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The Dennis Lausen Memorial Tractor Pull: Bigger than Elvis?

By Staff | Jul 22, 2010

Dennis Lausen of Estherville was a familiar face at the annual Emmet County Fair Tractor Pull. Fellow tractor enthusiasts will remember Lausen, who passed away last December, at Friday’s event at the fairgrounds. Photo submitted

I typically do a column leading into the Emmet County Fair tractor pull, generally call all the pullers low-life liars and cheats in an effort to stimulate things a bit. It’s a little tough to do this year as they have tricked me into attending meetings and helping work on the track.

Don’t think for a minute it wasn’t all planned. I get a phone call from Jerry, “Hey Roy, we’re having a little pullers’ meeting at Dennis Lausen’s place tonight, come on up, will do some story telling, might even be some beer.” Well, It’s hard to brand an entire group as liars and cheats when I am a dues-paying member. Guess they don’t call Jerry, Slippery Hansen, for nothing.

Dennis was a large part of the Emmet County Fair tractor pull. He loved to participate in the pull, loved to pack and grade the track making sure it was as close to perfect as it could be. Sadly seems I no more then joined the group and we lost Dennis forever

Dennis got excited about pulling, even more so, he got pumped when the fair pull would do well. He loved a well-groomed track, a big crowd, loved to see the grounds fill with pullers from all over the area. His eyes would twinkle when the subject came up. His enthusiasm was truly contagious.

In honor of Dennis we have pulled the stops out this year. At the first meeting I attended we talked of getting a barrier or fence between the track and the crowd. Well, put a fork in it and call it done.

Special thanks go to Keith and Billi Seller owners/managers of the Estherville Golf Club for the donation of 350 feet of 10-foot commercial grade chain link fence. I am sure a fence of this quality would have cost thousands of dollars new. Also a big thanks to Michaelson Construction of Armstrong for letting us use their fine crushed concrete product to pack the post holes, it was very kind of them to let us help ourselves to their pile on an as-needed basis.

Mike Clarken always does a good job of announcing but often you cannot hear him due to the age and poor condition of the sound system. This year his son Lyle is providing a top-notch sound system. It will be featuring some of Dennis’s favorite music-Alabama, Johnny Cash, George Strait, Faith Hill, Charlie Pride, Willie Nelson, and we’ll slip in some good rock and roll also. Lyle has also promised some interesting sound effects. Worried about a place to sit? As I headed to the shop tonight I noted them dropping off more bleachers at the track.

So with your help, this year could be the biggest and the best yet. Dennis’ son Jay is grooming the track as we speak, the new fence and bleachers are in place-not one but two sleds are going to be there making for very fast action. We have a killer sound system and announcer on tap. Georgia and her crew will be serving up burgers and treats.

We had just finished putting up the new fence last Sunday when Irlan looked up at it, paused, and then commented, “Dennis would have really liked this.”

Irlan is right, Dennis would have loved the new fence, the new bleachers and new lights, and more than anything, would love to see a big crowd having a good time visiting with their neighbors and watching the tractors pull. Us pullers feel pretty good about dedicating this pull to Dennis, as his good friend Jerry told me, “Good friends are hard to find, harder to lose and impossible to forget.”

We won’t be forgetting Dennis soon.

Hope to see you there.