The Rooster Crows – July 20, 2018

By Bill Anderson

The thunderstorm that rolled through at about sun-up on Sunday, July 15, deposited .25 of an inch of rain in Norbert Kulzer’s rain gauge and .2 of an inch in the gauge of his next-door neighbor, Roger Pearson, and brought along some cooler, drier air in its wake. Norbert and Roger have both noticed an interesting development in their lawns this Summer, the presence of an abundant crop of volunteer corn growing in the bluegrass. For quite a few years, Roger has been supplying the local squirrels with several cobs of ear corn each week. The squirrels, being conservative North Dakotans who have experienced hard times, or think that they might, don’t eat all of the corn, but save some of it by burying it in the ground, “squirreling it away,” so to speak. This year, with the abundant precipitation and warm weather of June and July, the squirrels’ corn caches have all sprouted, providing Roger and Norbert with added incentives to mow their lawns on a regular basis. Corn is a grass, though, so as long as moisture and temperature allow, it will keep coming back. The squirrels have not indicated whether or not they have signed up for multi-peril crop insurance or for the Federal Farm Program. It’s pretty certain that their 2018 corn crop will end in disaster, though, but Roger says not to worry. There’s going to be plenty of ear corn this Fall, and he’ll keep on supplying it as long as the squirrels stay out of his attic.

Weather conditions aren’t so great for growing crops everywhere, it seems. Rolf Odberg of Halden, Norway, a cousin of the Anderson family of this community, reports that this Summer has been the hottest and driest in southern Norway and Sweden in more than 70 years. Not since 1947 have the farmers of that region experienced a total failure of the hay crop, but it has happened this year. Norway and Sweden have numerous small farms, and most of them rely on dairy production for a substantial portion of their income. No hay equals no milk, and Rolf reports that some farmers there have been forced to sell their cows on the slaughter market due to the hay shortage. The increased supply of beef on the local market has depressed meat prices, too, so the farmers’ woes have become even more dire. Fortunately for the farmers of Norway and Sweden, their Viking ancestors homesteaded the island of Iceland, out in the North Atlantic, more than a thousand years ago, and their Icelandic cousins are harvesting a bumper hay crop this year. The Icelanders are selling their surplus hay to their Norwegian and Swedish brethren, rescuing the dairy farms of southern Norway and Sweden, and proving once again that nothing that happens is so bad that someone can’t get some good out of it. Thanks to Rolf for the report. Mr. Odberg and members of his family have visited in Rutland several times in the past few years, most recently for family reunions in 2014 and 2017. Ms. Stephanie Watson of Rogers MN, a granddaughter of the late Rudy & Edna Anderson of this community, is planning to be visiting at the Odberg home in Norway at the end of July, Rolf reports.

Old friends in Rutland were saddened on the morning of Wednesday, July 11, when word was received here that Scott Donaldson, a Rutland native and longtime resident, had passed away at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis that morning. Scott had attained the age of 65 years, 3 months and 1 day at the time of his death. Lynn Scott Donaldson was born April 10, 1953 at Rutland ND to Aldon and Lorraine Josephine (Askerooth) Donaldson. He attended elementary school in Rutland and graduated from Sargent Central High School in Forman as a member of the SCHS Class of ‘72. Scott had worked, part-time, at Kulzer Brothers Farm Supply, the Allis-Chalmers dealer in Rutland, during his high school years, and following graduation he went to work as a truck driver and equipment operator for Bernard Mahrer Construction of this community. In 1977 he became parts man for Kulzer Brothers Farm Supply in Rutland. In 1983 Scott returned to work at Bernard Mahrer Construction and stayed with that firm until 1993. From 1993 to 2003, he was employed by the City of Forman. From 2003 to 2007 Scott worked for ND Rural Water and traveled the State as a trouble-shooter. When declining health made it necessary for him to give up fulltime work, he enjoyed part time employment as a driver for residents of the North Dakota State Hospital, and he also served as a volunteer Senior Companion. On April 20, 1985, Scott was united in marriage with Rhonda Ann Scheller. They made their home in Forman until moving to Jamestown in 2007. In 2008, Scott was able to receive a liver transplant, after which he enjoyed renewed strength and health until his battle with cancer started in 2013. While living in Rutland, Scott was an active member of the Rutland Community Club. During the Rutland Centennial Celebration in 1982, Scott worked in traffic control and was assigned the task of transporting former North Dakota Governor Art Link across town, through thousands of people, to get him to his position in the Centennial Parade on time. Neither Scott nor Gov. Link ever forgot that ride through Rutland on a 3 wheeled motorcycle. . Scott was a volunteer fireman and succeeded Clarence “Stub” Sundlie as Fire Chief in 1978. One of Scott’s favorite activities as Fire Chief was to escort Rutland’s pre-school students on guided tours of the Fire Hall and fire trucks, instructing them on how the equipment was used, but, most importantly, on the proper way to turn on the lights and sirens. He was also a charter member of the Rutland Sportsman’s Club and was one of the original residents of “The Rutland High Rise, on the 2nd floor of the building that was then the Rutland Post Office and which is now occupied by Waloch-Johnson Insurance. Hunting was a passion of Scott’s. Whether it was big game or small game, he was always ready to go hunting. According to Scott’s family, the only thing to rival his love of the hunt, was the time he spent with his granddaughter, Rayha. They were soulmates, and the reason he fought so hard all these years. Scott was well known for his even temperament. He seldom got excited, never displayed anger and always met life with a smile. During his last five years of battling cancer, his faithful four-legged companion, Molly, was a great source of comfort as well. Molly was always at Scott’s side. Scott and Rhonda were frequent visitors in Rutland while health permitted, never missing a Memorial Day or Uff-Da Day celebration in the old home town. Scott is survived by: his wife of 33 years, Rhonda Donaldson of Jamestown; two step-daughters: Jennifer (Eric) Urness of Bismarck, ND; Stephanie Sauter of Valley City, ND; his granddaughter, Rayha Urness; three brothers: Greg Donaldson of Rutland; Perry Donaldson of Fargo; James Donaldson of Fargo; and, a nephew, Adam (Shay) Donaldson and their daughter, Hadley of Devils Lake, ND. Preceding him in death were: his parents; and, a brother, Donald Donaldson. The memorial service for Scott Donaldson will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at the Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland. The family has asked an old friend of Scott’s, Bill Anderson, to officiate. Private family inurnment will be at a later date in the Scheller family plot, next to Rhonda’s parents, at Hillside Cemetery of Hankinson ND. Memorial visitation will be from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20, 2018 at the church, concluding with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service. Price Funeral Chapel of Britton and Forman is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Rhonda Donaldson, 1316 14th Ave SW, Jamestown ND 58401. The Rutland community extends its condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Scott Donaldson, a kind and decent man who worked to do right for his family and community.

Stefan & Ulrika (Almer) Jonsson of Västra Tunhem Sweden, accompanied by Marcia Brakke of this community, returned to Rutland on the evening of Tuesday, July 10, after a week of sight-seeing and visiting in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. The 3 had departed here on Monday, July 2, and made a stop in Medora to tour Theodore Roosevelt National Park and attend a performance of the Medora Musical on Monday evening. On their way west, the trio stopped at Livingston MT to visit Marcia’s son, Joe Rosenwald, and then visited at the home of Marcia’s sister and brother-in-law, Margot & Alan Ganske, in Park City UT. They also toured Salt Lake City before returning to Rutland. While in the Rutland area, Mr. Jonsson, a collector of classic and antique autos, visited with David Bladow and other collectors in this area. He had acquired the 1974 Chrysler that had originally been owned by Earl W. Anderson of this community several years ago, transported it to his home in Sweden, and participates in car shows and rallys there on a regular basis. The big Chrysler, a Newport Custom 2 door hardtop with a 400 cubic inch V-8 engine, is much admired at car shows in Sweden, he says. The Jonssons departed Rutland on Monday, July 16, bound for Minneapolis and a flight back to Sweden on the 17th. They are planning another visit to this area in October to attend Uff-Da Day in Rutland and a family wedding in the Twin Cities.

Carolyn (Jacobson) Christensen, one of the new matriarchs of the Jacobson-Johnson family of this community, submitted the following report of the family’s reunion that occurred in Rutland last weekend:

“The influx of descendants of Jacob and Berthe (Hero) Jacobson and Ole and Ane Johnson for the 8th Jacobson/Johnson family reunion began with the arrival of Butch, Carol, Jackie and Matyx Lockwood of Beaver Dam, WI, on Wednesday evening, July 11. Several more relatives from WI and AZ arrived on Thursday afternoon and Larry and Carolyn Christensen hosted a supper for 26, including local family, that evening. Friday afternoon we decorated the town hall, got the food prepped for the next day, set up tables and chairs and cousins Bob and Karen (Jacobson) Hahn of Spring Grove, IL, got their Karaoke equipment set up. Many hands make light work and with all of the teasing and laughter, it’s not a tedious chore. After working up an appetite, over 50 of us headed over to the Lariat for supper. Needless to say, we kept the lone server hopping. I hope she made some good tips.

Since there is currently no place to have breakfast in Rutland, we served breakfast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings to those staying at the various places in town.

Scalloped potatoes and ham, corn, pickles, homemade bread and lots of sweet treats, (including sandbakkels brought by cousin Joan Jacobson of Johnsburg, IL,) made up the menu for dinner while barbequed pork loin and turkey with a variety of salads, pickles, homemade bread and more sweet treats were served at supper time. Lots of lemonade and coffee were also consumed throughout the day. We were thankful that the heat was fairly tolerable on Saturday for the participants and spectators of the bean bag toss tournament. Sean Fischer and Bob Hahn of IL are the new champions. We give a huge thank you to Nick and Katie McLaen and Michael and Kayla Mahrer for allowing us to use their bean bag toss games. Water balloons kept the young ones cool and kept the older folk scrambling. Bob and Karen Hahn started Karaoke in the afternoon which was popular with young and old alike. Justin and Julian Jacobson had everyone in stitches with their renditions of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and “Africa” respectively. A photo booth was a new attraction this year, thanks to Kaci (Jacobson) Millette, and everyone is anxious for Kaci to get those silly pictures out for everyone to see. Lots of family pictures were taken as well as candid snapshots.  I, alone, took about 800 pictures. Treasures were found at The Old Parsonage and the museum was also an attraction. Cards and board games were played and there was lots of visiting and discussing family history. It was extremely rewarding to see the little kids getting acquainted and having fun playing together. We want these family connections to stay strong. Nordland Lutheran Church was more crowded than usual on Sunday morning with a number of the relatives choosing to attend. Many of us regular attendees were crowded out of our usual pews and, unbelievably, the world as we know it didn’t end. A memorial service, led by Pam (Jacobson) Maloney and Carolyn (Jacobson) Christensen, was held at Nordland Cemetery at 11:00. This year was an especially emotional time as the family of Kay Jacobson Simonitch buried their mother’s ashes in a special service led by her oldest daughter, Jacqueline White. Kay was the wife of the late Jacob Jacobson and daughter-in-law of Ole and Mattie Jacobson.  She passed away on March 17, 2018. Kay was much loved by all of us and she leaves a huge void.  After the service, we said good bye to those who needed to return to their homes and the rest of us gathered once again at the town hall for a dinner of left-overs and a more relaxed day. After supper, we cleaned up and packed up and the Jacobson/Johnson reunion was done for 2018. Those families that stayed in town left for their homes in WI early Monday morning.

We had a little over 110 attendees with the states of ND, MN, SD, NE, WI, IL, AZ, and MO represented.  We had a blast and time went by in a blur of laughter and tears. Our reunions began in 1997 and are held every three years. We look forward to another Jacobson-Johnson reunion in 2021.”

Thanks to Carolyn for the report, and congratulations to the members of the Jacobson-Johnson clan for maintaining family connections, traditions and memories for future generations.

Cayuga native Randy Kiefer has been on an epic bicycle ride this Summer and has sent previous reports on his progress that have appeared in The Rooster Crows column. On Sunday, July 15, a message entitled, “Thoughts and Observations on Traveling North,” was received from Randy. Here is his message:

“This is a follow-on to my more literal description of the challenges of my ride in and out of Dawson and the Dempster Highway to Tuktoyaktuk.  In addition to the sweeping views of the tundra (my favorite), meeting people and hearing their stories adds to the joy of travel. The following are observations and passing experiences which brighten the trying moments. A. Tuktoyaktuk: 1) Native village on the Arctic Ocean, 75 miles north of Inuvik. Until November of last year the only access was the winter ice road over rivers, or flights in and out in the summer. The recent completion of the road will now allow year-around access to outsiders. 2) So, yes, the village is rough on the edges, but it has heart. A high school girl was in the grocery store selling raffle tickets to raise money for softball team jerseys and travel money. (A softball team at the edge of the Arctic Ocean with about 4 weeks of temperatures over 60???) She was rocking a 6-month old (not hers) named Lucy. Absolutely cute as a button. Lucy had her name in 5 squares for the raffle. 3) Kelly Ho, the local fish netter at the end of the spit. Had a hut serving smoked tea when he wasn’t checking his nets. Great local stories with the added smoke flavor. We had Kelly’s Catch of the Day that evening for dinner. 4) Bought “Tuktoyaktuk” wear at the local Mounted Police station. He gave the new road connection with the rest of Yukon a mixed, but mostly positive, review. But, he stated, that even in their cut-off state there was a drug problem, with connections as far away as China. The new road will allow even better access. B. Traveling/camping: 1….the motorcycle rider who slept in a chair and kept his helmet on to avoid mosquitoes. And yes, awoke in a foul mood. 2….the camaraderie of bike riders, motorcyclists, and 4-wheel vehicles from road conditions to bears ahead. 3. and, yes, as trying as the riding was, it the people at camp grounds, and stopping to talk, that helped you through the day. C. Inuvik: 1. A mostly native city of approximately 3,000 that was the end of the Dempster. 2. Met Jerry, our First Nation pickup driver to Tuk who’s wife baked us fresh scones for the 3 hr ride north. 3. Jerry, the MC for the Canada National Aboriginal Day festival who gave us a shout-out from the main stage. 4. Attended Aboriginal Day festivities to include: a) free native food lunch b) dancing c) drumming d) athletic competition e) blanket toss f) fiddling. A great taste of the community. D. Dawson: 1. A city of 5,000 that is the tourist and commercial hub for northern Yukon. 2….the German gal working at the recycle depot sorting bottles and cans with the intent to get a homestead in Yukon. 3….the guy cleaning rooms and toilets at the hotel who is by night the piano player and singer at the bar. 4….the visitor center First Nation woman who as a twenty-year old (now 65) drove the length of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to Costa Rica, and returned to be with her people. 5….the gal at the bakery for the summer that rode bike 3 months in Chile, and is undecided as to her next move. 6. the Edinburgh bike rider who could only be understood by someone from Edinburgh. E) Alaska: 1….the campground summer help gal from Spearfish SD having fun this summer in Chicken (pop 30). 2….the motorcycle rider from Edgeley on his way to visit his sister in Anchorage. (He knows the Lisbon Sweets.) 3….Chris the pilot who hosted the 4th of July picnic with veggie burgers, organic salads, bread, and condiments.4. Jim the down-on-his-luck truck driver with property (worthless?) in Tok and AZ. 5….the story telling Patrick Cleary, the youngest of 7, and wood cutter of renown. These memories are what riding is about, as much as is setting in the saddle. r/randy.”

Thanks to Randy for the report. We are awaiting the book!

Greg Donaldson and Joe Holmgren drove up to Lake Sacajawea on Wednesday, July 11 to try their luck at fishing. The report from Greg on Thursday afternoon was that they had limited out on walleyes, catching and releasing many more than were kept. The 2 anglers returned home on the evening of Friday, July 13, with a limit of walleyes and an unlimited supply of stories about their fishing experience. Both Greg and Joe are avid fishermen and have tried their luck in all of the local fishing hot-spots as well as waters throughout the region. Greg was up at Devils Lake for a fishing excursion with friends a few weeks ago and is planning a trip up to Lake Of The Woods in northern Minnesota later this Summer.

The Family Fun Night & Water Carnival put on by the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen on the evening of Friday, July 13, at Veterans Memorial Park here drew a large and enthusiastic crowd of all ages. The firemen served burgers, brats and all the trimmings to all comers while providing water games and fun for the kids. A free-will donation was solicited, but not required, from participants. A good time was had by all, reports Cam Gulleson, a member of the Rutland fire fighting crew, and justifiably so! The Firemen’s Family Fun Night & Carnival has replaced the annual Firemen’s barbecue supper which replaced the old Firemen’s Ball of years ago.

Doug & Cher Spieker of this community visited in Memphis TN last week, as Doug attended a reunion of friends with whom he had served aboard the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Biddle back in the late 60’s. Between 1967 and 1969 the Biddle served 26 months in the Vietnam theater of operations, including numerous missions ashore, Doug states. There are still 17 surviving members of the Biddle’s crew from that time, says Doug, and 7 were at the Memphis reunion. The Spiekers returned home on Tuesday, July 17. Joel Susag of this community kept an eye on the Spiekers farm home and took care of the livestock during their absence.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, after watching our President grovel at the feet of the Russian tyrant, there is talk of impeachment, even among Republicans, on Capitol Hill. The Constitution of the United States, the basic law of our country, provides that a President may be impeached for “treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Constitution also defines treason, the only crime that is defined in the Constitution, as “waging war against the United States, or providing aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war.” So, Americans, what do you think? To the President’s performance is also added the disclosure that the NRA, long a refuge for right-wing radicals, has been infiltrated by Russian espionage agents and subverted to do the Russians’ dirty work during the 2016 political campaign. You think you’re donating your money to a conservative cause, and it turns out that you’re financing the Russian mafia’s criminal enterprises in this country. Whatever happened to the good old days, when all we had to worry about were right-wing curmudgeons and left-wing softies? As of Friday, July 20, there will be 80 weeks down and 128 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. Maybe it’s time that Americans stopped yelling at each other about what divides us, and started talking with each other about what unites us. “A house divided against itself,” Mr. Lincoln reminded us, “cannot stand.”

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. 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.

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