By Bill Anderson
The drought is not yet broken, but it was seriously bent and dented during 8 days NEAR THE END of August. Depending on whose rain gauge you want to believe, Rutland and vicinity received between 3” and 3½” of rain from Friday, August 20 to Saturday, August 28, restoring green to the grass and hope to the hearts of local corn and soybean growers. The meteorologists on TV and radio are telling us that we are still 12” to 13” short of precipitation for the year, though. In the event that the precipitation shortfall is made up in snowfall this coming winter, we are looking at about 12 feet of snow just to get back to “normal,” whatever that is. Here in Rutland, we’re still praying for rain, but keeping the snow shovel handy.
A crew from Morris Seal Coat of Morris MN took advantage of the hot, dry conditions that prevailed prior to August 20 to apply a seal coat of oil and chips to 15 miles of County Road #10 and County Road #7 near Rutland and Havana. The sections of road in this area that received the treatment included the 3 miles from ND Highway #11 north to the intersection with County #10A; the 7 miles of County #10 from Rutland south to the intersection with County #7; and, the 5 miles of County #7 from the intersection with County #10 through Havana to ND Highway #32. Several other sections of Sargent County roads were also slated to receive seal coats, according to County Road Commissioner Jason Arth. The seal coat is intended to preserve the existing pavement and extend its life for another 7 to 10 years. Several other sections of County roads, such as #10 south from ND Highway #11 through Rutland; and, County #12 from ND Highway #11 at Cayuga to ND Highway #13; are in line for new pavement overlays, but those projects have to wait for funding from the Federal Government’s new infrastructure bill. The seal coat projects now underway and recently completed were paid for with funds from the existing Federal Aid program and matching money from the County’s Federal Aid Roads mill levy. Sargent County’s annual allotment was not sufficient to pay for the current seal coat projects, but the program does allow counties to borrow ahead if funds are available and to repay the borrowing, at no interest, with future allocations.
Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen reports that preparations for Uff-Da Day XXXVI on Sunday, October 3, are progressing well. According to Katie, Lefse Lena has 2 more lefse making sessions scheduled: at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 9; and, at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14. Both sessions will be in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall. Anyone who wants to practice their lefse making skills, or who wants to learn just how lefse is made, is welcome to participate. Just give Katie McLaen a call, or show up at the Rutland Town Hall on Thursday, September 9 and Tuesday, September 14.
The following report was recently received from Rutland native Mary Jo Armstrong, now a resident of Chicago IL. “It was so nice to see you and other friends on Monday morning, August 16. I am writing up a few lines for you to use, if you so desire, in the return of the Rooster Crows in September: Mary Jo (Kulzer) Armstrong and husband Mike enjoyed a Rutland vacation stay August 13–16 at the cute and very efficient rental house owned by Ione Pherson, The Birds Nest. While there, guests were Mary Jo’s sisters Judy Olson of Veblen and Betty Johnson of Gwinner, and some of their family members. Also visiting were life-long friends Dianna Anderson and Bonnie Anderson, after which Mary Jo requested a Rutland, “whose house was this” tour,–which they delightfully gave!! Mary Jo and Mike also were at the Senior Center for coffee, visiting a bit with locals, enjoying birthday cake for Sheila Wyum, and that evening eating dinner with cousins Steven and Sheila Wyum at the Lariat. Also while here they enjoyed a visit to Veblen, a drive to Silver Lake, and attending the wonderful wedding anniversary party at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge of Mary Jo’s cousins, Janet/Cliff Kiefer and Cheryl/Doug Spieker celebrating their 50th, and 40th anniversaries, respectively, and seeing many more of Mary Jo’s cousins and old friends at this event!” Thanks to Mary Jo Armstrong for the report. Mary Jo is the youngest daughter of the late Joe & Mary (Murray) Kulzer of this community.
Dean & Carol Nundahl of Mankato MN were Rutland visitors on the morning of Monday, August 16, and stopped in for coffee and the celebration of August birthdays at the Rutland Seniors’ Center. Carol’s birthday is in August, so she was one of those serenaded with the “Happy Birthday” song. They had been in the area since Saturday, August 14, visiting friends and relatives here and attending the 50th & 40th wedding anniversary party at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge for friends Cliff & Janet (Breker) Kiefer and Doug & Cheryl (Breker) Spieker on Saturday afternoon. Until 2004, when they relocated to Mankato, the Nundahls had made their home on the Nundahl family farm at the townsite of Perry, 4 miles north of Rutland. Dean and another Rutland native son who was visiting family here, John Hoflen, reminisced about the stockyard that was once situated along the Soo Line Railroad’s tracks at Perry, west of the Perry Elevator. Back in the 1930’s, during the grim days of drought and the Great Depression, Dean’s father and John’s father, Harry Nundahl and Theodore Hoflen, were the agents for the Federal Government’s Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), also known as the Triple A, buying cattle and other livestock from drought stricken and economically distressed farmers at the Perry stockyard. As soon as the animals had been purchased they were branded with a “US” branding iron to identify them as the property of the Federal Government. Many of the animals were emaciated and in poor physical condition, and were shipped out to be humanely destroyed and disposed of. The remainder were shipped by rail to the stockyards and market at South St. Paul MN for sale, slaughter and processing. Dean said that he still has the “US” branding irons that were used to brand livestock purchased by the government at Perry all those years ago. Now the livestock are gone, the stockyard is gone, the farmers are gone and Perry is gone. All that remains are the Nundahl farm, now the home of Corey & Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, the memories of what once was, and the ghosts of long ago.
Kaia Mahrer of Rutland and her youthful aunt, Janelle Brakke of Fargo, attended a concert featuring the musical groups “Hinder” and “Buck Cherry” at the Northern Lights Casino in Walker MN on Saturday, August 27. Kaia reports that the music was excellent, and that a good time was enjoyed by all. On Sunday, August 28, the two visited Janelle’s mother, Kaia’s grandmother, Kathy Brakke at Mapleview Memory Care Center in Fargo. Kathy has been a resident there since October of 2019.
Earlier this summer, the family of the late Jerry Sapa of this community made a donation to the Rutland Senior Citizens’ Club in Jerry’s memory. The Seniors, in turn, commissioned local woodworking artist Alan Olstad of Quality Handcrafted Furniture (QHF) to build a bench honoring Jerry for placement on Main Street. Alan practices his craft in his shop at the Olstad farm 3 miles north of Rutland. The bench was delivered and placed in front of the Rutland Seniors Center on Monday, August 16. Since then, however, it has gradually migrated to the north and is now situated in front of The Lariat Bar, under the front porch roof. Passersby are invited to stop at Jerry’s bench to contemplate the life of a fine carpenter, an outstanding friend and an all-around good fellow, Jerry Sapa.
Speaking of Jerry Sapa, the First Annual Jerry Sapa Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Saturday, August 28, at the Forman Golf Course. During his life, Jerry had been an enthusiastic golfer, and had played many rounds of golf at the Forman Course. Many of Jerry’s old friends from his school days at Shanley High in Fargo participated in the tournament and then adjourned to The Lariat Bar in Rutland for recuperation and relaxation. Jerry’s youngest sister, Jeannie (Sapa) Seifert of Fargo, was among those who traveled to Forman and Rutland to honor Jerry’s memory.
Boyd Jacobson Jr. has once again taken up residence in Rutland after an absence of many years. Boyd moved into an apartment in Rutland Housing’s 4-plex apartment house at 207 First Street on Monday, August 22. He had previously been residing at Starbuck MN. Boyd, also known as “Junior,” is the eldest son of the late Boyd & Catherine (VanVlanderen) Jacobson of this community. All 5 of Boyd & Catherine’s children: Carolyn Christensen; Boyd Jacobson Jr.; Calvin Jacobson; Diane Smith; and, Pam Maloney; now make their homes in Rutland. Their ancestors, the Jacobson and Johnson families of what was once known as the Nordland Settlement in Ransom Township were among the earliest homesteaders in the Rutland community back in the early 1880’s. The Rutland community extends a hearty “Welcome home!” to a native son, Boyd Jacobson Jr.
The Uff-Da Day Parade Committee reminds participants that the 2021 Uff-Da Day Parade will, once again, line up on Dakota Street on the east side of town, and will start at 1:00 p.m., sharp. Lyle Erickson and his crew of assistants will be getting parade units lined up for the event. Richard Lysne, Uff-Da Day Parade Committee co-chairman for 25 years, passed away earlier this year, and participants are asked to honor Richard’s memory by having a good time, and by getting lined up early. Lowell Wyum has once again agreed to announce the parade units as they pass by on Main Street. Uff-Da Day in Rutland will be on Sunday, October 3. Everyone is invited for good fun, good food and good friends.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, American military participation in the war in Afghanistan is over. It ended at 1 minute before midnight on Tuesday, August 31, Kabul Afghanistan time. It ended not a minute too soon, and ten years later than it should have. We went into that country to destroy the terrorists who had attacked the United States back on September 11, 2001. That mission was finally accomplished back in 2011. We stayed on to try to create a modern, western-style democracy in a country that is still emerging from the Middle Ages. We made a good effort, but bridging the gap between the 13th and the 21st Centuries in one decade is not a task suited to a people who want instant coffee, instant oatmeal, instant on, instant off and instant everything else. Have we learned a lesson? Time will tell. We expended thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in Afghanistan. Now it’s time to invest in America, and in Americans, a worthy mission for a good hearted people. If we want to make America great, again, we need to invest in America. It’s time to get started.
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 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.