By Bill Anderson
Rutland and vicinity have been enjoying a welcome guest since the New Year began. The traditional annual visit of “The January Thaw” began early and has stayed late. This is one guest that doesn’t get old after 3 days. A high temperature of 41 above was forecast for Wednesday, January 13, and even though cooler weather is being predicted for the coming week, the highs are still predicted to be in the mid-20’s to low 30’s, with the lows in the double digits above zero. Weather like that for North Dakota in January just can’t be beat. But, Winter isn’t over, yet, so don’t lose track of your parka and snow shovel!
The house at 301 First Street, also known as The Bagley House, has been occupied by Aaron & Silvia Brooks since shortly before Christmas, 2020. Mr. Brooks is a native of New Orleans LA, and Mrs. Brooks grew up in Bakersfield CA. He is employed by RayMac at Gwinner, and she has her own residential cleaning business in addition to attending classes at the State College of Science in Wahpeton and working part-time as a bartender in Gwinner. The Rutland Community extends a hearty welcome to Aaron & Silvia Brooks! As soon as this covid-19 pandemic is over, we’ll teach you how to make lefse and rommegrot. Uff-Da!
Sonja (Anderson) Christensen, one of the organizers and original sponsors of The Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, has announced that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 26th annual tournament, originally scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2021, has been postponed and rescheduled to Saturday, February 5, 2022. Sonja extends best wishes to all of the tournament’s regular participants and hopes to see all of them at next year’s event. They are all longing for those Rutland scalloped potatoes.
With many community events being postponed, rescheduled and cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic, it is good to note that there is hope on the horizon. Covid-19 vaccines are now, or soon will be, available through local public health clinics, private clinics and pharmacies. Andy Harris, Vern Leist and Bill Anderson of this community were among those who travelled to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Fargo during the past week to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine. A return visit will be required in 28 days to receive a booster shot in order to get the full preventative effect of the vaccine. Folks in Sargent County who want to inquire about obtaining a vaccination can call Sargent County Public Health in Forman at 724-3725, or Forman Drug at 724-6222. Until most of the country has been vaccinated, the best way to prevent spreading the virus is to wear a mask; wash hands frequently; and, maintain 6 feet of social distance. Just exercise some common sense and common courtesy for the common good.
We’ve all heard the story of the little Dutch boy who plugged a hole in the dike by sticking his finger into it. Well, now Rutland has its own version of the tale. On the morning of Sunday, January 10, a very large icicle descending down the southwest leg of the Rutland water tower was observed. Braving a stiff wind, Rutland City Council member Rodney Erickson got into the bucket of his large boom lift and ascended to inspect the origin of the unwanted ice chunk. He discovered a small hole in the side of the tank, at about the level of the catwalk that circles it. Ever resourceful, Rodney descended back to earth to devise a repair plan. He returned in a few minutes with a self-tapping screw and a rubber gasket. He took his lift bucket back up to the source of the leak, positioned his repair components at the hole in the tank and drove in the screw. The water stopped, and the water tower was saved, for a while, at least. Rodney re-checked his repair the next day and found water seeping around the gasket. He visited with Mitch Mahrer about the problem and came up with another solution. Mitch had a plug that is used to plug the drain in the bottom of a boat. The plug is inserted into the drain hole, and a lever on the dry side is flipped over to expand the wet end of the plug and clamp it against the bottom of the boat, or, in this case, against the inside of the tank. Rodney drilled out the site of the leak to make sure that the steel around it was solid, inserted the plug, flipped the lever, and, VIOLA!, problem solved, hopefully until this coming spring. Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls has done the annual inspections, cleanings, and repairs on the tower since it was constructed back in 1954 and will make permanent repairs at that time. In the meantime, thanks to Rodney for carrying on the old Rutland tradition of improvising, adapting and overcoming, no matter what the difficulty may be.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, Wednesday, January 6, 2021, will take its place in history right next to Sunday, December 7, 1941, as a date which will live in infamy. On that date, for the only time in the history of our country, a President of the United States incited a mob to suddenly and violently attack our Capitol, our Congress, and our Constitution. The mob’s actions have been described as an attempted coup d’état, a violent overthrow of the legitimate government of the United States. Since Election Day back in November, the President has been falsely claiming that he won reelection to the Presidency, and that the election had been stolen from him. There is no evidence to support his claims, but he continues to make them, anyway. The President is no stranger to “alternate facts and alternate realities,” and there is one possible explanation for his claims. Back in 2016, he received 3 million fewer votes than his opponent, and still won the Electoral College balloting by 74 votes. In 2020, he received 7 million fewer votes than his opponent, more than twice the popular vote margin of 4 years earlier. As he lost by twice as many votes in the popular vote this time around, he should have won the Electoral College voting by twice as many votes this time around, too. It all makes sense if you think like a Trumpaniac. This time, with only a week left in his term, though, even the Republicans are in favor of impeachment, conviction, and removal from office, forever. On January 20, 2021, it will be “Goodbye!” to Trumpism, and welcome back to realism. Can’t happen a day too soon.
Well, that’s it from the little city that can for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in Rutland, 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, and don’t forget to put the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.