The Rooster Crows – July 13, 2018

By Bill Anderson

Well, here we are: the Summer Solstice, the mid-point of the Solar Year, was 3 weeks ago; June 30, the end of the first half of the calendar year, was 2 weeks ago; and, the 4th of July, Independence Day, the mid-point of Summer vacation, was just a week and a half ago. Only 5 weeks to go until the kids head back to school. Ain’t that a pip!? Sun, rain, wind and heat continue their work, though, no matter what the calendar, or the School Board, says. The thunderstorm that brought rain to this area on the evening of July 2 and morning of Tuesday, July 3, deposited .5 of an inch on Rutland, according to Roger Pearson’s rain gauge, while the gauge of his next-door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, recorded .6 of an inch. Everything is back to normal. Another rain on the evening of Sunday, July 8, a Thunderstorm that rolled through at about 8:00 p.m. left .2 of an inch in Roger Pearson’s rain gauge and also .2 of an inch next door, at Norbert Kulzer’s.  Jesse Brakke reported .4 of an inch at his farmstead between Rutland & Cayuga, Jim Lunneborg .65 of an inch at his farm in Shuman Township and Rick Bosse .8 of an inch on Sunday evening, and another .18 at about Midnight to bring the total at Brampton to just under an inch. But that’s not all! The next thunder and lightning show started at about 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 10, and dropped about .75 of an inch of rain on Rutland, with more to the west and southwest, as Rick Bosse reported another inch at Brampton and Judee Silseth reported 1.4 inch at the Silseth farm southwest of Silver Lake. Paul Anderson reports that his electronic rain gauge has recorded nearly 10 inches of rain at Rutland since the 1st of June. By contrast, only about 1.5 inch of precipitation was received during the months of April and May. Some wheat fields in the area are beginning to exhibit that greenish, golden hue that indicates the first round of harvest activity may be commencing around the end of July.  The wheat crop looks very good right now, but, as we know, “…it’s never as good as it looks from the road,” and that’s the truth!

The late Larry Anderson of this community used to advise friends that two seasons on a set of camper/travel trailer tires was about all that could be expected, and new tires should be installed after the second season, whether the unit was moved or not. Rick Bosse and Mark Wyum report that they were among those who chose to ignore their old friend’s advice last week, and, as a result, were among those who enjoyed the simple pleasure of changing camper tires on a hot highway in the hot sun as vacation time flew by with the traffic. Rick reported that his camper sustained 3 blowouts on his way home from a brief vacation trip to Wisconsin, and Mark Wyum reported from the road that his travel trailer had also experienced tire trouble while he and Kathy were on a trip up to Cavalier and Icelandic State Park. Mark only got as far as Wyndmere before the first tire blew out. The Wyums were traveling in tandem with Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson who were pulling a travel trailer equipped with new tires, as Chuck’s older brother had advised. The Andersons didn’t experience any tire trouble during the trip. The moral of the story: The time when good advice is best remembered is when the recipient is suffering the consequences of ignoring it. So, the next time you find yourself thinking, “these tires look good enough to make a third season,” think of Rick and Mark changing those tires on the highway, and then think again, or, remember this story while you’re changing tires out on the highway.

Bill Gulleson was at work on the grounds of the Nordland Lutheran Church Parsonage at 204 Gay Street on Friday, June 29, removing the old foundation for the 1 car garage that had been moved several years ago; removing the wood fence on the east side of the property that had deteriorated badly over the past few years; and, cleaning out some decorative rock that had become a weed patch next to the house. According to Hal Nelson, a member of the Church Council, Bill had been asked if a volunteer could borrow a piece of his equipment for use in the project, and Bill just volunteered both the equipment and himself as the operator to get the job done. Mr. Gulleson and the Nordland Church Council are to be commended for their initiative, and for the improvement to the appearance of the property.

Lou Sanderson Field was the scene of the action on the evening of Monday, July 2, as the Rutland Roosters loosed thunder and lightning on the Milnor Men’s Slowpitch Softball team. The Roosters won game 1 of the double-header by the 10-run rule, posting a score of 20 to 5 in 5 innings. Game #2 took 2 innings longer, but the Roosters came out on top by a score of 17 to 8. “After me, the deluge,” said King Louis XV of France, and the same could have been said by the members of the Rutland and Milnor teams as the Monday evening thunderstorm rolled in as play was completed. The Roosters had also played in The Quade Tournament in Bismarck during the last full weekend in June, winning 3 games and losing 1 in one of the biggest tournaments in the State. Congratulations to the Rutland Roosters. They’re flying high and crowing loudly during the 2018 season. Thanks to Hal Nelson for covering the sports beat for The Rooster Crows.

Cayuga native Randy Kiefer has been sending periodic reports of his epic bicycle ride from southern California to Alaska, and the most recent message was received on Thursday, July 5. Randy had completed a three-month bike tour of Southeast Asia, including the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, at the end of February, and embarked on his most recent adventure in late April. Here’s his most recent report: “

Hi From Tok, Alaska. (For you 60’s folks, Tok is pronounced like “toking up”.) The last note was from Watson Lake at the end of May, so over a month has passed. Below is a rough outline since then. For those of you following along at home, I am including the names of the roadways. (Names are more commonly used than numbers in this part of the world.) My apologies to repeat recipients. 1. Took the Campbell Highway from Watson Lake, using French Lake Road to connect to the Klondike. 2. The Campbell was billed as remote with wildlife. Yes remote, but short on the wild part. If I remember correctly I saw 2 lynx and a moose. The moose sighting was sorta cool in that it trotted across somewhat close in front of me. Big with an odd walk/trot. The lynx sightings were new to me. No time for a photo, but long legs on a short body – a powerful look. The road did have some nice campgrounds, and good looks of mountain ranges. So, of course, in the big picture, worth the effort. 3. French Lake Road cut-off was 25 miles of a sample of hell. (I am doing some of my future time there in advance.) No traffic (1 car in 3.5 hrs), the road surface was more of a rocky out-crop than anything else. Of course I have myself to blame as much as the road surface, as 700×25’s are not the ideal gravel road selection. More on that later. 4. From French Lake, we were on the Klondike. The paved surface was a nice change from gravel, and it was smooth sailing to Dawson City. 5. Dawson was the place for provisions and planning for the Dempster rd to Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk). The Dawson to Tuk (on the Beaufort Sea) distance is 450 miles. Of that there is ~ 60 miles of paved road, or 400 miles of gravel- oouch! And this was a return trip, so I doubled my fun. (For home followers, the half way point is Eagle Plains, just south of the Arctic Circle.) 6. In truth I had only planned on riding to Dawson, but Vancouver Norm had ridden up 15 yrs ago, and for his 70th birthday wanted to relive his 55th birthday. It was my dumb idea to join him. It worked, but my 1970 Raleigh, which at the time it was mostly hand built, was never made for such a beating. Pot-holes, clay, rocks, loose gravel grades (up and down), you get the idea. 7. So what was I in for, here is the 2nd day adventure. We awoke to light rain, climbed a moderate pass to have more rain that turned to snow on the down side. Our front and rear changers froze, so we were in 1-speed land. The combo of mud, rain, and snow was too much for our systems. The freewheel cogs were blocked as well. Personally, I was snuggly and feeling good in my head-to-toe Gore-Tex gear. Norm was not doing as well, and at one point we stopped, and I helped him into some of his warmer clothes. 8. So as the snow was limiting our vision we looked ahead and we thought we were seeing a moose in the middle of the road. He was like a statue (probably thinking, are those bike riders approaching in this heavy snow?). At some point all parties agreed with what they were seeing and Mr. Moose was off into the woods. The cool part was that he had 2 companions with him. All with nice sized racks. 9. As we rode on we had a similar experience with a mama grizzly bear and 2 cubs, but thankfully she dashed to the woods when she saw us. 10. That evening we dryed out in a campground picnic shelter where 2 other riders had stayed the day rather than ride in the rain, snow, and mud. So then there were 4. 11. Blaine and Dave have been touring together over 35 yrs. Low-keyed Canadian lads who had many stories to tell. 12. One more road condition story. We got caught in rain and mud. The mud packed into our wheels and drive-train that rendered them useless. Our back wheels were sliding. Fortunately we were near a highway maintenance yard, and we used a pressure washer to free-up our bikes – poor bearings… 13. Inuvik is that last city on the Dempster. With a population of 3,000 with grocery stores, bars, and good camping, we arrived with smiling faces and relief for our bodies and bikes. Although we had another 75 miles to Tuk, we knew we were in reach of our goal. 14. In that the road north to Tuk was probably even worse than what we had covered, and Dave and Blaine were one-way riders (a scheduled flight fr Inuvik), we hired a truck for Tuk. It was raining, and we drove by motor cyclists who were stuck in the mud, so the pickup north was a good choice. 15. We stayed a night in Tuk, then rode back. 16. For the return ride read #12, above. 17. Finally back in Dawson for ice cream, fish and chips, cheese cake, and oh yes, a beer. 18. For anyone going north, do not miss Dawson. A town on the Yukon River with many fun places to visit. 19. A Dawson highlight. Canada Day is 1 July. Lucky for me Prime Minister Trudeau made a quick stop. I was within 3 feet of him, but missed out on pressing the flesh. But great photos. 20. Crossed to Alaska the 4th, and a fun picnic with locals at the campground in Tok. 21. As the Dempster killed my drive-train, next up the Fairbanks REI for repairs. Then points unknown. All the best as true summer rolls into the Lower 48. r/randy.”

Thanks to Randy for the report, and for allowing us all to vicariously share in his adventure without experiencing the cold, the pain or the risk. His many friends in Rutland wish him God Speed as he heads for Fairbanks, Anchorage and who knows where from there.

Descendants of Ransom Township pioneers Ole & Anna Johnson and Jacob (Hero) & Bertina Jacobson are planning to gather in Rutland on Saturday, July 14, Bastille Day. The Johnson and Jacobson families homesteaded in the area east of the present site of Rutland back in the early 1880’s, prior to the construction of the Great Northern Railway through this area. At that time, the south central portion of Ransom Township was known as “the Nordland Settlement,” because of the high percentage of early settlers who had immigrated to the area from the Norwegian province of Nordland. Those settlers also gave the name of their native province to the Nordland Cemetery, established in 1883, and to Nordland Lutheran Church, established in 1885. Some contemporaries of the Johnson and Jacobson families in Ransom Township back in the early 1880’s were: Peder & Marin Gulleson; Berndt Giske; John Anderson; and, August Erickson. The descendants of the Jacobsons and Johnsons are noted for their fine singing voices, and it is expected that some music may be heard during the reunion. Some who will be present have, in years gone by, even faced the music when arriving home just in time for morning chores. The Rutland community extends a warm welcome to the Jacobson & Johnson Family descendants on the occasion of the reunion, and congratulations on a long history of dedication and accomplishment.

The Rutland Community Club met at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 9, in the Rutland Town Hall with President Bonnie Anderson presiding. Secretary Andrea Erickson delivered the minutes of the June meeting, and Treasurer Hal Nelson reported that as of July 1, there was a balance of $12,755.00 available for community projects. Katie McLaen reported on the Town Hall flooring project, which is now completed. A quote of $649.00 for new double doors from the Hall auditorium to the kitchen entrance had been obtained from Nelson Home Center, and it was decided to purchase the doors and have local contractor Jerry Sapa install them. The old doors have been in service for 30 years and are worn out. Katie also reported that 31 potential students of all age brackets had signed up for “Art In The Park” on the evening of Monday, July 9. As the class size was limited to 26, 5 were on the waiting list, in case someone had to cancel out, and will be on the list for the next session, which will most likely be next Summer. The possibility of the Community Club sponsoring a tractor ride fund-raiser in June of 2019 was also discussed, and it was decided to coordinate efforts with the Wild Rice Antique Tractor & Plowing Association. Members decided that the Community Club will sponsor two fund-raising raffles to assist two youthful musicians, Tyler Banish & Thomas Mehrer, from Rutland participate in the “International Ambassadors of Music” tour of Europe that will take place in 2019. Deb Banish and Tyler Banish reported that the group is also planning to sponsor the Junk-Fest and Farmers Market during the Rutland Rib Fest on Saturday, August 4, among other fund-raising activities. It was also noted that the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen will be hosting a fundraiser barbecue and water carnival in Veterans Memorial Park on the evening of Friday, July 13, to which all Fire District patrons are invited. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 13, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Rutland native Larry Colby, now a resident of Sierra Vista AZ, stopped in for coffee and conversation at The Lariat on the morning of Wednesday, July 11, and reports that he will be attending the Colby Family Reunion on July 13 & 14 at Silver Lake. The Colbys have been staying in their motor home at Silver Lake County Park for the past week, and intend to depart here for an extended tour of the northwestern U. S. on Tuesday, July 17. Larry has many good memories of growing up on the Colby farm in Rutland Township, just north of Silver Lake, and of attending school at Rutland Consolidated, at Rutland and at Forman. He recalls that his parents, Ted & Winnie Colby, operated Rutland Recreation with its pool tables, card tables, bowling lanes and malted milk machine back in 1952 & ’53. At that time, the Colby family lived at 422 First Street, in the home now owned by Rutland Mayor Ron Narum. The Narums were Rutland Township neighbors of the Colbys, too. Larry states that he met old friends Norbert & Bev Kulzer at a ball game this past week, and again while watching the Havana School Reunion Parade in Havana on Saturday, July 7. Larry plans to be back in Rutland for the Rutland School Reunion that is scheduled for the weekend of July 5, 6 & 7, 2019.

The Rutland Community Club’s first ”Art In The Park” event was held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 9, on the outdoor basketball court in Veterans Memorial Park. Jolene Haller from Gallery On The Go of Wahpeton instructed her students in the use of acrylic paint on canvas. The aspiring artists in Ms. Haller’s class spanned the decades from pre-school to senior citizen. Community Club Director Katie McLaen, organizer of the event, provided the following roster of students and comment on the class: “Morgan Peterson; Catie Claus; McKenzie Speich; Brody Mahrer; Julia Mahrer; Kaia Mahrer; Whitney Mahrer; Lucy Mahrer; Gabi Christianson; Amanda Anderson; Hailey Anderson; Lori McLaen; Sophie Erickson; Maddy Erickson; Rachel Olson; Brooklyn Pherson; Paisley Pherson; Sarah Pavek; Lilith Pavek; Kyler Pherson; Joanne Harris; Bev Kulzer; Janet Kiefer; Diana Anderson; Kylee Roney; and, Rylee Roney; Were the participants. They each painted a beautiful sunset picture with advice on technique from their teacher from Gallery on the Go in Wahpeton! It was a gorgeous evening of outdoor fun for everyone!” Class size was limited to 26, and all 26 students were on hand to participate in the class, Ms. McLaen reports. There were also 5 more who were on the waiting list. Congratulations to the Rutland Community Club and Katie McLaen on another successful and rewarding community event.

Word was received here on the morning of Wednesday, July 11, that Rutland native Scott Donaldson had passed away that morning at the age of 65. Scott’s death came as a surprise. Although he has been battling serious health problems for the past several years, the most recent report on July 9, had been upbeat and encouraging. A more complete obituary will be included next week.

Meanwhile, on the international scene, the President is in Europe, insulting America’s friends, abusing America’s allies and praising his pal, Vladimir I, the current Czar of Russia, a tyrannical guttersnipe whose aim is the dismantling of the NATO alliance, the domination of Europe and the destruction of the United States of America as a force for the promotion and protection of basic human rights around the world. So, what’s our President up to? Is there method in his madness? We would hope so, but when the method appears to be aimed at destroying American institutions, American ideals and American values, it’s probably time for Americans to sit up and take notice. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” the old saying goes, and this President generates a lot of smoke. As of Friday, July 13, there are 79 weeks down and 129 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. The alarm bells are clanging in the night, and America sleeps while the arsonist is in charge of the fire station.

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 take a look at Rutland’s 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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