News & Events

The Rooster Crows – June 2, 2017

A stiff, cool, almost cold, wind blew out of the north, carrying the scent of impending rain under a leaden gray, cloud covered sky, at Nordland Cemetery, 2 miles east and ½ mile south of Rutland as the ceremonial details of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary readied themselves for the first observance of Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017. The Flag on the pole at the center of the cemetery was at half-staff as it snapped and waved in the wind. Sergeant at Arms Calvin Jacobson commanded “Fall In!” and the Legionnaires fell into a single rank with their rifles, 1903 Springfields, at order arms. “Right Face!” barked the Sergeant at Arms, and 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years melted away as old men became young soldiers once again, executing a snappy right face, despite a few aching hips, bad knees and stiff ankles.  With Tom Manley and Andy Hoflen bearing the Colors, followed by Post Chaplain Ted Lee and 6 Riflemen: Doug Olstad; Roger McLaen; Roger Pearson; Vincent Young; Andy Harris; and, Larry Christensen; they executed the commands “Right Shoulder Arms” and “Forward March” and marched off to the same spot in the southeast corner of the cemetery from which the detail has performed its ceremonial function for as many Memorial Days as anyone can remember. The members of the American Legion Auxiliary followed the Legion detail into the cemetery and marched up to the flagpole from which the National Ensign flew. There they dispersed, with each member being assigned to decorate specific graves.  Led by Color bearers Wendy Jacobson and Pam Maloney, the rest of the Auxiliary Unit consisted of: Taryn and Beckett Jensen; Shannon and Mathea Jablonski; Carolyn Christensen; Diane Smith; Ione Pherson; Allison Glarum; Sonja Christensen; Donna Kupitz; and, Joanne Harris. “Detail, Halt!” commanded the Sergeant at Arms, and then, “Order Arms! Left Face!” After a brief prayer by the Post Chaplain, the Auxiliary members deposited a floral tribute on the graves of each of the veterans buried in the cemetery. After a salute of 3 volleys fired over the graves of departed comrades by the ceremonial detail, the command of “Present Arms” was given, and the bugler, Mr. Logan Wyum of Rutland, let the mournful melody of “Taps” float across the cemetery, borne southward by the wind.  As the last notes died away, the commands of “Order Arms, Right Face, Right Shoulder Arms and Forward March” followed in rapid succession.  As the detail began its march toward the cemetery gate, the skies opened, first with a mist, then with a sprinkle and finally with a hard-driven rain as the column reached the gate and the commands, “Detail, Halt,” and, “Dismissed,” were given. It was raining hard by the time the detail reached the Rutland Cemetery on the east side of town, and the members stayed in their vehicles for several minutes until the squall had passed over. Then, the procedure was repeated 3 more times, at the east end of the cemetery, on the north side at the center of the cemetery and at the west end of the cemetery. After the final volleys, Logan again played “Taps” and the ceremonies were concluded. When the American Legion detail and the Legion Auxiliary reached the Rutland Town Hall, a large crowd awaited them. The 11:00 a.m. program began with the Advancement and Posting of the Colors. Larry Christensen, Commander of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion, then led the audience and program participants in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Post Chaplain Ted Lee pronouncing the Invocation and asking all to join him in a silent tribute to America’s war dead. With Kathy Brakke providing piano accompaniment, the audience then sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” after which Auxiliary President Diane Smith gave a brief welcome to all, and introduced the guest speaker, Commander Mike Harris, U. S. Navy. Commander Harris spoke of his boyhood memories of Memorial Day in Rutland and of how the lessons of patriotism instilled in him as a youth are valued assets in his current calling. Commander Harris is on schedule for promotion to the rank of Captain later this year, and is slated to become Executive Officer of the USS Green Bay this Fall, and to take command of the ship in 2019. His parents are Joanne Harris and the late John Harris of this community. Thomas Mehrer, accompanying himself on the guitar, then sang a patriotic number. Auxiliary President Smith announced the winners of the Auxiliary’s annual “Poppy Poster Contest” held in the Sargent Central Elementary School, one of whom was Gabrielle Christianson of Rutland, and awarded service pins to 3 Auxiliary members: Susan Fust, 15 years; Margaret (Glarum) Holle, 35 years; and, Rita Preble, 40 years. Commander Christensen recognized two veterans of World War II, Gwen Young, who served in the Army in North Africa from 1942 to 1944, and Leif Sundlie, who served in the Army Air Corps in Corsica and Italy from 1943 to 1945. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, Commander Christensen and President Smith read the names of those from Rutland who served in the U. S. Armed Forces during “The Great War.” Thomas Mehrer then performed a rendition of the George M. Cohan song, “Over There,” which was popular during WWI. Commander Christensen presented years of service pins to the following Legion members: Shelly Pherson, 5 years; David Sundlie, 15 years; and, Andrew Hoflen, Calvin Jacobson, Roger Nelson and Bill Anderson, 45 years. Chaplain Ted Lee then pronounced the Benediction, and the Colors were retired as the Audience sang “America The Beautiful.” Immediately following the program, chairs were rearranged, tables were brought out and the traditional Rutland Pot-Luck Memorial Day Dinner, complete with Rutland’s classic scalloped potatoes with ham, was enjoyed by all. The day concluded with coffee, conversation, reminiscences and the renewal of old friendships throughout the afternoon. Memorial Day will again be observed in Rutland on Monday, May 28, 2018.

Some of Rutland’s Memorial Day visitors included: Dick & Donna Kupitz, Bismarck; Clarence “Stub” and Sharon Sundlie, Fargo; Dick Meyers, Sun City AZ; Barbara Rick, Fergus Falls MN; Rick, Shannon & Mathea Jablonski, Barnesville MN; Leif Sundlie, Lisbon ND; Jim & Debbie Fust, Park City MT; Bob Sundlie, Troy OH; David & Pat Kulzer, Salmon Prairie MT; JuliAnn Becker, Oakes; Sonja Christensen, Wahpeton; Taryn Jensen & Beckett Jensen, Wyndmere; Gwendolyn Young, Harold Young & Vincent Young, Mesa AZ; Judy Anderson, Fargo; Janice Butz, Minneapolis MN; Don Isensee, Perham MN; Randy Kiefer, Irvine CA; Bob & Dawn Kiefer, Minneapolis MN; Kathy Stout, West Branch IA; Dean & Carol Nundahl, Mankato MN; Cmdr Mike Harris USN, San Diego CA; and, many more.

Dick Meyers arrived back home in Rutland on Thursday, May 18, after spending the preceding 6 months at his Winter roost in Sun City AZ.  Dick is now in residence in one of the rental units at the Nick & Katie McLaen farmstead 2 miles northwest of town.  He is a 1950 graduate of RHS, and is a USMC veteran of the Korean War.

Gwen Young, accompanied by her son, Harold Young, arrived in Rutland on Wednesday, May 17th, and is now at home in the Prindiville family farmhouse on the south side of town. They had flown from Mesa AZ via Allegiant Airline, and plan to remain in the area until June 28. Gwen, a veteran of World War II, will be celebrating her 97th birthday this coming August. Gwen & Harold were joined at the farm by the youngest of the Young sons and brothers, Vincent Young, on Friday, May 19. Vincent had driven up from Mesa in the white Mercedes that has been seen on Main Street in recent days. At the present time, Vincent states that he will probably be staying in Rutland through July, but his plans are not definite and the departure date could be sooner or later.

David & Patricia Kulzer of Salmon Prairie MT arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Friday, May 26.  David reports that they took a different route across Montana this trip, driving through Great Falls and across Montana on Highway #200, connecting with I-94 at Glendive. This cut about 200 miles, and several hours, off the I-90/I-94 route along the Yellowstone River that was the usual course from their home in the Swan River Valley, north of Seelye Lake MT. Highway #200 has been recently repaired, rebuilt and resurfaced and the traffic was light, Dave stated.  Another factor that was in their favor on this trip was the fact that, for the first time in the 37 years since they moved to Montana, they had a tailwind all the way home. The Kulzers resided at the home of Pat’s brother, Paul Anderson, during their time in Rutland, and Dave’s brother, Norbert, kept him busy with mowing, tree trimming and some mechanic’s tasks throughout the week. They planned to head west on Friday, June 2, with a stop in Aberdeen at the home of David’s youngest sister and her husband, Karen & Merrill Buisker, for a reunion of the descendants of the late Roman Kulzer and the late Myrtle (Aus) Kulzer on June 3. While in Aberdeen, Pat also had a visit planned with 2 cousins, Joayne (Brown) Hogoboom and Jeanne (Brown) Campbel, at the Jeanne & Gordon Campbell home.  Joayne & Jeanne are the daughters of the Late Jack & Ida (Breum) Brown of this community, and the granddaughters of the Late Hans & Karolina Brown and the late John & Ingeborg Breum, all of this community.

There were 20 participants on hand when Jeremy Becker & Mike Pyle of The Lariat Bar in Rutland tapped a new keg of “Alaska Red” beer at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 26. All participants were to receive free beer, all the beer they wanted to drink, until the first person had to relieve themselves. This was not a competition for anyone with a faint heart, weak kidneys or small capacity. According to Jeremy, the free beer lasted until 7:30 p.m., a prodigious feat, worthy of champions, when the first participant had to make that urgent rush to the restroom.  After that beer was $3.00 per mug or $8.00 per pitcher.  Who says that you can’t have fun in a small town?

Jim & Deb Fust of Park City MT visited in Rutland over the Memorial Day holiday. The Fusts arrived on Friday, May 26, and headed back for Montana on Wednesday morning, May 31. During their time in Rutland they were in residence at the home of a friend, Janet Bradbury. They enjoyed several visits with Debbie’s Dad, Leif Sundlie, at the ND Veterans Home in Lisbon, and also played several rounds of golf at the Forman Golf Course. Jim states that he still enjoys riding his motorcycle, a big Suzuki road bike, but he gave up the excitement of the cycle for the comfort of the automobile on this trip.

Bob Sundlie of Troy, Ohio, was a guest of his brother, Chuck Sundlie of this community, over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. Bob, his sister, Debbie Fust, and brother, Chuck, spent a considerable amount of time at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon, visiting with their Dad, Rutland native Leif Sundlie. Bob states that he is still employed by Abbot Labs, a pharmaceutical and chemical company, in his home town of Troy, Ohio.

Dinner guests at the Bill Anderson & Kathy Brakke home on the evening of Saturday, May 27 were: Leonard Heinen; Marcia Brakke; David & Pat Kulzer; Jim & Debbie Fust; Chuck Sundlie; Paul Anderson; Janelle Brakke; Kyle & Kaia Mahrer; Brody, Julia, Adalyn & Kaitlyn Mahrer; and, Steve Thorfinnson. Guests enjoyed a dinner of beef roast, pork roast, mashed potatoes & gravy, several salads and a terrific avocado dip. Norbert & Beverly Kulzer joined the group for conversation following dessert. Steve Thorfinnson reports that Fort Ransom is gearing up to observe the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Fort Ransom by the U.S. Army back in 1867 with observances on June 17. Some veterans of the old Fort Ransom Detachment of the 7th Cavalry are rounding up equipment and uniforms in preparation to lead the parade through town, states Steve. That’s Saturday, June 17, in Fort Ransom.

Wildur Benites of Chimbota, Peru has been a frequent Rutland visitor during the past decade, and he was back in Rutland to greet old friends here on Tuesday, May 30, when he and Joe Breker stopped in at the Lariat Bar for morning coffee and conversation.  Wildur had flown up to attend some graduations and reunions with old friends, as well as to coordinate some medical relief efforts taking place in Peru with Father Jack Davis, who was a missionary in Peru for several decades. He reports that some children have to walk for 7 hours to catch the bus to the clinic, and then ride the bus for 22 hours before reaching their destination. For some, he reported, taking the bus to the clinic is the first time that they, or their parents, have ridden in a motor vehicle. An interesting fact that came out during the conversation is that 80% of the vehicles currently in use in Peru are dual fuel, able to run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). Wildur plans to return to Peru on Thursday, June 8, and regrets that he will not be able to visit with all of his old friends in this area on this trip. He plans to be back, though, sometime in the not too distant future.

Jerry Sapa was at work on Monday, May 30, replacing the front steps on the Nordland Lutheran Parsonage at 204 Gay Street. The original front steps were made of brick, but had settled, cracked and become a hazard many years ago, requiring replacement with the wooden steps that Jerry is replacing now. The parsonage was originally constructed in 1915 by Theodore & Christina Helberg. It is a “Sears-Roebuck House” that was ordered from the Sears-Roebuck mail order catalog and shipped in by rail. The materials arrived pre-cut and all ready to assemble. According to the Old Timers who were around back when the house was built, none of whom are now available for verification, the supply of building materials came complete with an instruction book with step by step instructions for putting the house together. The first instruction, it was said, was for the builder to throw away his saw. If a piece of material was too long or too wide for the place where the builder wanted to put it, he had the wrong piece of material.  The right one was there, someplace. When the builder had used up all of the material, he should have a completed house, and no extra pieces of lumber, wood scraps or sawdust to deal with. Sounds like an idea whose time has come. Jerry is replacing the current wooden steps with another set of wooden steps that should last for another half century, or so.

Josh & Brianne Nelson have been doing some maintenance work on the outside of their home at 210 Gay Street, and some extensive remodeling on the inside. Josh has been doing much of the work himself, with some assistance from friends and family.  They have recently begun installing metal roofing on the house, and are making the interior of the residence handicapped accessible.

Jim Lunneborg reports that preparations are complete for the Relay For Life Tractorcade that is scheduled to begin and end in Rutland on Saturday, June 3. The ladies of Rutland’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit will be serving coffee and rolls at the Rutland Seniors Center during registration, prior to the 9:00 a.m. start time, and will be serving coffee and bars at the Seniors Center when the tractorcade returns in the afternoon. According to Jim, the caravan will be utilizing township roads for most of the route from Rutland to Silver Lake, and then on to Forman for a Noon lunch at the Forman Golf Course and a tour of the Sargent County Museum. They will return to Rutland in the afternoon, states Jim. The tractorcade is a fund raiser for the Sargent County Relay For Life’s contribution to the fight against cancer. The main Relay For Life fund raising event is scheduled to commence at Noon on Friday, June 16, at the Courthouse grounds in Forman. See you there.

Some upcoming events in Rutland include: Relay For Life Tractorcade at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, beginning and ending on Main Street in Rutland; Rutland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 5, in the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Sportsmen’s Club meeting on the evening of Thursday, June 8, at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range north of Silver Lake; and, Rutland Community Club meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12, in the Rutland Town Hall.

This past Monday, May 29, in addition to being Memorial Day, was also the 100th birthday of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, a youthful and charismatic leader who was murdered by an assassin in 1963, after only 1,000 days in office. His example of leadership and service inspires many young Americans to this day, and some of his initiatives, such as the Peace Corps, continue to spread American ideals and to bring progress to many around the world.  On January 20, 1961, he challenged his countrymen to, “…Ask not what your Country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your Country!” That challenge is still out there, to be picked up by each generation of Americans, including this one.

Only 189 weeks to go.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week.  For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at, and stop by the Uff-Da Day and Rutland Facebook pages while you’re at it, too.  Remember to patronize your local Post Office, and 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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