By Bill Anderson
Ahhhhh, September! Cool nights, warm days, clear blue skies, and just enough rain to keep the lawn mower from seizing up. If only…if only…but, no, it can’t last. Time marches on! The rain that visited Rutland and vicinity on the afternoon of Monday, September 13, was about as nice as a rain could be. The rain came straight down and soaked right in. No run off to speak of. Roger Pearson reported that his gauge at 409 Gay Street held .6 of an inch when the rain stopped, and Jesse Brakke’s electronic gauge at his farm between Rutland and Cayuga registered .63 of an inch. Janet Kiefer reported that Cayuga was blessed with .8 of an inch. When the days are so beautiful, and the weather is so nice, it’s difficult to envision that harsher, less pleasant conditions await. “There are two seasons in North Dakota,” the late Clayton McLaen used to say, “winter, and getting ready for winter.” This is the time to be getting ready for tougher times ahead. But, what the heck? You can’t work all the time, can you? This week, this month, take some time to enjoy all of the roses you will encounter along your path. Just remember, winter’s a’comin’!
Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson departed here on Tuesday, August 31, bound for Green Bay WI and a tour of picturesque Door County. They returned home on Thursday, September 9. During their trip they took in a real Wisconsin “fish boil,” where they enjoyed a chance meeting with Chuck’s cousin and her husband, Chad & Karla (Kleingarn) Stencel of Minneapolis. Karla is the daughter of Harvey & Sue (McLaen) Kleingarn of Forman. They also took a boat ride on Lake Michigan where they happened to meet Mike & Lisa Markovic, parents of frequent Rutland visitor Alex Markovic, who plan to be visiting at the Jesse Brakke home near Rutland for the 2021 North Dakota Pheasant Season opener in October. The Markovics make their home in Chicago IL. Every silver lining has a cloud, though, and the Andersons’ trip lost some of its luster on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 8, as they were driving west on Wisconsin Highway #29 near Wausau WI. A pallet had apparently fallen off a truck as it crossed the bridge at the Wisconsin River, chuck said, scattering debris across the highway. Two law enforcement vehicles, with lights flashing, were parked on either side of the highway, narrowing the traffic lanes and forcing traffic to slow. Ahead of the Anderson’s 2017 GMC ¾ ton 4X4 pickup and 5th wheel travel trailer was a small Jeep utility vehicle. The driver of the Jeep slammed on his brakes, as did Chuck, but the Andersons’ big rig couldn’t stop as quickly as could the smaller vehicle. Ka-Boom! The Andersons’ pickup slammed into the rear of the Jeep, shattering that vehicles rear window and scattering glass all over the highway. The front end of the Andersons’ pickup was smashed, but, fortunately, no damage was done to the headlights, radiator or engine. The Andersons were able to drive their vehicle home, after a wrecker arrived on the scene and used its winch to pull the right front fender off the tire so the wheel could turn, Chuck said. No one was hurt, and no citations were issued. Well, the best part of any trip is getting home, and even more so this time around. Weber Township might not be as picturesque as Door County, but it’s home sweet home for Chuck & Mary Beth.
Joel Susag was up in Fort Ransom on Saturday & Sunday, September 11 & 12, to take in the second “Sod Busters’” horse farming exhibition of the 2021 season. The event is held in Fort Ransom State Park, and, according to Joel, whether or not it would happen at all this September had been a close thing, due to the State Health Department’s concerns about the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Participants observed the protocols, said Joel, and everything went off without a hitch. Joel returned to Rutland with several bags of red potatoes that had been harvested the old-fashioned way, by hand, and presented them to the Rutland Seniors’ Center. Joel reports that the crowd at the event was quite large. He and Hal Nelson took Joel’s pickup and a trailer up to Fort Ransom on Tuesday, September 14, to retrieve Joel’s WD-45 Allis-Chalmers tractor that had been driven in a tractorcade from Lisbon to the Fort the previous week. Joel plans to have his vintage tractor in the Uff-Da Day Parade on Sunday, October 3.
Speaking of the coronavirus, Sargent County Public Health District Unit Administrator Brenda Peterson reports that 61% of Sargent County’s residents have received at least 1 shot of covid-19 vaccine, and that 57.9% have been fully vaccinated. The Delta variant of the virus had caused an upsurge in covid-19 cases in the County, from 0 in early June to 15 by the end of August. The number of active cases had declined to 11 by September 7, and stood at 6 by Tuesday, September 14, according to data from the North Dakota Department of Health. Administrator Peterson said that the number of vaccinations has been increasing in recent weeks, a positive development, but the fact that the Delta variant appears to be hitting children and young adults is a definite negative. For information about covid-19 vaccinations, call: Sargent County Public Health at 724-3725; Forman Drug at 724-6222; or, Sanford Clinic at 742-3267. Protect yourself, your family and your community. Get vaccinated, now!
Sargent County Public Health will be administering flu vaccination shots to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon on Monday, September 20, at the Rutland Seniors Center. The extra strength doses recommended for senior citizens will be available.
The Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 13, in the Rutland Town Hall. President, and Uff-Da Day Chairperson, Katie McLaen reports that Uff-Da Day preparations and the mural that is being painted on the north side of Rutland Oil Co.’s building on Main Street were the principal items of discussion. Katie says that preparations for Uff-Da Day XXXVI on Sunday, October 3, are moving right along. Lefse Lena and her crew finished up lefse production on Tuesday, September 14, with more than 3,000 lefse made. Coming up next: sandkaker preparation on Monday, September 27, in the Rutland Town Hall with Phyllis Wyum in charge. Help is still needed for the krumkake crew, and anyone who is interested and willing to lend a hand should give Katie a call at 724-3656. According to Katie, the mural, depicting scenes from the life of the community, is being painted by Rutland native Shelley (Pherson) Fink of Fargo, with assistance from her mother, Ione Pherson of this community. The mural is expected to be completed prior to Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 3.
Congratulations are in order for former Rutland residents Roger & Janice (Anderson) Lee, who are celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary this weekend. Roger, a 1959 graduate of Cayuga High School, and Janice, a 1961 graduate of Rutland High School, were married on Sunday, September 17, 1961, at the Roy & Helen Anderson home in Ransom Township. During the 1960’s Roger served as a teacher and Principal at the Rutland Elementary School, part of the Sargent Central school system at that time. They have made their home in Detroit Lakes MN for many years, but are still frequent visitors to their old home towns. The Rutland community extends congratulations to Roger & Janice Lee on their 60 years of marriage, and best wishes for many more happy years together.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, last weekend Americans commemorated the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country that occurred on September 11, 2001. That date has joined December 7, 1941, and November 22, 1963, as a date of infamy that is burned into the national consciousness. The terrorists attacked symbols of the economic and military power of this country, and, but for the heroism of a group of Americans who foiled their plan, would have attacked a symbol of the political power and stability of America, the Capitol of the United States. The aim of the terrorists was to dispel what they considered to be “the myth of American exceptionalism.” We tend to think that they failed, but did they? Today, according to our own CIA and FBI, the greatest terrorist threat to this country is not foreign, but domestic, incited right here in our own country and carried out by our fellow citizens. Al Kaida could not hit our Capitol back in 2001, but domestic terrorists, Americans, did it on January 6, 2021. Americans who were political opponents 20 years ago are political “enemies” today. Political debates have become sound bite shouting matches, in which everyone talks, but no one listens. Our nation is divided into Red States and Blue States, with each being suspicious and disdainful of the other. It doesn’t have to be that way, and it shouldn’t be. Vigorous debate is the life’s blood of representative democracy, but violent debate is its death knell. The more important date to be observed in September is this Friday, September 17, the date on which, back in 1787, the Constitution Of The United States Of America was approved by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention that had been meeting throughout that Summer in Philadelphia. As the delegates emerged from their meeting place, a woman asked one of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, “Dr. Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?” “A republic, madam,” he replied, “if you can keep it.” Did we come close to losing our republic back on January 6. Some think so, and some think not. The real question, though, is, “Do we still want to keep the republic given to us by Dr. Franklin and those other delegates back in 1787?” If so, perhaps we should take the incivility out of our civil discourse. Perhaps we should remember that real debate involves listening to our opponents, as well as talking to them. Perhaps we should remember that we are all Americans, friends not enemies, and that we share the goals set out in the Preamble to our Constitution, now 234 years old, the oldest written constitution in the world. Perhaps we should do these things, and more, to remind us of our shared ideals, our shared citizenship. Perhaps we will. Perhaps we won’t. Two hundred thirty-four years ago we were given a republic. It’s up to us to decide whether or not we think it’s worth keeping. We are Americans. Our country is exceptional. Let’s hang on to the republic we were given more than two centuries ago, and pass it on, strengthened, improved and intact, to future generations of our countrymen.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, particularly about Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 3, stop by the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and check out 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.