By Bill Anderson
The first blast of the Winter of ’18-’19 roared in on the morning of Wednesday, October 10, with a nasty northwest wind and 6 to 8 inches of wet, heavy snow that piled up on streets, sidewalks and driveways, and made travel on all roads, city, county and State, hazardous. Shawn Klein, manager of the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station, reported that her vehicle would begin hydroplaning at any speed over 20 mph, and that, “my knuckles were white clear up to my elbows,” during her Wednesday morning commute from Havana to Rutland. Several vehicles did end up in the ditch as a result of the treacherous driving conditions, but no rollovers or injuries have been reported in this area. The snow let up late on Wednesday evening, and the City Council authorized Mayor Narum to put the City’s snow removal equipment into action on Thursday morning. The snow, on top of the rain that had fallen on Monday and Tuesday, put an end to any hopes of resuming, or starting, harvest activities for the rest of the week.
The Pherson Custom crew was reported to be harvesting corn near the Mark Breker farm southeast of Rutland on the afternoon of Sunday, October 14, and the combines of Jerry and Andrew Woytassek were at work in corn fields near the Gary Thornberg farm in Weber Township that afternoon, as well. According to Doug Spieker, yield monitors on the Pherson combines were indicating 225 bushels per acre from the headlands, and the moisture content of the corn was running at 18 to 19%, requiring some drying if the corn was to be stored. So, despite being beset by those 4 letter words: rain; snow; cold; and, wind; local farmers will not be deterred from getting after the 2018 harvest. Now, if there was just a market for it. Well, we can’t have everything. We did get a tax cut, after all.
Stephen Kulzer and son, Will, of Hartford SD drove up to Rutland on Friday, October 12, to get in some duck hunting action on Stephen’s old hunting grounds. The 2 were guests of Stephen’s parents, Will’s grandparents, Norbert & Beverly Kulzer, during their stay here. On Saturday morning, their trusty guide, Norbert, sensed that the ducks would be flying about 2 miles east of Rutland, and the hunters were ready, with all 3 bringing home a “Duke’s Mixture” limit of mallards, pintails and green-wing teal. On Sunday morning, Stephen & Will accompanied their cousin, Brandon Wyum, and several other hunters to a likely spot near Buffalo Lake where both Kulzers bagged their limit of mallards. “Nice greenheads,” Norbert described them, with the orange feet of northern ducks.
Duck hunters, pheasant hunters, church goers and Sunday School kids got their day started with a plate full of scrambled eggs, biscuits & gravy at the Rutland American Legion Post’s biscuits & gravy breakfast/brunch that was served from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 14, in the Rutland Town Hall. According to the plate count maintained by the dishwashing crew, 139 diners fortified themselves for the day with a hearty meal of biscuits & gravy. The ladies of Rutland’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit held a bake sale during the breakfast, and sold out of all of the breads, bars, cookies, rolls, cakes and pies in their inventory of tasty items. According to Larry Christensen, Commander of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion, the next American Legion Biscuits & Gravy breakfast/brunch is scheduled for Sunday, February 3, 2019, “Super Bowl Sunday!” in the Rutland Town Hall. If you’re going to take in the pre-game, the game and the post-game, you’re going to need a good breakfast to get you through the day! That’s Super Bowl Sunday, at the Rutland Town Hall.
Many friends, both old and new, attended the funeral for Grace Askerooth, a longtime member of this community, at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 15, 2018, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland. She had passed away on Monday, October 8, 2018, at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman. Grace had attained the age of 90 years, 6 months and 25 days at the time of her death. Grace Violet Wohlwend was born March 13, 1928 in Lidgerwood, ND, the daughter of Clayton and Mabel (Sterns) Wohlwend. She grew up on a farm south of Geneseo in Sargent County, and attended elementary school in a 1 room country schoolhouse. She remembered carrying water to save the farmstead trees during the drought years of the 1930’s. Grace graduated from Lidgerwood High School in 1946, obtained a 6-week teaching certificate, and taught in several small rural school houses in Sargent County. While on her way to one of those schoolhouses one day, her car broke down at the end of the driveway to the Askerooth farm north of Cayuga. Her “Knight In Shining Armor” came to her rescue, true love bloomed, and She was united in marriage to Elvoy Askerooth on November 25, 1948, in a ceremony held at the Baptist Parsonage in Rutland ND. In 1952, Grace earned her Teaching Degree from Valley City State Teachers College (now the State University of North Dakota-Valley City). During her teaching career, Grace taught in Montana for a year, and then taught students full time in a number of local schools. She loved teaching and caring for children. She kept in touch with her public school and Sunday School students and their children long after she retired from teaching. Grace was active in Unit #84 of the American Legion Auxiliary in Lidgerwood, Town and Country Homemakers, Wild Rice Soil and National Conservation Auxiliary, Cancer Society, and was a Member of the Alter Guild at Nordland Lutheran church in Rutland. Grace was also a member of the Turtle Club, which was started after WWII and involved getting together for coffee parties with the neighbors. She and Elvoy raised their three children on the family farm north of Cayuga while being involved and active in the community. She served on the Cayuga PTA board, Cayuga Cemetery Association Board and was a member of the “Friends” program at Sargent Manor, which is now Four Seasons Healthcare Center. She was an active partner on the farm, and, in addition to household and farmyard chores, did everything from running tractors, trucks and the combine to feeding and tending the family cows and hogs. Grace enjoyed gardening, baking and traveling. She & Elvoy traveled to all fifty states and Canada during their years together, and made their home on the road for a number of years following retirement from farming. Grace and Elvoy spent many winters in Apache Junction AZ, where they resided in their motor home and met with other North Dakota people at the Sargent County Breakfasts. They enjoyed playing cards with friends during their Arizona winters. Grace had a quick wit and smile, and loved to play BINGO, checkers with her grandsons, and cards with family and friends. She is survived by: her two daughters, Janet Sagen; and, Beverly Johnson; 1 son, Douglas Askerooth; six grandchildren; 1 brother, Clayton Wohlwend Jr.; by several nieces & nephews; and by many friends. She was preceded in death by: her parents; her husband, Elvoy; 1 brother, Louis Wohlwend; 2 sisters, Alice (Wohlwend) Johnson and Donna Mae Wohlwend; and, by a son, Bruce Askerooth, who died in infancy. Condolences may be sent to Douglas Askerooth, 14248 88th ST SE, Cayuga ND 58013. The family requests that memorials be directed to the Cayuga Cemetery Association or to the Four Seasons Building Fund. Visitation was held from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 14, followed by a memorial service at 5:00 pm at Nordland Lutheran Church, 311 Cooper Street, in Rutland, with Pastor Richard Pittenger of the Milnor Methodist Church officiating. The funeral for Grace Askerooth was held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 15, 2018, at the Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, with Nordland’s Pastor Nicholas Rohde officiating. Burial was at the Cayuga Cemetery, Cayuga ND. The Frank Family Funeral Home of Lidgerwood was in charge of arrangements. The Rutland community extends condolences to the friends and family of Grace Askerooth, and old and good friend who never forgot who she was, where she came from and what her priorities ought to be.
The Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 15, in the Rutland Town Hall, with Vice-President Katie McLaen presiding. Club Secretary Andrea Erickson presented the minutes of the September meeting, and Treasurer Hal Nelson delivered a Treasurer’s report that showed $4,533.50 available for community projects as of September 30, a week prior to Uff-Da Day. The preliminary Uff-Da Day financial report, with some expenses and some revenue still outstanding, indicated gross revenues of approximately $15,500.00, and a net of approximately $8,000.00. Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke presented a report on the various Uff-Da Day events and activities. The consensus was that the committee system with its delegation of authorities, responsibilities and work load operated quite well this year. Despite unseasonably cool temperatures, the crowd was large, and the presence of both candidates for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Heidi Heitkamp and challenger Kevin Cramer, also brought national attention to Rutland and Uff-Da Day, with camera crews from PBS and CNN, as well as reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post in town for the day. A report from Rutland featuring PBS reporter Judy Woodruff ran during the PBS NewsHour on Monday, October 8. Katie McLaen reported that 2 “Freezer Meals” sessions will be held during October, each with 10 participants. Katie reported that the 2 sessions were both filled within 24 hours. The participants will be divided into 5 teams, and each team will prepare 10 individual meals that will be distributed to the participants, so that each participant will end up with 5 home-made frozen dinners to put into their home freezer, ready to eat with just a few minutes in the micro-wave oven. Both the Wednesday, October 17, and the Wednesday, October 24, sessions will be held in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall. Katie stated that enough interested persons had signed up to fill another session, and that she is also considering a “Men Only” session at some point in the future. In other business, members decided to invite Santa Claus to pay a visit to Rutland on Saturday, December 15. If the jolly old elf accepts, it will be his 73rd consecutive visit to Rutland since the end of WW II. It was reported that a community theatrical production will be presented on Saturday, November 17, in the Rutland Town Hall, and Katie McLaen reported that a “Kids In The Kitchen” session has been slated to be held in the Town Hall kitchen during the month of January. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 12, in the Rutland Town Hall. Officers and Board members of the Rutland Community Club are: Bonnie Anderson, President; Katie McLaen, Vice-President; Andrea Erickson, Secretary; Hal Nelson, Treasurer; and, Marcia Brakke, Director.
Doug Askerooth reported on the morning of Wednesday, October 17, that he was trying to get his “ducks in a row” to start harvesting soybeans, but that frost, dew and a temperature in the mid-20’s had his ducks frozen in place for the time being. Doug said that his combine was at the end of the field, ready to go, as soon as the ducks were thawed out and conditions would permit.
John Nelson and Bill Spears of Wadena MN made their annual pheasant hunting pilgrimage to Rutland and vicinity on Tuesday, October 16, making their expedition headquarters at the Jesse & Marcia Brakke farm between Rutland and Cayuga. John has a young German Shorthair retriever that had its first experience with North Dakota pheasants on Tuesday, and did quite well. According to John, a retired farmer who is also a veteran of the Navy SeaBees and the U. S. Air Force, his friend, Bill Spears, is still in the used car business, and offers a warranty that “lasts until your check clears or you drive off the lot, whichever occurs first.” Both John and Bill stated that, despite Donald Trump, rising debt, increasing deficits, tariffs, trade wars, declining commodity prices and rising interest rates, they are still unreformed and unreconstructed Minnesota Republicans, awaiting the return of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and that they get heartburn whenever they read The Rooster Crows. One of their regular hunting partners, Dan Carlyle, was unable to make the hunting trip to Rutland this year because he Has taken a new job as Chief Executive of the Rural Electric Co-op headquartered in Wadena, and their other hunting partner, Dan Kuffler of Phoenix AZ, is expected to join them in Rutland on Thursday, October 18. Mr. Kuffler also has a new hunting dog that is anxious to cut its teeth on some prairie ringnecks.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the President refuses to hold the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia accountable for the kidnapping, torture, murder and dismemberment of a U.S. resident working as a columnist for the Washington Post because the Saudis are buying $110 billion in military hardware from American companies. A person who sells sex for money is called a prostitute. What is a nation that sells its soul for money called? America’s ideals are apparently for sale to the highest bidder in this White House. As of Friday, October 19, there will be 90 weeks down and 118 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. Former President of the United States and General of the Army, the late Dwight D. Eisenhower, once made the statement, “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” If Ike was around today, he might ask the current President to stop selling out this country’s ideals, and to at least give lip service to making America great again!
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, take a look at the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and check out 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.