By Bill Anderson
The month of February has brought with it the coldest weather of the year, making January, the usual cold weather champ, seem like a semi-tropical memory by comparison. Starting on Wednesday, February 3, the day after Ground Hog’s Day, the mercury began to drop and has only risen above the zero mark on a couple of occasions since then. But, while frigid temperatures are torture for some, they are opportunity for others. Mr. Sawyer Toepke, an elementary student at Sargent Central, reports that he is organizing a hockey team, and that he already has 20 prospective players lined up, if they can find 20 pairs of skates and 20 hockey sticks. Sawyer should probably be thinking of lining up a team dentist, as well. The optimism of youth sees opportunity where others see only misery and discomfort. Hang in there, Sawyer, and bring the NHL’s Stanley Cup back to Sargent County some cold winter day. That ought to make the sun shine! As the old timers used to say, “Nobody ever succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, unless they had some wild expectations to begin with.”
Ice fishing! The cold weather now has the ice on local water holes thick enough for reasonably sane anglers to get out there and go after the ever elusive walleye. Some reports have been received of a few fishermen having some success on a local body of water that bears the name of three former Sargent County Commissioners. If you know your county’s history, you might be able to figure out where that hot spot might be, but by then the fish will have quit biting. Have faith.
Rutland native Mavis (Hoflen) Wold called friends here on Friday, Feb. 5, reporting that she is still in the hospital recovering from the broken leg she suffered a month ago. Mavis said that she had been working in the kitchen of her Minneapolis home when she lost her footing, fell and sustained the broken leg. She is currently undergoing therapy, and hopes to be back in her home in the near future. Mavis is the eldest daughter of the late Oscar & Alma (Anderson) Hoflen of this community. She is a member of the RHS Class of ’47. Her many friends here wish her a speedy recovery and return home.
Former Rutland resident Cheryl Mattson visited in her old home town on the weekend of Feb. 6 & 7. She was in town to visit old friends and to wish “Happy Birthday” to the children of some friends in this community. Cheryl also reports that the corona virus hit her quite hard last year, but she is now recovered and doing well. Friends here noticed no diminution in her energy level, and her Native American nickname “Firefeet” is still applicable.
Back in January of 2020, the members of Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland decided to embark on a Fellowship Hall kitchen remodeling project. A budget of approximately $43,000.00 was approved, and a committee of three members: Ann Erickson; Jennifer Christianson; and, Kathy Wyum was named to oversee the project. The Committee drafted Congregational Treasurer, Phyllis Wyum, as a 4th member shortly after organizing. For much of 2020, Committee members investigated what needed to be done, what should be done and what could be done to bring the Fellowship Hall kitchen into the 21st Century. They checked with suppliers and contractors and, by the end of November they were ready to proceed. Jim Marquette & Kyle Marquette of Rutland were retained to do the carpentry work; Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating of Rutland was contracted to do the plumbing work; B&K Electric of Forman was contracted with for the electrical work; and, Ione Pherson of Rutland was hired to do the painting. Cabinets were ordered from Hill’s of Oakes; floor covering was ordered from Total Home of Oakes; and, new appliances were ordered from Fantasy Furniture of Lisbon. Building materials are being obtained from Riverside Building Center of Lisbon. A group of volunteers from the congregation performed the demolition work in early December, preparing the way for the professionals to put the kitchen back together. The Nordland Fellowship Hall was constructed back in 1954, and the kitchen has gone through the past 66½ years with minimal changes. According to committee member Ann Erickson, when the project is completed the plumbing, cabinets and counters will be all new, the electrical system will be updated, the old incandescent and fluorescent lighting will be replaced by new LED lighting and the flooring will be new. The two kitchen stoves that have been in the kitchen since it was constructed will be replaced by a new double-oven kitchen range, and, an anonymous donor has contributed a new, large, energy-efficient refrigerator from Nielson Electric in Wahpeton. Also, Ann noted, as often happens in remodeling projects, some unanticipated needs have been encountered. It was discovered that the two windows in the west wall and the window in the north wall of the kitchen were badly deteriorated and needed replacement. Ann said that the committee expects that the new Nordland Fellowship Hall kitchen will be completed and ready for use later this spring, in time for a Thanksgiving Dinner to celebrate the end of the covid-19 pandemic. Congratulations to the committee and to the members of the Nordland Congregation on making these necessary and useful improvements to the Nordland Fellowship Hall.
Speaking of the covid-19 pandemic, Rutland folks have been obtaining their vaccinations where they can get them. Doug Olstad, Andy Harris, Vern Leist and Bill Anderson were all in Fargo on Tuesday, February 9, to obtain their second shot of the Moderna vaccine at the VA Medical Center. Others have been getting vaccinated at the Sargent County Public Health District office in Forman, 724-3725; and, at the Forman Drug Store in Forman, 724-6222. If you haven’t received your shot, yet, call and make an appointment.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is now underway in the nation’s Capitol. The former President is charged with “Incitement of Insurrection” back on January 6, when he was still President. The trial in the Senate opened on Tuesday, February 9, and there were complaints that the Trump defense team seemed to be disorganized and confused, much like a continuation of the Trump Presidency. There is an old adage oft quoted by lawyers that holds, “If you have the law, argue the law; if you have the facts, argue the facts; and, if you have neither the law nor the facts, talk loud and pound the table.” Mr. Trump’s attorneys do have strong voices and a good, solid table on which to pound, but that’s about it. It is anticipated that neither the facts nor the law will sway enough Republican Senators to convict Mr. Trump of the charge, but, you never know when the light of reason might cut through the fog of deliberate indifference. Americans have been working at creating a more perfect union since 1776, and every now and then some progress is made.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, stop by the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and check out the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.