The Rooster Crows – Feb. 19, 2021

Below zero at dawn; Below zero at dusk; It’s getting old; should all be told; we’re tired of this incessant cold. Burma Shave! It’s not a record, but some communities in eastern North Dakota have just experienced 10, or more, consecutive days during which the thermometer has failed to claw its way above the zero mark. In Rutland, the mercury dropped below zero on the evening of Wednesday, February 10, and did not get into positive territory until the afternoon of Tuesday, February 16, and then not by much. The cold weather is not just local, either. Rutland native Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs reported on Monday, February 15, from her winter haven at Port Aransas TX, that the temperature there was at the 21-degree mark and that the entire Texas Gulf Coast community was without electricity and covered in ice. The only folks moving around, Judie said, were the winter refugees from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, who were the only people down there with the know how to walk or drive on the ice. Judie also reported that the ice had taken down power lines all over Texas, leaving more than a million Texans without electricity. So, spending the winter in North Dakota, where ice, snow, wind and cold are part of the daily winter routine, isn’t all that bad. The residents here prepare for winter, and, as a result, the plumbing isn’t frozen, the electricity works, and central heat keeps folks comfortable. As the late Clayton McLaen of this community often observed, “There are two seasons in North Dakota: winter; and getting ready for winter.” We’re ready! We’re ready to be done with it for a while, too, now that bragging rights have been established. The TV weather gurus are predicting temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s above zero for the upcoming weekend. Bring it on!

Mr. Alex Marcovich of Madison WI and Mr. Joe Diaz of Chicago IL were visitors at the Jesse Brakke residence in Ransom Township last week. The two have been visitors to the Rutland Community several times in the past, most frequently for community events such as Uff-Da Day and Memorial Day, but this year they wanted to experience something different, ice-fishing on the prairie. They arrived on Wednesday, February 10, as the mercury slid below the zero mark, and headed back east on Saturday, February 13, having caught their limit of ice, as well as some nice perch, walleyes, and northern pike. Their best catch of the trip, though, was on the evening of Friday, February 12, when they stopped at The Lariat Bar and ordered the walleye special. Alex had the pan-fried walleye and Joe ordered the deep-fried walleye. They agreed that both were outstanding. Alex is a commercial pilot flying charter flights for SC Airlines of Madison, and Joe is an IT Specialist employed by the Home Chef division of Kroeger Foods in Chicago. Alex was first introduced to Rutland by Jesse’s daughter, Claire, when they were students at UND in Grand Forks. Alex and Joe have been friends since boyhood days in Chicago. Claire, the real fisherman of the bunch, wasn’t able to take time off from her duties as an Occupational Therapist in the Madison area to show the boys how to catch the big ones. Maybe next time. They are hoping to be back in Rutland for Uff-Da Day on the first Sunday in October, if not sooner.

Dale McLaen of this community checked himself in at the Oakes Hospital on Friday, February 12, suffering from the effects of an unspecified infection and severe dehydration. After a night in Oakes, during which, “they pumped more than a gallon of liquid into me,” according to Dale, he was transferred up to Sanford on Broadway in Fargo for further diagnosis and treatment. As of Monday, February 15, Dale was not sure of when he would be released from the Sanford facility, but thought that it might be as early as Tuesday, February 16, depending on what the doctors figure out. He said that he was feeling much improved, though. Dale’s business, McLaen’s Repair, located adjacent to the McLaen farmstead two miles northwest of Rutland, is temporarily closed while he is recuperating and receiving treatment. According to Dale, “Despite all of the diagnostic equipment in my shop, I didn’t have anything that could figure this one out.” Dale’s many friends in the Rutland community wish him a speedy recovery and return home.

Ann Erickson of this community joined her cousin, Barbara Rick of Fergus Falls MN on Monday, February 15, to visit Ann’s aunt, Barbara’s mother, Lois Nelson, at the Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman on the occasion of Lois’ 95th birthday. Lois and her late husband, Ralph Nelson, resided in the Rutland community from the time they were married in 1944 until Lois moved to Four Seasons a few years ago. Together, Ralph & Lois farmed for several years on the old Hermanson farm, southeast of Rutland; managed the Producers-Consumers Co-operative Cream Station in Rutland from the early 1950’s until the 1970’s; and owned & Operated the Rutland Café from 1962 through 1998. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, residents at Four Seasons are limited to two visitors at a time, but Ann reports that she and Barbara were joined via telephone by Lois’ two sons, Ed Nelson of Crookston MN and Dick Nelson of Valley City ND while they were there. Ann, Barbara and Lois also enjoyed slices of a birthday cake that Barbara had prepared for her mother. Lois had received a number of birthday cards from friends and family, including one that had been signed by those who stopped by the Rutland Seniors Center on Monday morning. Lois many friends in Rutland extend congratulations to her on the occasion of her 95th birthday and wish her many more Happy Birthdays to come.

Rutland City Auditor Deborah Banish has posted notices that the City has a 1,000-gallon propane tank for sale on bids. The tank has faulty valves, and is no longer suitable for use by the City, according to Debbie. Written bids may be submitted to the City until Noon on Monday, March 1, 2021, by e-mail to; by U. S. Mail to: City of Rutland, PO Box 181, Rutland ND 58067; or, by delivering a written bid to the Rutland City Office in the Rutland Town Hall at 115 Gay Street in Rutland. Delivered bids may be dropped in the mail slot on the front of the Town Hall or brought to the City Office between 10:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, or after 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 1. The City reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids for any reason. The tank may be inspected at its present location on the Rutland RV Park, north of the Town Hall. As the late Ronald Donaldson once said about a kitchen sink faucet, “’Tis a thing of beauty, and a joy forever.”

Good news on the international front! Archeologists in Egypt report discovering a beer brewery that is believed to be 5,000 years old. The first batch is nearly ready for bottling.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is now history. On Saturday, February 13, all fifty Democrats in the U. S. Senate and all seven of the Republican Senators in possession of a conscience and a backbone, voted to convict the former President of the “high crime and misdemeanor” of incitement of insurrection. The remaining 43 Republican Senators voted for acquittal, including North Dakota’s two Senators, the obsequious little Kevin Cramer and the invisible John Hoeven. As two-thirds of the Senators, 67, were needed for conviction, the former President was once again acquitted of the charge against him, even though the law allowed a conviction and the facts demanded it. Trump is now vowing revenge against those Republican Senators who voted to convict, and his followers have taken up the cue. One official in the Pennsylvania Republican Party said of his State’s Republican Senator who voted for conviction, …We didn’t send him to the Senate to vote his conscience, or to do the right thing. We sent him there to represent us!” Well, that pretty much explains it all, doesn’t it?

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, and stop by 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. 

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