The Rooster Crows – July 16, 2021

By Bill Anderson

It really rained after the rain was over. The rain showers started at about 10:00 p.m. on Friday, July 9, and, after about .1 to .2 of an inch had fallen here, the TV weather reporters declared that it was all over. No more rain for the foreseeable future. the weather gurus may have their charts, insights, incense and incantations to guide them, but the weather gods are not to be trifled with. No one tells them what to do. After the rain was officially over, the clouds opened up to give Rutland and vicinity another .5 to .8 of an inch of much needed precipitation. Norbert Kulzer reported a full 1 inch in his rain gauge, while next door neighbor, Roger Pearson, measured .75 of an inch in his. Chuck Sundlie reported .8 of an inch in his gauge on Saturday morning, but he had dumped out what he estimates to have been about .2 of an inch when the rain stopped the first time. Harvey Bergstrom reported .83 of an inch at his farm 2½ miles south of Cayuga; Kurt Breker measured .62 of an inch at his farm 1 mile south of Cayuga; Mark Wyum received .6 of an inch at his farm northeast of Rutland; Chuck Anderson came in with the low reading for the event of .43 of an inch at his farm in Weber Township, between Rutland & Havana; and, Cam Gulleson’s rain gauge 1½ mile east of town gets the prize for the highest reading at 1.11 inch on Saturday morning. Several of the Assembled Wise Men around the coffee table at the Rutland Seniors Center on Saturday morning even observed that the grass was beginning to turn green, again. So, in the “Every Silver Lining Has Its Cloud” department, now they will have to start mowing lawns, again.

The 26th District Democratic-NPL Party’s Executive Committee met at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, in the Community Room of the Stock Grower Bank’s Rutland Station. District Chairman Jim Dotzenrod of Wyndmere had called the meeting to discuss the need to plan for the re-drawing of District boundaries by the Legislature later this year, the need to prepare for a possible legislative election in the event new District boundaries result in a significant change in the population of the District; and, to plan for a rally/fund-raiser in cooperation with District #25 on Thursday, August 19 at the Joel Heitkamp residence at Lake Elsie, near Hankinson. About a dozen members of the Executive Committee were present, including former legislators Jerry Kelsh of Fullerton and Al Peterson of Forman. Notices of the upcoming Rally/Fund-Raiser will be published on-line, as well as in the local newspapers in Sargent, Dickey, Ransom & Richland Counties. Officers of the 26th District Dem-NPL for 2021-22 are: Jim Dotzenrod, Chairman; Jayne Pfau & Cameron Gulleson, Vice Chairpersons; Bryce Carlson, Secretary; and, Sheila Wyum, Treasurer.

Dick Meyers, Joel Susag and Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson were among the folks from Rutland who were in Fort Ransom on Saturday, July 10, to attend “Sodbuster Days” watch the horse-farming demonstrations and witness the dedication of a bench honoring the memory of the late Clayton McLaen of this community. Clayton and his wife, Milly, were charter members of The Sodbusters Association, and Clayton was also a charter member of the Fort Ransom Detachment of North Dakota’s 7th Cavalry. Dick Meyers reports that he arrived on time, but stationed himself at the wrong end of the parade route. He did witness the horse drawn hay rack carrying Clayton’s son, Dennis, and Clayton’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but he missed the part when they stopped to dedicate the bench. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts. Chuck Anderson reports that he did sit on the bench later on and is of the opinion that Clayton would have approved of it. It’s a good spot to sit & rest, smoke a pipe and tell a story, or listen to one.

Workmen, trucks and equipment from Buck’s Paving of Fargo were at work in Rutland on Monday & Tuesday, July 12 & 13, patching potholes and repairing damaged areas on the City’s streets. They went about their work with dispatch, and the finished product looks good. Estimated cost of the project was approximately $23,000.00.

Rutland native Larry Colby and son, Tom, of Sierra Vista AZ stopped in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for morning coffee and conversation with The Assembled Wise Men on the morning of Monday, July 12. Larry reported that he, his wife and son had made the trip from Arizona to North Dakota by air this year, rather than taking their normal drive up to his old stomping grounds. They stayed at the home of their niece and nephew-in-law, Sherry & Russ Hosford, in Forman during their visit. The Colby Family had a Reunion at Silver Lake on Saturday, July 10, with 105 descendants of Larry’s parents, the late Ted & Winnie Colby, in attendance, Larry reported. According to Larry, the Colby family had moved to the old Pete Narum Farm on the north side of Silver Lake in 1941, and had made their home there until his Dad, Ted, had suffered a heart attack in 1952. They then moved to Rutland for a few years, and then to Forman, where Larry graduated from High School in 1957. Larry made a career in the U. S. Army, and the family has resided in Sierra Vista since his retirement from the military. Larry made many friends in Rutland and in Forman back in the 40’s & 50’s and enjoys an annual trip back to his home territory to renew old friendships and catch up on what’s been happening. The 2020 trip was cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic, so this trip was Larry’s first back since 2019. On the evening of Friday, July 9, Larry & his family joined old friends DarWayne & Ardie Crandall at The Lariat Bar in Rutland for the walleye special. Larry stated that they were favorably impressed with the current management of The Lariat and found the walleye to be superb. The Colbys are scheduled to be heading back to Sierra Vista on Tuesday, July 13 at the conclusion of a very enjoyable visit.

Cayuga native Randy Kiefer, a marathon cycling enthusiast, stopped in Rutland on the evening of Monday, July 12, for a visit with old friend Bill Anderson of this community. The two enjoyed supper at The Lariat Bar, and spent several hours in conversation about “the good old days” and about future plans. Randy has been visiting at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Pam & Keith Hoistad, between Lisbon & Milnor, since Mid-May, taking a break for a few weeks to ride a biking trail from Pittsburgh PA to Washington DC with 2 cycling friends. The 3 of them call themselves “The Apple Dumpling Gang.” Randy’s plans for the remainder of the Summer include cycling east, across Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Michigan and States east, with his final destination being Portland Maine, where he plans to spend the winter. Plans for 2022 may include a return ride to North Dakota, but who knows what adventures await a small town boy with imagination, grit and a penchant for testing his own endurance. After all, he is still only a youthful 72 years of age. Good riding, Randy!

The Rutland City Council held its July meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 12, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Mike Mahrer; Auditor Debbie Banish; and, City Council members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and, Lori McLaen in attendance. Council member Colton Corry was absent. Also in attendance were: Rutland Housing’s Manager, Bert Siemieniewski; and Rutland citizen Bill Anderson. Ms. Siemieniewski asked the council to take action to improve the steep ditch crossing at the east end of the alley that is north of Rutland Housing’s Apartment House #2 at 316 Ross Street; and, about leveling the excavation site where a drainage pipe was installed along Gay Street, on the north side of Rutland Housing’s Apartment House #3 at 204 Dakota Street to allow for better access to the tenants’ parking sites. Mr. Anderson congratulated the Council for taking action to repair potholes and damaged pavement on the City’s streets. The Auditor informed the Council that a grant for the removal of dead and diseased trees from boulevards and other City owned property had been obtained. The Council held the first hearing on the Petition to Vacate the north-south alley through the north half of Block #3 of Greene’s Addition of 1907. There was no discussion or public comment on the petition. The final hearing will be at the next meeting of the City Council on Monday, August 2, and it is likely that the petition will be approved at that time. The position of Council Vice-President has been vacant since the resignation of Bert Siemieniewski from the Council several months ago, and the Council elected new Council member Lori McLaen to that position. Mayor Mahrer and Council member Erickson informed the Council that a permit from the State Health Department will be sought to allow water to be drained from cell #3 of the City’s sewage Lagoon so water from Cell #2 can be drained into Cell #3, and water from Cell #1 can be drained into Cell #2. All 3 sewage lagoon cells are now nearly full, and something has to go. Mayor Mahrer and Council Member Erickson also reported that they had recently replaced the outmoded light fixture at the top of the Rutland Water Tower with an aircraft obstruction fixture acquired on-line. The new fixture replaces the old incandescent light fixture that has been atop the tower since 1954. Mayor Mahrer stated that the new system is about the same size as a 5-gallon bucket, weighs about 65 pounds and contains 36 LED bulbs. While mounting the new light fixture on the tower, the 2 City officers noticed that there were several rust holes in the tower roof. City Engineer Mike Bassingthwaite will be contacted to provide some estimates for making extensive repairs to the existing tower, or for replacing it with a new one. Mayor Mahrer informed the Council that the Sargent County Road Department had agreed to a 50% cost share on repairs to the pavement on First Street/County Road #10 on the north side of the railroad crossing. Council member Lori McLaen informed the Board that the old garbage disposal unit in the Town Hall kitchen is beyond repair, and that Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating of Rutland has been asked to install a new one. Auditor Banish reported that, for the first time in a long time, there were no delinquent Water, Sewer & Garbage service bills to report. Three bills will become delinquent on July 15, if they have not been paid by that time. After reviewing the City’s bills and authorizing payment, the Council adjourned. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 2, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and Rutland citizens are encouraged to stop in to observe their City Council in action.

The Rutland Roosters’ final home games of the 2021 season were played on Tuesday, July 13, at Lou Sanderson Field. Norbert Kulzer reported that a good-sized crowd was on hand to watch the Roosters split a double-header with a team from Lisbon. Norbert also said that the Rutland Park Board Concession Stand crew of Larry Christensen; Mac Pherson; and, Hal Nelson; finished out the season with a clean sweep, dispensing bratwursts, hotdogs, barbecues & beverages with the smooth efficiency of true professionals. The Rutland community extends congratulations to the members of the Rutland Roosters Men’s Slowpitch Softball team on a successful season, and thanks for the opportunity to cheer for the home team at Lou Sanderson Field.

Mike Kulzer was back in Rutland on Tuesday & Wednesday, July 13 & 14, and stopped in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center on Wednesday morning to participate in the discussions of The Assembled Wise Men. Mike said that he had taken a drive through the countryside on Tuesday evening, taking the Township roads south and east to the State Line, then heading west on the north side of line through Havana, and finally heading back to Rutland. For the entire distance, Mike said, he only met 1 car on the road. He said that he wasn’t sure if that was because there just wasn’t anyone else out driving around, or if it was because someone had called ahead to warn the residents that he was on the road. Either way, though, Mike reported a very nice, peaceful drive through some mighty nice country.

Darby Brakke of Los Angeles CA and Janelle Brakke of Fargo have been in Rutland since Tuesday, July 13, helping make preparations for the Celebration of Life that will be held at The Lariat Bar from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, in memory of their Dad, the late Darwin Brakke. Darby and Janelle are staying at the farm home of their brother, Jesse Brakke, this week. They state that all of their Dad’s old friends are invited to join the family for the Celebration of Life on Saturday, July 17.

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, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, 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.

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