The first real blizzard of the season hit the Rutland area in the late afternoon of Wednesday, December 26, with about 8 inches of powdery snow and sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts up to 60. The County Courthouse in Forman and many area businesses were closed from Thursday morning until Noon on Friday, December 28, due to the storm and associated “No Travel” advisories. Rutland’s Mayor, Ron Narum had the City’s snowplow in action by 4:30 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday, keeping the City’s streets open throughout the storm. County Road Supervisor Sparky Engquist reported that the wind blew most County roads clear of snow, depositing drifts only in those areas where trees or buildings are close to the right of way. Milder temperatures followed on Saturday & Sunday, December 29 & 30, only to be followed by another drop into sub-zero territory and another episode of blizzard conditions on Monday, December 31. Students at local schools were the hardest hit by these 2 storms, as they were already enjoying their annual Christmas Vacation, and obtained no extra days off from school due to the inclement weather. Bummer! The thermometer registered 17 degrees below zero at dawn on New Year’s Day, but the wind had gone down so the day was a bright and shiny example of what a North Dakota January day can be. Once again, Mayor Narum had the streets opened by early morning, and even those with no place to go got out and went anyway, just because they could. Cranky, crooked old 2018, bedraggled, beaten and bloodied, has now dragged itself off the world stage, replaced by that fresh-faced optimist, 2019, as yet unmarked by failure, disaster or shame. “There’s a better year a’comin’!” the old timers used to say, and maybe this one, 2019, is it.
Rutland natives Pat & Dave Kulzer reported from the Swan River Valley of northwestern Montana that winter snows held off until early on the morning of Monday, December 24, when about 6 inches of powdery white snow was deposited on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. It was a perfect snowfall for the day before Christmas, making the mountains look like the picture on a Hallmark Christmas card.
Captain Mike Harris USN, called his mother, Joanne Harris of this community, from the U. S. Navy Base at Sasebo, Japan on Sunday, December 23. Capt. Harris is currently serving as Executive Officer of the USS Green Bay, which was in port for a few days prior to returning to sea. The occasion for the Captain’s call home was his 53rd birthday. Although it was December 23 in Rutland when he called, it was already December 24 in Japan. His birthday is on the 24th. If all goes as expected, Mike will become Commanding Officer of the USS Green Bay in late Spring or early Summer of 2019. The Green Bay has been part of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet since January of 2009. The ship carries a complement of approximately 1060 Sailors and Marines, including 66 Marine and 28 Navy officers, along with the helicopters, vertical take-off and landing aircraft, attack aircraft and other equipment necessary to accomplish the ship’s mission of projecting American military force whenever necessary, anywhere in the world.
Phyllis Erickson of this community was the Guest of Honor at a Christmas Party held by her family on Saturday, December 22, in the Rutland Town Hall. Phyllis reports that 53 of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were present, and that only 7 were unable to attend. Party activities including a “Scavenger Hunt” in which groups were given missions to perform, such as having their picture taken in front of the Mayor’s house, or singing Christmas Carols to Rutland residents, were participated in with enthusiasm, as would be expected from descendants of the late Raymond “Sugar Ray” Erickson. Phyllis reports that the day was great fun, and that she is grateful to 3 generations of her descendants for the gift of their time and talent.
This community was saddened last Sunday when word was received here that former longtime Rutland resident Earl J. Kubista had passed away on Sunday, December 30, 2018, at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman. Earl had attained the age of 90 years, 3 months and 19 days at the time of his death. Earl James Kubista was born September 11, 1928 in Newark SD to John Wencel and Pearl Mae (Ashley) Kubista. The Kubista family moved to a farm in the Brampton area when Earl was a young child, and he attended elementary school there. In 1945, the family moved to a farm near Havana ND, where Earl graduated from high school. He then worked on the family’s farm until October 26, 1951, when he was inducted into the U. S. Army during the Korean War. Earl received Combat Engineer training at Fort Belvoir VA. He served with the 7th Infantry Division during his tour of duty in Korea, and participated in combat action on such bloody battlegrounds as Old Baldy, Pork Chop Hill and Jane Russell Hill. Before his honorable discharge on September 11, 1953, Earl had attained the rank of Sergeant, and had been awarded two Bronze Stars and a United Nations Service Medal. On his return home, Earl again helped on the farm until taking a job with the Great Northern Railway in October of 1957. He worked on the Great Northern’s steel gang, rebuilding track and laying new rails in ND, SD and Montana. Later he worked on the track maintenance sections in Claremont SD and Rutland ND. Although not a large man, Earl was very strong and tough. He could drive a railroad spike home in a crosstie with only a couple swings of the spike mall, and he could do the heavy work of track labor all day, every day, without hesitation or complaint. He moved to Rutland in the Summer of 1976, making his home at 218 Front Street West. On January 1, 1987 he retired from the railroad and continued to make Rutland his home. In his retirement years, Earl was active in the Rutland Senior Citizens, doing everything from helping the cooks to counting heads and money, shoveling snow from the sidewalks and serving as vice-president and president. He also belonged to Anderson—Wertman Post #181 of the American Legion of Havana, and was a life member of the VFW. Earl also helped out with American Legion Post activities in Rutland, and was a willing worker for the Rutland Community Club, especially during Uff-Da Day. In his spare time, Earl enjoyed working on puzzles, and he regularly picked up cans and bottles on his walks around town. In October of 1999, Earl sold his mobile home in Rutland and moved to an apartment in Forman, but he still enjoyed going back to Rutland for his noon dinners with friends at the Senior Center and playing cards with his pinochle pals. Earl has been a resident of Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman for the past several years, and even though his memory occasionally failed him, he never forgot how to play pinochle. Surviving Earl are a number of nieces, nephews and their families. Preceding him in death were his parents, three sisters: Mildred Lehman; Drucilla Blomberg; and, Marilyn Ehrich; and, three brothers: Charles Kubista; Arden Kubista; and, Wencel Kubista. The memorial service for Earl Kubista was at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, January 3, 2019, at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman. Visitation was one hour preceding the service. Bill Anderson, one of Earl’s old friends from Rutland, conducted the service. Also participating in the service were other friends of Earl’s, Colleen Sundquist of Forman, and Terry Price of Britton. Burial will be in the Brampton Cemetery at Brampton ND this coming Spring. the Price Funeral Chapel of Britton and Forman was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Colleen Sundquist, 8783 Highway 32, Forman ND 58032. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Earl Kubista, a loyal and conscientious friend and co-worker through many labors, large and small.
Some upcoming events and activities in Rutland include: Rutland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 7, in the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Community Club meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 14, at the Rutland Town Hall; Nordland Lutheran Church Annual Congregational Meeting following the Worship Service on Sunday, January 20, in the Nordland Church Sanctuary at 311 Cooper Street; 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, commencing at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, in the Rutland Town Hall; and, Super Bowl Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast/ Brunch served by Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion, and commencing at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 3, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States of America, the new Congress, the one elected this past November, will convene on Thursday, January 3, 2019. The new Congress will bring with it a new Speaker of the House, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California. Speaker Pelosi has served in that capacity before, from 2006 to 2010, and her previous tenure was distinguished by her discipline, her mastery of the legislative process and by her ability to get the work of the House done when it should be done. The Speaker’s methods differ, markedly, from the ITT method (Infantile Temper Tantrum) method favored by the current President of the United States. Well, the Speaker, a mother and a grandmother, has handled childish behavior before, although probably not from a supposed adult who is a man of the President’s age. Whose will is going to break first, Grandma’s or Little Lord Fauntleroy’s? Will calm, cool, steely resolve or kicking, screaming, whining and crying prevail? Might be interesting to watch. What are the odds? As of Friday, January 4, 2019, there are 101 weeks down and 107 to go until January 20, 2021, when a more mature method of executive leadership may replace leadership by ITT. In the meantime, Grandma had better bring a pacifier and the diaper bag with her whenever she visits the White House.
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 in this new year, now that Congressman Issa, the fellow who has been trying to destroy the Postal Service for the past 2 decades, is no longer in office; and, remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all! Later.