News & Events

The Rooster Crows – October 6, 2017

“The Sun always shines on Rutland, even when it’s raining!” the old-timers used to say, and by 9:00 in the morning on Sunday, October 1, Uff-Da Day, the sunshine was coming down by the buckets full. About .85 of an inch by 10:00, according to most local rain gauges, except for Roger Pearson’s. Roger’s gauge showed .7 of an inch, resuming its differences with Norbert Kulzer’s gauge after only 1 brief week of amicable agreement. A few brave souls ran the Uff-Da Day 5k Run/Walk in the downpour, combining the race and the post-race shower into one operation.  Anna Fuka of Lidgerwood led Craig Snell of Fargo and Andrea Knight across the finish line. The rain was tapering off by 10:00, and by 10:30 was gone, just in time for most of the other Uff-Da Day activities to get rolling. The cool damp weather diminished enthusiasm a little at the beginning, but as the temperature increased so did the crowd size.  By the time the Uff-Da Day Parade started at 1:00 p.m. Main Street was once again lined with a large crowd of happy onlookers. The Color Guard from Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion, composed of: Larry Christensen; Theodore Lee; Andrew Harris; and, Douglas Olstad;   preceded a parade that included fire-fighters; first responders; real Vikings and their ship; beautiful young ladies including Miss Sargent County Alisha Zirnhelt, Miss Stirum Grace Mathias, Miss Rutland Pacey Grosgebauer, and Miss Lefse Gabi Christianson; classic cars; antique tractors; and even a Group of German protesters; through town. The car show organized by Dave & Pat Bladow once again featured a magnificent display of antique, classic and modern autos.  The crowd kept craft vendors, food stands at the Town Hall, Fire Hall and Senior’s Center jumping while music-makers, including: Harvey Bergstrom; Lois Hoistad; Thomas Mehrer; and, Earl Fust; among others; entertained throughout the day.  By the time Marcus Mahrer and Kala Enderson won the Finnish Wife Carrying Race with a time of 20.2 seconds, the afternoon was quite pleasant. According to Community Club workers Hal Nelson and Paul Anderson, crowd size was down a little from the record attendance of Uff-Da Day XXXII in 2016, and was about the same as the second-best year, Uff-Da Day XXXI back in 2015.  All in all, Uff-Da Day XXXIII in 2017 can be recorded as another successful event for the people of the Rutland community, no matter where they may live.  Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke expressed her thanks to all those who helped make Uff-Da Day XXXIII a fun and successful event.

Jerry & Mary Ann Parker of Casselton ND arrived in Rutland on Friday, September 29, and parked their travel trailer in the Rutland RV Park. Their son, Ken, of Minneapolis also came up to enjoy Uff-Da Day in Rutland. Jerry had made prints from the glass plate negatives of the Haldor Anderson Photography Studio that had operated in Milnor during the early days of the 20th Century, and had the prints on display in The Bagley House, at 301 First Street, for Uff-Da Day. The identities of the subjects of the photographs had been lost long ago, and the hope was that some of the photos might be identified during Uff-Da Day. That hope was realized as many of those who stopped in to view the collection were able to recognize grandparents, parents and siblings in the photographs. Many of these glass plate negatives have already been scanned and uploaded to the internet web site of the Sargent County Museum for viewing by all who might be interested.  Gerry is also working with the Lidgerwood Museum to get the more than 5,000 glass plate negatives of the Gertson Photography Studio scanned and available for viewing on the internet.

Some of the others from out of town who made it to Rutland for Uff-Da Day XXXIII included: Donald Litchfield and grandson, of Bismarck ND; Mary Alice Oyloe of Williston ND; Keith Olson of Minneapolis MN; Erling Lee of Dublin OH; Jim & Dianna Garot of Oceanside CA; James Brakke & Sydney Koch of Stillwater MN; Claire Brakke & Alex Markovich of Grand Forks ND; Don Isensee of Perham MN; Judy Anderson of Fargo; Harlan & Kathleen Isensee of Moorhead MN; Teresa Braaten of Wyndmere ND; Glen Larson of Watertown SD; DuWayne & Jill Baldwin of Geneseo, accompanied by Emily & Adam; John & Cheryl Lee of Colfax ND; Kathleen Mehus of Fargo; Jim & Debbie Fust of Park City MT; Tom & Linda Young of Minneapolis; John Hoflen of Bismarck ND; Russel Lee & family of Omaha NE; David & Patty Kulzer of Salmon Prairie MT;Margot Ganske of Park City UT; Lyle & Christine Tauer of Elk River MN; Shirley Mahrer of Hankinson; Larry Anderson of Delamere; Dan & Eunice Johnston of Fargo; Alice Bidle of Big Lake MN, accompanied by Camden, Emmy & Daven; David Susag of Fargo; Jim & Judy Kleingarn of Milnor; Renae Aarfor & spouse of Fargo ND; Sonja Christensen of Wahpeton; Marilyn Anderson of Wahpeton; Sid & Carol Harrison of Fargo; Steve & Judie Grohs of Rosholt SD; Harlan Nundahl of Fargo; and, many, many more.

Margot Ganske of Park City UT arrived in Rutland on Thursday, September 28, as did Christine & Lyle Tauer of Elk River MN.  Christine & Margo are sisters of Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke, and they volunteered their time to help out with Uff-Da Day preparations.  Marcia & Margot are identical twins, and if it seemed as if Marcia was in 2 places at once, that’s the reason why.  Marcia, Margot & Christine also joined up with the Wyum brothers: Steve; Mike; and, Mark; to form a vocal sextet that entertained at the Town Hall prior to the Parade.

On Saturday morning, September 30, a group gathered at the Rutland Town Hall for the annual ritual of peeling 500 pounds of potatoes for the numerous roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham to be made on Uff-Da Day.  This year’s volunteers were: Paul Anderson; Norbert Kulzer; David Kulzer; Dennis McLaen; Roger Pearson; Ron Narum; Cameron Gulleson; and, Jenny Gulleson.  Paul states that there was one volunteer who failed to show, but he won’t be named here as he knows who he is and will be buying lunch for a long time to atone for his omission.

Larry Christensen, Commander of Rutland’s American Legion Post, points out that new handrails were installed on the entrance ramp at the Legion Hall /Fitness Center at 123 Gay Street on Friday, Sept. 29.  The metal handrails were made by Dakota Precision Fabricating at its shop in Forman, and were presented to the American Legion by the owners of the company, Shannon & Hilary Mehrer of this community.  Commander Christensen and the members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 wish to thank the Mehrers for their public-spirited generosity.

Legion Commander Larry Christensen also reports that Post #215 will be serving a Pancake & Sausage breakfast/brunch from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The pancakes will be made with the Post’s “Secret Recipe” that gives shy persons the strength to go out and do what needs to be done.  The price of a good breakfast will be a free will donation and the promise to maintain a positive attitude until the Super Bowl Biscuits & Gravy breakfast/brunch on Sunday, February 4, at the same location.

For the second year in a row, the brother-sister team of James & Claire Brakke managed the Uff-Da Day Facebook page to get the word about the event out on social media.  The Brakke kids grew up in the Rutland & Havana communities and still maintain close ties to family and friends here, although James now resides in Stillwater MN and Claire is a student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  As of Friday, September 29, they reported that there had been more than 4,600 “views” of the Uff-Da Day Facebook page in the 2 months leading up to this years event.  There had also been 5,200 hits on the Uff-Da Day video that had been posted on Rutland’s internet web site at The more than 90 individuals who responded to the Uff-Da Day survey polls were entered into a prize drawing, reports Claire, and that drawing was held on Friday, September 29.  Here is Claire’s report: “Winner of the drawing for the Special Uffda Day Prize Package is Cassie Jacobson.  Cassie is the daughter of Rutland native Boyd Jacobson Jr. & Connie (Seelye) Jacobson of Starbuck MN.  Congratulations Cassie! In this package comes a Rutland water bottle, three Uff-Da Day T shirts, Rutland postcards, a package of lefse, and an embroidered Uff-Da Day cloth tote bag.  Stay tuned for more information on Uff-Da Day by liking Uff-Da Day on Facebook. See you all next year, at Uff-Da Day XXXIV!”  Thanks to Claire for the report.

In case you’re wondering what that big, bright, round object in the night sky on Thursday, October 5 was, it’s the phenomenon known as the “Harvest Moon.”  According to Siri, the Harvest Moon is the Full Moon that is closest to the Autumnal Equinox.  This year, the Autumnal Equinox occurred on Friday, September 22.  The Full Moon prior to the Equinox was on Thursday, September 7, 15 days before the Equinox, and the Full Moon following the Equinox was on Thursday, October 5, 13 days after the Equinox, making it the Harvest Moon.  So, as combines roll across Sargent County, threshing out this year’s soybean crop, “Shine on Harvest Moon…” will be the theme song in Rutland and vicinity.

The violence in Las Vegas NV last weekend that left 59 dead and hundreds injured has once again shocked the nation, for a few days.  The TV news channels are bombarding the air waves with single-minded coverage of the tragedy until viewers become numb to the spectacle of human beings being gunned down before their eyes.  The big question is, “WHY?”, and the answer is, “We don’t know.”  One reason why we don’t know is because we, as a nation, have refused to even look at the causes of violence, particularly gun violence, in America.  We even have a Federal Law that prohibits the use of any Federal funds in any studies of the causes of violence in our country because we are afraid of what the results of such studies might reveal.  Until we come to our senses and decide to do something about violence in our nation, as a nation, maybe a little more kindness and a little less anger, a little more generosity and a little less selfishness, a little more reason and a lot less emotion, might be a step in the right direction.  We might never know if anything we do stops one of these tragedies from happening, but we surely do know that there will be more of them if we do nothing.  A Cogswell native, the late Orval O’Neil, said, “You can choose to ignore reality, but you cannot choose to ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”  It’s about time that we Americans face reality, and deal with it.

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.  Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember 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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