By Bill Anderson
All of that worrying about the lack of rain finally paid off early on the morning of Sunday, May 27, when Mother Nature kicked up her heels with a rip-roaring thunder and lightning show that was accompanied by an inch of rain in Rutland and its immediate vicinity. As is usual with thunder-storms, though, the coverage was not uniform. Randy Pearson reported .7 of an inch at his farm in Shuman Township, and Rick Bosse reported “nary a drop” at his farm home near Brampton. Brad Wyum also reported an inch of rain on the Wyum farm north of Rutland, but no rain at all on the land he and brother Tom farm near Guelph, in Dickey County. The Brampton and Guelph areas had received a .6-inch rainfall a week ago, though, when Rutland only got between .1 and .15 of an inch, so, what goes around comes around. Well, this won’t be the last rain that comes just in the nick of time, but it was the first one of this season, and it was sure welcomed by all, even though there were a few hailstones thrown in just to keep folks from getting over confident.
Janet Bradbury reports from the Warren Ranch near Rapid City SD that rain has even been falling in that normally arid region of our sister State. Janet reported via e-mail on Tuesday, May 29: “…I’m optimistic because it is raining here now, really nice slow soaker so far. Had 1.36 inches in last two days…” Thanks to Janet for the report, and congratulations to the ranchers in southwestern South Dakota, whose cattle will be dining on lush green grass for a while.
CORRECTION: Last week it was reported here that Jacob Mehrer, son of Shannon & Hilary Mehrer, was the only student from Rutland who would be graduating as a member of SCHS Class of ’18 on Sunday, May 27. That report was in error. There is another 2018 SCHS graduate of whom this community is equally proud. Also graduating from Sargent Central High School on Sunday, May 27, 2018, was Johnny Munch, son of Joe & Tammy Munch of this community. The Munch family resides at 315 Gay Street, and they have been Rutland citizens for about a year. The Rutland community extends congratulations to Johnny Munch, and to his parents, on his commencement from Sargent Central High School, and wishes him good fortune in his new endeavors. Our apologies to new graduate Johnny Munch, and to his family, for the oversight.
On the “good news” side of the ledger, the fish have been biting at local lakes. Greg Donaldson and Roger Pearson had a good day fishing at Lake Tewaukon on Sunday, May 27, bringing in a nice catch of walleyes and some nice catfish. Roger brought in the whopper for the day, though, tying into a 41” inch northern pike that had Roger wondering just who had caught who before it was brought into the boat. Estimated weight of the lunker was about 16 pounds. It was put back into the lake to grow a little more, if it doesn’t get swallowed by one of the big fish in the lake.
Flat tires were at epidemic proportions between Rutland and Forman on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 23. Sometime between Noon and 4 p.m. what appeared to have been a box full of shingle nails showed up on the road by the Crappie Crossing Slough on Highway #11, between the Rutland corner and the intersection with ND Highway #32. The nails apparently spread quite evenly across the road and were quickly picked up by passing cars, pickups and trucks. They appeared to be the type that are used in the nail guns that are standard equipment for most roofers these days. The State Highway Department crew from the Forman Station: Chuck Anderson; Barry Christianson; and, Jeff Olson, assisted by Sargent County Sheriff Travis Paeper, spent several hours cleaning up the area on Wednesday afternoon. Many of those driving through the “nail zone” sustained multiple flat tires. Jeff Olson of this community held the record for “Most Nails In 1 Tire” at 14, according to Dale McLaen of McLaen’s Service. Shawn Klein, manager of the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station, picked up so many nails that she had to replace all 4 tires on her car, and other motorists suffered a similar fate. One person’s misfortune is another’s good luck, though, and nothing happens that is so bad that it doesn’t do some good for somebody. Both McLaen’s Service at Rutland and Southside Repair at Forman report a big boom in new tire sales and in the tire repair business. Even that silver lining has its cloud, though, as Dale reports that they have been so busy fixing flats at McLaen’s Service that other work got slowed up. Well, this trial, too, shall pass, although passing a shingle nail doesn’t sound like an experience to look forward to.
Debbie Liermark of this community isn’t worried about flat tires. She’s going full speed ahead with all 4 tires scratching for traction. Debbie began working for the Dollar General Store chain about a year and a half ago as the manager of the retailer’s Gwinner store. Several months ago, Debbie was appointed as the company’s regional manager, in charge of stores in Sargent, Ransom, Richland and Dickey Counties. Ms. Liermark’s territory has now been extended, and she is now overseeing the operation of Dollar General Stores as far west as Elgin, in southwestern North Dakota’s Grant County, and Mobridge, South Dakota, at the Missouri River. Debbie’s dynamic energy and infectious enthusiasm serve her, and the Dollar General Store parent company, very well. Her many friends in the Rutland community extend their congratulations and best wishes to Debbie Liermark, one of our own, for success in her new endeavor. Debbie and her husband, Noel, reside at 213 Anthony Street in Rutland.
Lyle Burwell of Temple, Texas, stopped in at The Lariat for coffee and conversation on the morning of Thursday, May 24. Mr. Burwell is a retired minister who was up in North Dakota visiting at the home of his daughter, Angie Burwell. Ms. Burwell resides on the farmstead located a little more than 2 miles south of Cayuga, on the east side of County Road #12, that was previously owned and occupied by the late Clifford & Katie Lawrence. Mr. Burwell stated that he and his wife had been on a tour of the U. S. that has taken them from Texas to North Dakota via Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. They had always wanted to visit Niagara Falls, he said, and they did that while they were in New York State. They had also planned to visit Quebec, but that plan was put on hold when they had to return west due to the illness of a member of Mrs. Burwell’s family. While, here, the Burwells have also visited with their grand-daughter, Elise Burwell, at her place of employment in an Agricultural service business located in Verona. Elise is also an accomplished horse-woman and competes in barrel racing as well as other rodeo events. Mr. & Mrs. Burwell headed for home on Saturday, May 26.
Dick Meyers arrived back home in Rutland on Friday, May 25, accompanied by his son, Wayne, of Minneapolis. Dick is currently in residence in one of the guest cabins maintained by Lori McLaen at the farm northwest of town. Dick reports that all was copasetic in Sun City AZ when he departed there, bound for the prairies and home. Other Arizona snowbirds recently arrived in Rutland include Gwen Young, Harold Young & Vincent Young.
This community was saddened on Friday, May 25, when word was received here that an old friend, Elvoy Askerooth of rural Cayuga, had passed away at the Four Season Health Care Center in Forman. He had attained the age of 90 years, 8 months and 24 days at the time of his death. Elvoy Norman Askerooth was born September 1, 1927 in Forman, the Son of Floyd and Nellie (Carlson) Askerooth. He grew up on the Askerooth family farm in Shuman Township. Elvoy attended the Shuman Township 1 room country school near the family’s farm through the 8th Grade and graduated from Forman High School in 1945. He was the third generation of Askerooths on the family farm, and he dedicated his life to working, conserving and protecting the land. He was united in marriage to Grace Wohlwend on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1948, at the Baptist Church Parsonage in Rutland. Elvoy served his community as a working member of many boards and committees, including: Shuman Township Supervisor; Wild Rice Soil Conservation Supervisor; State Research Committee; Lake Agassiz Regional Council; District Supervisor on the State Soil Conservation Committee; Cayuga Cemetery board Director; member of the Advisory board to the Sargent County NDSU Extension Service Office; and, Member of the Nordland Lutheran church Council. Elvoy appreciated outdoor activities and enjoyed hunting pheasants and rabbits in the local area. He also was enthusiastic about fishing in area lakes as well as with friends in Canada. Elvoy and Grace enjoyed exploring new country, and traveled together to all fifty states, as well as Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in Canada. Following their retirement from active management of the farm, Elvoy and Grace spent many winters in Apache Junction AZ, where they got together with numerous friends, both old and new, played plenty of card games, laughed and played pool. Elvoy loved to shoot pool with anyone willing to challenge him, and earned the nickname, Lucky Askerooth. He appreciated the opportunity he and Grace had to bring up the three Askerooth children on the family farm, and to continue the farming tradition with his son, Douglas. He was proud that he was able to drive tractor and operate the combine to age 85. He is survived by: his wife of more than 69 years, Grace, of Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman; his two daughters, Janet Sagen and Beverly Johnson; his son, Douglas Askerooth; six grandkids Tom and Todd Sagen, Alex and Travis Askerooth, and Heather and Jason Johnson; and, by numerous nieces, nephews and friends. Elvoy is also survived by a solid commitment to good soil and water conservation practices among his fellow Sargent County farmers and ranchers. He was preceded in death by: his parents; a sister, Lorraine Donaldson; and, a son, Bruce Askeroot. Visitation was held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, followed by a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland. The funeral for Elvoy Askerooth was held on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 11:00 a.m at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland. Rev. Rick Pittenger officiated. Burial was in the Cayuga Community Cemetery. The Frank Family Funeral Home of Lidgerwood was in charge of arrangements. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Elvoy Askerooth, a good friend and neighbor who devoted his time and talents to being a good steward of the gifts of creation that had been put in his care.
John Hoflen drove home from Bismarck to participate in Memorial Day activities in Rutland, arriving here on Friday, May 25. John is a U. S. Army veteran of the War in Vietnam. He is also a member of RHS Class of ’62, and the official “keeper of the rolls” for the Rutland School Alumni Association. John states that he will soon be sending out letters to all Rutland School alumni with the information that they should be making preparations to attend the Rutland School Reunion during the weekend of July 5, 6 & 7, 2019, here in the old home town. The first class graduated from Rutland High School back in 1929, so this will be the 90th Anniversary Reunion. The first reunion was held in 1954, and they have been held every 5 years since then. That first reunion was held in September, during the school year. Reunion activities that year were preceded by a football game in which the Rutland Rockets, coached by Superintendent and Coach G. W. Brekke, pitted their prowess on the gridiron against the Delamere Dragons. Festivities that year also featured a Homecoming Parade in which the marching bands from Rutland and Delamere were the primary attractions. Rutland’s band was under the direction of Augustine Schildberger. Coach Brekke and Director Schildberger expected, and got, the best from their students. G. W. & Gus will be attending the 2019 Reunion, in spirit. Look for the letter from John Hoflen.
Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, started out warm & windy in Rutland. The ceremonial detail from Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion, composed of: Color Bearers Tom Manley & Andy Hoflen; Chaplain Ted Lee; Sergeant At Arms Calvin Jacobson; and, Riflemen: John Hoflen; Andy Harris; Roger McLaen; Doug Olstad; Larry Christensen; and, Roger Pearson; performed military rites at the Nordland Cemetery and the Rutland Cemetery at 10:15 and 10:30, respectively, that morning. Bugler Logan Wyum played “Taps” at both cemeteries to conclude the ceremonies. Lenny Heinen and Bill Anderson escorted the bugler. Participating in the ceremonies at both cemeteries were the following members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit #215: Color Bearers Wendy Jacobson and Pam Maloney; Sarah Dobmeier; Joanne Harris; Carolyn Christensen; Shannon, Mathea and Toni Jablonsky; Joan Lee & Russ; Allison Hoflen; Deb Banish; Taryn, Beckette & Landrie Jensen; Brianne & Piper Nelson; Diane Smith; Ione Pherson; and, Gwen Young. American Legion Post Commander Larry Christensen began the 11:00 a.m. program in the Rutland Town Hall by leading the audience in reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance To The Flag. Auxiliary President Diane Smith welcomed all to the program and directed the attention of the audience to the “Poppy Posters” created by students in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grades at Sargent Central. The students had submitted 19 posters this year, all very patriotic and well done. Gwen Young,a veteran of World War II who is a member of both the Legion Post and the Auxiliary Unit was awarded a pin for 70 years of continuous membership in the Auxiliary, and a blue American Legion cap as a member of the Post. John Hoflen was presented with a pin for 50 years of continuous membership in the American Legion. A video of an interview with Pearl Harbor veteran Phil Tveten, father of Auxiliary member Wendy Jacobson, was presented. Mr. Tveten had enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1939 and was aboard the battleship USS West Virginia on December 7, 1941. The West Virginia was sunk by the Japanese air assault that morning, and Mr. Tveten had to swim for his life. He was then transferred to a destroyer, the USS Henley, which was torpedoed and sunk off the Pacific Island of New Georgia 2 years later, in 1943. Again, Mr. Tveten had to swim for his life, until he and his shipmates were picked up by another American destroyer and taken to Australia. From Australia he was shipped back to the United States where he was assigned to a new destroyer then under construction at Bremerton WA. He continued to serve in the Navy until the war ended, when he returned to North Dakota. The video was excellent, as is Mr. Tveten’s memory, and it was appreciated by all. Auxiliary member Carolyn Christensen gave a reading consisting of excerpts from letters written home by service men from this community. The letters ranged from World War I through all of the conflicts of the 20th and 21stCenturies to the current conflict in Afghanistan. The letters from France in 1918 could have been sent from Afghanistan in 2018. The location and nature of the war being fought may be different, but the nature of the soldiers sent to fight them remains constant through history. The program ended with the audience singing “America The Beautiful,” as the Colors were retired. Pianist Kathy Brakke provided accompaniment. Following the program, the Rutland Community Club sponsored the community’s annual pot-luck dinner, attended this year by approximately 200 adults and children. The day concluded with good food, good fellowship and good conversation.
Rutland’s Roosters met up with the McLeod Mustangs at Lou Sanderson Field on the evening of Tuesday, May 29. The McLeod team proved to be the toughest opponents the Roosters have faced so far this season. Both games went the regulation 7 innings, with the Roosters squeaking out a 1 run, 20-19, victory in game 1, and a little more convincing 14-8 win in game #2. Thanks to Hal Nelson for covering the sports beat for The Rooster Crows.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, Tuesday, May 29, was the end of the line for the vile, obscene and disgusting opinions of so-called comedienne Roseanne Barr. After tweeting out racist and religiously bigoted comments over the Memorial Day holiday, ABC TV fired her, and terminated her network TV series. Finally! Someone with enough backbone to stand up to that garbage and throw it out. As the kids in 3rd Grade say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish!” As of Friday, June 1, there are 71 weeks down and 137 to go until January 20, 2021. After lowering the bar of public discourse in this country for the past three years, maybe the bar has finally gotten so low that even the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue can’t ooze under it.
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 stop by the Rutland Facebook page while you’re cruising around in cyberspace, 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.