By Bill Anderson
Santa Claus is coming to town! Jolly old St. Nick is scheduled to arrive in Rutland shortly after 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, making his 73rd pre-Christmas visit to the community since flight restrictions were eased after the end of World War II. He might have some tough sledding, though, as a warm-up has been scheduled for the weekend, and the daytime high in Rutland on Friday & Saturday is predicted to be in the upper 30’s. Well, Santa is a clever fellow, and he’ll figure out how to cope with any adversity. The Rutland Community Club will host Santa in the Rutland Town Hall with a reception featuring a soup & sandwich supper, BINGO, crafts and games for the kids, and a chance for the jolly old elf to visit with local children and have his picture taken with them. Christmas hams donated for the event by local Rutland businesses will also be awarded to the lucky winners. Everyone in the community is invited to participate in Santa Claus Day activities in Rutland on Saturday, December 15.
A large and enthusiastic crowd of family and friends gathered in the dining room of The Lariat Bar in Rutland on the evening of Friday, November 30, to celebrate the Golden Wedding Anniversary of Jim & Ione Lunneborg of this community. Those in attendance enjoyed a delicious supper of pulled pork, baked potatoes and salads catered by the staff at the bar, as well as reminiscing with good friends about good times throughout the evening. The following report was furnished by Ione: “We were married November 30, 1968, at the Lutheran Church in Cogswell. We lived and worked in Fargo until Jim was drafted, and we then spent a year in Germany where he was stationed at a U. S. Army Base. We returned to the states and moved to the Rutland area in the Fall and started farming in 1971. We moved to our current home place in Shuman Township in October of 1976. Our kids, Eric and Sherry Lunneborg and Marne and Aaron Franklin hosted our celebration at the Lariat. Friends and family joined us to share memories and wish us well. The kids along with our grandson, Noah Ward, were guests at our home for a few days over the weekend. We enjoyed every minute of it!” Thanks to Ione for the report, and congratulations to Jim & Ione for 50 years on the path of life together.
Another old friend, Cayuga native Mary Breker, stopped in at the Rutland Seniors Center for coffee and conversation with the “old gang” on the morning of Saturday, December 8. In addition to being active in community and church activities while she made her home in Cayuga, Mary was also the community’s Avon Lady for many years and got acquainted with nearly everyone in Sargent County. Mary stayed at the Breker farm south of Cayuga over the weekend and went back to her home at Sheyenne Crossing in West Fargo on Monday, December 10. Mary reports that she is doing well and is looking forward to spending the Christmas holiday in the Twin Cities with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
The students and staff of the Nordland Lutheran Church Sunday School presented a “Traditional Christmas Program” during the congregation’s worship service at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 9, 2018. The program portrayed the Christmas story in scripture, music and action. The cast members were: Alonna Fulen; Loden Jochim; Lucy Mahrer; Jackson Jochim; Piper Nelson; Ashleigh Ceroll; Hadley Bladow; Kyler Pherson; Krosby Willprecht; Maddie Erickson; Max Hamilton; Paislee Pherson; Kylie Ceroll; Sophie Erickson; Brooklyn Pherson; Whitney Mahrer; Audrey Anderson; Lilith Pavek; Charlize Willprecht; Cohen Jensen; Julia Mahrer; Greta Bladow; Carl McLaen; Brody Mahrer; and, Kaycee Hamilton. According to Nordland Sunday School Superintendent Kathy Wyum, the Christmas program was under the direction of Tanya Hamilton, assisted by the Nordland Sunday School’s teaching staff. Christmas Eve Services this year will be on Monday, December 24, at 4:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman, and at 7:00 P.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana. Church Services at Nordland Lutheran in Rutland for the remainder of 2018 will be at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 16, 23 and 30, with Pastor Nicholas Rohde officiating.
Andy Kiefer and youngest son, John, stopped in for coffee & conversation at The Lariat on the morning of Monday, December 10. John, age 19 months, needed some Grandma & Grandpa time with grandparents Cliff & Janet Kiefer of Cayuga, so he and his Dad flew to Fargo from their home in Texas on Friday, December 7, for a few days in the old home town. They headed back to Texas on Monday, December 10, making the trip from here to Fargo with cousins Curt and Mary Breker.
The Rutland Community Club met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 10, in the Rutland Town Hall with President Bonnie Anderson presiding. Treasurer Hal Nelson reported that a little over $19,900 was on hand for community projects. Bonnie Anderson reported that Santa Claus Day preparations were well in hand, with events scheduled to commence in the Rutland Town Hall at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15. Santa himself has confirmed an arrival time of 5:30 p.m., with plenty of time to visit with children about their Christmas wishes, to have photographs taken and to award Christmas hams and other gifts to those present. There will also be crafts & games for kids, BINGO for cash and a soup & sandwich supper. Activities in the Town Hall will commence at 5:00 p.m., according to Bonnie. All are invited, particularly those who reside in the Rutland Community, or do business with Rutland businesses. Marcia Brakke reported that Otter Tail Power Company had awarded a grant to the Rutland Community Club for improvements to the Town Hall sound system and for additional new equipment in the Town Hall kitchen. Planning for the Rutland Community Club’s 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament that will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019 was discussed. Joel Susag brought up the possibility of the Community Club sponsoring continuation of the annual Tractor ride that Jim and Ione Lunneborg had organized and led as a Relay For Life fund-raiser for the past 8 years, and how the Community Club and the Wild Rice Antique Tractor & Plowing Association might work together to keep it going. Paul Anderson and Joel Susag volunteered to discuss the project with the officers of the tractor club and report back at the next meeting. The tractor ride to “Drive Out Cancer” has been held on the Second Saturday in June since its beginning in 2011. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 14, 2019.
More local snowbirds have migrated to the sunny south during the past month, and a number of them gathered in Mesa AZ for the monthly Sargent County Breakfast this past Monday. Following is the report received from Curt Larson: “The second Sargent County Gathering for the 2018-19 winter season was held at the Golden Corral on Monday, December 10, 2018. There were a number of new faces who joined us, having made the trip down to Arizona. Present this month were: Larry & Janet Bartz; Al Ciota and Clarice Ordahl; Jim & Kathryn Gaukler; Duane & Sharon Lock; DuWayne Minnaert; Orvis and Alphie Pearson; Donna Rolfe; Marly Stevens; Larry & Peggy Swanson; Kathleen Thomas; and, Curt and Renee Larson. We gather at Golden Corral, 1868 N. Power Rd., Mesa AZ on the second Monday of each month, November-April. The suggested time is 9:00am, although some come earlier, others a little later. Any new winter visitors from the Sargent County communities are more than welcome to attend…even you if you are here a few days, a few weeks or a few months. Weather here has been in the upper 60’s recently; a little cooler than some would like, but better than the alternative. In visiting with the attendees, most are staying put for the holidays. A few have family coming to visit in the New Year, 2019. Curt and Renee did their annual visit to Algodones, Mexico for dental work. Just a cleaning was needed for each of us. Algodones is a couple miles west of Yuma into California and then a couple miles south and just across the border. There is a parking lot on the U.S. side and then walk through the gate. No passport needed until we return to the U.S. We make a beeline to the dentist office and an hour later, we are waiting in line for ½ hour to go through the customs office. On the U.S. side we saw a couple dozen National Guard soldiers lounging around, looking bored. I thanked them for their service. Well, that’s the news from sunny Arizona. I hope to see more here next month at our gathering, which will be on Monday, January 14. Until then, keep smiling!” Thanks to Curt for the report. From here to there, from the northern plains to the southern deserts, old friends wish each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Whether in Arizona or North Dakota, we’ll all be “Dreaming Of A White Christmas,” as Christmas Day draws near. The difference is that in North Dakota, there’s a chance that our dreams might come true.
On Tuesday, December 11, North Dakota District Court Judge Dan Narum, a Rutland native, reported from his home in Lamoure that he is continuing his recovery from recent back surgery under the supervision of his wife, Caroline. He reports that progress has been steady, although he is still forced to use a cane when moving about. He is still hoping to be able to head for New Mexico at the end of the month for a scheduled elk hunt, but that depends on continued progress, and the approval of his supervisor. Different individuals lay down the law at different locations, and home is not the courthouse.
Tom Manley, an active participant in activities in this community, has informed friends here that he is scheduled to undergo back surgery at Sanford Hospital in Fargo on Wednesday, December 12. This is the third time the surgery has been scheduled, and Tom is hoping that the 3rd time is the charm. Tom currently serves as Vice-Commander of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion in Rutland, and he is also the current Commander of the North Dakota American Legion’s 10th District. Tom’s many friends here wish him a speedy recovery and return home.
Rick Bosse was in Rutland for coffee and conversation on the morning of Monday, December 10, and reported that he and three companions had returned from an elk hunting expedition in northeastern New Mexico on Friday, December 7, each with a big bull elk in tow. Rick stated that the group had a guided hunt on a 180,000-acre cattle ranch near Cimarron NM, a short distance from the Philmont Scout Ranch complex that is owned by the Boy Scouts of America. The ranch on which they hunted supports a cattle herd of 1,700 head, said Rick. In addition to his successful New Mexico elk hunt, Rick also had a successful deer season right around home this year. He had bagged a large whitetail buck while hunting southwest of Brampton on Sunday, November 11, he said. He had been observing the big buck and several other deer frequenting a large slough, and he finally saw his prey step out of the weeds on the edge of its lair. Rick had a new rifle with a powerful telescopic sight, but he confessed that his first shot, at about 500 yards, was so far off the mark that the buck did not even realize that he had been shot at. Rick took full advantage of his second opportunity, though, steadied his aim, squeezed the trigger, and the whitetail dropped where he stood. His big buck did suffer some “ground shrink” after he got up to it, Rick said. It was still a big one, but just not quite as big as he had first thought.
Back on Tuesday, September 25, The Old Parsonage at 217 First Street was lifted straight up from the fieldstone foundation on which it had rested since it was built in the late Summer of 1902, in preparation to being moved to the south in order to build a new, concrete foundation for it to rest upon in the future. On Wednesday, September 26, the structure was moved to the south side of the lot, where it rested, perfectly level on steel I-beams, for the next 75 days. The new foundation is a few feet east and several feet south of the old foundation, a move that was made in order to avoid unnecessary damage to the huge cottonwood tree that was planted when the house was first built. On Monday, December 10,the crew of skilled workmen from Schmidt’s Inc. of Wyndmere was back in town to complete their part of the project by moving the house north to its new foundation and lowering it to its proper place. Nick Schmidt, the 3rd generation of Nick Schmidts to head up the moving crew, had previously inspected the foundation that had been built by Strege Construction, also of Wyndmere, and found it to be perfectly suited to fulfill its function as the base for the house. It took Mr. Schmidt and his crew several hours to get pulleys attached, tracks in place and blocks properly located and ready to make the move. When all preparations were complete, and all had been inspected and reinspected, the order was given to put everything into motion. Doug Spieker had been observing the process from the street and timed the move. From the time the first pull commenced until the house was sitting solidly on its new foundation took 12 minutes, according to Doug. That’s a pretty good sprint for a 116-year-old 2 story house. According to John Buskohl, general contractor on the project, construction on the new addition to the east side of the old house will commence on Wednesday, December 12, with the placement of sills and floor joists. Installation of plumbing, heating and air-conditioning systems will be done by the Jacobson company of Rutland, and electrical work will be done by Nelson Electrical Services (NES) of Rutland. Mr. Buskohl states that he is still predicting that the renovated and remodeled house will be ready for occupancy before Christmas…of 2019, that is.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the Special Counsel’s investigation into possible illegal Russian involvement in the 2016 Election grinds on. The President calls it a “witch hunt,” but, so far, the investigation has resulted in several hundred criminal indictments of more than 30 individuals and 3 corporations. There have also been several convictions and numerous “guilty” pleas entered. There must be a lot of witches out there, because the hunting has been pretty good. As of Friday, December 14, there will be 98 weeks down and 110 weeks to go until January 20,2021. The country has now been 2 years without the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus, and no one has noticed. The clown act has moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the circus goes on.
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 take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office this Christmas season, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.