The Rooster Crows – Jan. 7, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The New Year, pure, pristine and untouched, was dropped on the front porch like a block of ice precisely at the instant that the clock and the calendar changed from December 31 to January 1. Poor old 2021, all beat up, bruised, broken and scarred, departed at the same instant, giving the New Year a clean slate to work with, at least for a couple of minutes. So far, in its first week, 2022 is doing all right: the stock market is up; unemployment is down; and, wages are up. Coronavirus infections; the crime rate; and, inflation; are all up, too, but decrepit old 2021, even though he is now long gone, still gets the blame for that disagreeable trio. The temperature on the morning of Saturday, January 1, was 22 degrees below Zero in Rutland, the perfect temperature for cooling a Bloody Mary at The Lariat on the morning after the night before. The snow total for the current winter, 2021-2022, already exceeds the 28” snow total for the entire winter of 2020-2021, and we’re not even one-third of the way through it, yet. Well, the old-timers always told us that everything evens out – too little one year and too much the next – but, on the average, it’s about where it has been. So, enjoy the New Year! It’s unlike any we have ever experienced, but, on the average, it’s just like everyone we’ve ever lived through.

As far as the Rutland Post Office is concerned, as of Wednesday, January 5, the New Year is exactly like the Old Year: no action; no service; no information; and, no Post Office. The Postal Service is consistent, though. It doesn’t just keep the public in the dark. It doesn’t even tell itself what’s going on! At the current time, one department of the USPS is preparing to renew its lease on the building, while another USPS department has the building locked up and won’t allow it to be used as a Post Office. Situations similar to that in Rutland are also occurring at other small town Post Offices across North Dakota and throughout the Nation. So, what is happening? Don’t bother to ask the management of the Postal Service. They don’t know, and wouldn’t tell you if they did.

Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove down to Brandon SD on Friday, December 24, to spend Christmas at the home of their son & daughter-in-law, Stephen & Ann Kulzer, and 3 of their grandchildren: Lauren; Brooke; and, Will Kulzer. They drove home on Sunday, December 26. Norbert reports that there wasn’t much snow south of Brookings, and that the driving conditions were good, even at Summitt where the wind is always blowing.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Jan. 7, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 31, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Oh, say can you see, by the New Year’s first light, what so proudly we hailed at September’s last gleaming; Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through 3 months of perilous nights, O’er the old Franzen Building were so gallantly streaming; And the street lights’ bright glare, the stars shining in air, gave proof through the nights that our flag was still there; Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the little city that can, home of the free and the brave? Well, the Flag still flies over the Rutland Post Office, and the door is still locked. The Postal Service has provided no information to the Rutland community as to when, if ever, service may be expected to be restored. In the meantime, there has been no additional clean up or repair activity observed at the Rutland Post Office building. No information. No action. No service. No Post Office. It could be described as a heck of a way to run a railroad, except that, back when the railroads hauled the mail the Post Office was open, and the mail got delivered. So much for 50 years of progress! Benjamin Franklin, America’s first Postmaster General, would be appalled by the disrespectful and cavalier attitude of today’s U. S. Postal Service management.

Mother Nature and Old Man Winter teamed up to deliver the first blizzard of the season, commencing on the day after Christmas, Sunday, December 26, and continuing into the early evening of Monday, December 27. Depending on whose report you choose to listen to, the storm delivered either 1 to 3 inches of new snow or 6 to 8 inches of new snow, along with sustained wind speeds of 30 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, and temperatures falling from the mid-20’s above Zero to the sub-Zero regions by Monday night. Below Zero conditions are predicted to continue throughout this week and into the New Year. While there is no relief from cold, snow and wind foreseen in the near-term forecasts, most prognosticators are of the opinion that warmer conditions will return to the region before the next summer solstice.

The blizzard had both I-94 and I-29 closed to traffic on Sunday night and Monday morning, and a “No Travel” advisory posted for the entire eastern end of North Dakota. Roads were also closed in northeastern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. In Sargent County, the State & County snowplows were out opening roads by Monday afternoon, and in the City of Rutland Scott Haan was opening streets with the City’s snow removal equipment by mid-afternoon, with some assistance from Bernard Mahrer Construction’s big equipment, as well. There is now enough snow on the ground to provide employment opportunities for snow removal crews every time the wind shifts. As the old-timers used to say, “There’s nothing so bad that it doesn’t do someone some good.”

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 31, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 24, 2021

By Bill Anderson

The 1 to 3 inches of snow predicted for Rutland and vicinity on the afternoon and evening of Friday, December 17, and the morning of Saturday, December 18, turned out to be about a foot of the fluffy white stuff. Maybe the hyphen shouldn’t have been between the 1 and the 3. The heaviest snowfall in the region was along the State Line, from Ellendale to Fairmount. According to the official Kulzer’s Hardware yardstick, 12 inches of snow fell in Rutland, and 13 inches were awarded to our neighbors in Havana. City Maintenance man Scott Haan was out opening streets in the still dark hours of early morning and kept at it all day long. It looks as if Rutland’s late Mayor, Ron Narum, has a worthy successor in the snow pushing department.

This community was saddened last Thursday when word was received here that Gwendolyn (Prindiville) Young of Rutland had passed away on Tuesday, December 14, at her winter home in Mesa AZ. Gwen had attained the age of 101 years, 3 months and 27 days at the time of her death. Gwendolyn Prindiville was born on August 17, 1920, on the Prindiville farm just south of Rutland, to John D. & Naomi (Barnhart) Prindiville. She was the second of their 6 children, and their only daughter. Gwen grew up in the Rutland community and completed both elementary and high school in Rutland, graduating in the RHS Class of ’38. Gwen’s high school class suffered tragedy when 4 RHS students were killed and 4 were injured in a collision with a Great Northern Railway locomotive near Fairmount during “Skip Day” just prior to graduation. At the outbreak of World War II, Gwen enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and participated in the invasion of North Africa in November of 1942 as a member of General Eisenhower’s headquarters staff. She served in Eisenhower’s headquarters in Algiers in 1943. While in Algiers, she met and married another soldier, John Young of Chicago IL. Following her military service, Gwen returned to Rutland. She and her husband had 4 children: John; Patrick; Harold; and Vincent. After being discharged from the Army and returning to Rutland, Gwen was employed as secretary by the Sargent County States Attorney, and later as office manager for the Sargent County office of the USDA’s Farmers Home Administration. In 1961 she succeeded her father as Postmaster at the Rutland Post Office, and she served in that capacity until her retirement in 1981. Gwen was a member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church; of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion, and of the American Legion Auxiliary; of the Rutland Community Club; and, of the Friendly Garden Club. She is survived by 2 sons: Harold Young; and Vincent Young; both of Mesa AZ; by 2 brothers: John “Pat” Prindiville of Horace ND; and Alan “Mike” Prindiville of Spokane WA; by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and, by a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; by 3 brothers: Dennis; Gerald; and Roger; and by 2 of her sons: John; and Patrick. Gwen donated her body to a medical school in Arizona for medical research and training. A celebration of her life and inurnment of her cremains will take place in Rutland this coming Spring. The Rutland community extends condolences to the family and friends of Gwendolyn Young, a strong and resourceful woman who endured hard times with calm strength and good cheer.

Rutland native Corrine (Narum) Romereim of Wahpeton reports that she is making a good recovery after an accident back in October that left her with a broken wrist, a fractured pelvis and a large bump on her head. Corrine said that she had stepped outside her farm home west of Wahpeton to help untangle a dog that had wrapped its lead rope around a porch post. Once freed, the dog was so excited that it wrapped the rope around Corrine’s ankles, causing her to fall on the concrete driveway. “It can happen fast,” said Corrine. “You’re OK one second, and a second later you’re badly injured.” Fortunately for Corrine, her son, Rod, arrived at her home a short time later, found her in the driveway, and got her to the Emergency Room for care. She spent several days in the hospital, and several weeks in a rehab facility in Fargo before returning to her home. She is still doing the rehabilitation exercises, she said, and expects to continue them for some time to come.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 24, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 17, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Last Saturday’s Santa Claus Day activities opened on a musical note as members of Nordland Lutheran Church serenaded members of the community with Christmas Carols following the Congregation’s afternoon service on Saturday, December 11. At 5:00 p.m. the Carolers adjourned to the Rutland Town Hall to participate in Rutland’s Santa Claus Day activities that included BINGO and other games, and to enjoy a spaghetti supper prepared by members of the Rutland Community Club. Suddenly, with a jingle of sleigh bells and a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Santa Claus appeared in the Town Hall and went right to work, consulting with youngsters about their Christmas wish lists. No one is quite sure how many children were present, as they did not slow down long enough to be counted. His consulting and counseling sessions complete, Santa then went to work presenting Christmas ham gifts to those whose names were drawn from the sign-up box. The hams had been donated for the event by local businesses and individuals. The donors were: R2 Inc. & Wild Rice Air (Rodney Erickson); Rutland Elevator – Wheaton-Dumont Co-op; Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Fire Department; Rutland Oil Company (Greg Donaldson); Rutland Senior Citizens; Stock Growers Bank-Rutland Station, Shawn Klein, Manager; Paul Anderson Consulting; Joe’s Fertilizer; Bill Anderson; Mayor Michael Mahrer; Bernard Mahrer Construction; Oleo Acres LLC (Bill & Paul Anderson); Lariat Bar (Pete & Michelle Denault); Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating; Woytassek Farms; Andrew Hoflen; Dave & Pat Bladow; Jim & Ione Lunneborg; Joe’s Ag Supply (Kenny & Tanya Hamilton); Farmers Union Insurance Agent David Bergeman; Walock-Johnson Insurance Agency, Kristine Radke, Agent; The Bunkhous (Lori McLaen); The Morning Coffee Crew; and, Jake’s Feed & Seed (Jake Erickson). Recipients of the Christmas hams were: Renee Cramton; Pam Maloney; Sarah Pavek; Paislee Pherson; Julia Mahrer; Pat Bladow; Audrey Anderson; Carol Fridgen; Delores Lysne; Kinsley & McKenzie; Carolyn Christensen; Rodney Erickson; Rodger Pearson; Delores Breker; Aunika Wyum; Mason Breker; Cher Spieker; Ione Pherson; Launa Peterson; Beverly Kulzer; Joanne Harris; Katie Johnson; Bill Anderson; Cohen Jensen; Diane Smith; Kayla Mahrer; Corbin Carlson; Janice Christensen; Dylan Anderson; Jesse Maly; Lori McLaen; Joanne Hawkinson; Ruth McLaen; Jim Huckell; Brady Anderson; Hadley Bladow; Briella Bosworth; Jetter Berg; Karla Breker; Julie Johnson; Yvonne Johnson; Joel Susag; Jameson Corry; Lyle Erickson; and, Dianna Anderson. His work for the evening completed, Santa made his departure at about 7:00 p.m., vowing to return on Christmas Eve with gifts for those who have been nice, and to make his 77th pre-Christmas visit to Rutland in December of 2022. So, “…You better be good, you better not cry, you better not pout and I’m tellin’ you why…cause Santa Claus is coming to town!” 

Mother Nature provided some mild weather for Santa Claus Day last week, boosting the temperature into the 30’s by Friday, December 10, and into the 40’s for the next 5 days. The weather gurus are predicting a turnaround beginning on the evening of Wednesday, December 15, however, with plummeting temperatures, high winds and snow forecast for Wednesday night and through Thursday, December 16. After that, cold for as far ahead as can be foreseen. As Boyd Jacobson Jr. put it, “The knowledge that it will most likely warm up by April is what keeps me going.” Well, it’s Winter in North Dakota. Enjoy it or suffer. It’s as simple as that.

The real reason for the Christmas celebration will be observed next weekend, on December 24th, 25th & 26th. According to Pastor Julie Johnson, the Christmas Eve service at Nordland Lutheran Church will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 24th, and Sunday worship will be at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 26th. Everyone is welcome.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 17, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 10, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Santa Claus is comin’ to town! He’s making a list and checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. Jolly Old St. Nick will be making his 76th annual pre-Christmas visit to Rutland on Santa Claus Day, Saturday, December 11, at 5:00 p.m., at the Rutland Town Hall. He will be handing out bags of candy, consulting with kids of all ages about their Christmas wish lists and awarding Christmas hams donated by local businesses to the lucky winners of the annual drawing. Other Santa Claus Day activities will include: crafts & games for the kids; BINGO for all; and, a spaghetti supper. This is your chance to see Santa Claus in the flesh and to have a personal, face-to-face visit with him before he swings through town to make deliveries on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget: Santa Claus Day in Rutland from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Winter has definitely arrived, making its presence known with a thermometer reading of 2 degrees below Zero on the morning of Monday, December 6 and a 60-mph wind that battered the area the night before. Less than a week earlier, on Wednesday, December 1, the mercury had topped out at 58 degrees above Zero. Preceding the wind on Sunday, Mother Nature, or maybe it was Old Man Winter, had deposited about 2 inches of snow on Rutland and vicinity in a series of snow flurries that began on the afternoon of Saturday, December 4 and ended on Sunday, December 5. After sidewalks and driveways had been cleared of snow on Monday, another half an inch of the white, powdery stuff was delivered to the community on Tuesday morning, just to show us who’s the boss.

CORRECTION: Last week’s column contained a few errors that need to be corrected. It was reported that, as of Tuesday, November 30, there had been no activity at the Rutland Post Office building. In fact, workers were observed doing some cleanup work around the exterior of the building, and removing materials from the interior on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, November 29, 30 & December 1. No explanation of what is planned for the building has been received, however. Apologies for the error. We’ll try harder in the future.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 10, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 3, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25, opened with a thermometer reading of +4 degrees F., and has turned out to be the coldest day of Autumn 2021, so far. The remainder of November, and the first few days of December have reached highs ranging from the upper 30’s to the mid-50’s. Not too bad for the month before Christmas. A return to more seasonal temperatures is forecast for this weekend, though, with even some snow included in the prediction. What a surprise! Snow in North Dakota in December. Will wonders never end?

Ted Lee reports that some consistent cold would be welcomed down on “the flat” south of Rutland, near the Lee farm in Tewaukon Township, where wet field conditions have prevented the harvest of several cornfields. Despite last summer’s drought, the rains of September & October turned the fields to mud, making them impassable for combines and impossible to harvest. Once the ground freezes, if it does, the task can be completed with relative ease. A covering of snow, which would insulate the ground and prevent its freezing, is not a possibility which the affected farmers prefer to contemplate.

Some local folks have been on the move this week. Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson; Mike & Debbie Banish; Mark & Kathy Wyum; and Roger & Caryn McLaen boarded the Farmers Union bus for a trip to Branson MO on Monday morning, November 29; and Joe & Patty Breker were seeing the sights in New York City during the weekend after Thanksgiving. The Brekers took in an NFL football game on Sunday, November 28, the Philadelphia Eagles v. the New York Giants, but, as they are Eagles fans and don’t like to see their team lose, the final score of Sunday’s game will not be reported here. Joe noted that it is ironic that the 2 NFL football teams claiming New York City as their home, the Giants and the Jets, both play their home games at a stadium located in New Jersey. Something to think about.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 3, 2021”