By Bill Anderson
Well, the weather roller coaster ride continues. Thirty-five above on Saturday, February 16 was only a teaser, as the mercury then commenced a slide that hit 25 below zero by Wednesday morning. On the bright side, a brisk breeze accompanied the falling temperatures, bringing in a continuous supply of crisp, fresh air. The record cold temperature for February 20 of 30 below zero was set back in 1889, the year of North Dakota’s Statehood.
Was it romance, or was it just the aroma of delicious food, that was in the air in Rutland on the evening of February 14, St. Valentines Day? According to Gretchen Vann, 53 diners enjoyed a special St. Valentines Day 5 course steak and lobster dinner at the Rutland General Store, and more than 100 enjoyed steak and torsk at the Lariat Bar. The dinner at the General Store featured a crab cake appetizer; potato Parmesan soup; Caesar salad; the entrée of grilled steak, lobster tail and baked potato; and, lemon dessert. The Store’s regular once-a-month Sunday brunch will be served this Sunday, February 24, at the Store. A special Easter Sunday Brunch will be served by the Rutland General Store and the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen on Sunday, March 23, in the Rutland Town Hall, and advance tickets for that event are available from local firemen and at the Store. Ms. Vann also states that another special gourmet dinner with an “April In Paris” theme is being planned for the month of April.
Mike & Diane Kulzer vacationed in Las Vegas NV during the week of Feb. 10-17, and Mike reports that everything wasn’t perfect, weather-wise, there, either. He states that there were times when he was lounging by the pool at their time-share condo that the heat from the blazing Nevada sun forced him to seek refuge in the shade of a large umbrella where cold beverages helped maintain the proper body temperature. Mike also reports that he won 2 jackpots of $100 and $400 on the nickel slot machines, but the casinos still made a profit from his visit. Well, Mike, things are tough all over. Norbert Kulzer was taking care of business at Kulzer Feed & Seed during cousin Mike’s absence.
Also vacationing in Las Vegas last week were local farmer/auctioneer/businessman & man about town, Bill Smith, and his wife, Charlene. Bill knew that Mike & Diane Kulzer were also in Vegas at the same time, so he called Mike on his cellular phone and ordered some tubs of livestock feed supplement, just as a reminder that all good times must end.
Sue Anderson, Joanne Harris, Beverly Kulzer, Hazel Preble, Izetta Colvin; Mary Woytassek and Phyllis & Ray Erickson were among the Rutland folks who drove over to Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman on Thursday, February 14, to help the residents there celebrate St. Valentines Day. A band named “Raw Sugar” was on hand for the occasion, and “Sugar Ray” Erickson twirled many a lady around the dance floor to the music. Former Dunbar Township farmer John Stenvold of Forman, and former Bowen Township resident, Betty Smith of Cogswell, presided over the festivities as King and Queen of the Valentine’s Day party.
Mike & Jill Anderson returned from a week long vacation trip to Texas on Sunday, February 10. The Andersons spent a day in Dallas, then drove southeast to Lufkin TX where they visited with friends for the remainder of the week. Mike reports that the weather was pleasant in Texas, with temperatures in the 50’s when they arrived and into the 80’s on their last day in Lufkin.
Dave & Pat Kulzer of Condon, Montana, arrived in Rutland on the evening of Thursday, February 14, to visit family and friends here. They report that the area on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains has received heavy snowfall this year, a phenomenon welcome to most Montanans as snowfall has been light for the previous several years. The Kulzers headed back to their mountain home on Tuesday, February 20.
Norbert & Beverly Kulzer, David & Pat Kulzer, and several other friends and family from this community attended a wedding reception in honor of Norbert & Dave’s nephew, Ben Buisker & his bride, the former Karie Gorecki, on Friday, February 16, in Aberdeen. The new Mrs. Buisker is a native of Minneota MN. Ben is the son of former Rutland residents, Merrill & Karen (Kulzer) Buisker of Millette SD. Ben & Kari had exchanged their wedding vows in Jamaica a week earlier. The newlyweds will make their home in Aberdeen where Ben is employed with a large landscaping firm and Kari is a physical therapist. The Rutland community extends congratulations and best wishes to the newlyweds.
Many in this area were surprised and saddened last week when 2 of the most popular political leaders in the 26th Legislative District, State Representative Pam Gulleson of Rutland, and State Senator Joel Heitkamp of Hankinson, announced that they will not be seeking re-election to the State Legislature this year. Rep. Gulleson will be taking a new position as State Director of the offices of U. S. Senator Byron Dorgan, and Sen. Heitkamp will continue as host of his popular afternoon talk show on KFGO Radio 790. Rep. Gulleson was first elected to the Legislature in 1992, and Sen. Heitkamp has served in the Senate since 1994. Jim Dotzenrod, Chairman of the 26th District Democratic-NPL Party, has announced that a candidate search committee, chaired by Oakes businesswoman Jessica Quant, has been formed to find potential candidates for the posts. Representative Bill Amerman of Forman is expected to be a candidate for re-election. The 26th District Democrats will endorse candidates at their District Convention in Gwinner on Saturday, March 1, according to Chairman Dotzenrod, who served in the State Senate from 1978 to 1994. The 26th District GOP held its District Convention in Wyndmere on Tuesday, February 5, but did not endorse any candidates for the legislature at that time. Norma Kjos of Wyndmere is Chairperson of the 26th District GOP.
Clarence Breker stopped in for coffee and conversation at the Rutland Café on the morning of Friday, February 15. Clarence reports that he is wintering well at his Tewaukon Township farm. He had come to town to do some grocery shopping at the Rutland General Store.
A number of friends and family helped Borghild Lee of this community celebrate her 94th birthday on Saturday, February 16, at Four Seasons Healthcare Center. Among those attending were Donna & Odine Smulan of Crookston MN, Curt & Judy Silseth of Weber Township, Ted & Joan Lee of Tewaukon Township and Jill Toyne of Phoenix AZ. Borghild’s birthday is actually February 17, a natal date she shares with Izetta Colvin of this community. The two Rutland ladies claim the honor of having been born between 2 Presidents, Lincoln and Washington. In Rutland, we think that it is the Presidents who have been honored to stand on either side of these 2 grand ladies.
Federal and State offices, County Courthouses, schools and banks were closed around the Country on Monday, February 18, the occasion being the 61st anniversary of Andy Hoflen’s birthday. The Presidents’ Day holiday also fell on Andy’s birthday this year. What a coincidence.!
Last weekend provided an event a day, all with food, for those who don’t like to cook at home. A large delegation from Rutland headed east on Saturday, February 16, to attend the benefit held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Lidgerwood for Virgil Woytassek, a friend of many in this community. Virgil is undergoing treatments for a recurrence of cancer. On Sunday, February 17, the Cayuga Hall Association served a pancake and sausage breakfast/dinner as a fund-raiser for Hall operating expenses. Many from Rutland headed over to Cayuga for a delicious breakfast on Sunday. On Monday evening all roads headed west, as folks drove over to Cogswell for the Cogswell Gun Club’s annual buffalo supper. The steaming hot buffalo soup, mashed potatoes, gravy and buffalo roast were in marked contrast to the 10 degree below zero temperature outside the Cogswell Community Center. The leftovers will be served during the fishing derby at Silver Lake this coming Sunday, February 24. Next stop, the dietitian.
With this area shivering under the coldest temperatures of the Winter, so far, Greg Donaldson picked just the right week to head out to California for a visit with his uncle & aunt, Don & Toddles Donaldson, in the San Francisco area. Norbert Kulzer, Rutland’s utility infielder for looking after business, was taking care of Rutland Oil Company’s patrons during Greg’s absence. You can find Norbert minding the store at the Hardware Department of the Rutland General Store, at Kulzer Feed & Seed and at the Rutland Oil Company, whenever a reliable hand is required. He hasn’t taken over the Bank or the beauty shop yet, but he’s available, if needed.
A report from St. Paul informs that former Rutland resident Alwood Huckell is still in residence at the burn center there, after undergoing skin grafts to repair the damage wrought to his right leg in a recent snowmobile accident. Alwood expects to be released to continue his recuperation at his Devils Lake home by the end of this week.
Forty-six prospective donors turned out for the United Blood Services blood drive held from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, in the Rutland Town Hall, according to local coordinator Joanne Harris. Of those, 1 was deferred, 2 were first time donors and 11 donated double units of red blood cells. Counting the double units, 56 units of blood were collected from donors here. The staff of United Blood Services and the local coordinators expressed their thanks to all who took the time to contribute the gift of life on Tuesday afternoon. The next blood drive is scheduled to be held in Rutland during the month of June. Contact Joanne Harris, Janet Kiefer, Sheila Wyum or Pam Maloney to get your name on the donor list for next time.
Preparations are proceeding for the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s annual fish fry, which will be held on Friday, March 7, in the Rutland Town Hall. Contact Sportsmen’s Club members for tickets. Ticket sales are limited to 550, so don’t delay.
Ione Pherson reports that cast selection is nearly complete for the Mr. Miss Rutland Pageant that will be the entertainment at this year’s Rutland Community Club annual supper and play. The event is scheduled for Friday, March 14, in the Rutland Town Hall. Despite the fact that there are very few pork producers left in this community, there is still a plentiful supply of ham actors for the Community Club play. Advance tickets for the supper and play will be available at the Rutland Café, Rutland General Store, Alley Cuts and other Rutland businesses. The 2008 production is sure to be another hit.
While most folks try to stay out of trouble with the law, a few are always walking on the edge, pushing the envelope. While listening to the radio one morning last month, Richard Bradbury, formerly editor and publisher of The Teller and now enthusiastically pursuing retirement, heard a report that the 2007 North Dakota Legislature had passed a law making it illegal to have Christmas lights on after January 31. According to the report on the radio, the law had been passed at the request of the power companies, supposedly as a conservation measure. To Richard, though, the law sounded like an unwarranted intrusion into his right to decorate his home, or not, as he saw fit. He decided to protest by engaging in the traditional American method of protesting unjust or stupid laws, civil disobedience. He took the Christmas wreath and Santa Claus off his front porch, but left the lights in the front windows of his house at 419 Cooper Street, designating the former Christmas lights as “Valentine lights.” He would show the power companies and the State of North Dakota that they couldn’t tell him what to do when it came to decorating his house for any holiday he chose. It seems that the electrical utilities and the State had a “fifth column” ally in the Bradbury house, however, directed from China. The lights which had originally been placed in the Bradbury windows as Christmas decorations at the beginning of December had been manufactured in China, and about the time Richard was ready to flip the switch and embark on his civil disobedience campaign in the dazzling brilliance of his decorative lights, the whole works failed due to defective materials and poor workmanship. The erstwhile former journalist is now really fuming about the injustice of it all. The Chinese have not only stolen American jobs and dumped defective junk into the U. S. market, but they have also stymied his plan to become a civilly disobedient radical protester. Richard came of age in the 60’s, though, the era of protest in America, so he isn’t done yet. Stay tuned for the next episode in the continuing saga of R. Harrington Bradbury III, millionaire and radical protester against ridiculous regulations.
There are no regulations on when or where you can check in on Rutland’s internet web site at http://www.rutlandnd.com, for up to date news on what’s going on in the little city that can.
The following are excerpts from the L. S. Sanderson column of 2-19-1953: After three months of the mildest winter weather ever seen here, things have suddenly gone democratic and this morning the temperature dropped to 18 below. Some terrible hardships were encountered, cars refused to start and people were forced to walk a distance of three blocks to get downtown…Ted and Al Colby with their wives, left on Saturday evening for Amarillo, Texas, to visit their sons “Doc” and “Chub”. Doc has been stationed there during training and will leave soon for Korea…Ralph Breker spent the weekend at home. He has been employed in the oil fields during the winter and reports rumors there of test wells to be dug in Sargent County this year…The bowling season ended with three teams in a tie for first place. In the playoff, Rutland Township won first, the Alleys second and Tony’s third place…Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Anderson attended her mother’s funeral in Carrington on Monday…Julius Sjothun, Martin Harles, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Jacobson attended the Minn. Lakers-Baltimore Bombers basketball game in Moorhead on Tuesday evening…A severe attack of rheumatism affecting his right arm and shoulder has forced Roman Kulzer to remain idle for some time. At present he is taking mud baths at the clinic in Watertown, S. D., and reports some relief…Aldon Donaldson and wife are at Fargo where they have attended a convention sponsored by the Mobile Oil and Gas Co…Bennie Malheim suffered a heart attack on Saturday evening and was brought to Dr. Kuisk who found that a blood clot had lodged in his heart and advised hospitalization. He was taken to St. Lukes Hospital at Fargo where it will be necessary for him to remain for a period of several weeks…Mr. and Mrs. Ed Evenson entertained their son, Marvin and wife of Moorhead and Mr. and Mrs. O. H. Jacobson at Sunday evening supper…Earl Anderson and two sons spent the weekend at Bismarck where they attended a days session of the legislature…Anton Silseth has returned from a months stay in Kansas City and has fully recovered from an attack of pneumonia…We received a letter from a party residing in another state in which he states that he had heard that the oil boom in North Dakota would require a large number of working men, and asked about conditions and what was required of him. He has a trailer house and pickup on which he has paid sales tax, titles and licenses amounting to about $200. I referred his inquiry to the motor vehicle department and was amazed to learn that there appeared to be a cold war between the states and that although this was the United States, they were a long way from united on too many issues. On arriving here and going to work, this party would have to pay another sales tax, purchase titles and licenses which would amount to about $160. These payments would have to be made 5 days after he went to work, while he must wait three or four weeks for his first pay check. If he should run out of work before the end of the year and go to another state he would be required to pay taxes and licenses the third time in a year. If he had money and did not have to work, he could bum around the state all summer without buying anything…This family row between states has reached a point where residents of other states were not allowed to buy a hunting license in the state of South Dakota. South Dakota residents were not permitted to fish in Minnesota. North Dakota hunters who happened to step across the state line unknowingly were fined $25. and their guns confiscated by South Dakota authorities. Whether these laws are the result of jealousies or love of the almighty dollar is not known, but if persisted in, the next thing we will hear is that some state has decided to secede from the union…Seven school districts are represented in attendance at the Rutland High School, according to figures submitted to the county superintendent in the annual semester tuition report by Supt. G. W. Brekke of Rutland last week. Of the total high school enrollment of 52 students, about 60 percent come from districts outside the Rutland Special School District which operates the high school. Only 20 students who attend the school reside in Rutland district itself. Rural students travel distances up to 18 miles to reach the school in good driving weather, although the majority reside within an 8 mile radius. Of the 7 districts which have students in attendance, Rutland has the most with 20 students, followed by Tewaukon with 11; Ransom with 6; Rutland Consolidated, 6; Cayuga, 5; Shuman, 3; and Dunbar, 1. Enrollment at the high school has increased an average of at least 10 percent a year since World War II, and an attendance of over 60 students in high school is anticipated next year. Part of the increase has been due to improvements in the curriculum introduced by the Board of Education, which includes a Home Economics Department and an Industrial Arts Department. An improved music set up has also contributed. The Rutland High School Band, founded three years ago under A. C. Schildberger, has an enrollment of over 40 students this year. Improved roads, and closing of rural schools, also contributed to the increase, as did the full program of sports, football, basketball and baseball.