News & Events

The Rooster Crows – July 14, 2017

A large delegation from Rutland traveled over to Wahpeton on Friday, July 7, to attend the Celebration Of Life service held there in memory of the late Christopher Seavert. Well over 250 were in attendance at the service, held in the Hughes Shelter in Chahinkapa Park, including many relatives and family friends. Among those from Rutland who attended the service were: Paul Anderson; Andy Harris; Bill Anderson; Bonnie Anderson; Joanne Harris; and, Dianna Anderson.

One of those attending the Chris Seavert Memorial service who came from a distance was former Forman and Rutland resident Doug Freitag, who has made his home in Minnesota’s Northwest Angle since retiring as head of the Bobcat Company a number of years ago. Doug was a Sargent Central High School classmate of Chris’s mother, Judie Seavert Grohs, and was also a good friend of Chris’s father, the late Ron Seavert. In the reminiscing that followed the service, The Great Freitag Farewell Hog Roast, an epic event that is now part of Rutland lore, was among the memories recounted. Back in the mid-70’s, the Freitags had been residing in the small house at 322 Bagley Street that was known as “Grandma Prindiville’s house” (the house has been gone for many years) when Doug received word that he was being promoted to the post of District Sales Manager for the Melroe Co. in Wisconsin, and that a move to the Badger State had to be made. Doug’s many friends in Rutland quickly organized a farewell party at which the centerpiece and main course would be a whole hog, roasted on a spit over a bed of red hot coals. Norbert & David Kulzer had experience at roasting a hog, had the equipment needed to accomplish the task, and were designated as consultants, directors and morale officers for the project. An old coal furnace stoker had been geared down to turn the spit at the proper rpm’s, and the hog, head and all, had been stuffed with sauerkraut, wired to the spit and was placed over the coals early in the day. The steel spit was studded with long spikes to keep the hog turning. Sometimes hogs roast quickly, and sometimes they go slow. This one was slow. At one point the spit broke in the middle, dropping the entire main course into the coals. The stoker was turned off and the hog was rescued from the fire, but what could be done? Right then, Ralph Breker, a hog roast aficionado and a guy who could fix most anything, drove up in his farm pickup. The hog, with the steel spit and sauerkraut stuffing still inside, was quickly loaded into the back of Ralph’s pickup and the chefs and their assistants made an emergency run up to Kulzer Brothers farm implement shop on Main Street. Ralph drove into the shop, the wire ties were quickly cut and the sauerkraut was speedily scooped out of the way. The spit had broken almost exactly at the center point. A large piece of tin foil was placed beneath the break, to keep any errant welding slag from contaminating the pork. Ralph pulled on the welder’s helmet, and with the appropriate welding rod carefully selected by the assembled experts, he placed the 2 broken ends together, struck an arc and began welding. When he was done, it wasn’t a pretty weld, but it held. The sauerkraut was pushed back into the hog, the wire ties were pulled tight and twisted and the entire caravan headed back to the Freitags’ backyard to celebrate their success. Throughout the repair process, the hog had remained in the back of Ralph’s pickup. The hog was once again placed over the coals, the end of the spit was reconnected to the stoker and the hog was cooking again before it had a chance to cool off. Finally, when it was too dark for anyone to see if the meat was done, and too late for anyone to care, dinner was served. Many friends from Rutland, Forman, the Bobcat (then Melroe) Co. and throughout the County were present, most for dinner and some just to see the show. The large crowd that had been on hand throughout the day and most of the night gradually thinned, leaving a hardy few who were still enjoying themselves around the barbecue pit when the sun began to brighten the eastern horizon. The suggestion was made that, if they had some eggs, they could have bacon and eggs for breakfast, if they had some bacon, but where to obtain them at that hour of the morning was the question. Doug didn’t have any. He was moving. Scott Donaldson recalled that his parents, Aldon & Lorraine Donaldson, had a good supply of eggs and slab bacon in the refrigerator at their home, and all agreed that, if Aldon had been there he surely would not object to furnishing the bacon & eggs. So, a delegation was selected to accompany Scott to the Donaldson home, where a stealthy bacon & eggs raid was conducted. With bacon and eggs in hand, a frying pan, paper plates and other utensils quickly appeared, and a sizzling breakfast was speedily prepared and served. All who had been present concluded that a good time was had by all, and justifiably so. Doug recalls that he stopped in at Hermansons Grocery Store just before leaving town, and Roy Hermanson put his hand on his shoulder, saying, “Now you be careful when you get back east.” Really!? If you can survive the farewell party in Rutland, you can handle just about anything. For the unabridged version of this epic tale, ask Greg Sjothun about it the next time you see him.

Ms. Mary Klein of Rosholt SD was a Rutland visitor on the morning of Saturday, July 8. Ms. Klein stated that her home is only about a mile south of the Dakota Magic Casino, near Hankinson ND, on the South Dakota side of the State Line. She had decided to take a tour of the countryside on Saturday morning, and stopped in at The Lariat for morning coffee and conversation. She reported that crop conditions throughout the area appear to be good, although there is no surplus of moisture anywhere between Rosholt and Rutland. Ms. Klein stated that she intends to be back in Rutland for Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 1.

Ransom Township/rural Cayuga native Dick Bergman (RHS Class of ’53) stopped in Rutland to tour the sites and visit old friends on the morning of Saturday, July 8. Dick and his wife, Nancy (Vie) Bergman, a Guelph ND native, currently make their home in Duncanville TX. Dick stopped in at 116 Dakota Street, the former home of his good friend and classmate, the late Dennis Narum, for a visit with the current occupants of 116 Dakota, Bill Anderson and Kathy Brakke. Kathy had attended Elementary School at Ransom #2 with Dick and his younger siblings, Marilyn & Bob. Dick states that 3 members of the Rutland High School Class of 1953 are still living: Danene (Syverson) McLaen, Fargo; Ferdinand “Ferdie” Brickzin, Minneapolis; and, himself. The other members of the Class, now deceased, were: Lois (Flados) Case; Bonnie (Peterson) Pietrich; Donald Christensen; Harold Malady; Dennis Narum; and, Billy Pietrich. Dick Bergman & Nancy Vie, the boy from Cayuga and the girl from Guelph, were married in Nigeria in 1965, while both were working for Wycliffe Bible Translators in that huge, primarily Muslim, African nation. During their careers with Wycliffe, the Bergmans also spent several years in South Sudan, a nation which was in a vicious war between the Muslim Arab north and the Christian African south for many years before becoming 2 nations, and which is now wracked by a bloody civil war between rival tribes. Having spent many years working in countries that are predominantly Muslim, Dick asserts that few Americans understand the extent of the division and the bitterness of the animosity that exists between the Sunni and Shi’ite sects of the Islamic religion. That hatred has festered for nearly 1,300 years, and any American who thinks that they are going to bring the 2 sects together in a few months or years, or even decades, is a real dreamer, in Dick’s opinion. The Bergmans’ son is currently living and working in Turkey, doing translation work there, after spending a number of years in the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. Their daughter, Mary Beth, and her husband now reside in Texas, about 100 miles from Duncanville, after spending a number of years living and working abroad. Dick says, “We sent them to good high schools and good colleges, and then just turned them loose. That’s the route they chose.” Dick’s sister Marilyn and her husband, now retired after careers with Wycliffe Bible Translators that had them working in Southeast Asia most of the time, currently reside near the home of their daughter at Albuquerque NM, and his brother Bob is now a proud resident of L.A., Lower Alabama, that is, after retiring from a career with the Atomic Energy Commission at Huntsville. His older sister, Margie, passed away 2 years ago, and her spouse, Rev. Dick Wohler, another Cayuga native, now resides in an assisted living center at Roseville MN, near St. Paul. The eldest of the Bergman siblings, Eugene, passed away several years ago, after a lifetime of farming in Ransom Township. Dick stated that he had recently been reminiscing about people who had been major influences on his life, and some of those he recalled were: Violet (Olson) Wyum; Alice (Olson) Seline; Olaf Olson; Earl Anderson; Art Bakkegard; and, Rev. Jack Reif. Dick is still in the business of supplying good used cars to translators and missionaries returning from overseas, but states that good used cars at reasonable prices are getting harder to find, and that pickup trucks are nearly impossible. Most of the used vehicles in this country get exported to Africa and Asia, he states. The languages you hear most often at the car auctions these days are Arabic, Irdu (Pakistani); Farsi (Iranian); and, Spanish, dick asserts. After a trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul next week, the Bergmans intend to head back to Duncanville. Dick states that he intends to be back in Rutland for the next Rutland School Reunion in 2019.

Chuck Sundlie and son, Aden, vacationed out in Montana during the week of July 4, while Chuck’s employer, the Bobcat factory in Gwinner, was shut down for annual maintenance. Kim stayed home to care for pets and get some projects completed. Chuck & Aden visited at the home of Chuck’s sister & brother-in-law, Debbie & Jim Fust, at Park City, near Billings, and also with nephews Ted Fust and Jake Fust and their families. Among the activities they enjoyed during their Summer break were: motorcycle adventures in the mountains; and, tubing on the Madison River. During their trip they spent some time in the mountain range known as “The Crazies,” an area that is appropriately named, according to Chuck. They returned home on Sunday, July 9, rested, relaxed and almost ready to go back to work.

Stan & Mari Sundlie of Anaheim CA visited in Rutland, at the home of Stan’s brother, Chuck Sundlie, and Kim Kohler, from Sunday, July 9, to Wednesday, July 12. Both Stan & Mari are school teachers, and Stan reports that the school at which he works is in session throughout the year. The students are divided into 4 separate sections, with 3 sections in school and one on vacation during any given week. According to Stan, when he and Mari were first married, she went by the nickname of Dani; later on she began using her full name, Marina; and, now that has been shortened to Mari. As a result, there are some who think that Mari is Stan’s 3rd wife. Having your wife change her name a few times may be a little confusing, allows Stan, but it is much less traumatic, stressful and expensive than changing wives. Good point! During their time in Rutland, Stan & Mari made several trips to the North Dakota Veterans Home at Lisbon to visit Stan’s Dad, Rutland native Leif Sundlie. They report that Leif is doing well, welcomes visitors and is looking forward to observing his 94th birthday on August 27.

Mike & Phyllis Wyum returned to their Ransom Township farm home on the evening of Friday, July 7, at the conclusion of a Summer vacation trip to the West Coast and back. The Wyums had departed Rutland right after church on Sunday, June 25, Phyllis reported, and drove straight west on ND Highway #11 on the first leg of their trip because Mike wanted to check out crop conditions in the Ashley area. They crossed the Missouri River at Mobridge SD, and then took U.S. Highway 12 to Miles City MT and I-94. They visited some college friends at Belgrade MT, near Bozeman, and a cousin of Mike’s at Helena, before crossing the Rockies, driving through Idaho and the Palouse region of southeastern Washington State, where Mike observed no-till and conservation tillage techniques in that steep hill country, where soft white winter wheat is still the King of the crops. From there, they drove along the Columbia River and through the Columbia Gorge to Portland. Phyllis says that she enjoyed the quilt shops and book stores they encountered, particularly the huge Powell Bookstore in Portland, which is, appropriately for a bookstore, multi-storied. They give you a map when you go in, she said, and you need it to find your way out. The Powell Bookstore is the largest bookstore in the world. They headed north from Portland, and drove to Olympia WA, where a brother-in-law of their daughter, Dena, works in a large tree nursery that provides trees to Soil Conservation Districts and for reforestation projects throughout the northwest. On the return trip, they drove across on U. S. Highway #2, “The Highline,” as it is known in the western States. Phyllis stated that she and Mike had not visited the West Coast before, and it was one of the items on their “bucket list.” It’s fun to go, but nice to get home.

Doug Glarum drove out to Rutland on Monday, July 10, to spend some time at the farm southeast of town. Doug reports that he, Nancy and granddaughter, Ivy, are doing well over in Minnesota, and have been spending most of their time at their lake home near Ottertail. Nancy is an employee of the Consolidated Abstract Co. in Detroit Lakes, and enjoys the work, states Doug. Doug had stopped in at The Lariat for supper and conversation with friends on Monday evening.

Norbert Kulzer has been a patient in the Oakes Hospital since Monday, July 10, receiving treatment for a recurring respiratory ailment. He expects to be back home before the weekend. Norbert’s many friends here wish him a speedy and complete recovery. There is, after all, fishing that needs to be done.

Another Rutland resident, little Kaitlyn Mahrer, the two-month old daughter of Kyle & Kaia Mahrer, took an ambulance ride to the Emergency Room at the Oakes Hospital on Thursday, July 6. Kaitlyn and her mother were visiting at the home of her great-grandmother, Kathy Brakke, when she experienced breathing difficulties. The Sargent County Sheriff’s Department and the Forman Ambulance Squad responded to the call. Kaitlyn was later transferred to the pediatric ward at Sanford Hospital in Fargo. She returned home on Sunday, July 9, and is back to being a happy, healthy baby, according to her brother, Brody, and sisters, Julia & Adalyn.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 10, at the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Deb Banish; and, Aldermen Rodney Erickson, Delores Lysne, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski present. Also in attendance were: Bill Anderson of Rutland; and, Trent Nelson of Forman. The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. The Council approved renewal of insurance coverage on the City’s buildings and associated equipment with the North Dakota Fire & Tornado Fund, and decided to add the Equipment Breakdown endorsement to the City’s coverage. The Council opened bids for the replacement of the sidewalk on the north side of Gay Street from the alley west of the Town Hall to Bagley Street, and accepted the bid submitted by TON Construction of Forman to complete the project for $23,000.00. The project includes removal of the existing concrete and cutting out approximately 2 feet of the asphalt paving in order to make room for curb and gutter on that side of the street. Mr. Nelson, owner of TON Construction, said that he intended to commence work on the project on the morning of Tuesday, July 11, and he expects to have the project completed in short order. The Council discussed the possibility of acquiring a sander to be attached to the City’s snowplow truck, as well as the possibility of acquiring a smaller unit for use with the City’s Bobcat loader. The consensus was to obtain the Bobcat sand spreader for intersections, and to contract for more extensive sanding projects, if and when needed. The Council discussed appointments to the City Zoning Board, and the possibility of appointing the members of the City Council to the Zoning Board, rather than having a separate board was favored by some on the Council. The current members of the Zoning Board: Ron Narum; Gretchen Vann; Shannon Mehrer; Bill Anderson; and, Mike Kulzer; were first appointed in 2007, at the time the present City Zoning Ordinance was adopted. The matter will be brought up, again, at the August meeting. After reviewing the City’s bills and authorizing payment, the Council adjourned. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 7, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and Rutland residents are encouraged to stop in and observe their City Council in action.

The Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 10, at the Rutland Town Hall. The Treasurer’s report indicated that funds in excess of $20,000 are currently available for community projects. Members approved an award of $100 to defray Music Camp costs for Tyler Banish, & payment of $100 for City Hall rent for the Relay For Life Rummage Sale on August 19. The sidewalk replacement project on Gay Street was discussed. The Community Club had previously considered contributing up to $5,000 to the project, and will await a request from the City to authorize payment of a specific amount. Uff-Da Day chairperson Marcia Brakke was on the road, researching life in Sweden, and will report on progress at the August meeting. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 14, at the Rutland Town Hall. Current officers and directors of the Rutland Community Club are: President, Rachel Olson; Vice-President, Bonnie Anderson; Secretary, Andrea Erickson; Treasurer, Hal Nelson; Director, Katie McLaen; and, Director, Marcia Brakke.

Construction crews were busy in Rutland this week. On Monday morning, July 10, Buskohl Construction commenced work at the Norbert & Beverly Kulzer residence at 415 Gay Street, replacing siding and installing new windows. The house has been red since it was originally built by the late Bud & Florence Hoflen back in the 1960’s, and Norbert likes red so the new Smart Siding will also be red. On the morning of Tuesday, July 11, TON Construction began work on replacing the sidewalk from the Rutland Town Hall at 115 Gay Street, past the Legion Hall/Rutland Fitness Center at 123 Gay Street to Bagley Street. The old concrete and asphalt will be removed, to be replaced by new curb & gutter and a new sidewalk strengthened with steel re-bar. Work is expected to be completed by July 25. Congratulations to the Kulzers and to the City of Rutland for making these improvements that keep the community looking good.

Roger Pearson reports that he has been doing so much trolling for walleyes on Kraft Lake recently that he has to “untwist” his fishing line. The lures and spinners used with leeches and nightcrawlers apparently primarily rotate to the right, putting a permanent curl in monofilament fishing line if it isn’t periodically straightened out. Roger also reports that dedicated and determined anglers, of which Roger is one, are still bringing home good catches of Walleyes from Kraft Lake. Despite a corkscrew fishing line, Roger’s report is the straight scoop.

Harry Grammond and son of Grey Eagle MN were guests at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on Monday & Tuesday, July 10 & 11, reports Joe Breker. Harry grew up on farms in Tewaukon Township, near the present site of the Lodge, and enjoys visiting his old home territory. Harry attended country schools in Tewaukon Township until his parents moved to Forman, and he completed his high school education there. He served as a high school teacher and administrator in the Grey Eagle School District for many years before retiring several years ago. Welcome home, Harry!

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the question is: Who’s running the show? Is it Donald, Mitch or Vladimir? At this point, only The Shadow knows for sure. Twenty-five weeks down, and 183 to go on the wildest ride on the planet.

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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