The custom of distributing May Baskets on May Day has almost, but not quite, disappeared from American culture. Those who grew up in the 1950’s remember making small baskets from cupcake papers, putting some candies and maybe even a flower blossom into the basket and then hanging them on the doorknobs of those for whom they held special affection. The custom was that the basket was to be delivered stealthily and included the requirement that a recipient who discovered the basket being delivered was to chase down and kiss the delivering party. Young boys and girls ran very fast when they were 8 or 9 years old but got a lot slower by the time they were teen-agers. Last Friday, May 1, three youngsters from the Rutland community — Paislee Pherson, Brooklyn Pherson, and Kyler Pherson — accompanied by their grandmother, Ione Pherson, revived the old May Day tradition by delivering May Baskets to several homes here. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the kissing part of the custom was suspended this year. The Pherson kids are the daughters and son of Brian and Lyndsee Pherson of this community.
State and national regulations and recommendations intended to prevent, or at least slow, the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, have had a dramatic effect upon individuals and communities throughout the country. In North Dakota, bars, restaurants, hair salons, barbershops and other businesses were closed by the Governor’s Executive Order back in mid-March. Many of these businesses have been allowed to reopen, on a limited basis, as of Friday, May 1. In Rutland, though, the Lariat Bar has remained closed. Most bars in Sargent County had elected to continue their off-sale liquor and takeout food business during the shutdown, but Mike Pyle and Jeremy Becker, who have been operating the Lariat Bar for the past four or five years, elected to lock the door and walk away, leaving their patrons dry, but not high. This is the first time that a bar has not been operating on Lots 9 & 10, Block 2 of Cooper’s Addition in Rutland since prohibition ended back in 1933. Back then, Ingwald “Ink” Skoglund, who had been operating an ice cream store and café at the location, obtained a liquor license and reconfigured his business as a liquor establishment known as Ink’s Bar. In 1947 Ink sold the business to Bud & Toddles Bohn, and the name was changed to Bohn’s Bar. Bud & Toddles remodeled and redecorated the premises in 1953, and renamed the business “The Lariat Bar,” the name by which it has been known ever since. Other owners and operators of the Lariat since 1958 include: Ronald Donaldson; Darwin & Kathy Brakke; Calvin Jacobson, Boyd Jacobson Jr. & Art Carlson; Dead Eye Dick Povlitzki; Bruce & Paula Meiers; Norman & Rita Preble; Janice Christensen; Bradley & Rebecca Christensen; and, Mike Pyle & Jeremy Becker. The original bar building was moved from the site it had occupied since the 1890’s back in 2009, and the owner at that time, Janice Christensen, had the current Lariat Bar building constructed on the site, retaining much of the original ambiance, including the western motif mural on the north wall, the classic antique backbar and the wagon wheel chandeliers. Janice also promoted the business, had consistent hours, and provided service with a smile, three attributes that it is hoped any future owner will bring to The Lariat, a Rutland community institution since 1933.
The Rutland City Council met on Monday, May 4, with Acting Mayor Michael Mahrer presiding. All Council members and the City Auditor were present along with two members of the community. Colton Corry expressed interest in serving as a City Council member; he missed the election application deadline due to unforeseen circumstances. The first order of business for the Council was the adoption of a resolution honoring Ronnie Narum:
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum was appointed to the Rutland City Council on November 2, 1970 to fill a vacancy on the Council for a two-year term; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum was elected Mayor of the City of Rutland, sworn into Office on April 18, 1972, and served as Mayor until his death; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum served on the North Dakota League of Cities Board representing cities under 2,500 population for several years; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum was recognized for his City service and was named Citizen of the Year in 1992 by the North Dakota League of Cities; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum served as the City’s representative on the Sargent County Job Development Authority; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum served as an active firefighter from 1965 to 2014 and was a leader in the establishment of the Rutland-Cayuga Rural Fire District and was inducted into the North Dakota Firefighters Museum Hall of Fame in 2015; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum was an active participant on the Rutland Softball Team as a player and later as an umpire and served on the ND State Softball Association Board; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum was instrumental in the establishment of the Rutland Depot Museum and ensured that the Museum exhibits and building were maintained; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum helped improve the City of Rutland during his years of service as Mayor, as the Water and Wastewater System Operator, Municipal Waste Site Operator, City Shop Maintenance Man, and general City maintenance and mowing, and any other job that needed to be done in the City; and,
WHEREAS Ronald D. Narum was very active in other City, County and State organizations including the Sargent County Weed Control Board, Lake Agassiz Regional Council, Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland, Sargent County Ambulance, and the Sargent County Museum, to name only a few.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rutland City Council extend its appreciation and gratitude to Ronald D. Narum and condolences to his family upon his death; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rutland City Council designate April 18th as Ronald Narum Day in the City of Rutland to recognize his contributions and service to the City and its residents.
The Council discussed the radar signs which have been installed. The signs are missing some lights and need additional programming to adjust the speed at which they show incoming traffic speed. Several residents have offered to help with the City mowing this summer. The Council will review the Public Works job description, discuss the position and how to fill the job at the June meeting. A building permit was issued to Nathan and Shauna Bergh to add a concrete driveway pad to the side and rear yard. The Council discussed the water leak below Bill Anderson’s lot and the need to dig up the newly planted yard. His sump pump has been running continuously and the leak is part of the cause. The settling water in the lot across the street will lower once the leak is repaired. The Council approved the financial report and bills as presented by the City Auditor. The Council approved a charge of $100.00 for mowing lots that exceed the City’s six-inch growth height limit. The notice will be published in the Teller and that will serve as the City’s official notice to homeowners; no further notification will be needed. The issue of sump pump discharge into the city sewers was discussed. Residents need to drain sump pumps outside in their yards or into the streets and not directly into the City sewer system. Information on lawn mowing, sump pump drainage, and tree trimming will be sent in a letter to all City residents. Clean-up Day on Saturday was busy as households had time to clear out items. The electronics were hauled out on Saturday and the white goods and the dumpster will be removed this week. The City will need to obtain a burning permit to burn all the branches that have accumulated at the landfill site. The City Auditor submitted another application for a matching grant to remove and trim trees on City property again this year with the plan to plant new trees in 2021. The next City Council meeting will be Monday, June 1, at 5 p.m.
That is it for the news from Rutland. Keep up to date on what is happening on the Rutland website and the Facebook page.