By Bill Anderson
The Sun always shines on Rutland! And, that’s what the weather gurus are predicting for Uff-Da Day XXXVI, the community’s annual Fall Festival with a Scandinavian theme, on Sunday, October 3. According to Rutland Community Club President and Uff-da Day Chairperson Katie McLaen, activities are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning with arts & crafts vendors, demonstrations & exhibits. The good times will just roll on from then throughout the day. There will be sandkaker & krumkake at the Legion Hall; abelskievers being prepared before your eyes in front of the Legion Hall; dinner at the Rutland Town Hall commencing at 11:00, featuring Rutland’s scalloped potatoes with ham, prepared with real potatoes, real ham and real cream; lefse and rommegrot will be available in the Seniors’ Center and the Rutland Park Bord will be serving Uff-Da Tacos and bratwursts at the Rutland Fire Hall. That’s not all, either. The Annual Uff-Da Day Parade is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m., with Lowell Wyum announcing the entries on Main Street; the “Nickel Scramble” sponsored by Kenny & Tanya Hamilton and Joe’s Ag Supply will follow the parade; and the Pedal Tractor competition will follow the Nickel Scramble. At 3:00 p.m. a dedication ceremony honoring the late Ronald Narum, Rutland’s Mayor from 1972 until his death in 2020, the community’s “Mr. Fix-It,” and the guy who knew where everything was and which keys were for which locks, will be held in front of The Stock Growers Bank building at the corner of Gay & First Streets. Meanwhile, the “Bounce Houses” across the street from the Town Hall will be entertaining some youngsters, while others take a ride on the Uff-Da Train. The Rutland Depot Museum, Pioneer House and Country School exhibits will be open throughout the day. The Uff-Da Day Committee promises a great day, and they have always delivered in the past. This Sunday, October 3, Rutland will be the place to be for a good time with good fun, good food and good friends. Plan to arrive early, and to stay late!
Readers may recall that Roger Pearson’s rain gauge measured .2 of an inch of precipitation from the drizzle back on Monday, September 20, while the gauge of his next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, registered .4 of an inch. A third report has now been received from Chuck Sundlie, whose gauge is set up in his backyard, 2 blocks south of Roger & Norbert. According to Chuck, his gauge agreed with Norbert’s, making the official total from the September 20 rain event .4 of an inch. It always has to be 2 against 1!
Arvin & Carolyn (Evenson) Herman of Maple Grove MN were Rutland visitors on Thursday, September 23. Carolyn is a Cogswell native and is the youngest sister of “Delores “PeeWee” Breker of this community. Arvin grew up on the Herman family farm in Tewaukon Township, attended school in Rutland and is a member of the RHS and SCHS Class of ’66. . The Hermans joined PeeWee and other old friends for dinner at the Rutland Seniors’ Center at Noon on Thursday.
Second & Third Grade Sunday School students at Nordland Lutheran Church received Bibles from the congregation during a presentation ceremony on Sunday, September 26. Students are: Kyler Pherson, 2nd Grade; Audrey Anderson, 3rd Grade; Sophie Erickson, 3rd Grade; Cohen Jensen, 3rd Grade; Max Hamilton, 3rd Grade; Carl McLaen, 3rd Grade; and, Riley Roney, 3rd Grade. Parents of the students are: Brian & Lyndsee Pherson; Mike & Jill Anderson; Rodney & Andrea Erickson; Shane & Taryn Jensen; Kenny & Tanya Hamilton; Nick & Katie McLaen; and, Rob & Kylie Roney. Kathy Wyum, a member of Nordland’s Education Committee, reports that 27 students enrolled in Sunday School Grades 1 through 5 on Rally Sunday, September 19. Of the 19 students in this year’s Trinity-Nordland-Trinity (TNT) Parish Confirmation Class, Grades 6 thru 8, 10 are members of the Nordland congregation.
Bradley Dronen of Minneapolis and Delores Wittich of Forman, formerly Brampton, were visitors at the bill Anderson home on Monday, September 27. Bill provided the coffee and Delores supplied the bars. Mr. Dronen is a cousin of Delores husband, the late Alan Wittich, and of Bill’s wife, Kathleen Brakke. His grandparents were the late Stellan & Julia (Swanson) Ahrlin of this community, and his parents were the late Julian & Verna (Ahrlin) Dronen. Mr. Dronen said that he has been working in the heating and air-conditioning business in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for the past 53 years, since he was 18, and operating his own business for the past 41 years. He is thinking about retirement, but his vocation is also his avocation, so he might just keep on doing what he’s doing, unless his spouse overrules him. They do have some extensive travel plans for the next few years. He said that he likes to come back to Rutland once in a while, to reconnect with family history, and reminisce about “the good old days,” with Grandma, Grandpa and the cousins in the little city that can.
Chuck Sundlie of this community is a Sunday driver. That monicker used to be an insult, pinned on drivers who dawdle along on the highway, gawking at the scenery and obstructing the flow of traffic, but no more. These days, at least in Rutland, the label “Sunday Driver” is a badge of honor for Chuck and others who have been devoting their weekends off from their usual employment to drive semi-trucks loaded with corn and soybeans from the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op’s Rutland facility to the co-op’s grain terminal and unit train loading facility in Britton SD. Rodney Erickson, owner and manager of the Rutland Elevator facility, said that business at the elevator has been brisk, despite reduced yields due to the drought and extreme heat of the past summer. Commodity prices are good, and that fact takes some of the sting out of the situation. Chuck, and the other semi drivers working for Rodney and Wheaton-Dumont, are a crucial link in the chain that delivers the crop from the field to its final destination, anywhere, and everywhere, in the world. So, be on the lookout for Chuck and the rest of Wheaton-Dumont’s Sunday Drivers and give them a salute as they go by.
Rodney Erickson reports that three representatives of United Grain Company (UGC) of Vancouver WA, visited the Rutland Elevator facility on Monday, September 27. UGC is affiliated with the Mitsui Company of Japan, and is a co-owner, along with the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op, of the grain terminal/unit train loading facility in Britton SD. Mr. Randy Moore of UGC; Ms. Ayaka Murofushi of UGC; and Mr. Tadashi Hara of the Mitsui Co.; spent about an hour checking out the Rutland Elevator before travelling on to Britton. They were impressed with the excellent condition and efficiency of operation of the Rutland plant, which was built in 1946 and was rescued, resuscitated, reconditioned, rejuvenated and renovated by Rodney during the past decade. They also took note of the fact that they have now had the honor of visiting the home of “The World’s Largest Hamburger.” Who knows? They might even be back for Uff-Da Day.
Dick Meyers began his southward migration on Wednesday, September 29. Dick, a member of the RHS Class of ’50, had resided in “The Bunkhouse” on Rutland’s Main Street throughout the Summer. He is an enthusiastic golfer, and participated in “The Seniors’ Tour” in southeastern North Dakota. He managed to beat his age on several occasions this past Summer. The first leg of Dick’s journey will take him to the home of his daughter, Patty Harren, at Opsalla MN. From there, he will gradually work his way into the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area until he is within striking distance of the airport. He said that he expects to fly from Minneapolis to Phoenix sometime in mid-October. He is planning to be back in Rutland for Memorial Day, 2022. Have a great winter, Dick! See you in the Spring!
Gary Thornberg stopped in for coffee and conversation at the Rutland Seniors Center on the morning of Wednesday, September 29. Gary said that he and his son-in-law, Jerry Woytassek, have been working on his Ford Model T truck, and hope to have it in the Uff-Da Day Parade this coming Sunday, October 3. The old Model T originally belonged to Rutland pioneers Nels & Albert Jacobson. Joel Susag said that some members of the Sod Busters organization from Fort Ransom are planning to be on hand to demonstrate the operation of a sawmill powered by a stationary steam engine. Joel plans to have his WD-45 Allis Chalmers tractor in the parade, too. See you there!
September is the month for books from folks with a Rutland connection. Frequent Rutland visitor Ms. Margot Ganske has recently published a children’s book based on the adventures of a “town dog” in Lynchburg TN. The book is titled “Buddy The Beagle” and it is available from Amazon. The watercolor illustrations in the book are by Margot’s twin sister, former Rutland resident Marcia Brakke. Lynchburg’s other claim to fame is that it is the location of the Jack Daniels bourbon whiskey distillery. Former Rutland resident Janet Bradbury reports that her son-in-law, Mark Springer of Bismarck ND, will soon have a new civics textbook on the market. The book’s title is “Responsible Citizenship, Restoring Civic Community Action”. The textbook is based on the course outline for a civics class that Mark taught at the University Of Mary in Bismarck for several years. A publisher saw the outline and asked Mark to write a book on the subject, which he did. Based on what has been happening in our country during the past several years, Mark’s book is hitting the market in the nick of time. Read it, and profit thereby.
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 www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page 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.