Jensen, Risbrudt laud Ashby friendships [UPDATED]Published 9:28am Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Updated 11:30am Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Reuben Jensen, 87, and Herb Risbrudt, 82, are long-time friends who say that everyone is like one big family in Ashby. That’s what’s so special about life in the smaller towns of western Minnesota, say the Ashby senior citizens.
“In a town such as Ashby, you really get to know people,” said Jensen, the former owner of Hardware Hank who retired in 2002. “People also support one another. When times get tough, you can count on your friends and neighbors.”
Jensen, a widower since his wife, Grace, passed on in 2010, appreciates a special friendship with Risbrudt, a retired farmer. They talk about the past, present and future over coffee each week at Ruby’s Cafe.
“We had our active years, with work, hunting, fishing, trapping and other things,” said Risbrudt. “Now, it’s pretty much supporting the younger people, including our children and grandchildren.”
Jensen and Risbrudt both grew up on nearby farms.
Jensen was raised in Dane Prairie Township and Risbrudt in St. Olaf township. Jensen was a close friend of the late Jimmy Ecker, since they grew up together near Dalton.
Music, particularly square dancing, was a big part of Jensen’s life. He enjoyed playing music at nursing homes with Otto Hanson of Dalton and Jimmy Berg of Elbow Lake. He also enjoyed bowling.
Risbrudt takes pride in his baseball playing days during his younger years in life.
He was a high school player at Ashby as a pitcher, and also played for the town team. Risbrudt was one of the early knuckleball pitchers in western Minnesota.
Risbrudt and his wife, Wanda, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Friday, Nov. 11. His daughter, Gail, is postmaster in Ashby.
The Jensens, before the death of Grace, celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary in 2009. Grace was the right hand person for Reuben at Hardware Hank.
Jensen and Risbrudt both belong to Peace Lutheran Church in Ashby. Reuben’s grandson, Mike, is married to the Risbrudts’ granddaughter, Nicole. They have a three-year-old son.