The Rooster Crows – June 29, 2018

By Bill Anderson

“Doesn’t it ever quit raining around here?” Wait a minute! Wasn’t it only about 10 days ago that the question was, “Doesn’t it ever rain around here?” How fickle are we, anyway? The thunderstorm that rumbled and rolled through the area on Saturday night and Sunday morning, June 23 & 24, dropped 1.1 inch of rain on Rutland, according to Roger Pearson’s rain gauge at 409 Gay Street. Another series of showers on Sunday afternoon and evening left another .88 of an inch, making the total 1.98, that’s darned close to 2, inches for the 24-hour period. Jim Lunneborg reported 1 inch, even, at his Shuman Township farm, and Doug Spieker reported 3.1 inches of rain at his Tewaukon Township farmstead while his neighbors to the west, Joe & Patty Breker, had 3.25 inches in their rain gauge on Monday morning. The countryside is full of green and growing crops, with what some producers believe to be sufficient moisture now to pull the wheat crop through to maturity and get the beans and corn well along the path toward a good harvest. Mike Walstead reported that he checked one of his corn fields this past weekend and found that the top leaf was nearly chest high. The days when “knee high by the 4th of July” was the harbinger of a good corn crop are long gone. It’s still a long way from the field to the bin, though, and many perils lay in wait between here and there, so keep your fingers crossed!

Rutland native Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs, now residing on the shores of Lake Traverse near Rosholt SD, sent a correction to a report that appeared in the Rooster Crows column back on June 8. Here’s Judie’s message: “Thanks for mentioning the Sargent Central Class of ’68 Reunion in the Rooster Crows. Good story but I need a bit of a correction. The reunion at the Silver Lake Pavilion is on the 4th of August, only, starting at 2:00 p.m. A catered supper is at 5:00. With all the activities in Rutland that day, (The Rutland Rib-Fest is on Saturday, August 4, with ribs, music, etc.) the class of 68 should find plenty to keep them busy if they find all us Oldies too boring. Anyway, we have a few classmates excited about returning to visit with all the rest of our classmates. Hoping more will let me know they are coming. They can always call me at 701-640-9522 to make sure we have enough food and other goodies for the event.” Thanks to Judie for the correction. Best wishes to the members of the SCHS Class of ’68 on your 50thAnniversary Reunion on Saturday, August 4, at Silver Lake.

Mike Kulzer was in Rutland on Wednesday and Thursday, June 20 & 21, getting his lots at 114 Bagley Street ready for use as a parking spot for the travel trailer he and Diane own. The lots had previously been occupied by a house belonging to Charles & Anna Barger, but in the late 70’s, the house had been removed by Mitch & Dawn Mahrer who installed a mobile home on the premises. The mobile home had been removed a few years ago, and in the course of cleaning up and landscaping the lot so it could be mowed and maintained the water line connection had been buried. Mike got hold of his old friend, local plumber Calvin Jacobson, to either find the old line and uncover it so it could be used or dig in a new water line from the curb stop. Calvin and his assistant, Matt Smith, came over with a metal detector and a manually operated excavator, also known as a spade, on Wednesday afternoon, and proceeded to search for the missing water line. Mike and Calvin had a pretty good idea where the line should be, so they concentrated their search in that area. In short order the metal detector buzzed, about where the line should have been located, and Calvin directed Matt, “Dig here!” Matt put his spade into action, dug down a few feet and found a chunk of pipe that wasn’t connected to anything. The metal detector detects metal, but it doesn’t tell the searcher if it’s the piece of metal for which the search is being conducted. So, Mike related, the search resumed until the detector buzzed again. “Dig here!” Calvin directed, and Matt put the spade to work again, excavating another hole a couple of feet deep until another fragment of metal was found, but not the water line. This procedure went on for several more attempts, Mike reported, until Matt, the spade operator, suggested, “Why don’t we just turn the water on at the curb stop and see where it bubbles up.” After some discussion, Calvin and Mike approved Matt’s approach, the curb stop wrench was turned and, in a few minutes, water came bubbling up right in the middle of the previously excavated sites. Matt put his spade to work again, dug down a few inches and found the end of the water line with water gushing forth. “Well!” said Calvin with a smile and put the metal detector away, as Mike laughed and a grinning Matt leaned on the handle of his trusty spade. The end of the water line is now above ground, where it needs to be, and ready to be connected to Mike’s travel trailer. The moral of the story is that it’s the guy putting his back into the work who puts his brain into gear to come up with an easier way to do the job. When asked when he intended to park his trailer on the lot, Mike replied that it would be soon, but not until he was good and ready, and he will be good and ready when Diane tells him that he is, and not before!

Rutland native Rev. Ann Hoflen of PawPaw IL has been visiting here, at the home of her brother, Rob Hoflen, since Monday, June 18. Ann stated that she was home to attend the McPhail-Scoville Family Reunion in Oakes on the evening of Saturday, June 23, and at the Hoflen Farm in Ransom Township on Sunday, June 24. The McPhails and Scovilles are the family of Ann’s mother, the late Margaret (Scoville) Hoflen of this community. Ann states that she intends to serve in parish ministry in PawPaw for 1 more year before she retires. She is a member of RHS-SCHS Class of ’66 and plans to be in Rutland next July for the 2019 Rutland School Reunion.

The home of Lori McLaen at 403 Anthony Street was the setting for a yard party honoring Lori’s friend since high school days in the Twin Cities, Cheryl Mattson, on the evening of Thursday, June 21. The party started at 4:30 on Thursday afternoon and guests came and went throughout the evening until about 2:00 on Friday morning, Lori reported. After making her home in Rutland for the past 2½ years, Cheryl recently decided to sell her home at 322 Gay Street and move back to the Cities, in order to be closer to her son and daughter. Cheryl has made many friends in this community, and her upbeat spirit will be missed by all who know her. She does plan to be back in Rutland for the Rib-Fest on Saturday, August 4, and for Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 7. When you hear that cheerful “How are you doin’, darlin’?” you’ll know that Cheryl’s back in town.

Randy & Leslie Groesbeck of Dayton OH, accompanied by Gracie, their English Spaniel dog, visited in Rutland on Saturday, June 23. Leslie Groesbeck is the daughter of the late Gordon Sjothun who grew up on the Sjothun farm in Ransom Township, about 6 miles southeast of Rutland, and ended up in Ohio after serving in the U. S. Army during WW II. Randy & Leslie are both retired after careers with the University of Dayton, the largest Catholic university in Ohio. Prior to working at the University, Mr. Groesbeck served in the U. S. Marine Corps from1969 to 1989, retiring as a Master Sergeant specializing in communications. Mrs. Groesbeck wanted to see the community in which her Dad had grown up, and possibly learn a little family history as well. The Groesbecks and Gracie had their travel trailer parked at Roy Lake SD. From here, they are planning to head for Fort Abraham Lincoln near Mandan, and points west. They are learning how to be retired, but it’s not easy.

Rick Bosse reports that he; Forman native Brady Seavert, now a resident of Fargo; Greg Donaldson of Rutland; and, former Rutlandite Bill Woytassek, now a denizen of Detroit Lakes MN; were on a fishing expedition to Devils Lake ND from Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24. Rick stated that they used the deluxe, super luxury fishing cruiser he had acquired a few years ago, and had good success catching Walleyes. Actually, Rick’s boat is such a good fish catcher that the crew occasionally has to chase the smaller fish away in order to give the bigger walleyes a chance to get caught and go for a ride in the boat’s live well. Bill Woytassek served as adult supervision for the group, and also caught the expedition’s largest walleye, a 24 incher, Rick stated. Brady Seavert is a frequent visitor to Devils Lake and, because of his familiarity with the lake, served as ship’s captain on this trip, according to Rick, with Greg Donaldson in the role of executive officer in charge of engineering and supplies. Rick says that he just went along for the ride and enjoyed himself immensely. They did have one close call on their final trip out on the big water, Rick stated. They had considered filling the fuel tank prior to embarking on the final cruise of the trip but had estimated that there was plenty of gas in the tank for one more morning of fishing. They traveled to the spot where the walleyes were biting, cut the motor and used the boats electric trolling motor until the decision was made to head for port. Just as they entered the narrow strait leading into the bay that was their destination, though, the boat’s motor sputtered and quit. A quick check revealed that the gas tank was empty. The batteries that ran the electric trolling motor were dead, too, exhausted by the morning’s fishing. If they got blown back out onto the big lake, Rick stated, they could float around out there for a week before drifting to shore. Fortunately, though, they had enough speed and momentum to glide through the narrows, and Captain Seavert expertly guided the now powerless craft right up to the dock at the resort, as calmly as if it was something he did every day. Rick says that he will make sure that the captain and the executive officer do a better job of keeping his boat adequately fueled from now on. All in all, it was a great trip, says Rick, with good weather, good fishing and good friends. Can’t beat that!

Mr. Curt Seter of Fergus Falls MN, a staff member at Hospice of the Red River Valley (HRRV) in Fargo, delivered the guest sermon at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana on Sunday, June 24. Mr. Seter, who retired from a career of coaching and teaching in Minnesota before accepting a position with HRRV a few years ago, described how HRRV got started and its continuing mission to bring peace and comfort to those for whom death is imminent, and for their families. He began his talk with a joke that he attributed to his wife: “A bank loan officer named Patty Whack was at her desk one day when a large frog came in, sat down at her desk, informed her that his father was the famous entertainer Mick Jagger, and requested a loan. All he had for collateral, he explained, was a small plastic statuette of his famous father. Patty figured that she had better get approval from higher authority before proceeding with this unusual potential client, so she took the statuette and went to a back office to consult with her supervisor. She explained the situation with the frog, and then showed the statuette to her boss. “I don’t even know what you call this thing,” she said. Her supervisor looked at it, handed it back and told her, “It’s a knick-knack, Patty Whack; Give the frog a loan; His old man’s a Rolling Stone.” You can guess the tune. No one fell asleep during Mr. Seter’s presentation. You can’t make this up. He’s welcome to speak in Rutland or Havana anytime, provided he brings a new joke.

The Rutland Planning & Zoning Commission met at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26, in the Rutland Town Hall. The Commission considered an application for a waiver of the set-back requirement for a residential lot submitted by Mac Pherson. Mr. Pherson plans to construct a garage/storage building on lots he owns in the J. H. Johnson Addition on the east side of Dakota Street, and his application explained that the waiver is needed because the large slough on the east end of the lot would otherwise prevent its use. After considering the application and whether or not there were any other options available, the Commission members present voted, unanimously, to recommend to the City Council that the application be granted. The City Council will consider the matter at its July 2 meeting. Commission members then considered proposed revisions to the City’s Zoning Ordinance and adopted several that concerned Conditional Use Permits for the placement of mobile homes in areas zoned for residential use. In other business, Lori McLaen was welcomed as the newest member of the Commission, joining Shannon Mehrer, Andrew Woytassek, Bill Anderson and Mac Pherson to bring the Commission to full strength. Mac Pherson was elected Chairman of the Commission. Numbers were drawn to determine the length of terms, and the results were: 1 year, Bill Anderson; 2 years, Mac Pherson; 3 years, Lori McLaen; 4 years, Andrew Woytassek; and, 5 years, Shannon Mehrer. The next meeting of the Rutland Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, in the Rutland Town Hall.

The new flooring has been installed in the Rutland Town Hall kitchen by Total Home of Oakes, and a crew of volunteers was at work on Tuesday, June 26, returning appliances, utensils and other equipment to proper locations. Those who volunteered a part of their day to help with the project were: Katie McLaen; Lori McLaen; Marsha Brakke; Jesse Brakke; Andrew Woytassek; Jake Erickson; and, Nick McLaen. A new deep sink has been installed in the Hall’s south entry area by Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating of Rutland, and Jerry Sapa of this community has been at work in the Hall, removing the old piano storage cabinet and constructing an enclosure for the Hall’s water heater. Pam Maloney has announced that a Relay For Life rummage sale fundraiser will be held in the Hall on August 4, and those who have not had the opportunity to check out the latest improvements may wish to take the opportunity to do so at that time.

A number of Rutland residents took the opportunity to check out improvements that have been made at the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge during the past year at an Open House held from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, at Refuge Headquarters 5 miles south of Cayuga. The Open House was held to allow folks in the community to inspect the new Headquarters Office Building that was completed this Spring. Refuge Manager Kent Sundseth conducted a dedication ceremony for the new structure at 11:30, and tours were conducted of the building as well as of other facilities and locations on the Refuge. There was also a display of animals from the Chahinkapa Park Zoo at Wahpeton that was a big hit. Those attending the Open House enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by The Black Pelican of Wyndmere. Manager Sundseth stated that more than 100 had attended the gathering by 1:00 p.m. with 3 hours to go. Among those from a distance attending the event were Rutland native Carrie (Bradbury) Springer of Bismarck, now employed as an archeeologist by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service; and, Barbara (Laumb-Hoflen) Shupe of Fargo, who made her home in this community and was employed as Clerk at the Tewaukon Refuge for many years in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s. Manager Sundseth and the staff at Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge can, and should, be proud of the improvements that have been made at this beautiful public resource.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the President was scheduled to visit Fargo on Wednesday, June 27, after threatening to crush the Harley-Davidson company of Wisconsin if it made any moves to protect itself from the adverse impacts of the President’s trade war with Europe. Some brave folks from Sargent County headed up to Fargo on Wednesday, too, some to cheer for the President, some to protest what are perceived to be his mean-spirited and destructive policies, and some to make appointments with their bankruptcy attorneys in case the price of soybeans collapses any more. As of Friday, June 29, there are 77 weeks down and 131 to go until January 20, 2021. Time does seem to crawl when you’re waiting for something good to happen.

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, and stop by 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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