The Rooster Crows — February 26, 2021

The Sun always shines on Rutland, even when it’s raining, or snowing, too. The weather gods gave up on hard-core winter weather this past week. From Monday, February 15, to Monday, February 22, the mercury climbed more than 70 degrees. The high on the 22nd was still only 47 degrees above, but it felt nearly tropical after the below zero siege of the previous week. The thermometer reading had slid below the freezing mark on Tuesday, January 19, with the below zero stuff clobbering us from Feb. 9th to the 16th, and didn’t get back above freezing until Saturday, February 20. It wasn’t a record, but it was beginning to feel like one. The nice thing about winter is that, like hitting your thumb with a hammer, it feels so good when it stops. Don’t worry, though, it’s not over, yet. Like the 45th President of the United States, until it’s melted down into a puddle in the middle of the street, it’ll be back!

The recent spell of very cold weather thickened the ice on local bodies of water, allowing more anglers to get out on the ice to go fishing. Mark Breker of this community reports that he has been fishing recently, and has caught some fish, but, in adherence to the Fisherman’s Code, he is unable to reveal when he was fishing, where he was fishing and what kind of fish he has been catching. If you want to find out, watch for Mark’s Snowbear out on the ice somewhere within 20 miles of Rutland.

Meanwhile, in the Lone Star State, where everything is bigger than life, including winter storms, excuses, lies and cringing politicians, it took a small group of North Dakotans to give Texans an example of how to behave in a disaster. Once the power, heat and water had been restored to the winter home of Rutland native Judie Seavert and her husband, Steve Grohs, they reached out to others who were not so fortunate and provided a warm respite from the ice, snow and cold, complete with Judie’s home cooking, to other Sargent County folks, including: Mike & Cheryl Zirnhelt; Harris & Carol Hoistad; and Bill & Denise Huckell. While the Governor of Texas tried to blame others for his failure to prepare his State’s power grid for the disaster, and one of Texas’ U. S. Senators tried to blame his 2 little daughters for his cowardly decision to skedaddle to Mexico when the lights went out in Texas, North Dakotans in Texas did what North Dakotans do, and shared the comfort of their home, the warmth of their friendship and the products of their kitchen with those who were temporarily not so fortunate. Texas may be bigger and better in a lot of ways, but, when it comes to character, compassion and cookin’, North Dakotans take the prize, hands down. Thanks to Judie & Steve, Mike& Cheryl, Harris & Carol and Bill & Denise for being North Dakota’s ambassadors in Texas.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows — February 26, 2021”

The Rooster Crows — February 19, 2021

Below zero at dawn; Below zero at dusk; It’s getting old; should all be told; we’re tired of this incessant cold. Burma Shave! It’s not a record, but some communities in eastern North Dakota have just experienced 10, or more, consecutive days during which the thermometer has failed to claw its way above the zero mark. In Rutland, the mercury dropped below zero on the evening of Wednesday, February 10, and did not get into positive territory until the afternoon of Tuesday, February 16, and then not by much. The cold weather is not just local, either. Rutland native Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs reported on Monday, February 15, from her winter haven at Port Aransas TX, that the temperature there was at the 21-degree mark and that the entire Texas Gulf Coast community was without electricity and covered in ice. The only folks moving around, Judie said, were the winter refugees from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, who were the only people down there with the know how to walk or drive on the ice. Judie also reported that the ice had taken down power lines all over Texas, leaving more than a million Texans without electricity. So, spending the winter in North Dakota, where ice, snow, wind and cold are part of the daily winter routine, isn’t all that bad. The residents here prepare for winter, and, as a result, the plumbing isn’t frozen, the electricity works, and central heat keeps folks comfortable. As the late Clayton McLaen of this community often observed, “There are two seasons in North Dakota: winter; and getting ready for winter.” We’re ready! We’re ready to be done with it for a while, too, now that bragging rights have been established. The TV weather gurus are predicting temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s above zero for the upcoming weekend. Bring it on!

Mr. Alex Marcovich of Madison WI and Mr. Joe Diaz of Chicago IL were visitors at the Jesse Brakke residence in Ransom Township last week. The two have been visitors to the Rutland Community several times in the past, most frequently for community events such as Uff-Da Day and Memorial Day, but this year they wanted to experience something different, ice-fishing on the prairie. They arrived on Wednesday, February 10, as the mercury slid below the zero mark, and headed back east on Saturday, February 13, having caught their limit of ice, as well as some nice perch, walleyes, and northern pike. Their best catch of the trip, though, was on the evening of Friday, February 12, when they stopped at The Lariat Bar and ordered the walleye special. Alex had the pan-fried walleye and Joe ordered the deep-fried walleye. They agreed that both were outstanding. Alex is a commercial pilot flying charter flights for SC Airlines of Madison, and Joe is an IT Specialist employed by the Home Chef division of Kroeger Foods in Chicago. Alex was first introduced to Rutland by Jesse’s daughter, Claire, when they were students at UND in Grand Forks. Alex and Joe have been friends since boyhood days in Chicago. Claire, the real fisherman of the bunch, wasn’t able to take time off from her duties as an Occupational Therapist in the Madison area to show the boys how to catch the big ones. Maybe next time. They are hoping to be back in Rutland for Uff-Da Day on the first Sunday in October, if not sooner.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows — February 19, 2021”

The Rooster Crows — February 12, 2021

By Bill Anderson

The month of February has brought with it the coldest weather of the year, making January, the usual cold weather champ, seem like a semi-tropical memory by comparison. Starting on Wednesday, February 3, the day after Ground Hog’s Day, the mercury began to drop and has only risen above the zero mark on a couple of occasions since then. But, while frigid temperatures are torture for some, they are opportunity for others. Mr. Sawyer Toepke, an elementary student at Sargent Central, reports that he is organizing a hockey team, and that he already has 20 prospective players lined up, if they can find 20 pairs of skates and 20 hockey sticks. Sawyer should probably be thinking of lining up a team dentist, as well. The optimism of youth sees opportunity where others see only misery and discomfort. Hang in there, Sawyer, and bring the NHL’s Stanley Cup back to Sargent County some cold winter day. That ought to make the sun shine! As the old timers used to say, “Nobody ever succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, unless they had some wild expectations to begin with.”

Ice fishing! The cold weather now has the ice on local water holes thick enough for reasonably sane anglers to get out there and go after the ever elusive walleye. Some reports have been received of a few fishermen having some success on a local body of water that bears the name of three former Sargent County Commissioners. If you know your county’s history, you might be able to figure out where that hot spot might be, but by then the fish will have quit biting. Have faith.

Rutland native Mavis (Hoflen) Wold called friends here on Friday, Feb. 5, reporting that she is still in the hospital recovering from the broken leg she suffered a month ago. Mavis said that she had been working in the kitchen of her Minneapolis home when she lost her footing, fell and sustained the broken leg. She is currently undergoing therapy, and hopes to be back in her home in the near future. Mavis is the eldest daughter of the late Oscar & Alma (Anderson) Hoflen of this community. She is a member of the RHS Class of ’47. Her many friends here wish her a speedy recovery and return home.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows — February 12, 2021”

The Rooster Crows — February 5, 2021

Ground Hog’s Day, Tuesday, February 2, was a grey and cloudy day in the Rutland area, and, although no one actually saw the local ground hog, Rutland Rasputin, the assembled wise men were of the opinion that he more than likely did not see his shadow on the appointed day. This means that there will not be 6 more weeks of winter, as there would have been if he had sighted his own shadow, and that it is likely that winter will be nearing its end in only 42 days, more or less. Other important upcoming indicators of Winter’s approaching demise include the commencement of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 14, the day on which time miraculously springs ahead precisely 1 hour, and the Vernal Equinox which will occur on Saturday, March 20, this year. Time does march on, even though the near term weather forecast is for sub-zero temperatures that will freeze everything in place for the next week or so. Well, as the old timers used to say, “If you don’t like the weather in North Dakota, just wait a minute. It’ll change.” Those old timers knew what they were talking about, and even when they didn’t they sure talked as if they did. They could predict with certainty exactly what was going to happen, and they could explain, with equal certainty, why it didn’t. The times may change, but people don’t.

One of Rutland’s regulars, Joe Malstrom, has been in the hospital recently, receiving treatment for a stubborn infection. As of this writing, Joe is occupying a swing bed in the Lisbon Hospital. His many friends here wish him a speedy recovery and a quick return to his home in Rutland.

Mac Pherson of this community was also on the sick list for a few days last weekend. He was an impatient patient in Sanford Hospital, Fargo, from Friday through Sunday, January 29-31, and reported that he expected to be back home by Monday, February 1. His many friends in Rutland wish him a speedy recovery.

Bert Siemieniewski reports that she has recently sold her home on Anthony Street to Mr. Bob Adermann and his son. Bert has been employed by the U. S. Postal Service at Gwinner for the past few years, and has moved to an apartment in that city.  Bert and her late husband, Ray, purchased the home from the Eldon & Bernice Thorson estate back in 2001. Other owners of the property include: Carl & Tina Ahrlin; Blenda Ahrlin; and, Bill & Marcella Kastner. The Kastners built the house that is presently situated at the site. During her years in Rutland Bert has been active in the Rutland Community Club and she has served several terms on the Rutland City Council. The Rutland community extends best wishes to Bert in her new pursuits, and a warm welcome to the Adermanns. Thanks for picking Rutland for your new home.

The Rutland City Council had two applicants for the City Council vacancy. After a draw from the hat, the City Council appointed Lori McLaen to replace Bert Siemieniewski on the Council during the regular monthly meeting on Monday, February 1. Ms. McLaen had previously served several terms on the Council, so she knows the ropes. Welcome back, Lori.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump is set to commence next Tuesday, February 9. The former President has been charged with inciting a mob to commit insurrection in the nation’s Capitol back on January 6, when he was still President. The House of Representatives charged him with the offense in an Article of Impeachment adopted on January 13. Mr. Trump’s term as President ended at Noon on January 20, but many of his followers have refused to accept the fact that Joe Biden won last November’s Presidential Election, and that Donald Trump lost. They tried to keep Trump in office by overthrowing the government of the United States of America. Millions of Americans, including nearly all of the Congressmen and Senators, heard the words and saw the actions that led to the impeachment. What the Senators do with the evidence is anyone’s guess, but early indications are that a majority, but not 2/3, of the Senators will vote to convict Mr. Trump, and to bar him from holding any other national office. Prior to his election in 2016, Mr. Trump had a well-deserved reputation as a penny-ante pettifogging windbag, and since January 6, 2021, his ambition to rise to the level of two-bit tin-pot tyrant has also been revealed. What’s coming next in the Trump drama is unknown at this time, but as history has shown, you can’t count him out. Like Count Dracula, until he is buried with an oaken stake through his heart, he’ll be back.

Well, that’s it from the little city that can for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in Rutland, and with Rutland folks, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and stop by the Rutland Facebook page while you’re touring around in cyberspace, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.

The Rooster Crows —– January 15, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Rutland and vicinity have been enjoying a welcome guest since the New Year began. The traditional annual visit of “The January Thaw” began early and has stayed late. This is one guest that doesn’t get old after 3 days. A high temperature of 41 above was forecast for Wednesday, January 13, and even though cooler weather is being predicted for the coming week, the highs are still predicted to be in the mid-20’s to low 30’s, with the lows in the double digits above zero. Weather like that for North Dakota in January just can’t be beat. But, Winter isn’t over, yet, so don’t lose track of your parka and snow shovel!

The house at 301 First Street, also known as The Bagley House, has been occupied by Aaron & Silvia Brooks since shortly before Christmas, 2020. Mr. Brooks is a native of New Orleans LA, and Mrs. Brooks grew up in Bakersfield CA. He is employed by RayMac at Gwinner, and she has her own residential cleaning business in addition to attending classes at the State College of Science in Wahpeton and working part-time as a bartender in Gwinner. The Rutland Community extends a hearty welcome to Aaron & Silvia Brooks! As soon as this covid-19 pandemic is over, we’ll teach you how to make lefse and rommegrot. Uff-Da!

Sonja (Anderson) Christensen, one of the organizers and original sponsors of The Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, has announced that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 26th annual tournament, originally scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2021, has been postponed and rescheduled to Saturday, February 5, 2022. Sonja extends best wishes to all of the tournament’s regular participants and hopes to see all of them at next year’s event. They are all longing for those Rutland scalloped potatoes.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows —– January 15, 2021”

Hens Do Crow! Dec. 18, 2020

Rutland natives Dave & Pat (Anderson) Kulzer sent in a report on some interesting critters in their back yard. They live in the Swan River Valley, on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains, about halfway between Kalispell and Seelye Lake. Pat reports that they hit the jackpot of big animal pics from one of their trail cameras. “The buck pics are from Dec 5, 2020 about 1 pm, and the bear from Dec 6, 2020 about 2 am. We think the bear is a grizzly. What do you think?  Dave counts 5 pts each side on the heavy, wide rack of the buck. The animals were about 150 yards from our house on forest service land just west of the huge old, downed, hollowed-out tree trunk that we call “the bear’s den”. Maybe this griz will decide to hibernate there this winter. Hope not! Most of our snow is gone but today is cloudy and there is light snow in the forecast for several days of the next week. Staying bear aware in Swan Valley, Pat”

Santa Claus Day had to be cancelled this year due to COVID restrictions on events but that did not stop Santa and his band of elves from visiting the Rutland children. Thanks to the Rutland Community Club and the Rutland-Cayuga Rural Fire Department, Santa Claus made his rounds on Sunday, December 13. The Fire Department chauffeured Santa to about 40 houses to visit approximately 88 Rutland area children, newborn to age 18. The elves helped Santa visit the excited children at each home and to present them with gifts which were enthusiastically received. Thanks to the Rutland Community Club and members of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department for taking the time to make so many kids’ Christmas wishes come true!

December 21st marks the winter solstice which is the longest night of the year. It is the point when daylight once again starts to gain ground on the dark of night. This year, that date will also mark the appearance of the Christmas Star. It has been nearly 800 years since the Star appeared in 1226. Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest planets in the solar system, will align. It will seem from our view that they are nearly touching but they will still be hundreds of miles apart. This lousy year will provide a gleam of hope and wonder. Be sure to watch for the conjunction of the planets which will appear low in the western sky for roughly an hour after sunset.

That is it for this this week from Rutland. Merry Christmas to everyone.