd; and, Mahrer Brothers Mahrer-bequed Ribs by Mike & Kyle Mahrer of Rutland, People’s Choice award.  Mr. Hanna had 2 separate grills going and had prepared 2 separate and distinct types of barbecued ribs.  Obviously, he has a couple of winning recipes.  Music was provided throughout the evening by the Earl Fust Band and by the For His Glory Band.  According to Debbie Liermark, one of Rutland’s Rib-Fest promoters, this year’s event was the biggest and best ever, and Rib-Fest VI in August of 2014 will be bigger and better yet.

Speaking of bigger and better than ever, Youth Day at the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range, held on the afternoon of Sunday, August 18, qualifies on all counts.  According to Club secretary Travis Paeper, 261 youngsters  participated in this year’s event, receiving instruction and experience in rifle and shotgun safety and marksmanship; archery techniques; and, fishing skills.  Pro fisherman Ryan Jirik of Rhinelander WI, sponsored by Cabella’s, demonstrated some of the fishing secrets and methods that have made him a champion on the Pro Fishing Tour.  Mr. Jirik said that he had expected that there would be 15 or 20 youngsters at the event, and was astounded by the size of the turnout.  For the past several years, Youth Day here has been the largest event of its kind in the nation.  On their arrival at the grounds, youngsters registered for door prizes.   The following list of the lucky recipients was provided by Sportsmen’s Club secretary Travis Paeper: Eli Olson, Ruger P-70, Jakes shotgun-National Wild Turkey Federation; Jason Gainor, Ruger 308 rifle, Gun Board; Katie Grazowski, Compound Bow, Northern Plains Ag; Rylee Germon, BB Gun, Hoistad Farms; Josh Tupplott, 410 pump, Duane Bjerke Farms; Lilly Lee, hat and vest, RayMac; Aaron Bergh, shotgun, Sargent County Pheasants Forever; Garrett Johnson, Binoculars, Duane Bjerke Farms; Blake Wanner, fishing rod & tackle box, side street Saloon; Olivia Trainor, Compound Bow, Anderson Farms; Emily Baldwin, 8 man tent, Ruch Farms; Taylor Lehman, ice fishing Package, TON Construction; Mckinzie Engwich, sleeping bag, Side Street Saloon; Rayden Ratigan, Y10/22 rifle, No Name Bar & Lariat Bar; Hans Honson, chain, Alco; Lauren Fiest, chain, Alco; Han Wohler, Head Phones, Bopp Law Office; Alexis Morris, sports vest, Darren Hoisted Farm; Austin Lehman, 4 person tent, Mike Anderson Farm; Raynd Urness, 22 rifle, Wyum Farms; Dawsen Kramer, tackle box & fishing pole, Overtime Bar; Julia Mahrer, backpack, RDO; Daisy Lee, pink BB gun, Alley Cuts; Chris Furman, Binoculars, Rutland General Store & Cafe; Fletcher Willprecht, binoculars, Dave Bergman Insurance; Ethan Jund, sleeping Bag & 8 man tent, Tom & Brad Wyum Farms; Justin Mlnarik, sweatshirt, Bobcat; Brody Barglof, backpack, 1st National Insurance; Josie Nelson, Rod and reel, Overtime Bar; Jamie Mlnarik, Spotlite, Hanson Lumber; Brooklyn Lee, BB gun, Northern Plains Ag; Shelly Johnson, backpack, 1st State Agency of Lamoure; JT Peterson, BB gun, Sargent County Bank; Mckayla Mund, fishing reel and minnow bucket, Clint Mclaughlin Farm; Mckayla Bopp, BB gun, Sargent County Insurance Agency; Brooke Davis, fishing rod, Side Street Saloon; Kayla Engwich, binoculars, So Dak Sports; Macy MairsCanteen & Slingshot, Cattails Bar; Adriana Ritogin, backpack, Clint McLaughlin Farms; Logan Bopp, fishing Reel, Ron Mare Farm; Nat Gulsvig, fishing rod & reel, First National Bank; Denver Nelson, fishing rod & reel, Overtime Bar; Tori Beaver, hunt package, Little Gold Mine Bar; Grecie Kaceynski, Ruger 22 rifle, National Wild Turkey Federation; Morgon Ohm, 20 guage shotgun & case, RDO/Mund Farms; Lance Tyler, Compound Bow, Rutland Sportsmen’s club; Heidi Ciesynski, Marlin .17 rifle, Shay Walden & Dukie Skroch; and, Abby Erickson, .30-06 rifle, Scott Mund Farms.  Youth Day is sponsored annually by The Rutland Sportsmen’s Club, the Sargent County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Windy Mound Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The Coteau des Prairies Lodge was the scene of more action on the evening of Sunday, August 18, when “Neapolitan Pizza” was both the featured entertainment and the primary item on the menu. Lodge Manager Olivia Stenvold provided the following report: “Terry and Karen Savoie from Corcoran, MN are the owners of Red Rover Pizza. They also brought their friends Terry and Laurie Cross from Plymouth, MN to help with the event. Terry and his crew served over 100 Neapolitan-style pizzas to guests at the lodge. Terry uses freshly made dough and fresh ingredients to create his pizzas. He ‘opens’ the dough’ by tossing it in the air in the classic Neapolitan pizzeria style for all to see and enjoy. Terry uses a wood-fired brick oven which ‘fires’ the pizzas at blistering high heat of up to 800 degrees. The oven cooks a pizza in about 90 seconds! The lodge staff served a romaine lettuce salad with homemade Caesar dressing as well as homemade desserts including chocolate cake and tiramisu. The lodge bar, now known as Ole’s Office, served its usual selection along with Italian red wine and a popular Italian beer called Peroni, which goes well with pizza.”  For additional information about the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, give Olivia a call at 701-680-1175, and check out the Lodge’s internet web site at

The Rutland Community Club met at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, August 19, at the Rutland Town Hall.  Club members allocated $3,000.00 to the 2013 Uff-Da Day Committee for Uff-Da Day expenses, and approved the payment of the amount pledged to the Town Hall roofing project, $6,635.88, to the City of Rutland.  Lori McLaen reported on Uff-Da Day preparations.  Lefse production is scheduled to commence on the morning of Tuesday, September 3, in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall.  Lori also reported on preparations for the NorSweDanes Dance group, antique & classic auto show; parade; and musical entertainment.  She said that she is looking for a person to assist her with coordinating activities in the Town Hall kitchen on Uff-Da Day.  Lori also pointed out that the Veterans Memorial Committee and the Rutland Park Board should make sure that the construction area between the Town Hall & Legion Hall gets cleaned up prior to Uff-Da Day.  Community Club members also expressed concern about the unsightly, overflowing, and odorous garbage dumpsters sitting on the lot across the street from the Town Hall.  Lori will present a resolution to the City Council at the next meeting on September 9.  The next Community Club meeting will be on Monday, September 16.

Norbert Kulzer is doing double duty this week.  Rutland’s utility Main Street businessman has been in charge at Rutland Oil Co. while Greg Donaldson takes a few days of vacation to enjoy some fishing at Lake Of The Woods, and he is also keeping the doors open at Jake’s Feed & Seed while owner Jake Erickson is off in the Baltic Republic of Latvia on a training tour with the North Dakota Air Force National Guard.  There might be a business, somewhere, that Norbert can’t run, but we haven’t found it yet.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week.  For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, stop by the community’s internet web site at, and check out the Rutland blog and Facebook pages, too.  Don’t forget to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!  Later.

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One Comment

  1. Ken Olderness
    Posted August 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great news from Rutland again!!

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