The Rooster Crows-February 1, 2008

By Bill Anderson

Both the weather and the stock market were on a roller coaster last week, starting out in a nose dive, then reversing to head upward like a skyrocket. The second January thaw of 2008 saw the mercury hit 40 in Rutland on Saturday, January 26, and hit the 45 mark on both Sunday and Monday before the bottom dropped out, again, sending the temperature plunging 57 degrees, to 12 below by Tuesday morning. A 30 mph wind, gusting to 40 mph, assured a bountiful supply of brisk, fresh air and wind chills to 50 below. By Wednesday morning, the mercury stood at 20 below zero, with the good news being that the wind had let up. A heat wave of 20-degrees above is predicted for Ground Hog’s Day, February 2, this weekend, and all, including the Ground Hog, will be glad to see it.

News was received here on Saturday, January 26, that Brad Brummond, husband of Rutland native Susan (Kulzer) Brummond, had passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly, at the couple’s home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was 60 years old at the time of his death. Relatives from this community plan to depart Rutland on Friday to attend the funeral, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 2, in Colorado Springs. The Rutland community extends its sympathy to the Brummond and Kulzer families.

Another individual who was once a familiar figure on the streets of Rutland, Alice Barbknecht, departed this life on Thursday, January 24, at the Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman. She was 91 years old at the time of her death. Alice made her home in the Rutland and Havana communities for most of her life. She and her husband, George, resided on their farm in Weber Township, where they raised two daughters, Janice & Gail. George died in a traffic accident on Highway #32 back in the mid-1960’s. Alice will be remembered as a plain speaking, sometimes outspoken, observer of the human condition who was not bashful about sharing her sometimes colorful opinions with anyone within earshot. Throughout her life she was a good person who tried to help those who needed help, a truly unique character and source of local historical information whose presence will be missed. The funeral service is scheduled for Thursday, January 31, at the Price Funeral Chapel in Forman. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the Barbknecht family.

The Rutland Café has been the recipient of an exterior and interior facelift recently. New windows, door, awning, sign, and brickwork repair on the front, along with new paint on the interior walls, ceiling and trim have the premises looking bright and attractive. Congratulations are in order to proprietor Shari Leinen for these improvements to her place of business. Shari treated Café patrons to birthday cake and coffee on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27, the occasion being the observance of her 40th birthday. Her many friends in Rutland extend birthday greetings and best wishes for many more.

Bernard and Shirley Mahrer visited in Rutland on Sunday, January 27, and took in the brunch at the Rutland General Store. Bernie reports that he has recuperated from the heart bypass surgery he underwent last month, and that he has now been turned loose by the medical personnel who had trimmed his sails for a while. The Mahrers were joined for brunch by their children and several family members from the area, including Shirley’s brother and sister-in-law, Carl & Doris Olson of Britton. The report last week of a huge Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) being sighted in the American Southwest sparked some discussion of the subject during brunch last Sunday. Both Shirley Mahrer and Carl Olson discussed sightings they had experienced in the past. It should be emphasized that UFO’s are just what the first word in their name implies, unidentified. There may be a perfectly logical explanation for their appearance, but no one has come up with it, yet. Shirley had observed a UFO in Hankinson recently, and Carl related that he and Lloyd Susag had once spotted one near Rutland back in the late 1950’s. Carl & Lloyd had seen the object just west of the Rutland baseball diamond, near the old municipal landfill. As they watched, the object appeared to head west southwest, so they gave chase. At the time Carl was driving a ’57 Plymouth that could bury the speedometer needle at over 120 mph. As they chased the object west of town it pulled away from them as if they were going backwards. Carl says that he doesn’t know what he and Lloyd would have done if they had caught up with the object, but they weren’t thinking about that at the time. At any rate, whatever it was, it’s gone and, as far as we know, it has never been back. The object did disappear in the general area where Noble Nelson once reported sighting a “chocolate colored mountain lion”, a report that was scoffed at when it was made more than 5 decades ago, but which doesn’t seem so far-fetched now, after several lions have been sighted, and one was shot, in Sargent County during the past few months. It took half a century, but Noble is now vindicated. So, just keep on watching for those UFO’s. Whatever they are: refracted sunlight; stray voltage; wind-blown trash; experimental aircraft; or, flying saucers with extra-terrestrial pilots; one of these days someone will catch one, and then we’ll find out what Lowell Sjothun’s boxer dog, Bosco, felt like when he finally caught a car.

Gretchen Vann reports that the Rutland General Store is now taking reservations for a Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Supper of steak and lobster. The supper will be served on the evening of Thursday, February 14, and is a reservations only affair, according to Ms. Vann. In addition to its regular, last Sunday of the month, brunch on Sunday, February 24, the General Store will also be serving an Easter Sunday brunch in the Rutland Town Hall, in cooperation with the Rutland & Cayuga Fire Departments, on Easter Sunday, March 23. Brunch, we have been told, is what you get when you’re too late for breakfast and too early for lunch. Early or late, it’s bound to be good.

Janet Kiefer was promoting a benefit for Virgil Woytassek, a farmer in the Geneseo area, last Wednesday. Virgil is a cousin of Bill Woytassek of Rutland, is well known in this community and has many friends here. He has been stricken with cancer and has been traveling to the medical facilities at Rochester MN for treatment. The benefit will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Lidgerwood on Saturday, February 16, and many of Virgil’s friends here expect to attend.

Kathy Badowycz has recently become a Rutland resident, having moved here from Cottage Grove MN. Ms. Badowycz is currently residing at the home of her sister & brother-in-law, Laurie & Craig Greene, at 115 Forest Street.

United Blood Services of Fargo will hold the first of its 2008 blood drives in Rutland on the afternoon of Tuesday, February 19, according to local coordinator Janet Kiefer. Volunteers will be calling local donors prior to the 19th to schedule appointments between 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Rutland Town Hall. If you would like to become a donor, but haven’t been asked, don’t be bashful. Call local coordinators Joanne Harris, Pam Maloney, Sheila Wyum or Janet Kiefer to schedule a donation time and get on the “good guy” list.

It has recently been reported in the national press that North Dakota teen-agers have one of the highest rates of binge drinking and alcohol abuse in the United States. The Sargent County Alcohol Coalition, a group that has been organized to increase public awareness of the problem and to encourage action to reduce it, held the second of a planned series of public meetings in Forman last Wednesday, January 23, reports one of the coalitions organizers, Rutland resident and Sargent County Social Services Director, Wendy Jacobson. The Coalition’s first meeting had been held in Gwinner. Parents, community leaders, school administrators & faculty, church leaders and others have been invited to the meetings, but attendance and participation have been disappointing, so far, reports Director Jacobson. “We don’t want to wait until there is an alcohol induced tragedy involving local youth before we take action to address the problem of teen alcohol abuse in our community,” she says. The next public meeting of the Coalition is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, at the Dakota Valley Electric headquarters building in Milnor. Interested persons from throughout Sargent County are invited to attend, Ms. Jacobson states. For additional information about teen alcohol abuse in North Dakota, and about the Sargent County Alcohol Coalition’s efforts to address the problem, contact Sargent County Social Services Director Wendy Jacobson at 724-6241, Ext. 102; Sheriff Travis Paeper at 724-6241, Ext. 6; or, County Health Unit Director Colleen Sundquist at 724-3725. Don’t wait until it’s too late to get involved.

The National Football League’s Super Bowl game will be played this coming Sunday, February 3, in Phoenix AZ, but the matchup of the New England Patriots and the New York Giants isn’t arousing much enthusiasm out here on the prairie. What is getting folks fired up is the Super Bowl of pinochle, the Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, which will pit the most skillful, cunning and competitive pinochle players in the tri-state region in a titanic battle for 2008 bragging rights at the card table. More than 60 teams will be on hand when the first cards are dealt at 8:00 a.m. on Ground Hog’s Day, Saturday, February 2, in the Rutland Town Hall. Tournament organizers, the family of the late Rudy & Edna Anderson of this community, invite the public to stop by to observe, kibitz and enjoy lunch served by the Rutland Community Club while the tourney is going on. The Rutland Community Club will be serving lunch throughout the day, as well as a dinner featuring Rutland scalloped potatoes at noon. If the Ground Hog doesn’t see his shadow, he might even stop by for a plate of scalloped potatoes and to play a few hands, although he is known to be a notoriously poor pinochle player. See you in Rutland on February 2.

In the Super Bowl of American politics it is beginning to shape up as a McCain versus Obama contest, with the winner occupying the White House for the next 4 years. Sen. McCain can just about clinch the GOP nomination with a victory on Super Tuesday, February 5, while Senator Obama can go a long way toward claiming the mantle of the Democratic Party with a good showing in that contest. North Dakota will be one of the States conducting Presidential preference caucuses on February 5, and all who want to influence their Party’s choice of a candidate are urged to participate. In the 26th Legislative District, which includes all of Sargent County, the Democratic-NPL Party will have 10 polling places, located in Rutland, Milnor, Gwinner, Lidgerwood, Wyndmere, Sheldon, Lisbon, Oakes, Fullerton and Lamoure, while the GOP will concentrate its forces at one polling place, in Wyndmere. The Democrat’s Rutland polling place will be in the kitchen at 318 First Street. Anyone wishing to participate in the Dem-NPL caucus can vote at any polling site, but they can only vote once, according to Party Chairman Jim Dotzenrod of Wyndmere. If you are a Libertarian, a Know-Nothing, a Whig or a Mugwump, though, you’re out of luck. They’re not holding a caucus this year.

You can now hold an internet caucus with friends from Rutland at the community’s blog site at Don’t forget to stop by Rutland’s internet web site at for the latest information on what’s going on in the old home town.

The following are excerpts from the L. S. Sanderson column of January 29, 1953: January is over, the winter is about over, the inauguration is over, in fact, its all over but the depression and if that does not hit very soon there will be a number of very much disappointed people. The winter has been wonderful, the inauguration was wonderful. All the empty bottles were picked up around the Capital and as the Republicans paraded to the white House they carried banners reading G. O. P, but this time it meant something else. It meant “Get Out Punks” and they got out. Even the weather is improving. This morning (Monday) the temperature at Bismarck was 42 and at Fargo it was 20 above, and very little snow left…A baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Orvis Pearson last week….Vic Strand has taken his vacation which he will spend in Milwaukee, Wisc…Geo. Erickson is visiting his brother, Bill. George resides at Medicine Lake, Montana and stated that there is excitement in that locality over the discovery of oil…relatives of Don Brickzen have been advised by the war department that he has been severely injured in Korea. Don is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Andy Brickzen who resided on the A. P. Erickson farm south of Rutland, where Don was born…Price Gulleson is in California where he is attending several meetings being held there in the interest of R. E. A…The bowling season will close on February 6 and at this time first place can be won by any of the following teams who are in a huddle, with only two more games to go: Tony’s; Flying Red Horse; Rutland Township; Lees; and Alleys. Sunday the Alley team went to Milnor for a return game with Frenchy’s team which they had previously beaten. Neither team was in the mood, it seemed, and the bowling was below average. Milnor won two out of three and the deciding game will be at Rutland on Sunday, February 8, the winner to go to the Rose Bowl. This game will be hotly contested and the outcome is anybody’s guess…A baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Kuisk last week and it is now Dr. H. Kuisk & Son…Jonah Wilson was a Rutland visitor on Saturday. His family now resides in Sisseton, but Jonah is taking a course in Bible study at the Presbyterian college in Huron, S. Dak., and expects to serve as a missionary…The following is from a publication at the Valley city Teachers College. “Among those initiated into the Delphi Society, one of the three social societies for women at the Valley City State Teachers College, was Doris Christianson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Christianson of Rutland, North Dakota.”…School opened on Monday after being closed for one week due to an epidemic of the flu…Mr. and Mrs. Herb Disney have returned to their home after spending several months at their old home in Oklahoma.

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