By Bill Anderson and Deborah Banish
“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” chanted Dorothy and her companions as they danced along The Yellow Brick Road on their way to the Emerald City and the land of Oz, in the 1939 movie classic “The Wizard of Oz.” So far, there have been no reports of tigers and bears in the Rutland area, but, as for lions, oh my YES! Joe Breker reports that as he was giving grandchildren and others a sleigh ride through the hills near the Coteau des Prairies Lodge south of Rutland on Saturday, December 28, he heard the kids erupt into sudden screaming and yelling, so he stopped the tractor with which he was pulling the sleigh in order to investigate the source of the uproar. Joe feared that one of the grandchildren may have fallen off the sleigh, but that was not the case. The cause of the excitement proved to be the sighting of a mountain lion that had crossed the trail just after the sleigh had passed by. A quick thinker in the group managed to snap a picture of the big feline with their cell phone camera. Joe checked out the big cat’s tracks in the new snow and states that they were larger than his hand, definitely not the tracks of a stray tabby. Some of the older children followed the lion’s tracks for a short distance and found where it had bedded down for a while, in the trees below Frenier Dam. Joe was grateful that the kids had not caught up with the mountain lion, as well. Once you have a lion by the tail, is it more dangerous to hang on or to let go? As of Monday, December 30, the lion had not been sighted again, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not around. Lions & Tigers & Bears, oh my!
The Rutland community entered the New Year of 2020 with another new citizen. Miss Peyton Marlys Gulleson was born to Cameron and Jenny Gulleson of this community on Monday, December 30, 2019, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo ND. Peyton weighed in at 9 pounds 7 ounces and stood 22 inches tall in her bare feet at the time of her arrival. Although Peyton entered this country without a valid Passport or a Visa and was totally unable to support herself or provide for her basic needs, she was welcomed with open arms by the Gulleson family and the Rutland community. Peyton is making her home on the Gulleson farm 1½ miles east of Rutland with her parents and her older sister, Dylan. Welcome to Rutland, Peyton. Get ready to butter lefse and serve that lutefisk, too!
The post-Christmas snowbird exodus from Rutland has continued into the first full week of January. Randy & Cheri Pearson boarded the Allegiant Airlines flight to Mesa AZ at Fargo on the evening of Sunday, January 5, and Paul Anderson escaped Winter’s icy grasp in Rutland in his new Ford Escape on Thursday, January 9. Randy & Cheri intend to enjoy the sunshine in the Mesa area until Spring planting begins in Sargent County, and Paul intends to spend the next 2 or 3 months at his recently acquired condo in Sun City West AZ. Also heading south with Paul is Ms. Carol Fridgen of Nevis MN.
The Rutland Community Club Kid’s in the Kitchen first sessions were held on Sunday, January 5th. Katie McLaen, RCC President, with help from Marcia Brakke and parents who stayed helped the kids with the cooking projects. Thirty-three kids participated in the two sessions and made mini-corn dogs and puppy chow. Everyone had fun making the food and of course eating the snacks. The next session will be January 12th. Pictures of the kids in action are on the Rutland Facebook page.
The 25th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament is coming up soon, and the following information was received this week from Sonja (Anderson) Christensen, one of the tournament’s organizers. “HOORAY! HOORAY! HOORAY! It’s coming! The 25th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Partners Pinochle Tournament on Saturday, February 1, 2020 in the Rutland Town Hall at Rutland ND, commencing at 9:00 a.m. The registration fee is $40 per couple. Forenoon lunch, afternoon lunch and a dinner at Noon will be served by the Rutland Community Club. YOU and your friends are invited. To register, contact Sonja Christensen via e-mail at email@example.com; by phone at 701-899-1463 or 701-642-6793; or by U.S. mail at 1645 11th St N, Wahpeton, ND 58075. See you in Rutland on Saturday, February 1, the day before Ground Hog’s Day.” Thanks to Sonja for the information.
Globetrotting Cayuga native Randy Kiefer sent New Year’s Greetings to friends here in an e-mail message dated January 2, 2020. “I hope this note finds you warm and cozy in the frozen Northland. I am in Santiago, Chile, with a forecast high of 90. Not my cup of tea. The good news is that I head south tomorrow, Friday, January 3. I am on schedule for my Antarctica sailing from Ushuaia, Chile, on the 17th. I’m eager to see and touch the ice shelf. Will be visiting ND before March, will see you at that time. My best to all of my Sargent County friends in 2020. R/randy.” Thanks to Randy for the report. We are all looking forward to “the rest of the story,” when he gets here in a couple of months.
Heavy snow, thin ice, open water and running water have made ice fishing a dangerous proposition so far this Winter. Open water may be a hazard for the ice angler, but it’s an opportunity and an invitation to the dedicated shore fisherman. Those who have the fortitude to put up with cold and wind certainly have more chance of success than those who don’t venture very far from the stove. A report has been received that one hardy soul landed a 30-inch walleye on Friday, January 3, while casting into open water from shore near the culverts through County Road #12 on the west end of Lake Tewaukon. No other reports of piscatorial success have been received, but that could just mean that the erstwhile anglers, unlike the 30-inch walleye, are keeping their mouths shut.
The Rutland City Council held its first meeting of 2020 on Monday, January 6. The Council approved a special event liquor permit for The Lariat Bar for the LineBenders event in February at the Hall; approved a 2019 fund transfer from the water fund to the general fund; and approved the bills. The City Auditor informed the Council that there will be six elected positions to be filled this year. The Mayor (Ron Narum) and two City Council Member terms are up (Delores Lysne and Bert Siemieniewski) and three Park Board terms end (Andrea Erickson, Hal Nelson and Jeff Olson). Incumbents have been sent information on filing for the positions. Information has been posted on the website and at City Hall. The City Auditor was appointed as the City’s representative on the technical advisory group for the Sargent County Emergency Management Plan development. The next meeting will be Monday, February 3, at 5 p.m.
Upcoming events: Sunday, January 12th Zumba at 5 p.m.; Monday, January 13th, 5 p.m. Rutland Community Club meeting; Sunday, January 26, Sargent County Ambulance Breakfast in Forman; Saturday, February 1, Anderson Pinochle Tournament; Sunday, February 2, Rutland American Legion Post #215 Breakfast in Rutland; Monday, February 3, Rutland City Council, 5p.m.; Friday, February 7, The LineBenders performance at the Rutland City Hall sponsored by the Rutland Community Club.
Meanwhile, on the international scene, the President of the United States, playing the role of a New York Mafia Don, publicly and brutally executed a high ranking member of the rival Iranian Mafia Family in Baghdad, Iraq, on Thursday, January 2. The Iranians struck back on Tuesday, January 7, lobbing several short-range ballistic missiles into Iraqi military bases housing American military personnel. Now, the world waits to see who blinks first, and it appeared on Wednesday, January 8, that our President may have blinked, but, as has been pointed out, “You can’t believe anything he says, tweets or blinks.” The President is running for re-election in 2020 with the slogan, “Might as well re-elect him! We’ve all lived too long already!” Whether the American people will give this loose nut another term remains to be seen. If we do, we will get what we deserve. Good grief! Later.