The Rooster Crows – June 24, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The 4 day stretch from Friday, June 17, to Monday, June 20, was sizzling hot, with the mercury hitting the upper 90’s on Friday and Monday, and getting over the 100 mark on Saturday & Sunday. You could have fried an egg on the sidewalk, if it wasn’t for the fact that eggs now cost about $9.00 a dozen, and are too expensive to fry on the concrete. . As a bonus, Mother Nature did throw in some 50 mph wind just to keep things interesting. The ample supply of soil moisture appeared to protect growing crops from damage, so far, but the thunderstorm that passed through on Monday evening was welcome.  It dropped some more precipitation that alleviated fears of a permanent drought. Roger Pearson reported .3 of an inch in his rain gauge, and both Norbert Kulzer and Larry Arneson reported that their gauges showed .4 of an inch.

Most farmers in the Rutland area completed their planting operations by the June 10 crop insurance deadline for coverage on soybeans. The crop insurance deadline for corn and wheat was back on May 31. It is estimated that approximately 20% of the normal crop acres were prevented from being planted due to this past spring’s excessive moisture, although, for some, the acres prevented from being planted was as high as 40% of normal. Some of those acres were under water, and some were just too soft & muddy to operate machinery on, unless you wanted to leave it there as a permanent landmark. According to Cam Gulleson, the acres left idle due to excess moisture this spring will likely be seeded to cover crops in the next few weeks. The cover crops will be able to be grazed or cut for hay.

According to Siri, the little know it all who lives in the I-Phone, the Summer Solstice arrived at 4:41 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, June 21, so the longest day and shortest night are now behind us. It’s all downhill from here. The next thing we know, it will be 20 below, the wind will be howling and the Christmas lights will be up. At least there are a few things out here on the prairie that are regular and predictable. It is interesting to note that, according to Siri, the Sun operates on Daylight Saving Time during the Spring & Summer months. Will wonders never cease?

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 24, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – June 17, 2022

By Bill Anderon

Despite the wet Spring that had delayed field work until the end of May, this community was pleased to get the rain that fell on Friday night, June 10. As soon as it doesn’t rain for a few days, a true North Dakotan starts to worry that it will never rain again, or, that when it does rain it will be too much, too little or in the wrong place. It can’t be helped. It’s in the blood. Roger Pearson reported .3 of an inch in his rain gauge on Saturday morning, while his next-door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, had .4 of an inch in his gauge a few feet away. Norbert’s reading was matched by the .4 in Lary Arneson’s gauge, 2 blocks to the west. Chuck Anderson reported .37 of an inch at his Weber Township farm6 miles southwest of town; Harvey Bergstrom reported .31 of an inch in the gauge at his farm 3 miles south of Cayuga; and, Kurt Breker had .3 of an inch in his gauge 1 mile south of Cayuga. Another .1 or .2 of an inch was scattered across the countryside on Sunday & Monday, helping to keep lawn mowers and mosquito swatters busy. Well, the old timers used to say that it always dries up after a wet spell. We’ll just have to find out if they knew what they were talking about.

The Annual Rutland Community Block Party opened up at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, with more than 100 community residents and over 3,000 water balloons on hand for the festivities. The Rutland Volunteer Fireman manned the grills, turning out burgers, bratwursts, and hot dogs for participants, and also provided water game facilities for the community’s youth. During the Block Party, Miss Abbie Erickson, daughter of Rodney & Andrea Erickson, and a Senior at Sargent Central High School, was crowned “Miss Rutland 2022; and, Corbin Carlson, son of Bryce & Casee (Hawkinson) Carlson, and Lilith Pavek, daughter of Corey & Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, were awarded the titles of Mr. & Miss Lefse for the coming year. All 3 of Rutland’s reigning royals will be in the 2022 Uff-Da Day Parade on Sunday, October 2, 2022. The Rutland Community Block Party is held each year to give the community’s present, former and future residents an opportunity to get acquainted and re-acquainted, to talk over old times and to make plans for future good times. Thanks to Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen for the information in this report.

Katie McLaen also reports that the Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 13, at the Rutland Town Hall. The meeting was short. It was reported that the stage curtains in the Town Hall had been repaired and cleaned; and, that lefse production for Uff-Da Day 2022 will commence with a morning and an evening session on Thursday, June 16. Check the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com and the Rutland Facebook page for more information about the dates and times for future sessions. Fourteen sessions have been scheduled between mid-June and mid-August, so far.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 17, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – June 10, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“There’s naught so rare as a day in June,” the late Earl W. Anderson used to say, and the first week of June 2022 proved the accuracy of his observation. Warm, sunny days, blue skies and gentle breezes replaced the cold, raging winds that were our constant companions throughout the Winter and Spring. Local farmers are still finding it difficult to locate fields that are dry enough to work in, but conditions are markedly improved from what they were in May. Mark Wyum reports that he has been “coltering” around sloughs in some fields in order to get them dried out enough to plant a few more acres. The piece of equipment that Mark is using for his task has shanks that are about a foot apart, and 2 colter blades attached per shank. Old timers remember a colter as a straight bladed disc that ran ahead of a plowshare, opening the ground to make it easier to keep the plow in the ground. Well, nobody plows any more, but the colter still has a use. The implement Mark is using is 41 feet wide and can cover a lot of territory when the need arises, as it has this Spring.

Despite some encouraging news about a month ago, the Post Office situation in Rutland has returned to the same old same old of no information; no action; no service; and no Post Office. Rodney Erickson reports that, as of Thursday, June 2, he has heard nothing further from the Postal Service office in Colorado that had previously informed him that it would be 1 or 2 months until they could get someone to Rutland to take a look at available facilities. One hundred sixty years ago, the Pony Express could deliver the U.S. Mail across the trackless wilderness from St. Joseph MO to San Francisco CA in 10 days. Of course, those horses are a lot older now, and may have slowed down some. Perhaps the Postal Service officials involved could hook a ride from Colorado to North Dakota on a Coors beer truck. Those trucks seem to be able to make the trip in a couple of days. The drivers must be properly motivated.

On the brighter side, the Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency has informed this writer that Ms. Michelle Sagvold has been hired to run the agency’s Rutland office. Ms. Sagvold is still in the process of training and getting licensed, and a firm starting date for her take over of the Rutland office has not yet been set. Waloch-Johnson’s many clients in the Rutland community are looking forward to having a full-time agent in the local office once again.

Correction: The wedding of Miss Hailey Hamilton and Mr. Evan Wyum was on Friday, May 27, not on Saturday, May 28, as was reported in The Rooster Crows last week. Apologies for the error are extended to the bride & groom. Despite the incorrect information that appeared in this column last week, Hailey & Evan are definitely officially married and living happily ever after at their home in Fargo.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 10, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – June 3, 2022

By Bill Anderson


The brisk southeast breeze was heavy with humidity from the thunderstorm that had rolled over Rutland and surrounding area at about 4:30 a.m., giving the countryside a 1 inch drenching in the early morning hours, on top of the .4” and .6” that had been received on Friday & Saturday mornings. The American Flag, at half staff on the Nordland Cemetery flagpole, snapped in the breeze. The ceremonial detail from Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion formed up just east of the Main Gate a little before 10:15 a.m. and prepared to march to its pre-designated position at the east end of the cemetery. This year, members of the detail were: Color Bearers Rob Wyum & Andy Hoflen; Post Chaplain Ted Lee; Sergeant At Arms Calvin Jacobson; and, squad members: Roger McLaen; Tom Manley; Andy Harris; Larry Christensen; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Pearson. Calvin, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has been serving as Sergeant At Arms since 2009. Before then, Clayton McLaen, a Korean War veteran, had been Sergeant At Arms. No one remains who remembers the name of the Sergeant At Arms prior to Clayton. High water had deterred spectators so the crowd was sparse. The ceremony was to honor those who sleep beneath the grass, though, not those who are on top of it, so the number of attendees was irrelevant. The detail was arrayed at the east end of the cemetery, and Chaplain Ted Lee delivered a prayer before the firing detail fired off 3 volleys in salute of their departed comrades. The command to “Present arms!”was then given. Roger Pearson played “Taps,” and the detail marched back to the Main Gate to head for the Rutland Cemetery, where the process was repeated 3 more times. At the Rutland Cemetery the volleys echoed off the Woytassek Farm’s grain bins, providing double the effect. The ladies of The American Legion Auxiliary placed floral tokens of remembrance on the graves of veterans prior to the volleys being fired. The ceremonies out at the cemeteries were followed by a brief program at the Rutland Town Hall, and by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, to which everyone was invited. During the Program, Auxiliary President Carolyn Christensen recognized those who had earned years of service pins during the 2 years that covid-19 prevented the program from being held, and presented pins to those entitled to them this year, among those honored were: Pam (Jacobson) Maloney, 10 years; Brianne (Maloney) Nelson, 10 years; Taryn (Maloney) Jensen, 10 years; Ione (Bensen) Pherson, 10 years; Susan (Orth) Fust, 20 years; Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, 25 years; Carolyn (Jacobson) Christensen, 25 years; Allison Hoflen, 40 years; Joan (Jacobson) Lee, 45 years; and, Rita Preble, 45 years. Ted Lee; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Nelson; received 50 Year membership certificates and pins from The American Legion. Auxiliary member Sonja Christensen read an article from the Sargent County News of January 9, 1943 that reported on a community gathering at the Baptist Church honoring some of the local servicemen who were home on leave at that time. Woodrow Olson had served aboard the USS San Francisco in the big naval battle near Guadalcanal in mid-November of 1942 in which the American cruiser had slugged it out toe to toe with Japanese battleships. The Americans won the battle, but the San Francisco had to return to the shipyard at Bremerton WA for repair of battle damage, and Woodrow had been granted leave to return home for a few weeks while his ship was being made fit to return to duty. The newspaper report, written by the late Lou Sanderson, included the information that a poem written by Mrs. Seaquist, the wife of the Baptist Minister, which contained the names of the young men & women from Rutland then in the military service, had been read. A collection of $153.35 had been received at the gathering, and that sum was used to purchase a War Bond that would be used for the benefit of Rutland’s returning veterans when the war was over. Following this year’s program the traditional Memorial Day pot-luck dinner was enjoyed by all. The Rutland Community Club had supplied a couple of roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham that had been prepared by Mrs. Lyndsee Pherson, and were judged to be as good as those prepared by the Lutheran Ladies Aid back in the good old days. Some who had come from a distance had to cut their conversation time short due to severe weather warnings being issued by the U.S. Weather Bureau. They all plan to be back next year.

Some of those from out of town who were in Rutland for Memorial Day were: Pat Prindiville of Horace; Clarence “Stub” & Sharon Sundlie of Fargo; Becky Hicks & daughter, Ashley, of Fargo; Brenda Gibbon of Milnor; Kathy Stout of West Branch IA; Allison Hoflen of Fargo; Ann Hoflen of St. Paul MN; and, many others.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 3, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – May 27, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Last Spring, it was too dry. This Spring, it’s too wet. On the average, though, it’s just right. This Spring, the weather has not been cooperating with the Spring planting plans of farmers in this area. Just when it seems that fields will get dry enough to allow the spring’s work to proceed, along comes another bolt of lightning, rumble of thunder and a quarter inch of rain to keep things at a standstill. With the market prices of wheat, corn and soybeans all in the high to higher range, this is the year to have a crop to sell. The fact that the weather is preventing that crop from getting planted is the cause of anxious impatience among local producers. About the only individuals more nervous about the situation than local farmers are local bankers. On the bright side, at least our farmers know that their bankers are concerned about their health, both physical and financial. The old timers used to say that whatever the weather was like on Memorial Day was a good indicator of what it would be like throughout the rest of the growing season, and every now and then the old timers were right.

Speaking of Memorial Day, Carolyn Christensen, an officer of the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary, says that the holiday will be back to normal in 2022, after 2 years of Covid-19 disruption. In Rutland, Memorial Day observances on the morning of Monday, May 30, will begin with military rites conducted by Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion at the Nordland Cemetery, 1½ mile east and ½ mile south of town, followed by military rites at the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town at 10:30 a.m. A program produced by the American Legion Auxiliary will be presented at 11:00 a.m. in the Rutland Town Hall, followed by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, also in the Town Hall. Everyone is invited to participate in Memorial Day observances in Rutland on Monday, May 30.

Bruce Burke of Seattle WA stopped in Rutland on the afternoon of Thursday, May 19, doing some research for a personal family history project. Mr. Burke grew up in Breckenridge MN, but the Burke family traces its history back to Rutland and the Great Northern Railway. Bruce’s parents were Harvey & Alice Burke; his grandparents were Rutland natives John & Anna (Spande) Burke; his great-aunt was the late Bertha (Spande) Penfield; and his great-grandparents were Knud & Alisa Spande. Knud & Alisa Spande owned & occupied the house at 309 Gay Street that is now owned by Paul Anderson, from 1918 until Alisa Spande’s death in 1958. The house had been built by Paul’s grandparents, Ole & Julia Anderson, back in 1909. Prior to moving to town, the Spandes had farmed south of Silver Lake. Bruce has a vivid memory of an event that occurred at the Spande house in Rutland back in the early 1950’s, when he was a small boy of about 4 or 5 years of age. It seems that there was an unused water well in the backyard that had been covered over with an old door. Being a boy of some energy, Bruce decided to take a run and jump on the center of that old door. When he did so, the deteriorated boards broke and down went Bruce. Fortunately, as he went through the door he stuck his elbows out and caught himself on the edges of the hole he had made, leaving his head sticking out, above the door, and his feet dangling just above the water in the well. He said that he can still remember looking down and seeing the cold water just beneath his feet. Bruce’s Dad, Harvey Burke, rushed to his assistance and pulled him to safety. Bruce said that he can’t remember just what his Dad said to his great-grandfather about the continued existence of that well, but he’s pretty sure that it was powerful. It had been Bruce’s intention to take a picture of the old well, if any evidence of it still existed. He could not find any trace of the well but was pleased to find that the house is in excellent condition and still looks much as it did back when his great-grandparents first bought it 104 years ago. Mr. Burke had taken the long way around to get to Rutland. He had driven through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to get here. He had stopped in New Mexico to take a look at the Air Force Base at which he had been stationed back in the late 60’s, and in Nebraska to visit some students he had taught there back in the 70’s. He was surprised to find that the teen-age students he remembered are now in their 60’s. Time marches on. Mr. Burke was visiting at the home of his cousin, the daughter of the late Jim & Nellie (Burke) McCulloch, at Ottertail Lake MN during his stay in this area. He planned to be heading back to Seattle on Saturday, May 21, and hoped to make it home in 3 or 4 days via I-94 & I-90.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 27, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – May 20, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Sunday & Monday, May 15 & 16, were not only the two nicest spring days of May 2022, but they were the two nicest days of the entire year of 2022, so far. Actually, they were the two nicest days since mid-October of last year. With the sun shining, the birds singing, the temperature hovering around 70 and, for once, the wind not howling like a hurricane. the experience was almost nice enough to make enduring the most miserable Winter in recent memory worth the effort. Nothing lasts forever, though, especially nice weather. By Tuesday, the rain clouds had moved back in and made the afternoon of Tuesday, May 17, a soggy Syttende Mai for those inclined to celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day. Rick Bosse reports that his rain gauge at his farm near Brampton registered .25 of an inch from Tuesday’s rain, enough to keep the already saturated fields saturated, and to require cancellation of Brampton’s Syttende Mai Parade. Chuck Anderson had a .23 of an inch reading on the gauge at his farm in Weber Township; Duane Lock stated that .3 of an inch was measured at his farm near the center of Rutland Township; and Mike Banish said that .23 of an inch of rainfall was measured at his farmstead 2 miles south of Rutland. 

The wet weather has continued to hamper planting progress throughout southeastern North Dakota. Even so, some local farmers have made a little headway. Last week, Larry Erickson managed to get a field of corn planted west of his farmstead 2 miles south of town, and Mark Wyum reports that his son, Rob, has managed to get some field work done on fields near Brampton in the southwestern quadrant of the County, and on fields near Crete, in the northwestern quadrant of Sargent County. As of the morning of Wednesday, May 18, Mark says that two acres of corn planted, along with a few more acres of soybeans and wheat, is a good start.

Kristine Radke, longtime manager of the Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency’s Rutland office, has accepted a position at Town & Country Bank in Fargo and has resigned from her position here as of the end of April. According to Walt Johnson of Lisbon, owner and general manager of the agency, the search is on to find a replacement for Kristine at the Rutland office. Anyone interested in the position can give Walt a call at 701.724.6484. The Rutland community is sorry to lose Kristine. She was dedicated to her profession, and to her clients.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 20, 2022”