By Bill Anderson
Two weeks ago, Harvey Bergstrom predicted that he would begin cutting his 2018 wheat crop between the 5th and the 10th of August. Harvey was right on. Harvest operations on the Bergstrom Farm began in the field just west of the home quarter on Sunday, August 5, Harvey reported. The yield, protein and quality were all in the “excellent to outstanding” range. Then came the rain. The showers that passed through on Sunday night were uneven, leaving More moisture to the south and east. Only about .01 inch of rain fell in Rutland, while about 1 inch fell in the area south of Cayuga. Harvey was smiling on Monday morning, even though he had only managed to get 3 semi loads combined before the rain halted harvest operations. Kim Rasmussen stopped in at The Lariat for coffee & conversation on the morning of Wednesday, August 8, and reported similar wheat harvest results west of Havana. Kim states that the wheat crop is not quite as good as last year, but he’s not complaining, as the 2nd best wheat crop in the history of the farm is sure a lot better than the worst one.
Well, it’s August, and Uff-Da Day XXXIV in Rutland, on Sunday, October 7, is less than 2 months down the road. Planning and preparation for this year’s event have been underway since last Fall, and Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke supplied the following report of recent Uff-Da Day preparation activities: “Here is the report on the Lefse 101 for Adults class held on the evening of Tuesday, August 7, in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall. The lefse 101 Adult students are: Cindy Klapperich from Oakes; and, Ruby Gramlow from Fullerton. (Note: New lefse making expert Cindy Klapperich is Sargent County’s Family & Community Wellness (F&CW) Agent in the County’s NDSU Extension Service Office.) We also had three instructors: Lori McClean; Marcia Brakke; and, Mary Ann Leverey. We made 116 pieces of lefse for Uff-Da Day, and each student took home a package of lefse. The students caught on quickly and were soon rolling great lefse that for the most part were round and browned just the right amount. Everyone had fun! The Lefse For Kids class, for children ages 7 through 14 that was held on Tuesday, July 31st in the Town Hall kitchen was a great success, in that everyone had a good time, and the students were rolling and turning lefse like pros by the time the class was over. The students were: Zaebyn Olafson; Jackson Jochim; Kylie Ceroll; Lilith Pavek; Abby Erickson; Maddy Erickson; and, Sophie Erickson. The Instructors were Marcia Brakke and Kathy Marquette. One student stated he was surprised that the lefse “tasted way better than what it looks.” We cheered their accomplishments and soon, after just a few tries, they were rolling and turning lefse successfully. The students were able to take home several packages each of lefse, and the class was free of charge. We have never done classes before but will certainly offer them again. Stay tuned.” Thanks to Marcia for the report, and congratulations to the students, both kids and adults, for learning a skill that will last a lifetime.
Randy & Cheri Pearson report that they have another grandson. Lane Allen Speich was born on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 to the Pearsons’ daughter & son-in-law, Betsy & Tyler Speich, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo. According to Grandma Cheri, Lane Allen weighed in at 7 pounds 8 ounces and stood 20 inches tall in his bare feet on arrival. He joins big sisters Presley, everly and Lauryn in the Speichs’ farm home near Delamere. Bruce & Dana Speich of Herman Township are Lane Allen’s other set of grandparents, and his proud great grandparents are Orvis & Alphie Pearson of Rutland.
Descendants of Rutland area pioneers Ole C. & Julia C. (Peterson) Anderson gathered for a cousins reunion on Thursday, July 26, at the home of Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs on the west shore of Lake Traverse, near Rosholt SD. Present for the occasion were first cousins Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs of Rosholt; Sonja (Anderson) Christensen of Wahpeton; Joanne (Anderson) Harris of Rutland; Beverly (Bartunek) Schons of Fargo; Bill Anderson of Rutland; and, Paul Anderson of Rutland. Also, in on the festivities were second cousin Corrine (Narum) Romereim of Wahpeton; first cousin-in-law Marilyn Anderson of Wahpeton; and, first cousin-in-law Steve Grohs of Rosholt. The group enjoyed dinner at Vintage Inspired, a restaurant in Rosholt, and then adjourned to Judie & Steve’s lake home for dessert, Judie’s old-fashioned home-made chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. There was one complaint that the cake had “too much frosting,” but Paul Anderson silenced the critic with the observation that “Saying you have too much frosting is like saying you have too much money.”
On the morning of Wednesday, August 1, a crew of workmen under the supervision of Kevin Gaukler of Lidgerwood poured the cement for the concrete floor of Mac Pherson’s new garage/storage building on Dakota Street. The new structure will be 32’ X 58’, metal clad and equipped with electrical and plumbing connections. The cement was obtained from Britton Ready Mix of Britton SD.
Former Rutland community residents Bill & Mary Woytassek, now citizens of Detroit Lakes MN, visited in Rutland on Thursday & Friday, August 2 & 3, taking up overnight residence in their 5th wheel travel trailer in the Rutland RV Park. The Woytasseks were on their way to Aberdeen to attend the wedding of one of their granddaughters. With We-Fest XXXVI going on in Detroit Lakes, they appreciated the peace and quiet around Rutland. Bill checked out the wheat crop and took his chair among the faculty of The Assembled Wise Men and Marry got caught up on events in the old home town with the Assembled Matriarchs of the community.
Friends here were saddened last week when it was learned that a once familiar figure on the streets of this community, Larry “Doc” Nelson, had departed this life on Monday, July 30, 2018 at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman. Doc had attained the age of 75 years 1 month and 28 days at the time of his death. Larry Axel Nelson was born on June 2, 1943 in Forman, ND to Axel and Dorthea (Sannes) Nelson. He was baptized at South Trinity Lutheran Church, near the Nelson’s farm home in Rutland Township, and attended Vacation Bible School there. He was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman. Doc attended elementary school at Rutland Consolidated and graduated from Sargent Central High School in 1961. Following high school graduation Doc farmed in Rutland Township with his Dad, Axel, and one of his younger brothers, Leroy “Turk” Nelson. On September 11, 1992, Doc terminated his farming operations, and along with his older brother, Orville, had a joint auction sale at Doc’s Rutland Township farm. While on the farm, Doc “hosted” several well-attended birthday parties, with live music, barbecued hogs and refreshments by the semi load. When the Rutland Meat Market closed its doors in 1970, Doc had purchased the walk-in cooler from Hilda Narum, moved it to the farm and gave Weatherhead Distributing of Oakes standing orders to keep it stocked. Doc was always willing to lend a helping hand to others, and, on one occasion, he and David Kulzer of Kulzer Brothers Farm Supply took Doc’s grain truck and a repossessed combine south on the custom harvest run, with the aim of making enough to pay for combine repairs that the former purchaser had not made, and to pay the interest to the finance company. Dodging the former purchaser’s creditors, who were still trying to make claims on the combine, made the adventure even more fun for Dave & Doc. Doc really enjoyed the 200 Allis-Chalmers Tractor he had purchased from Kulzer brothers, and often attested to the power of the engine and drive train, sturdy construction of the tractor and to the spacious comfort of its cab. Shortly after Doc quit farming, Allis-Chalmers was sold to a German concern, and he switched colors, from AC Orange to JD Green. “Nothing Runs Like A Deere,” especially with Doc in the driver’s seat. During the 1970’s, Doc and Diane Jacobson became parents of two daughters, Hilary Anne and Kaci Lee. In 1979, Doc and Betty Olson Larson were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman. Betty’s children: Todd; Deborah; and, Maria; became a part of Doc’s family, too. After he ended his farming enterprise, Doc started a handyman service, “DOCS” doing light construction, yard chores and household repairs, including: mowing; spraying; snow removal; cement work; shingling; and, whatever else needed doing for his neighbors in Sargent County. Doc also shared custodian duties at the Sargent County Courthouse with Roz Amerman from 1993 to 2010. Doc enjoyed giving after hours tours of the Courthouse to his special friends. For over 25 years Doc donned his Santa Claus suit each Christmas Eve, and distributed gifts at several homes in the community. Doc enjoyed the company of friends, and several, including: Elmer “Poik” Sundlie; Gary Lehman; Harlo Thol; Ray Thol; and, many others; regularly worked with him on the farm. He could often be found at the No Name Bar, playing pinochle or pull tabs or just visiting with Dawn, and anyone else who happened to stop in. To Doc, strangers were just friends he hadn’t met yet. In early 2011 Doc had to start kidney dialysis at DaVita in Oakes. A few years later he was able to switch to home dialysis, which gave him a higher quality of life and the freedom to continue much of his handyman work. In November of 2017, though, Doc’s health problems worsened. Even a heart valve replacement wasn’t the cure. He moved into the Four Seasons Healthcare Center in February 2018. He soon thought of it as home and treated the staff like family. On July 24th Doc told Hilary and Kaci that he had decided to stop dialysis, fully aware of what the result of that decision would be. As Hospice provided compassionate end of life care, many who knew Doc gathered around to provide support in his final days. He enjoyed Many rides with family and friends in the restored 1924 Model T Ford that always put a sparkle in his eye when it fired up. The ’24 Model T Ford has made frequent appearances in Rutland’s Uff-Da Day Parades, with Doc at the wheel. Doc is survived by: his 2 daughters, Hilary Mehrer, Rutland; and, Kaci Millette, Hancock MN; by 4 grandchildren; by 3 brothers: Orville Nelson, Forman; Leroy “Turk” Nelson, Forman; and, Dennis Nelson, Forman; by 3 sisters, Elaine Anderson, Forman; Mavis Morgan, Ottertail MN; and, Joyce Nichols, Elk River MN; by nearly 90 nieces, nephews and their descendants; and, by numerous cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Axel and Dorthea Nelson; and, by 1 brother, Cliff Nelson. The funeral for Doc Nelson was at 11 am, Saturday, August 4, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman, with Pastor Ivy Schultz officiating. A time for remembrance and sharing was held at 7:00 pm on Friday, August 3, 2018, at the Forman City Hall, with those in attendance sharing many unforgettable stories about an unforgettable friend. The Price Funeral Chapel of Britton & Forman was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Hilary Mehrer, Box 164, Rutland ND 58067. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Doc Nelson, a friend to all, who lived life to the full.
Jim Strand of Waukesha WI arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Monday, August 6. Jim is one of the 2 sons of the late Albert & Lucille Strand, and a great-grandson of pioneer Swedish immigrant John Anderson who homesteaded on the NE¼ of Section 30 in Ransom Township back in 1882. The farm, which later was known as “The Strand Farm,” is now owned & occupied by Lyle & Ann Erickson. Back in the 1950’s & 60’s, Jim and his older brother, Tom, used to stay at the farm with their uncles, Victor & Hjalmar Strand, and spent many hours in Rutland, playing baseball at Lou Sanderson Field, playing pool at Rutland Recreation, swiping an occasional apple from the apple trees owned by Josie Johnson, Lou Sanderson and Art Nelson, and just hanging out with the gang. Jim resided in The Bagley House at 301 First Street during his Rutland visit, and Plans to head back to Wisconsin on Friday, August 10. He states that he is enjoying his stroll down memory lane.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 6, 2018, in the Rutland Town Hall, with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Debbie Banish; and, Council Members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; Mike Mahrer; and, Bertha Siemieniewski; present. The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. Council Member Rodney Erickson took the Oath of Office for the four-year term through June 25, 2022 to which he had been re-elected back in June. The Council approved Gaming Permit #228, authorizing the Rutland Community Club to conduct a raffle board drawing during Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 7, 2018, to help finance the Sargent Central students who are signed up for the International Ambassadors of Music tour of Europe in 2019. Council member Lysne presented information on bids received for the removal of 11 dead or dying trees from rights of way and other property owned by the City. The bid of $1,100.00 received from Brownies Tree Service was accepted. Under this bid, the City will not remove any trees from private property. However, once the contractor indicates when the tree removal crew will be in Town, City property owners will be notified of the schedule and may hire the contractor to remove or trim trees on their property. Council member Lysne also informed the Council that a tree ordinance will be drafted and presented for a first reading at the next meeting. The purpose of the ordinance is to define what tree removal expenses the City and property owners are responsible for. The Council approved the City Auditor’s attendance at the North Dakota League of Cities (NDLC) Conference, September 13-15 in Grand Forks and authorize payment of registration ($240) and lodging ($223+tax) and mileage reimbursement by a vote of 3 to 2, with Erickson, Mahrer & Narum voting yes, and Lysne & Siemieniewski voting no. Rutland’s City Auditor, Deb Banish, is an officer of the North Dakota Municipal Finance Officers Association (MFOA). Mayor Narum presented, and the Council approved, a proposed 10-year contract with Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls SD for interior and exterior cleaning and inspection of the City water tower at a cost of $1,600.00 every two years. Auditor Banish presented information to the Council on the Zoning & Planning process, including: a Question and Answer Sheet on when a building permit is needed; proposed changes to the City’s Zoning Ordinance; Tiny homes; Shipping containers in the Industrial District and in the Commercial District; and, Lot width in the Residential-Mobile Home (R-MH) District. The Zoning & Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on August 28 for comments on the proposed revised zoning Ordinances. The Council reviewed, revised and approved the proposed preliminary budget
The Council will hold a public hearing on the budget at its next meeting on Monday, September 10, prior to adopting a final 2019 budget. Council member Siemieniewski stated that the City needs to proceed with the repair and replacement of sidewalks. A written policy is needed so that it is applied consistently. Some property owners have paid for their own sidewalk replacements; some costs have been split between the City and the property owner; and, in some instances the City has paid the full cost. The City Auditor will obtain information on how other cities pay for sidewalks in commercial and residential areas.
Ms. Siemieniewski also stated that the lack of drainage in some areas of the City needs to be addressed. A consistent policy on what is done and who pays the cost needs to be set. The Council discussed possible remedies for some drainage issues and noted that cost would be a concern for the owners of some of the property involved. Some drainage problems can be improved by more consistent maintenance of ditches & culverts.
Council member Lysne asked about the trees that had been planted on the North side of Lou Sanderson Field. Mayor Narum reported that he had obtained and planted the trees at no cost to the City or to the Park District, in order to eventually provide windbreak protection at the ball diamond. After reviewing the City’s bills and authorizing payment, the Council adjourned. The next regular meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 10, 2018, at the Rutland Town Hall. That meeting will include public hearings on the proposed revised Zoning Ordinance; and, on the proposed 2019 City Budget. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and citizens are encouraged to attend.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the President attacks with text, tweet and twitter any and all who dare to question his divine right to rule, taking direct aim at the First Amendment to The Constitution and its protections of the rights of freedom of speech and of the press. As of Friday, August 10, there will be 83 weeks down and 125 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. The President recently tweeted that he is more popular than Abraham Lincoln was, and that is true, a real rarity for this President. Honest Abe stood for the principle that “…all men are created equal…” and half of the nation rebelled, taking up arms against him. The big difference between President Lincoln and the current President is that one word, “principle.” It has been said that, if you don’t stand for something you will stand for anything. Americans need to ask themselves, today, what they do, and will, stand for.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. Actually, it’s not all the news, as no reports of Rutland’s 10th Annual Rib Fest have been received. Look for something next week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site, and stop by the Rutland Facebook page 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.