By Bill Anderson
Mother Nature has been providing Rutland and vicinity with a roller coaster ride through the month of February, at least so far. The temperature has fluctuated from sub-zero to the verge of thawing a couple of times, with each change in the level of the mercury in the thermometer being accompanied by a change in the direction and velocity of the wind. On Wednesday, February 12, Lincoln’s Birthday, a 40 mph wind accompanied 2 to 3 inches of new snow as the temperature roller coaster began a plunge from the high 20’s to a predicted -15 below zero by Thursday morning, closing schools, courthouses and highways in its path. According to the assembled Wise Men, the changing locations and degrees of severity of arthritic aches and pains are as sure a predicter of changes in the weather as anything in the meteoroligists’ arsenal of scientific methodology, and the latest prediction from the Round Table is that Spring weather is bound to arrive sometime in the next 4 months, come heck or high water, or both. Something to look forward to!
Once again, on The afternoon of Thursday, February 6, sturdy volunteers in the Rutland community stepped forward, bared an arm and offered up a donation of a pint of 100% Grade “A” American blood to aid others in need of the life-saving fluid. According to local coordinator Janet Kiefer, 25 volunteers showed up for their donation appointments at the Rutland Town Hall and donated a total of 27 units of whole blood and red blood cells. Janet reports that there was one first time donor in the group. The February 6 event was the first of 2 blood drives scheduled for 2020 in the Rutland community. The second drive is tentatively scheduled to occur during the month of June. Among those who assisted during the February drive were: Janet Kiefer; Sheila Wyum; Joanne Harris; Renee Cramton; Diane Smith; and, Ron Narum. The post-donation lunch for donors was supplied by the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club. The Rutland community extends congratulations and thanks to the volunteers who assisted the professional staff during the drive, and to all those who donated the gift of life to someone they may have never met.
” The Line Benders”, an improvisational comedy act based in Fargo, appeared on the stage of the Rutland Town Hall on the evening of Friday, February 7, in a production sponsored by the Rutland Community Club (RCC). The stars of the performance included: KFGO Radio personality J. J. Gordon; Rutland native Shelly (Pherson) Fink, now a resident of Fargo; Justin Benson of Fargo; and, Brita Nelson of Fargo. In addition to the regular members of the cast, several members of the audience, including: Kyla Temple; Ben Reisenweber; Brianne Nelson; Jordan Heimbuch; Dale Maren; and, Lyndsee Pherson; became unexpected members of the cast in several of the impromptu skits presented during the 1½ hour long performance. According to RCC President Katie McLaen, an audience of 103 was present to enjoy the hilarity of the performance, as well as the beverages and made on location pizza by the slice served by the staff of the Lariat Bar. Katie states that the RCC is likely to sponsor additional events of this kind in the future, as a good time was had by all, and justifiably so. Line Benders cast member J.J. Gordon, who had directed Rutland’s Childrens Summer Theater program for 5 years during the first decade of the 21st Century, commented, “…I am always overwhelmed and humbled by being asked back to Rutland. It was a blast!” Rutland’s “WELCOME” mat is always out for J.J.
The Rutland Community Club (RCC) held its regular monthly meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 10, in the Rutland Town Hall. Treasurer Hal Nelson reported that the RCC currently has a little over $18,000 on hand for use in community projects. Club members reviewed the recently completed 25th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, which once again proved to be a very successful community event, with 56 teams participating in the 2020 production of what has become the premier classic pinochle tournament in southeastern North Dakota. Club President Katie McLaen reported on the success of the Line Benders performance that had been presented on Friday, February 7. Reports were also received on the upcoming Family Fun Night, which is scheduled for Sunday, March 15; the annual Easter Egg Hunt that is set for the morning of Saturday, April 11, the day before Easter; and, the Memorial Day Community Club Pot-Luck Dinner that will be held following the Memorial Day program at the Rutland Town Hall on the last Monday in May. Katie McLaen reported that several Uff-Da Day lefse making sessions are scheduled for the months of March and April. In additional business, the annual election of Community Club Directors was held, with all incumbent Directors being re-elected for another 3 year term. Community Club Directors for 2020 are: Katie McLaen, President; Carolyn Christensen, Vice President; Andrea Erickson, Secretary; Hal Nelson, Treasurer; Morgan Peterson, Director; and, Marcia Brakke, Director. The next regular meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 9, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Two of Rutland’s finest, Norm Preble and Jerry Sapa, have been under the weather in recent weeks, doctoring in Oakes and Fargo. Norm’s condition required that he miss the 25th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament held here on Saturday, February 1, so his condition had to be serious. Norm had not missed the pinochle tournament since it began back in February of 1996. Jerry has been consulting doctors in Fargo to try to diagnose what is ailing him. Jerry’s and Norm’s many friends in the Rutland community wish them both a complete and speedy recovery, and a quick return to their respective homes.
Deb Banish, the writer who has been providing news from Rutland to print and electronic media for the past year, is visiting in Hawaii this week, and the task of filling in for her has fallen to the author of The Rooster Crows. This writer is in the process of upgrading computer hardware and software and is still in the basic training stage with both, so the mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation and format in this week’s column are only partially the fault of the author. MicroSoft owner Bill Gates has to share the responsibility for anything that is not up to par.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, The U. S. Senate abdicated its responsibility to check the unrestricted exercise of power by the U. S. Presidency by voting on Wednesday, February 5, to acquit the current President of the “High Crimes And Misdemeanors,” for which he had been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives back on December 18. The Senate conducted a trial in which no witnesses were called and no evidenced introduced. The verdict was decided by the GOP’s Senate Leader before the trial began, and every Republican Senator but one, the Junior Senator from Utah, voted as they were told. North Dakota’s 2 Senators, the emty suit and the empty head, their noses a conspicuous shade of obsequious brown, jumped as high as they were directed to jump by the President and his minions. Since Wednesday, February 5, the President’s wrecking crew has been busy dismantling the framework of the American Republic that has been constructed during the past 233 years, since the adoption of the Constitution of the United States of America back in 1787. At that time, Benjamin Franklin, one of the nation’s Founding Fathers, told his fellow citizens that the Constitution provided them with a republic, “…if you can keep it.” It appears now that the final firewall between a tyrannical dictatorship instituted by our current President and his cronies, and a continuation of our 233 year history as a Constitutional republic will be the people themselves, at the ballot box this coming November. Well, at least we, the people, still have some say in our future. It is up to us to decide on the direction we, as a nation, will take. Will we stick with the Constitution, or will we twist and turn in the winds of the personal whims of whoever occupies the White House? The question, and the answer, are ours.
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 http://www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget 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.