The Rooster Crows – Oct. 15, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Accompanied by booming thunder and driving rain, Autumn charged in on a chariot of rampaging wind and blazing lightning during the early evening hours of Saturday, October 9. Summer, it seemed, had overstayed her welcome, and had to be driven out with a display of raw power. Although the wind was ferocious, and the area was subject to a tornado warning for part of the evening, Sunday morning’s inspection revealed little damage in the Rutland community. In the rain department, Norbert Kulzer’s rain gauge at 415 Gay Street recorded 1.75”; Roger Pearson’s, right next door, showed 1.4”; Chuck Anderson’s gauge at his Weber Township farm home showed 1.2”; Dennis McLaen’s gauge at the McLaen farm northwest of Town, showed 1.5”; Jim Levery’s gauge on the north side of ND Highway #11, 3½ miles east of the Rutland corner, held 2”; and, Doug Spieker stated that his gauge at the old Clarence & Adeline Breker farmstead in Tewaukon Township contained 2” after the storm had passed. The rain brought harvest activities to a halt, but only briefly. The soil, still thirsty after last Summer’s drought and heat, soaked the moisture up quickly. Dennis McLaen reported that combines and trucks were rolling through corn fields by Monday afternoon. According to Denny Pherson, the topsoil and subsoil moisture are now nearly reunited, a good sign for next Spring. More rain was arriving on the morning of Wednesday, October 13, but no totals were available as of this writing as the rain was still coming down. Tune in next week for more exciting weather news.

Claire Brakke & Alex Markovic of Madison WI; Alex’s parents, Mike & Lisa Markovic of Chicago IL; Alex’s brother, Nick Markovic of Glen Ellyn IL; and, a Markovic family friend, Javier Soltelo of Aurora IL; were Weekend guests at the Jesse Brakke home in Ransom Township from Thursday, October 7 to Monday, October 11. This was Mike & Lisa’s first visit to North Dakota. Alex, Nick & Javier took advantage of the North Dakota Pheasant season opener to hunt the wily ringneck, with some success, on Saturday & Sunday. Mike & Lisa headed back to Chicago, via Minneapolis, on Sunday afternoon, and the remainder of Jesse’s visitors headed for their respective homes about Noon on Monday.

This community was saddened last Friday when it was learned that longtime Rutland resident, businesswoman and community stalwart, Lois Nelson, had passed away on the evening of Thursday, October 7. Lois was a resident of Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman at the time of her death. She had attained the age of 95 years, 7 months and 22 days. Lois Maxine Colby was born in Gwinner ND on February 15, 1926, the second of the 7 children of Rollo and Ella (Hanson) Colby. She grew up on the Colby’s family farm in Dunbar Township, and attended Elementary School in the Townships 1 room country schools. On November 10, 1944, she was united in marriage with Ralph Nelson of Rutland Township. They farmed in the Rutland area until 1953, when they took over management of the Producers-Consumers Cooperative Cream Station in Rutland, and moved to town. On December 24, 1962, Lois, Ralph and family, acquired the Rutland Café, and operated it until they retired and sold the business on December 24, 1998. During the 36 years that they owned and operated the Café, they also lived in it, making their home in the rooms on the east end of the Café building. To start with, the Café was open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day, except for Saturdays and dance nights, when it was open until the last customer left, whenever that might be, and on Sundays, when it was open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Lois & Ralph served home cooked meals, and were noted for their hamburgers which generally had a beef patty in them that was about an inch larger in diameter than the bun in which it was served. Throughout the 60’s, a big cheeseburger with an order of fries and a hand-made malted milk, made with real milk and real ice cream, could be purchased at the Rutland Café for 75 cents. With the burger on one side, the malt on the other, and the fries in the center, that was a well-balanced meal! Lois was noted for her baking, particularly the cakes, cookies and bars, especially the date bars, she prepared for the Café’s customers. For many years she baked most of the homemade bread served with Rutland’s Uff-Da Day dinner at the Town Hall. She was an active member of Nordland Lutheran Church, and served as president of the Ladies Aid, as a Sunday School teacher and as a member of the Church Council. Back in the 1950’s, when her boys were young, she served as a Cub Scout Den Mother. Lois is survived by: two sons, Edward Nelson of Crookston MN; and, Richard Nelson of Valley City ND; one daughter, Barbara Rick of Fergus Falls MN; by 8 grandchildren; by 8 great-grandchildren; and, by numerous nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph, in January of 2009; by her parents; by 3 brothers: Don; Roger; and, Richard; and, by 3 sisters: Betty Nelson; Audrey Johnson; and, Shirley Dahl. The funeral for Lois Nelson will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, with Pastor Julie Johnson officiating. Interment will be in the Rutland Cemetery. The Price Funeral Chapel of Britton and Forman is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family in care of Barbara Rick, 1210 Stony Brook Rd, Fergus Falls MN 56537. The Rutland community extends condolences to the family and friends of Lois Nelson, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who worked hard, fed thousands and made life better for all she met.

The October meeting of the Rutland Community Club, originally set for Monday, October 11, has been rescheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 20, at the Rutland Town Hall, according to Community Club President Katie McLaen. At that time, Club officers expect to be ready to present a report on Uff-Da Day XXXVI, held on Sunday, October 3, and to begin preparing for Uff-Da Day XXXVII on the First Sunday in October, 2022. Also expected to be discussed are: the Rutland Post Office situation; Santa Claus Day 2021; Fun Night; and, the Annual Community Play.

The Rutland Post Office is still closed as of Wednesday, October 13. The original “few days” is now turning into a “few weeks,” and a “few months” won’t be far behind. It has been learned that the U. S. Postal Service has recently pulled the same sudden, no public notice closure routine at several other small town Post Offices in North Dakota, including the Offices in Parshall ND and Alexander ND. The closures have supposedly been due to “health and safety concerns,” although no specific concerns have been identified. Patrons of the Rutland Post Office are urged to write to North Dakota’s Congressional delegation: Senator John Hoeven; Senator Kevin Cramer; and, Congressman Kelly Armstrong; to request their assistance in restoring a Post Office facility to the Rutland community. Congress has oversight over the Postal Service, and the establishment and operation of a postal system is one of the responsibilities specifically assigned to the U. S. Congress in Article I of the U. S. Constitution. The Postal Service is in need of a shakeup, as the course it is now on, charging more for fewer hours, slower delivery and less service, is not a recipe for success. Firing the current Postmaster General, and replacing the current Board of Directors, would be a good start, so let’s get started!

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Remember to patronize your local Post Office, and don’t forget 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 – Oct. 8, 2021

by Bill Anderson

Uff-Da, what a day!   Sunday, October 3, 2021, Uff-Da Day XXXVI, was a great day in the little city that can.  It was a beautiful day, with a bright blue sky and sunshine all day long, with just enough of a breeze to keep the boxelder bugs grounded. The Sun really does always shine on Rutland! The streets were full of people, and it must have been raining happiness, as every face had a smile. More than 3,000 lefse, 18 roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham, gallons of rommegrot, hundreds of krumkake, sandkaker & abelskivers, Uff-Da Tacos and bratwursts had been consumed by the time activities started to wind down. All that was left was the aroma of good cooking. Among the highlights of this year’s event were: the 2021 car show organized by David & Pat Bladow, and members of their family, that included 83 antique, classic, restored & modified automobiles from throughout North Dakota, South Dakota & Minnesota; the one room country school exhibit in which Val Pherson, Julie Hassebroek and a group of local youngsters, all dressed in period garb demonstrated what school was like back in “the good old days,”, while a panel composed of Gary Thornberg, Harlan Nundahl, Norbert Kulzer, Shirley Mahrer, John Hoflen, Jeanne Leinen and Gerry Leinen described what their experiences had been in the one room schools they had attended out there on the prairie, way back when; Joel Susag grinding wheat flour & corn meal using his mill powered by an old one-lung flywheel motor; the sawmill operated by Sod Buster volunteers from Fort Ransom and powered by Joel Susag’s WD-45 Allis Chalmers tractor; The American Legion Color guard composed of Larry Christensen, Doug Olstad, Andy Hoflen, Andy Harris & Calvin Jacobson that led the Uff-Da Day Parade through town; and, the Norse Mythology unit in the Uff-Da Day Parade in which members of the Nelson & Pederson families portrayed characters from our Scandinavian ancestors’ pagan past. Arts & craft vendors reported a great day, and local youngsters with their wagon loads of pumpkins, squash and other garden produce did a land office business. The Nickel Scramble and Uff-Da Day pedal tractor pull had enthusiastic participation by kids of all ages.  At 3:00 p.m. activities paused as the community paid its respects to the late Ronald D. Narum, Rutland’s Mayor from 1972 until his death in 2020, by dedicating a park bench in his memory, with remarks by current Rutland Mayor Mike Mahrer; Ron’s niece, Pastor Julie Johnson; and, an old friend, Bill Anderson. According to Rutland Community Club President and Uff-Da Day XXXVI Chairperson Katie McLaen, planning for Uff-Da Day XXXVII will begin at the next meeting of the Rutland Community Club on Monday, October 11, at the Rutland Town Hall. Uff-Da Day XXXVII will be on Sunday, October 2, 2022.

Among the throng in Rutland for Uff-Da Day were former residents: Pat Prindiville from Horace ND; Mark Prindiville from Fargo; Mike Prindiville from Minneapolis MN; Ann Hoflen from St. Paul MN; John Hoflen from Bismarck; Allison (Hoflen) Glarum from West Fargo ND; Clarence “Stub” & Sharon(Lee) Sundlie from Fargo; Brent Sundlie from Valley City ND; Bonita (Bauman) Sundlie and daughter, Lisa, from Horace ND; Harlan Nundahl from Fargo; Gerry & Jeanne Leinen from Fairmount ND; Mary Alice (Pearson) Oyloe from Williston ND; Alan Bergman from Backes MN; David Bergman from Denver CO; Dennis Bergman from Huron SD; Gary Bergman from St. Paul MN; Jim Thol; Glen Larson from Watertown SD, and 3 of his sisters; Dean & Carol (Henjum) Nundahl from Mankato MN; Corrine (Narum) Romereim and granddaughter, Brandy Romereim, from Wahpeton ND; Gary Narum from Fargo ND; Steve & Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs from Rosholt SD; Dan Narum and son, Asher, from Lamoure ND; Rita (Grammond) Trygstad from Redfield SD; and, many more. 

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Oct. 8, 2021”

THE ROOSTER CROWS – October 1, 2021

By Bill Anderson

The Sun always shines on Rutland! And, that’s what the weather gurus are predicting for Uff-Da Day XXXVI, the community’s annual Fall Festival with a Scandinavian theme, on Sunday, October 3. According to Rutland Community Club President and Uff-da Day Chairperson Katie McLaen, activities are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning with arts & crafts vendors, demonstrations & exhibits. The good times will just roll on from then throughout the day. There will be sandkaker & krumkake at the Legion Hall; abelskievers being prepared before your eyes in front of the Legion Hall; dinner at the Rutland Town Hall commencing at 11:00, featuring Rutland’s scalloped potatoes with ham, prepared with real potatoes, real ham and real cream; lefse and rommegrot will be available in the Seniors’ Center and the Rutland Park Bord will be serving Uff-Da Tacos and bratwursts at the Rutland Fire Hall. That’s not all, either. The Annual Uff-Da Day Parade is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m., with Lowell Wyum announcing the entries on Main Street; the “Nickel Scramble” sponsored by Kenny & Tanya Hamilton and Joe’s Ag Supply will follow the parade; and the Pedal Tractor competition will follow the Nickel Scramble. At 3:00 p.m. a dedication ceremony honoring the late Ronald Narum, Rutland’s Mayor from 1972 until his death in 2020, the community’s “Mr. Fix-It,” and the guy who knew where everything was and which keys were for which locks, will be held in front of The Stock Growers Bank building at the corner of Gay & First Streets. Meanwhile, the “Bounce Houses” across the street from the Town Hall will be entertaining some youngsters, while others take a ride on the Uff-Da Train. The Rutland Depot Museum, Pioneer House and Country School exhibits will be open throughout the day. The Uff-Da Day Committee promises a great day, and they have always delivered in the past. This Sunday, October 3, Rutland will be the place to be for a good time with good fun, good food and good friends. Plan to arrive early, and to stay late!

Readers may recall that Roger Pearson’s rain gauge measured .2 of an inch of precipitation from the drizzle back on Monday, September 20, while the gauge of his next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, registered .4 of an inch. A third report has now been received from Chuck Sundlie, whose gauge is set up in his backyard, 2 blocks south of Roger & Norbert. According to Chuck, his gauge agreed with Norbert’s, making the official total from the September 20 rain event .4 of an inch. It always has to be 2 against 1!

Continue reading “THE ROOSTER CROWS – October 1, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Sept. 24, 2021

By Bill Anderson

September hesitated on its way to Autumn last weekend, when the temperature soared into the upper 80’s, with the humidity following suit, on Saturday & Sunday, September 18 & 19. Local mosquitoes thought that they might have a chance for a good season, after all, but their fantasies were foiled by a 35 degree plunge in temperature on Monday morning. Monday’s conditions wrung some moisture out of the air, resulting in a day long drizzle that left .2 of an inch of precipitation in Rutland, according to Roger Pearson’s rain gauge, and .4 of an inch of precipitation according to the rain gauge of Roger’s next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer. As of Tuesday, September 21, the forecast is calling for pleasant, early Autumn weather through Uff-Da Day, Sunday, October 3. Cross your fingers!

Miss Lauren Kulzer of Kansas City MO visited at the home of her grandparents, Norbert & Beverly Kulzer, from Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12. Lauren is the eldest daughter of Stephen & Ann Kulzer of Hartford SD, near Sioux Falls. She is a graduate of South Dakota State University in Brookings SD, and is currently employed as an RN in a large hospital in Kansas City. As the old song goes, “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City.” Despite its modern advantages, though, Kansas City can’t compare to Grandpa & Grandma’s home in Rutland, or to Grandma’s home cooking.

Kevin Oland of rural Geneseo reports that a Marboe Township Reunion was held on Saturday, September 18. The Township is situated in the southeastern corner of Sargent County, and is south of the northern boundary of the Wahpeton-Sisseton Reservation and north of the North Dakota State Line. According to reunion organizer Carol Anderson, 60 current and former Township residents registered for the event, including 40 Alumni of Marboe Township’s 1 room country schools. The Wood Lake School building is the only one of the Marboe Township school buildings that remains at its original location. One of the Marboe Township school buildings is now part of an exhibit of structures from early Norwegian settlements in America on the island of Radoy in Norway. Carol Anderson is the daughter of the late Edwin and Fern Anderson of Marboe Township. Her grandparents homesteaded in Marboe Township, and Kevin Oland now owns and resides on the original Anderson homestead.

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

The Rooster Crows – Sept. 17, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Ahhhhh, September! Cool nights, warm days, clear blue skies, and just enough rain to keep the lawn mower from seizing up. If only…if only…but, no, it can’t last. Time marches on! The rain that visited Rutland and vicinity on the afternoon of Monday, September 13, was about as nice as a rain could be. The rain came straight down and soaked right in. No run off to speak of. Roger Pearson reported that his gauge at 409 Gay Street held .6 of an inch when the rain stopped, and Jesse Brakke’s electronic gauge at his farm between Rutland and Cayuga registered .63 of an inch. Janet Kiefer reported that Cayuga was blessed with .8 of an inch. When the days are so beautiful, and the weather is so nice, it’s difficult to envision that harsher, less pleasant conditions await. “There are two seasons in North Dakota,” the late Clayton McLaen used to say, “winter, and getting ready for winter.” This is the time to be getting ready for tougher times ahead. But, what the heck? You can’t work all the time, can you? This week, this month, take some time to enjoy all of the roses you will encounter along your path. Just remember, winter’s a’comin’!

Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson departed here on Tuesday, August 31, bound for Green Bay WI and a tour of picturesque Door County. They returned home on Thursday, September 9. During their trip they took in a real Wisconsin “fish boil,” where they enjoyed a chance meeting with Chuck’s cousin and her husband, Chad & Karla (Kleingarn) Stencel of Minneapolis. Karla is the daughter of Harvey & Sue (McLaen) Kleingarn of Forman. They also took a boat ride on Lake Michigan where they happened to meet Mike & Lisa Markovic, parents of frequent Rutland visitor Alex Markovic, who plan to be visiting at the Jesse Brakke home near Rutland for the 2021 North Dakota Pheasant Season opener in October. The Markovics make their home in Chicago IL. Every silver lining has a cloud, though, and the Andersons’ trip lost some of its luster on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 8, as they were driving west on Wisconsin Highway #29 near Wausau WI. A pallet had apparently fallen off a truck as it crossed the bridge at the Wisconsin River, chuck said, scattering debris across the highway. Two law enforcement vehicles, with lights flashing, were parked on either side of the highway, narrowing the traffic lanes and forcing traffic to slow. Ahead of the Anderson’s 2017 GMC ¾ ton 4X4 pickup and 5th wheel travel trailer was a small Jeep utility vehicle. The driver of the Jeep slammed on his brakes, as did Chuck, but the Andersons’ big rig couldn’t stop as quickly as could the smaller vehicle. Ka-Boom! The Andersons’ pickup slammed into the rear of the Jeep, shattering that vehicles rear window and scattering glass all over the highway. The front end of the Andersons’ pickup was smashed, but, fortunately, no damage was done to the headlights, radiator or engine. The Andersons were able to drive their vehicle home, after a wrecker arrived on the scene and used its winch to pull the right front fender off the tire so the wheel could turn, Chuck said. No one was hurt, and no citations were issued. Well, the best part of any trip is getting home, and even more so this time around. Weber Township might not be as picturesque as Door County, but it’s home sweet home for Chuck & Mary Beth.

Joel Susag was up in Fort Ransom on Saturday & Sunday, September 11 & 12, to take in the second “Sod Busters’” horse farming exhibition of the 2021 season. The event is held in Fort Ransom State Park, and, according to Joel, whether or not it would happen at all this September had been a close thing, due to the State Health Department’s concerns about the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.  Participants observed the protocols, said Joel, and everything went off without a hitch. Joel returned to Rutland with several bags of red potatoes that had been harvested the old-fashioned way, by hand, and presented them to the Rutland Seniors’ Center. Joel reports that the crowd at the event was quite large. He and Hal Nelson took Joel’s pickup and a trailer up to Fort Ransom on Tuesday, September 14, to retrieve Joel’s WD-45 Allis-Chalmers tractor that had been driven in a tractorcade from Lisbon to the Fort the previous week. Joel plans to have his vintage tractor in the Uff-Da Day Parade on Sunday, October 3.

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

The Rooster Crows – Sept. 10, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Rain all the time! Can’t get a thing done! The most recent rain event, on Thursday, September 2, brought the total precipitation since August 20 up to 5” for Rutland and vicinity, give or take a tenth or two, and depending on whose rain gauge you choose to read. For Thursday’s rain, Roger Pearson’s gauge at 409 Gay Street showed 1.5”, while the gauge of his next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, showed 1.6” and that of Chuck Sundlie, just 2 blocks south,  read 1.7”. Two miles south of Cayuga, Harvey Bergstrom had 1.15” of rain in his gauge, and Kurt Breker’s rain gauge, just 1 mile south of Cayuga held 1.5”. In Shuman Township, between Rutland and Milnor, Randy Pearson’s rain gauge showed  1¼”, and Shawn Klein topped the list with more than 2” at her home in Havana. The rainfall amounts may vary, but one thing is the same all over the area, the moisture and cooler weather have resurrected and rejuvenated lawns that had been written off as dead or dormant for the remainder of the year, keeping law mowers busy trying to stay ahead of the fast growing grass. With the boys and girls who had been mowing lawns earlier in the Summer now back in school, that’s one more labor shortage the economy has to deal with. Harvey Dawson, who owns a considerable chunk of real estate in the townsite of Brampton, has a flock of sheep on retainer to keep the grass and weeds down on his holdings, an alternative we may have to consider here. Well, when the world is green and growing, we can deal with anything.

Mike Kulzer was in Rutland on Monday, August 30, and stopped in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for morning coffee and a consultation with The Assembled Wise Men. Mike was in town to assist with some maintenance work at the home of his mother-in-law, Phyllis Erickson, and to do some work on the deer stands he plans to use during the whitetail deer rifle season this coming November. This prompted Mike’s cousin, Norbert Kulzer, to reminisce about his first deer hunt with his brother, Kurt, and father, Romey, back in the early 1950’s. The whitetail deer population in this area at that time was slim to none, so Romey had arranged to take his boys hunting in the sandhills near McLeod, where the whitetails were plentiful. Norbert and Kurt were equipped with shotguns firing slugs, and Romey had the deer hunter’s special, a 30-30 Winchester. Romey positioned the boys in likely spots and told them to keep a sharp eye open for any deer that might come by. It was cold, Norbert recalled, but he had a spot in the sun and out of the wind and he soon dozed off. He suddenly awoke to find a whitetail doe staring at him from just a few feet away. Norbert wanted a buck, so he didn’t shoot. He dozed off, again, and awoke to find himself face to face with a whitetail buck. It wasn’t “The Turty Point Buck,” but it was close. Norbert fumbled with his shotgun and the deer took off. He fired, and the 12 gauge slug hit the deer in the front quarter, rolling him over, but he rolled right back onto his feet and took off running, again. Norbert shot again, hit the deer again, but it kept on going, over the top of a dune and temporarily out of sight. Romey came running over to Norbert’s position to see what all the shooting was about, and the two of them took off after the buck, running for all they were worth. Norbert said that they must have run 2 miles, first one way and then another, until they finally caught up with the deer. “It turned around and charged us!” Norbert said. Romey yelled, “Step aside!  Get out of his way!” and Norbert jumped out of the big buck’s path. As the deer went by, Romey put a 30-30 bullet into him, and he went down for good. “I’ll dress this deer out. You go back and get the pickup,” Romey told Norbert. Norbert started walking, and soon realized that he had no idea where he was, where the pickup was or even where Romey and the deer were at.  Everything looked the same. He just kept walking, figuring that he must eventually find something familiar, but having some doubts. He finally came upon another deer hunter, and asked him if he had seen a newer green & black Dodge pickup. The hunter said that he had seen a beat up old pickup over the next hill, not too far away. Norbert thought that it was probably not their pickup, but it was worth a look. It was the right pickup. It wasn’t beat up, but it was dirty and mud covered from the trip over gravel and dirt roads from Rutland to the sandhills. Norbert said that he still didn’t know where he was, or where Romey or Kurt were, but he drove around until he eventually spotted his Dad and knew that the day was a success. The next year, Romey bought brand new Marlin .35 caliber lever action rifles for Kurt and Norbert. Norbert still has his Marlin, and still uses it during deer season, if he gets a license, a reminder of good days and simpler times.

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