The Rooster Crows – May 11, 2018

By Bill Anderson

A quarter of an inch of rain early on the morning of Tuesday, May 8, reminded those racing to get the 2018 crop planted that rain is still a possibility in this land that early explorers once described as “The Great American Desert.” Roger Pearson, Jim Lunneborg and Mark Wyum all agreed that rain gauges and the size of puddles in the farmyard confirmed a ¼ inch rainfall in the Rutland area on Tuesday morning. To our north, Mark Gainor reported a .4-inch rainfall in the Milnor area. Despite the scarcity of rain so far this Spring, all reports are that soil moisture appears to be in good shape, so far. According to Mr. Gainor, the area between Milnor and Cayuga appears to be the wettest in the eastern half of Sargent County. The frost has not yet gone out of the soil, though, and conditions may change rapidly when that occurs. Well, as the old-timers used to say, “It always rains after a long dry spell;” and, “Every day that it doesn’t rain is one day closer to the day that it will.” So, that big rain is getting closer, and better times are comin’. As of Monday, May 7, some of the Spring Wheat in Ransom Township, between Rutland and Cayuga, is up!

The Lariat Bar in Rutland has extended its hours, once again opening at 11:00 a.m. and serving meals at Noon. Day One for the new schedule was on Monday, May 7, when proprietors Mike Pyle and Scott Beyer served a “Noon Special” that included a salad bar and a main course of homemade chicken pot pie. Mighty tasty, by all accounts. A “Noon Special” is planned for each day, and patrons will also be able to order items from the Bar’s lunch menu. A Noon eating place on Main Street is a service that is greatly appreciated by the community. The Lariat Bar can be checked out on Facebook or on the business’s internet web site at The phone number at The Lariat is 724-3610. Stop in for fine beverages, excellent cuisine and friendly service at the Lariat Bar in Rutland, where Mike, Scott, Janice, Cheryl and Sue provide service with a smile. No reservations needed. Come as you are.

The dining room of The Lariat Bar is also open every morning, Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for self-serve coffee and conversation with the Assembled Wise Men and the Assembled Matriarchs of the community. Topics discussed could be the weather, current events, history, politics, philosophy, theology, baseball, fishing, football, crop prospects, basketball, grandchildren, ice hockey, the price of tea in China and anything else that comes to mind. Occasionally, eminent thinkers such as Mike Kulzer, Kim Rasmussen, Dennis Dockter and Sparky Engquist, among others, provide guest lectures for the edification of those in attendance, while gaining enlightenment from the conversation in progress. Everyone is welcome!

The Rutland Community Club’s new electronic bulletin board is now up and running on Main Street. Local electrician Josh Nelson completed the electrical hook-up on the morning of Monday, May 7. The electronic display is mounted on the front wall of Rutland Oil Co.’s building at 112 First Street. Messages on the bulletin board can be programmed remotely, from a distance of up to 200 feet. Mike Pyle, one of the proprietors of The Lariat Bar, has volunteered to serve as the community’s bulletin board message man, and has custody of the remote programming keyboard. Anyone who has a message to be posted on Rutland’s new bulletin board should contact Mike at the Lariat Bar. One of the messages currently running is the notice of the regular monthly meeting of the Rutland Community Club at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 14, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Former Rutland area residents Bill & Mary Woytassek greeted friends here on the morning of Monday, May 7. The Woytasseks had arrived on Sunday evening and parked their portable residence in the Rutland RV park just east of The Lariat Bar. Mary stopped in for Monday morning coffee with the Assembled Matriarchs, and Bill headed for the farm to help son Jerry and grandson Andrew get the 2018 crop planted. Mary reported that they had enjoyed a good winter, and that they are kept quite busy in their new home town, Detroit Lakes MN. Their many friends here extended them a hearty “Welcome Home!”

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 7, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum; City Auditor Deb Banish; and, Aldermen Rodney Erickson, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski present. Council member Delores Lysne was not present but participated in the meeting by speaker phone. Also in attendance was Rutland citizen Bill Anderson. A public hearing on the proposed 2018 Revised Comprehensive Plan for the City of Rutland was held prior to calling the meeting to order. Auditor Banish reported that several written comments had been received, and many of the suggestions received had been incorporated into the revised draft. Mr. Anderson supported adoption of the new Comprehensive Plan, which revises and replaces the Comprehensive Plan of 2008. As there was no other public comment, the hearing was closed and the City Council meeting called to order. The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. Auditor Banish reported on the April 24 meeting of the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission, and a motion was passed approving the appointment of Andrew Woytassek as the “extra-territorial” member of the Commission. The Commission has been working on proposed revisions to the City’s Zoning Ordinance, and a public hearing will be held when the revisions are complete, before the draft Amended ordinance is submitted to the Council for consideration. Council members approved the Mayor’s proposal for a City-wide cleanup from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, when the City’s inert landfill west of Lou Sanderson Field will be open and arrangements will be made to receive white goods and electronic equipment, in addition to materials that may normally be disposed of at the landfill. Mayor Narum issued a Proclamation designating Monday, June 4, as Arbor Day in Rutland. The City has been named a “2017 Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation, and Mary O’Neill from the Lisbon office of the North Dakota Forestry Department is scheduled to be at the June 4 Council meeting to discuss the City’s 2017 tree inventory report. In other business, The Council approved the proposed 2018 Comprehensive Plan for the City of Rutland, as corrected. The Comprehensive Plan sets out, in general terms, the City’s plans and goals for growth and development over the next 10 years. Copies of the Comprehensive Plan may be obtained from the City Auditor, and the Plan as approved by the Council will also be available on the Rutland community’s internet web site at Mayor Narum reported that the City’s new Bobcat skid-steer loader will be delivered by Lillegard Equipment of Wahpeton this week. After reviewing the City’s bills and authorizing payment, the Council adjourned. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 4, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and Rutland citizens are invited to attend.

Rutland Park Board members Andrea Erickson, Jeff Olson, Hal Nelson and Barry Christianson, with the able assistance of community volunteer Gabi Christianson, were working at Lou Sanderson Field on the evening of Tuesday, May 8, getting the ballpark ready for the Rutland Roosters’ home opener on Tuesday, May 15. According to Hal Nelson, start time for the first game of the double-header is 6:45 p.m., but fans can show up a little earlier to enjoy popcorn, hot dogs and cold beverages from the Park Board’s concession stand. Hal stated that a leaking water line was discovered in the concession stand when the water was turned on, but local plumber Calvin Jacobson was “Johnny on the spot” and made the necessary repairs immediately. Hal also reported that the Park Board is constructing a new safety fence around 3 sides of the outdoor basketball court that is behind the Legion Hall/Rutland Fitness Center at 123 Gay Street this Spring, and had received generous contributions of $3,000.00 from the Rutland Community Club and $2,750.00 from the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club to assist with the project. Current members of the Rutland Park Board are: Larry Christensen; Hal Nelson; Andrea Erickson; Jeff Olson; and, Barry Christianson. They deserve a “Thank You” and a pat on the back for keeping the community’s parks functional and attractive.

Last November, on the Wednesday evening prior to Thanksgiving Day, local farmer and accordion virtuoso Harvey Bergstrom was having supper when he suffered a massive heart attack. Due to quick action and excellent medical care, Harvey’s life was saved. However, he did have to undergo intensive therapy and major surgery to have several arterial bypasses installed. The surgery was performed about 4 months ago, and Harvey has been making a good recovery, but it will be a while yet before he is fully recovered and back up to full speed. Harvey was recently informed that several volunteers from the Farm Rescue organization are planning to be at his farm south of Cayuga on Thursday, May 10, to help him get 950 acres of soybeans planted. The volunteers will be doing the planting with a 4-wheel drive John Deere tractor and a 60-foot John Deere planter furnished by RDO Equipment of Fargo. This will be the volunteer organization’s first effort in Sargent County, according to Harvey. He reports that Farm Rescue’s assistance has him “both pleased and humbled.” He is thankful for the help and plans to repay it in kind when his recovery is complete.

The United States of America celebrated its Bicentennial back in 1976; the Rutland community celebrated its Centennial in 1982; the States of North Dakota & South Dakota celebrated their Centennials in 1989; and, the nation observed the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis & Clark Expedition of Exploration and Discovery from 2003 to 2006. This year, 2018, marks a Bicentennial that is of much greater importance to eastern North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota than is the Louisiana Purchase. 2018 is the Bicentennial year of the Convention Respecting Fisheries, Boundary And The Restoration Of Slaves Between The United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain And Ireland, also known as the Anglo-American Convention of 1818 or The Treaty of 1818. The Treaty was signed in London, England, on October 20, 1818, during the first term of America’s 5th President, James Monroe, and became effective following ratification by the U. S. Senate and the British Parliament on January 30, 1819. Terms of the treaty settled disputes between American and Canadian fishermen, and established fishing rights off the coast of Nova Scotia; set the boundary between British America and the United States of America from Lake of the Woods to the Stoney Mountains, now known as the Rocky Mountains, at the 49th parallel; agreed to joint occupation by the U. S. and the U. K. of the Oregon Territory for 10 years; and, provided for the return of American slaves confiscated from American ships and the States of the American South during the War of 1812, or for the compensation of their former owners. In 1818, human slavery was still legal in the United States, and in many territories of the British Empire. Slavery was abolished in the British Empire by Act of Parliament in 1840, and it was abolished in the United States by fire, sword, blood and Constitutional Amendment in 1865. Prior to the Treaty of 1818 all of what is now Sargent County, except its extreme western edge, was part of Rupert’s Land, which included the watersheds that drained into Lake Winnipeg. Rupert’s Land was named for Prince Rupert of The Rhine, first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was given the authority to govern most of what is now Canada by King Charles II when it was formed in 1670. The only European settlement south of the 49th parallel in 1818 was the community of Pembina, established in 1801, and situated in what is now the northeastern corner of North Dakota. The British Union Jack flew over all lands from which water drained into Lake Winnipeg and Hudson’s Bay. The Treaty of 1818 resulted in the largest cession of North American land by the British Empire since the Treaty of Paris in 1783 had ended the American Revolution, establishing American independence and American hegemony over all lands from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. It also resulted in the only cession of land in North America by the United States when the northernmost edge of the Louisiana Purchase, north of the 49th parallel and comprising the northern reaches of the Milk River, the Poplar River and the Big Muddy River, all tributaries of the Missouri River, was ceded to Great Britain, becoming part of what are now the Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Had the authors of the Treaty of 1818 followed the usual custom of establishing national boundaries at watershed divides, we would now be citizens of Canada, required to learn French and English in school, saying “Eh?” instead of “Huh?” and saying “oot and aboot” when we mean “out and about.” We would also politely refrain from commenting on political turmoil and shenanigans in the United States, except to make an occasional joke about the possible need for a border wall to keep those Americans on their own side of the line. The Treaty of 1818 probably did not seem like a big deal to anyone out here on the prairie at the time, but it turned out to be a big deal for our ancestors, for us and for our descendants. Because of it, we claim the Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty, The Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Human Rights as our own. Because of the Treaty of 1818, we are Americans, with a proud heritage and a proud history. Isn’t that a Bicentennial worth celebrating?

Dan Sundlie of Minneapolis has informed friends and family here that an interment ceremony for his mother, Jenene Sundlie, is scheduled to be held at the Rutland Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 28, Memorial Day. All are invited to the Nordland Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall for lunch and reminiscing following the interment, states Dan.

Larry Christensen, Commander of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion, has announced that Memorial Day observances in Rutland on Monday, May 28, will commence with military rites at the Nordland Cemetery 2½ miles southeast of town, at 10:15 a.m., followed by military rites at the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town at 10:30 a.m. A program organized by the American Legion Auxiliary, will be at 11:00 a.m. in the Rutland Town Hall, and Rutland’s annual Memorial Day community pot-luck dinner will immediately follow the program, also in the Rutland Town Hall. Everyone is invited to attend one, some or all of the Memorial Day activities in Rutland on Monday, May 28.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the famous Scottish poet of the 18th & 19thCenturies, Sir Walter Scott, could have had the current Chief Executive of the United States of America in mind when, 210 years ago, he penned the words, “Oh! What a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” The words come from Scott’s epic poem, “Marmion,” a tale of 16th Century love, lust, lies, deceit, betrayal, mistreated mistresses and of being called to account for a life without loyalty, truth or honor. As of Friday, May 11, 2018, there are 68 weeks down and 140 to go until January 20, 2021, when there is a chance that loyalty, truth and honor may once again become respected virtues in the Oval Office. Well, it’s happened before, and it’s happening again. In the words of another poem, a song from the 1960’s, “When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?”

Rutland native Pete Fust, who now divides his time between New Mexico and California, recently provided the following quote from the late Ronald Reagan, President of the United States from 1981 to 1989, that may be applicable in any era: “Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently.” And, in the opinion of some, for the same reasons.

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, 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.

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