By Bill Anderson
Just when it seemed that the old refrain, “It ain’t gonna rain no more, no more…” was accurately predicting the future, Mother Nature said “That just ain’t so!” and sent a thunderstorm to slake the thirst of the Promised Land at about 3:30 a.m. on the morning of Friday, June 11. Roger Pearson’s rain gauge showed. 65 of an inch after the storm moved on and the weather cleared, while the gauge of his next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, indicated .75 of an inch from the same event. Mike Mahrer reported that the gauge out at Mahrer Construction’s shop, on the north side of town, also showed .75 of an inch on Friday morning, while Mark Wyum reported that .6 of an inch was measured at the Rob Wyum farm 3 miles north and 1 mile east of town; at the Steve Wyum farm 1 mile east and 1½ mile north of town; and, at the Mike Wyum farm, 1 mile east and 1 mile north of Rutland. The storm also pushed the oppressive heat and humidity that had afflicted this area since the end of May on to the east, replacing high humidity and temperatures in the upper 90’s and lower 100’s with drier air and temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s. It has been clear skies and beautiful weather since then. “There is naught so rare as a day in June, “the late Earl Anderson used to say, and the past week, up to Tuesday, June 15, has been a series of perfect examples of just what he meant. Lyle Erickson reports that the corn and soybean crops had been doing OK with existing soil moisture prior to Friday’s thunderstorm, but appeared to have been expending most of their energy sending roots down rather than stalks up. The rain has given them a boost, and they are now growing in the right direction, reaching for the sky. Lyle said that the extended period of heat did have an adverse effect on his wheat fields, though, as that crop now appears to be in the “boot” stage. That is, it is as tall as his 8” work boots and is heading out. An electric shaver may be needed for the wheat harvest this year.
A ceremonial detail from Rutland’s Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion was at Calvary Cemetery in Fairmount ND at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, June 4, to render honors at the interment of their late comrade, Richard Lysne of Rutland. Members from the Rutland Post included: Larry Christensen; Douglas Olstad; Roger Pearson; Ted Lee; and, Calvin Jacobson. A color Guard and Bugler from the Fairmount Legion Post and 2 members of the Army National Guard from Fargo completed the detail.
Rutland’s Roosters have hit a tough spot in their schedule recently. On Tuesday, June 8, the Roosters took on a tough team from Wyndmere at Lou Sanderson Field, and dropped 2 games to the visitors in front of the home town crowd. The Roosters have been playing well, but their opponents were playing better. Roger Pearson, an All-Star player with both the baseball & softball versions of the Rutland Roosters, is of the opinion that the new rules changing the strike zone and requiring less arch on the pitched ball have allowed hitters to get more power into their swings, resulting in more multi-base hits and home runs. Even though the final scores weren’t to the Roosters’ liking, the bratwursts, hot dogs and barbecue sandwiches at the Rutland Park Board’s concession stand were big winners with the fans at the ballpark. The Roosters’ next home games are scheduled for Tuesday, June 22, when they will take on the team from Havana at Lou Sanderson Field. Come on out to the ballpark to Root! Root! Root! for the home team, and have a good time doing it.
The biggest crowd of the season was on hand at Lou Sanderson Field in the late afternoon of Tuesday, June 15, to witness the contest between the Rutland-Forman-Havana T-ball and Little League teams and the teams from Lidgerwood. According to Roger Pearson, “There was a lot of hitting, running, throwing, jumping up and down and everything else that it takes to make for some good games and happy fans. The crowd of kids, parents and grandparents also kept the Park Board Concession Stand crew of Mac Pherson, Hal Nelson & Larry Christensen hopping, supplying the demand for bratwursts, hot dogs, barbecues, soda pop and other ball park fare, including peanuts & Cracker Jack. It’s good to see that another generation of ball players is in training, keeping the tradition alive.
It was reported here last week that a longtime member of the Rutland Community, Darlene Huckell, had passed away on June 5, 2021 at the Oakes Hospital in Oakes ND. Now you’ll get the rest of the story. Darlene Opal Jacobson was born to Elias & Ruby Jacobson on November 21, 1937, at Veblen SD. She grew up on the family farm near Veblen and attended the local one-room country school through the 8th Grade. She then went on to graduate from Veblen High School in the Class of 1955. She was a high-flying cheerleader for Veblen High’s athletic teams. She also helped her parents with farm chores, and often enjoyed riding her horse, Tony, through the hills around Veblen. On December 31, 1955, she married James Huckell at Veblen, and they made their home on the Huckell farmstead south of Rutland, east of Havana. In 1968 they acquired the Art & Helga Buen farm just one mile to the south, and have made their home their since then. They raised grain, cattle & sheep, and Darlene and Jim worked hard to hold the farm together during some tough times. Darlene’s greatest enthusiasm was for her role as wife, homemaker, mother and grandmother. She was an outstanding cook, and could turn little or nothing into a gourmet meal. Her sandwiches were creations from the heart. Darlene & Jim also enjoyed dancing, where their location on the dance floor was marked by Jim’s distinctive western-style hat. Darlene was also a talented artist, known for her sketches and paintings. She is survived by her husband, James Huckell of rural Rutland & Havana; by 2 daughters: Darla Anderson of Mooreton ND; and, Nancy Cerrol of Sisseton SD; by 1 son, William Huckell, on the original Huckell farm, rural Rutland & Havana; by 3 grandchildren; by 4 great-grandchildren; by 3 sisters: Ruth Noonan; Delores Henning; and, Joan Lee; by numerous nieces & nephews; and, by a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; by 3 brothers; and by an infant sister. The funeral for Darlene Huckell was held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland with the Rev. Julie Johnson officiating. Interment was in The Rutland Cemetery, Rutland ND. Price Funeral Chapel of Britton & Forman was in charge of arrangements. The Rutland community extends its sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Darlene Huckell, a cheerful and energetic worker who contributed her time and talents to make life better for others.
As the mercury soared toward the 100 mark, local folks gathered in the City Park adjacent to the Rutland Town Hall for the annual Rutland Community Block Party commencing at about 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 10. According to Community Club President Katie McLaen, attendance was down some due to the extreme heat, but more than 100 were on hand to enjoy ice cream floats made with root beer or orange soda, burgers, bratwursts potato salad & chips while a multitude of kids participated in the water games put on by the Rutland Volunteer Firemen. The youngsters enjoyed frolicking in the Fire Department’s huge open topped water transport tank. Hamburger for the burgers was donated by Lacey Block of Rancher’s Rebellion Beef and by Bill Anderson, a guy who had more burger in his freezer than he could use. The Community Block Party is held in June of each year to allow everyone a chance to get reacquainted after a long winter, and to introduce new residents in Rutland to their new friends and neighbors. The next Rutland Community Block Party will be in June of 2022.
A visit to his old home town by Rutland native Dennis Lee, now a resident of Moore OK, prompted a brief reunion of the Rutland High School Class of ’58 in the back room of the Lariat Bar at Noon on Friday, June 11. Six of the 12 original members of the class were able to be there for the gathering: Dennis Lee of Moore OK; James Levery of Rutland; Sonja (Anderson) Christensen of Wahpeton; Corrine (Narum) Romereim of Wahpeton; Beverly (Sundlie) Kulzer of Rutland; and, Roger Pearson of Rutland. Four members of the RHS Class of ’58 are deceased: Robert Meyers; Shirley (Lee) Prindiville; Terry Peterson; and, Donald Johnson. Two members of the class: Kathleen (Bauman) Brakke; and, Alfred Resler; were unable to attend. Jim Levery recalled that the Class Motto was “Sailing, Not Drifting,” and much time was spent reminiscing about the different courses that class members had charted and sailed during the 63 years since they had graduated from good old Rutland High. Others present for the reunion were: Dennis Lee’s wife, Charlotte, and their granddaughter, Kendall; Norbert Kulzer, spouse of Beverly Kulzer, and a member of RHS Class of ’57; Yvonne (Christianson) Johnson, widow of Class of ’58 member Donald Johnson and a member of RHS Class of ’59; and, Mary Ann Levery, spouse of James Levery. Some of the RHS faculty members who helped the Class of ’58 get started on the right course were: Gerald Brekke; Walter Richter; Milda Gulleson; Norman Ballard; Janet Farlow; Anna Anderson; Mary Darnel; Donald Hempler; Robert Schonberger; John Burnham; Elwyn Law; Bruce Traphagen; and, Martha Reif.
The 2021 Rutland Tractorcade had 8 participants when it headed north out of town on the morning of Saturday, June 12. According to the coordinator of this year’s event, Mark Wyum of Rutland, competition from auction sales, family activities and other events reduced numbers this year. The parade of Allis-Chalmers, IHC, John Deere, Minneapolis-Moline and Co-op tractors took a circuitous route to reach Forman at Noon, in time for the Forman Car Show’s parade, and in time for lunch, too. The group then proceeded east and south to Silver Lake County Park for a parade through the campground before heading back to Rutland. Back in Rutland, all involved enjoyed the Wild Rice Antique Tractor & Plowing Association’s Christmas Party in the back room of The Lariat Bar. The Christmas Party had been delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic, but “Better late than never,” was the motto of the day. The next Rutland Tractorcade is tentatively scheduled for the 2nd Saturday in June, 2022.
Rutland natives Margaret Ann (Sapa) Hartze and Jeannie (Sapa) Seifert of Fargo were Rutland visitors on Saturday, June 12. According to Margaret Ann, the Sapa family moved from Rutland to Fargo back in 1958, but they have always considered Rutland to be “home.” Their brother, the late Jerry Sapa, was a longtime resident of Rutland before he passed away in February of 2020. Their parents were the late Joe & Helen (Silseth) Sapa. The “Sapa Girls” spent much of Saturday afternoon at a table in front of The Lariat Bar on Main Street, visiting with old friends and reminiscing about old days and old neighbors in the old home town.
The first Rutland Farmers Market of 2021 was held on Sunday, June 13, in the City Park adjacent to the Rutland Town Hall. Six vendors were on hand with hand-crafted items as well as garden produce. Hamburger for barbecues served by the local LYO was donated by Lacey Block & Drew Smith of Rancher’s Rebellion Beef, and by Bill Anderson. The American Legion Auxiliary also held a “free-will” bake sale of home-made cookies, cakes and other delights. According to Community Club President Katie McLaen, all vendors reported doing a good business, and stated that they intend to be back for the next Rutland Farmers Market on Sunday, July 11. Farmers Markets are scheduled to be held on the 2nd Sunday of each month through September of 2021.
The Rutland Community Club held its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 14, in the Rutland Town Hall. Members discussed Block Party; Farmers Market; the upcoming Rutland Rib Fest; and, Uff-Da Day, which will be on Sunday, October 3, this year. Bill Anderson updated the Community Club on the Sargent County Job Development Authority’s housing development proposals, and the reasons for them. He asked that the Community Club, the Community Development Corporation and the City of Rutland cooperate to maintain and improve Rutland’s infrastructure and work with the JDA to bring new housing, and new people, to Rutland. Diane Smith briefed the Club members present on plans for future community plays and theatrical productions. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 12, at the Rutland Town Hall.
Kathleen Brakke of this community will be honored with a card shower on the occasion of her 80th birthday on Monday, June 28. Kathy’s family requests that cards only, no gifts, be sent. Her address is: Kathleen Brakke, c/o Mapleview Memory Care, 4552 36th Avenue South, Fargo ND 58103.
This community was shocked and saddened on Saturday, June 12, when it was learned that Rutland resident and business developer Gretchen Vann had died, suddenly and unexpectedly, the evening before. Gretchen built The Rutland General Store in 2007 and acquired the Rutland Café in 2009. She operated both until the end of 2015. No obituary or funeral arrangements were available as of this writing. There will be more about Gretchen’s life among us in next week’s column.
Meanwhile, on the international scene, the President, Joe Biden, the REAL President of the USA, is in Europe this week, reassuring America’s friends and allies that “America is back,” and giving the same message to potential adversaries. In a marked change from his immediate predecessor’s practices, Biden intends to kick, rather than kiss, Vladmir Putin’s backside. It is good to have a real American leading the nation once again. 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 www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page, too. Remember 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.