The Rooster Crows – July 30, 2021

By Bill Anderson

“Good things come to those who wait,” the old saying goes, and those who were waiting for a good rain got what they were waiting for last weekend. A brief shower, accompanied by a few rumbles of thunder, passed over Rutland and vicinity at about 8:30 on the morning of Friday, July 23, leaving anywhere from .1 to .15 of an inch of rain in its wake, not much, but enough to prime the pump. Mother Nature let loose with a real rip snorter, though, early on Saturday morning, about bar closing time. Dick Meyers reported that the lightning and thunder shook him right out of bed at about 1:30 a.m., just before the lights went out. Otter Tail Power customers in Rutland were without electricity for 3 hours, until 4:30 a.m., when the juice started flowing through the wires, again. When all the excitement had subsided, local rain gauges, as usual, recorded various amounts of rainfall. Roger Pearson’s gauge held .7 of an inch; while the gauge of his next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, held .8; and, Chuck Sundlie’s gauge, only 2 blocks south, held .9.  Duane Lock reported that both rainfall events totaled 1.15 inch at his farm 3 miles west of Rutland; Nick McLaen reported the highest amount, 1.2 inch, 2 miles northwest of town; Mark Wyum had an even 1 inch in his gauge about 1½ mile northeast of town; Jesse Brakke’s gauge between Rutland & Cayuga showed .85 of an inch; Ted Lee reportedl.6 of an inch at his farm in Tewaukon Township, with no rain at all on Friday; and, Harvey Bergstrom reported .74 of an inch of rain at his farm 2 miles south of Cayuga. It was a timely rain, some might call it a “lifesaver” for the corn and soybean crops that are now in critical stages of development. It didn’t do pastures, hay meadows, lawns, gardens and tree belts any harm, either.  We’re willing to take more.

Rodney Erickson has Had his spray plane down at 2 fair communities to our south, Fairmount NE and Fairberry NE, for the past few weeks, applying fungicide on fields of irrigated corn in that region. Fairmount and Fairberry are located southwest of Lincoln, the home of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. Those cornhuskers don’t want to find any fungus among us. Rodney reported that he expected to be done there by August 1, unless additional opportunities to apply fungicides, herbicides or pesticides present themselves.

The title of “Best Ribs In Rutland” will be up for grabs during the annual Rutland Rib Fest on Saturday, August 7.  The event was not held in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, but is coming back in 2021, better than ever. The Lariat Bar, Pete & Michelle Denault, owners, is the sponsor of the event. According to Alex Rohrbach, bartender & waitress at The Lariat, there will be rib vendors, sweet corn vendors and other vendors and live music on Main Street, and lots of fun for all.  Don’t miss it.  Rib Fest in Rutland on Saturday, August 7.

Last week it was noted here that lifelong Rutland resident Steven Preble had passed away at his home here on Monday, July 19. An obituary has now been posted on the Price Funeral Chapel internet web site.  Steven Olaf Preble was born on September 18, 1950 in Britton SD to Clements & Hazel (Sundlie) Preble of Rutland. He was the 5th of their 8 children.  He was baptized and confirmed at Nordland Lutheran Church here. Steven attended elementary school in Rutland, and graduated from Sargent Central High School in 1969. Following high school he took 2 years of college classes at the ND State College of Science of Wahpeton, obtaining his Associate Degree in 1971. Steve was a fan of all the usual sports during his school years, but his special affection was for baseball. He played Little League and American Legion baseball from elementary school through high school, and then switched to softball when there were no amateur baseball teams available. He was a member of The Rutland Roosters Mens Slowpitch Softball team throughout the 1970’s & 80’s. After college, Steve was employed by Northern Improvement, Inc. in the highway construction business. In the early 1980’s, he changed jobs and went to work as bartender and assistant manager at The Lariat Bar in Rutland, then owned by Steve’s brother & sister-in-law, Norman & Rita Preble. He later worked at Kurt’s Bar in Forman; as Clubhouse manager of the Forman Golf Course; and, as Clubhouse Manager of the Lidgerwood Golf Course. Failing eyesight, caused by diabetes, forced Steve’s early retirement from his management positions, but, he continued as a promoter and advertising sales representative for “The Hoopster,” a publication promoting North Dakota High School basketball, for a number of years. He remained an avid sports fan, attending most of Sargent Central’s home games, and he enjoyed offering his white cane to assist the referees whenever the calls were going against the Cadets. Steven is survived by 4 brothers: Norman Preble of Forman; Harvey Preble of Egan MN; Kent Preble of Mandan ND; and, Kevin Preble of Harvey ND; by 2 sisters: Dianna Anderson of Rutland; and Carol Harrison of Fargo; by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and, by a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, by a brother, Neal Preble of Grand Forks; and, by a niece, Sarah Preble of Harvey ND. The Memorial Service for Steven Preble will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland with Rev. Julie Johnson officiating. Inurnment will be in the Rutland Cemetery. Price Funeral Chapel of Britton & Forman is assisting with arrangements. The Rutland community extends its sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Steven Preble, an active and integral member of the community for all of his three score and ten years of life, as well as a colorful and unique character who will long be remembered by those who knew him, and by some who didn’t.

With the Delta variant of the coronavirus increasing the number of covid-19 cases across the nation, Sargent County has so far escaped the ravages of the renewed pandemic, despite the fact that, as of Monday, July 26, slightly more than 40% of the County’s residents are still not vaccinated against the virus. According to Sargent County District Health Unit Administrator Brenda Peterson, there were no active cases in Sargent County as of this past Monday.  Statistics from the North Dakota Department of Health indicate that, as of Monday, July 26, 59.3% of County residents age 12 and older have received at least 1 shot of vaccine, and 57.9% have been fully vaccinated. According to Ms. Peterson, the number of County residents who have been getting vaccinated has been increasing at a slow but steady rate.  To obtain information about vaccinations for covid-19, or to schedule a time to get your vaccination, call: Sargent County Public Health at 724-3725; Forman Drug at 724-6222; or Sanford Clinic at 742-3267. Ms. Peterson said that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available at this time. According to the CDC, the Delta variant of the virus is 100 times more contagious than the original virus that brought the world to a standstill back in the spring of 2020, but the available vaccines are effective against it. So, if you haven’t been vaccinated, yet, what are you waiting for? Do yourselves, your families and your communities a big favor and a great service by getting vaccinated today to halt the spread of covid-19. We know that the virus is dangerous and potentially deadly. We know that the vaccines work to prevent the spread of the virus; to prevent hospitalization as a result of covid-19; and, to prevent death as a result of the disease.  So, do the right thing.  Get vaccinated!

James & Sydney Brakke of Somerset WI; Claire Brakke of Madison WI; and, Alex Markovic of Madison WI; were visitors at the Jesse Brakke home from Friday, July 16 to Sunday, July 18. James and Claire were home to attend the Celebration of Life for their grandfather, the late Darwin Brakke, which was held at The Lariat Bar on the afternoon of Saturday, July 17. Accompanying James & Sydney was their English Cocker Spaniel puppy, Mabel, who stole the show.

Joe & Patty Breker; their youngest daughter, Maria Zacharias; Joe’s sister, Cher Spieker; and, family friend Corey Arnold; returned home on Sunday, July 18, at the conclusion of a week-long fishing trip at Rocky Point Resort in Petersburg,, Alaska. Petersburg is located at the north end of Mitkof Island, near the center of the famed “Inland Passage,” about 100 miles north of Ketchikan AK and about 120 miles south of Alaska’s Capitol City, Juneau AK.  Members of the Breker family have been making regular trips to the Rocky Point Resort since Joe’s Dad, the late Clarence Breker of this community, first visited there back in 1988. This year, Joe said, the daily limit of halibut had been reduced from 2 to 1, but they were still allowed 6 salmon per day.  The halibut were small this year, Joe said, most of them weighing in at about 20 pounds.  None of those 110 pound lunkers of previous years. They all limited out every day, so, despite small fish and a reduced limit, they each returned home with about 50 pounds of Halibut and salmon filets, said Joe.  Due to crowded flights and scheduling problems with United Airlines, their luggage and fish arrived in Fargo on one flight, while Cher arrived in Fargo on a later flight and the other 4 members of the party landed in Jamestown and had to catch a ride to Fargo to get their luggage and vehicles. Doug Spieker and Chuck Sundlie drove to Fargo to pick up the fish and get it home before the summer heat could have an impact. Despite the confusion, everybody made it home, and all’s well that ends well.

County Commissioner Jerry Waswick of Gwinner stopped in Rutland on Tuesday, July 27. Commissioner Waswick said that he had just made an inspection tour of the County Park at Silver Lake, and had found that facility to be in good repair and well maintained. Sue Seelye serves as Silver Lake Park Manager.  While in Rutland, the Commissioner enjoyed lunch with an old friend, Bill Anderson, at The Lariat Bar. A crew of workmen from Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls SD was in Rutland on the afternoon and evening of Sunday, July 25, making repairs to the City’s water tower.  Several leaks had developed in the tank this past spring.  Mayor Mahrer and Alderman Erickson had made emergency fixes, and the crew from Maguire Iron was called in to make permanent repairs.  Rutland residents were without water for a short time on Sunday evening while the repairs were being made.  The water tower was built back in 1954, when Rutland’s municipal water system was constructed.  Maguire Iron has been providing maintenance and repair services for the tower since the mid 1970’s.  Back in 1954, the entire cost of the water system, including the water tower, was $59,000.00.  Today, it is estimated that the cost of replacing the water tower, alone, would be in the $700,000 to $800,000 range.

Back in 1954, Norbert Kulzer celebrated his 15th birthday on the 27th of July. In 2021, Norbert observed his 82nd birthday on Tuesday, July 27, with dinner at the Rutland Seniors’ Center, and a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday.”  “That’s about as exciting as it gets these days,” observed the birthday boy.

Eighty-one years and 10 months younger than Norbert, Lilith Marie Rohrbach was born on May 27, 2021, to Alan & Alexa Rohrbach of this community. According to her Mom, Lilith weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and stood 22 inches tall in her bare feet on arrival. Welcome to Rutland, Lilith. You’re just in time to learn how to make lefse from the experts.

Speaking of lefse, Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen reported that 800 Uff-Da Day lefse had been made by Lefse Lena and her crew as of the morning of Tuesday, July 27, not counting the lefse rounds that had to be taste tested to make sure that they were up to par. Rutland’s Uff-Da Day XXXVI will be on Sunday, October 3, in the little city that can.  Don’t miss it!

Do situations in life sometimes get your goat? Well, that’s what happened to Mary Beth Anderson as she was driving to Rutland on the morning of Tuesday, July 27, to help with Uff-Da Day lefse production. As she was driving north on County #10, Mary noticed something in the middle of the road ahead. At first, she thought it might be a horse, but, no, it was too small. Then she thought that it might be a deer, but, no, it was too white. When she got closer, she saw that the critter was a nanny goat, obviously confused, running from one side of the road to the other.  She saw some trucks approaching, and thought that one of them might stop to pick up the goat, but, no, they blew right on past.  She saw a pickup she thought she recognized, but, no, wrong pickup. So, she called her husband, Chuck, told him about the goat, and drove on to Rutland. There she found that there was plenty of help to make lefse, so she decided to go back out to try to rescue that goat. If you know Mary Beth, you know that she has a soft spot for animals that won’t quit.  Before leaving the Rutland town Hall, she told the lefse makers about the goat. Kathy Lehman, one of the lefse makers, went through her list of goat producers south of Rutland, and came up with the name of the only goat producer in the area, Mr. Lenny Runyan, who raises cattle, goats, and other livestock on his farm in the hills south of town. Lenny was called and, yes, he was missing a goat. Mary Beth then headed back home, picked up her husband, Chuck, who was just overjoyed to go on a goat hunting expedition, and away they went to find that goat before it got run over. Chuck brought his binoculars, and was scanning an area west of the County Road, about 3½ miles south of Rutland, when he spotted the goat out in a cattail slough. Lenny showed up, and, between Lenny & Chuck, they managed to get the goat captured, tied up and into Lenny’s pickup. Lenny took the goat back to the farm to recover from its adventure, Mary Beth went on home with the satisfaction of having rescued an innocent goat from an uncertain future, and Chuck headed for town with a good story to tell. So, whenever a situation is getting your goat, think of Mary Beth, Chuck and Lenny, and smile at the way life goes.

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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