By Bill Anderson
Snow or no snow, Winter or no Winter, Spring or no Spring, hundreds of thousands of snow geese filled the air over Rutland on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 27, hurling their ancient cries into the wind as they have for thousands of years, singing, “Here we come, ready or not!” The Weatherman keeps saying, “No, no, we’re not ready, yet.” But the geese know when it’s time to move, and they’re moving. Despite the chronological and solar arrival of Spring last week, Winter just does not seem to want to let go. This area received 2 to 3 inches of new snow on Saturday, March 24, and another 1 to 2 inches of snow on Monday, March 26. Mayor Narum and the City Council are to be commended for getting the City’s snowplow out early and often to keep the streets open and free of ice and compacted snow. The manufacturer of the City’s snowplow provides no warranty, though, and both the weatherman and the Mayor warn that more snow may be on the menu for the coming week. Back on February 2 the local Ground Hog, Rutland Rasputin, predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Well, Bub, your 6 weeks are up!
Diane Smith was moving into her newly renovated apartment in Rutland Housing’s 6-plex at 204 Dakota Street this week, and hoped to have the move completed by Saturday, March 31. The apartment received a make-over of the bathroom and kitchen, new floor coverings and a fresh coat of paint. Contractors working on the project included: Jerry Sapa Construction; Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating; and Lori McLaen Decorating. Another apartment in the building is also getting an upgrade, and all of Rutland Housing’s apartments are on the list for renovation work as funds are available in the future. Rutland Housing’s Manager, Bert Siemieniewski, states that, “…it hasn’t been easy, but it’s nice to get Diane’s apartment done so we can keep moving on the rest of them.” Rutland Housing’s 3 apartment houses were built between 1971 and 1974 and have all received extensive upgrades, both exterior and interior, in the past 2 years. Current officers and Directors of Rutland Housing, Inc. are: Delores Lysne, President; Bill Anderson, Vice-President; Carolyn Christensen, Secretary; and, Bertha Siemieniewski, Treasurer/Manager. To inquire about apartments for rent, contact Bert at 724-3553.
This community was saddened on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 21, the first full day of Spring, when word was received here that a lifelong member of the Rutland Community, Donald A. “Don” Johnson, had passed away shortly before Noon at the VA Medical Center’s Palliative Care Unit in Fargo after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Don had attained the age of 77 years 3 months and 3 days at the time of his death. Donald Allen Johnson was born on December 18, 1940, to John Roy and Evelyn Beatrice (Jackman) Johnson, at the Johnsons’ family home in Rutland. Like many families of that era, the Johnson’s had a barn, a small pasture, a large garden, horses, cows and chickens on their lots at 316 Ross Street,, and Don’s Dad, John, had a plethora of horse-drawn farm wagons and machinery that was of a size that a curious and creative boy like Don could learn how to take apart, examine how it worked, fix what didn’t work and put it back together again. Back in the 1940’s and early 50’s Rutland’s gravel streets and alleys were maintained with a horse drawn blade operated by a 2-man crew, John Johnson driving the horses and Bill Baumer running the controls, so Don’s youth was spent with horses, harness and hardware always close at hand. Don grew up and attended school In Rutland, graduating from Rutland High School in the Class of 1958. After graduation Don enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps and served his country from October of 1958 until October of 1961, at duty stations in California, Okinawa, Japan and on temporary assignments in other countries in Southeast Asia. Don was a Communications Technician, operating military radio networks as well as field telephone systems for Marine Corps units in the field. He earned the Marine Corps’ Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge, the National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal before his honorable discharge. On November 17, 1962, Don was united in marriage with Yvonne Ann Christianson in Rutland. They made their home in that community, and Don worked at a number of different jobs over the years. He was a communications lineman for the Great Northern Railway for a number of years, worked at the Bobcat factory in Gwinner, managed a propane gas business in Rutland, worked as a service tech at Kulzer Brothers Farm Supply in Rutland and later was employed at Horton Manufacturing in Britton where he worked until retiring in the late 1990’s. In addition to his fulltime jobs, Don also helped his good friends, Roger Pearson and Joe Malstrom, in Roger’s plumbing and heating business. Don was a member of Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland where he had served on the Church Council and was Caretaker of the Nordland Cemetery. He loved to tinker and could fix most anything. Anyone who needed help with just about anything could count on Don to lend a helping hand. He derived a great deal of pleasure from family, his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Yvonne Johnson of Rutland; his three children: Rodger Johnson of Rutland; Launa Peterson of Rutland; Paula Ennis of Forman; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, plus two “on-the-way;” his brother, Jerry Johnson of Alberta, MN; and, by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Preceding him in death were his parents; and, two sisters: Phyllis Sordahl; and, Janice Nelson. Memorial visitation for Don Johnson will be from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, April 7, 2018, at the Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland. At Don’s request, there will be no formal service. The Price Funeral Chapel of Forman & Britton is in charge of arrangements. Inurnment will be in the Rutland Cemetery at a later date. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Yvonne Johnson, Box 102, Rutland ND 58067. The Rutland community extends its condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Donald Johnson, a loyal friend who fought the good fight for family, community and country. Semper Fidelis, Lance Corporal Johnson!
Ted & Joan Lee of this community received word on the morning of Tuesday, March 27, that their eldest son, Blaine Lee, had passed away, suddenly, at his home. No other information was available as of this writing. There will be more information next week.
Cayuga native Randy Kiefer, until recently a resident of Irvine CA, stopped in at The Lariat Bar in Rutland on the evening of Tuesday, March 27, for a visit with old friends here. Randy, a 1967 graduate of Sargent Central High School, has been visiting at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Pam & Keith Hoistad, northwest of Milnor for most of March, since completing a 4-month solo bicycle tour of Southeast Asia that began at Singapore in early November and took him through the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. While riding from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, in Vietnam, Randy met up with Bill Anderson of this community on February 7 & 8 in the city of TamKY, in Quang Nam Province, south of DaNang. Bill was taking a tour of the I Corps region of what was formerly the Republic of Vietnam or South Vietnam, with veterans of the 1st Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, the unit with which he had served in Vietnam back in 1970. Randy reports that his sister, Pam, had accompanied him to Singapore and on part of his visit in Thailand, but she had returned home at the end of November and Randy had then commenced his bicycle ride of approximately 2,500 miles. Despite the language barrier, Randy states that he had few problems finding food and lodging during the trip. The ancient ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia were interesting, but he thought that the mountain roads of Laos were the most challenging and scenic portion of the trip. According to Randy, it is very safe to travel in Southeast Asia these days, and the people are very friendly toward Americans. Mr. Kiefer intends to head back to California on April 2, where he will begin preparing for a bicycle ride from Santa Barbara CA up to Anchorage, Alaska. Two regular cycling companions, Cayuga native Don Isensee of Perham MN and Dick Reis of Fargo, will be joining Randy for the first leg of the journey, from Santa Barbara to the San Francisco Bay area, but he will make the rest of the trip solo. He intends to take most of the Summer to get to Anchorage, and to then spend the Winter there, returning to North Dakota in June or July of 2019. Joining Randy for supper and conversation at The Lariat were: Bill Anderson; Paul Anderson; Joe Breker; and, John Hanson. Mr. Hanson is a cattleman from Amidon ND who was in the eastern part of the State on a hay buying expedition and stopped in at Rutland to visit his old friend, Joe Breker. John and Joe became friends while both were students at NDSU in Fargo, back in the 70’s. They also attended some classes there. John is the owner of The Logging Camp Ranch near Amidon, and the ranch contains a substantial portion of North Dakota’s only Ponderosa pine forest, the source of the logs used to build the Coteau des Prairies Lodge. John succeeded in buying some hay, had supper, visited with a good friend and got in on some good conversation, so he considers his trip to have been a success all the way around.
The Annual Rutland Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Saturday, March 31, at the Rutland Town Hall, reports Jeanne Leinen, one of the organizers of the event. Kids and parents should be at the door, ready to go, at 10:00 a.m. she states. Youngsters age 0 through 11 are eligible to participate in the hunt for the 1,127 colored eggs, each containing a prize or a prize certificate, prepared for this year’s event, states Jeanne, and the Easter Bunny will also be on hand to greet participants and pose for photos. Coffee & bars will be available from the Town Hall kitchen. The Easter Egg Hunt is sponsored annually by Jerry & Jeanne Leinen of this community, with assistance from family members. Don’t miss it! Easter Egg Hunt at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 31, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Pastor Michael Buller reports that the Good Friday Service for Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church of Havana will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 30, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland. He also reports that there will be an Easter Sunrise Service at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 1, at Nordland, followed by an Easter morning breakfast in Nordland’s Fellowship Hall at which all are welcome. Easter morning services will also be conducted by Pastor Buller at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 1, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana. Beverly Kulzer reports that Easter Mass will be conducted at 10:30 on the morning of Sunday, April 1, at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Cayuga. According to the weather forecast, woolen caps, mittens, parkas and galoshes are the recommended Easter outfit, as Easter morning is likely to feel a lot like Christmas EVE this year.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, an old country tune, “Cigarettes, Whiskey And Wild, Wild Women Will Make A Fool Out Of Me,” has been proposed as the theme song for the President’s 2020 re-election campaign. He will have to take up smoking and drinking to get all 3 bases covered, though. As of Friday, March 31, there are 62 weeks down and 146 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. It’s a long, rough road, but it’s heading in the right direction.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, stop by the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and check out the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, 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.