The Rooster Crows – Jan. 14, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Old Man Winter tightened his grip on Thursday & Friday, January 6 & 7, providing those who love ice with some morning temperatures in the mid-20’s below Zero range, and not getting above Zero all day. Saturday’s high of +24 felt almost tropical, but it was only temporary, as the mercury plunged into sub-Zero territory again on Sunday & Monday. Warmer temps are predicted for mid-week, to be followed by a return of more frigid conditions. Well, it’s January in North Dakota, so what else is new? This information is provided just so those who are reading it while lounging on their patios at their winter residences in Arizona, Texas, Florida or some other warm & sunny location can be satisfied with their decision to head south for the winter. 

A brief “January Thaw” was experienced on Tuesday & Wednesday, January 11 & 12. The mercury soared all the way up to 37 above on Tuesday, with the warmer weather propelled by a 20-mph wind out of the south. Wednesday’s high only made it to +32, but that’s a lot better than -32. January weather is predicted to return by the weekend.

Snow, cold and Ice may be reasons for frowns and complaints from some, but snowmobile fans and ice fishing enthusiasts are grinning from ear to ear. With about 2½ feet of snow on the ground, and more where the wind has done its artistry, the entire countryside appears to be open to snowmobilers. After a couple of winters with little or no snow, though, some are still digging their snow cats out of the back of the shop or garage. The recent spell of sub-zero temperatures has given a great deal of depth and strength to the ice on area lakes, giving ice anglers the confidence to haul their insulated and heated ice castles out on local lakes and sloughs. Two fishermen trying their luck on one of the larger sloughs near Rutland reported that the ice was 18” thick, plenty of ice to hold the weight of a fishing house or a pickup truck. Anglers should still be cautious where the ice is covered by snow, though, as the insulating effect of the snow may have kept the ice a lot thinner. Just remember, even though it’s frozen, it’s still only water.

One ice angler reports that he was planning to relax in his fishing house with a mixed drink while waiting for the fish to bite when he realized that he had forgotten to bring ice cubes. Well, when you’re sitting on top of acres of ice, that’s no problem. So, he chipped out some ice cube sized chunks of ice and prepared to make his drink. Then he thought, “It’s still slough water, even if it’s frozen,” and he decided that the ice should be sterilized before using. He fired up his stove, filled a pot with water and heated it up to boiling temperature to get rid of any offensive germs and viruses. The sub-Zero chunks of ice were then dropped into the bubbling water. He states that the ice was so cold when he started that it was still frozen hard when he removed it from the pot. This fellow is currently looking for a job with a national political organization. For a fisherman, the “Big Lie” is small potatoes.

“Number 9 and feeling fine,” was the attitude of North Dakota State University Bison football fans this past Saturday, January 8, as the Bison nailed their 9th Division 1A Football Championship in the past 11 years by crushing the Montana State University Bobcats in a 38-10 victory. About 10,000 North Dakotans made the trek down to Frisco TX to witness the game in Person, but most North Dakotans watched the big game on TV. Among those who were guests at the Steven & Sheila Wyum home to watch the game and enjoy pre-game and post-game “tailgating” were: Earl & Susan Fust; Mike Wyum; Hal Nelson; Dianna Anderson; Janet Kiefer; and Bill Anderson. The game was great, and the hospitality was outstanding.

Last week it was mentioned here that a longtime member of the Rutland Community, Donetta Hoistad, had recently passed away. Donetta passed away on January 1, 2022, at Eventide Nursing Home in Moorhead MN, where she and her husband, Virgil Hoistad Sr., had resided for the past several years. She had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Donetta had attained the age of 87 years 2 months and 27 days at the time of her death. Donetta Marie Gulsvig was born on October 5, 1934, to Silas and Nora Jeanette (Trygstad) Gulsvig in Kidder SD. The family relocated several times during Donetta’s childhood, and she attended schools in Kidder SD, Forman ND, California, Park Rapids MN and Havana ND. She graduated from Havana High School in 1952. On December 21, 1952, she married Virgil R. Hoistad in a wedding ceremony at Kidder SD at which Rev. Stuart Gulsvig officiated. Virgil & Donetta made their home at Anoka MN, and later at Coon Rapids MN before returning to the Hoistad family farm to raise their family of 7 children. Donetta was an active member of Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland where she served on the Church Council and was also active in the Rutland Community Club and the Friendly Garden Club. She was musically talented, and, at the age of 16 she won a local talent contest that resulted in her performing on a Fargo radio station’s morning radio show for several days, and making a recording of the song, “Because Of You.” She passed her musical ability on to her children. For a number of years she was employed as a CNA at Sargent Manor, now Four Seasons Healthcare Center, in Forman, where she enjoyed sharing the gift of music with the residents. Donetta is survived by her husband, Virgil Hoistad of Moorhead MN; by 2 sons: Virgil Hoistad Jr.; and Joel Hoistad; by 5 daughters: Dorreen Olstad; Denise Huckell; Karen Medhaug; Janelle Hansen; and Kristine Harris; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters: Verona Martin; and Lorretta Enderson; by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and, by a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; and, by 1 sister: Verdell Gulbranson. A Celebration Of Life for Donetta Hoistad was held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at Bolger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo with Pastor Kim Anders officiating. Interment of cremains will be in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery near Kidder SD. The Bolger Funeral Home of Fargo was in charge of arrangements. The Rutland Community extends its sympathy to the family and friends of Donetta Hoistad, a lively and lovely lady who shared her talents to brighten the lives of many.

This community was surprised and saddened on Saturday, January 8, when it was learned that George Harff, one of our Cayuga neighbors, had passed away at CHI Hospital in Oakes. Georg had attained the age of 71 years 10 months and 13 days at the time of his death. George Leon Harff was born on February 26, 1950, to Clarence “Butch” and Betty (Henson) Harff at Britton SD. He grew up on the Harff farm in Herman Township, north of Cayuga, and attended elementary school in Cayuga.  He attended high school at Sargent Central in Forman and graduated in the SCHS Class of 1968. During his childhood, George spent a lot of time at the home of his maternal grandparents, Ben & Betsy Henson, in Rutland. He was a big boy who grew into a large man. During his high school years, George was a lineman on the Sargent Central football team. Former teammates recall that the scale in the locker room on which the players were weighed did not have enough numbers to weigh “Big George.” Teammates also recall that when George got a hand on the ball carrier, that was as far as the ball went. After high school, he farmed with his parents, and continued in farming throughout his life. For a time, he was employed as a security guard at the Bobcat factory in Gwinner, and he was also the owner of a bar in Wyndmere for several years. George was a life-long hunting and shooting enthusiast and was an expert marksman with both rifle and shotgun. He competed in, and won, many trap shooting turkey shoots throughout this region. On June 12, 1981, George married Rose Lee Baumert, and they made their home in Cayuga throughout their married life. George became the Stepdad to Rose’s children, Nevin Tergesen and Naomi Riddle. George is survived by his wife of 40 years, Rose Harff of Cayuga, by his 2 stepchildren, by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, by a number of cousins and by a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, by his brother, Roy Allen Harff and by one step-grandchild, Houston. The funeral for George Harff will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 15, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, with Pastor Julie Johnson officiating. Visitation will precede the service by one hour. Interment of cremains will be in the Rutland Cemetery at a later date. The Frank Family Funeral Home of Lidgerwood is in charge of arrangements. The Rutland Community extends condolences to the family and friends of George Harff, a big man with a big heart and a big laugh.

The story on the Rutland Post Office is still the same: no information; no action; no service; no Post Office. What kind of shenanigans are being pulled is anybody’s guess. Rutland Post Office patrons are urged to contact Senator Hoeven, Senator Cramer and Representative Armstrong to express their concerns, if they have not done so already.

Some upcoming events in Rutland include: The 26th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament on Saturday, February 5, at the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 7, in the Rutland Town Hall; and “Game Day” on the afternoon of Sunday, February 27, in the Nordland Lutheran Church fellowship Hall. Two weeks of 2022 are already gone, and it’s time to have some fun!

This writer will be taking some time off for the next few weeks in order to move to a new residence location, so The Rooster Crows won’t be here for a few weeks, unless someone else wants to take up the pen and have some fun. The plan, if it works out, is to be back by the first week in February, but we all know how plans go. Murphy’s law still applies.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s happening 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. 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.

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