Michael Rustad's Memories

 

Sidewalk Farmers

My brother Tony and I were exiled to the Rustad familyfarm in 1957. We would drive our bikes into towns at every occasion. HazelLofberg called Tony and I the "sidewalk farmers' because we were alwaysin town rather than helping out on the farm. I tended farm animals etc.but my parents were fairly lenient about giving us the opportunity to rideour bikes to town.

Humboldt had lots of attractions to a farm kid. My favoritehangout was Mayme Jury's store. I can still remember the distinctive metaldecorative ceiling.

I was good friends with Melvie Stewart, Mrs. Glen Stewart.Melvie was one of
the kindest, most interesting persons in town. She had a special way withkids much like Pearl Iten. In those days, a quarter would go a long ways.You could buy a "Seven-Up Bar" with its brazil nut, jelly centerand other delights for a nickle and still have change left over for a packageof potato chips and a 10 ounce pop. In those days, pop came in two varieties:10 ounce and 6 ounce bottles. Melvie was the most amazing store clerk whohad an absolutely wonderful manner with kids.

Tony and I would often raise money by collecting pop bottlesand selling them to Elmer Maxwell who had the tiniest little Standard Oilstation known to mankind. Elmer and his sister Mae lived in the house behindthe station. I remember Elmer would always give a fair price for pop bottlesand sometimes give us credit for bottles which were not salvageable. I rememberthat he always wore coveralls and his sister was always dressed in black.

In those sleepy summer days of the early 1960s, we alwayshad a baseball game at the Humboldt field. I was always afraid of Jeff Lofberg'svery wild fast-ball after being struck several times. We would play ballby the hour. Sometimes we would play ball in the Diamond pasture if theball field was too overgrown. I remember playing with Tom Brown's tripletcousins. I learned to hit the long ball during those years. When I was agraduate student at Boston College, I led the softball league in home-runs

When we lived in town prior to 1957, there were unlimitedamount There were scores of kids to play with and lots of things to do.The Humboldt kids frequently played kick the can and other childhood gameswell into the night. The Verne Hunt family had at least 10 kids by 1957and were always available for play time. Another good friend was Dean Ritterwho later played basketball for the Fighting Sioux of UND. Dean's fatherwas Rev. Ritter of the Humboldt Methodist Church and our classmate.

When we were fourth graders, we had one of the best basketballteams: Ritter, Rustad, Giffen, Baldwin, Ingeman and Hare. We even beat theSixth Graders. We called ourselves the Humboldt pups. Humboldt-St. Vincent'smascot was the Huskies. We were the pups and even had our own uniforms:t-shirts with numerals marked in shoe-polish. Gail Hare fractured his skullin one of those games. I remember seeing his pale face and his ghostly whiteapperance. He made a complete recovery though. These experiences are whatI still remember decades later. I hope that others from my generation (orearlier or later generations) will make contributions to this page.tions) will make contributions to this page.