By Bill Anderson
“Follow me,” cry the wild geese, as northward they fly; Follow me to the Arctic’s cold and the midnight sun, our journey’s end for centuries gone by. Their cries move on, and soon they’re gone, ‘til Autumn’s migrants fly, and once more their calls of “follow me” echo through the sky. This Fall, I just might heed the call, to see what I might find, and keep company with the wild geese, I’m sure that they won’t mind.
The joyous Spring song of the wild geese is one of our rewards for enduring Winter on the prairie. The annual migration of snow & blue geese began moving into Sargent County last week, with the first large flocks flying over town on Monday, March 14. The Spring conservation hunting season is underway, too, so the birds have run a gauntlet all the way from Texas to North Dakota. Despite the liberal rules of the hunt, the population of these prolific birds seems to be holding its own. Perhaps that means that the management plan is working.
Scott Haan of this community joined a cousin, Rick Kuhn of Grand Forks, to make a 4-wheel flight to Sun City West AZ a few days back. The 2 men departed Rutland at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, and arrived at the home of Rick’s father, Bob Kuhn, in Sun City West on the morning of Friday, March 11. The occasion for the trip was to help the elder Mr. Kuhn celebrate his birthday, as well as to soak up some Arizona sunshine and warm weather. Scott & Rick reversed course on Monday, March 14, and were back in Rutland on Tuesday, March 15, the Ides of March. Scott brought back a big box of tree ripened Arizona lemons that he shared with friends here. Arizona sunshine juice, wrapped in a lemon peel.
A follow-up to the story about the wild palomino stallion, Golden Sovereign, that was in last week’s column. According to Gary Thornberg, his friend, Neil Herman, had told him that his Dad, Meredith Herman, had taught his favorite riding horse to jump fences in an attempt to keep up with the rampaging Golden Sovereign when the wild stallion was running free across the prairie and through the hills south of Rutland. Meredith taught the horse so well that, even after Golden Sovereign was caught, his horse still remembered how to jump a fence, and kept practicing the skill on his own. Finally, Meredith had to sell his horse to someone with taller fences, and more time to chase a fence jumping horse. As the Old Timers used to say, “Be careful what you want. You just might get it.”
The sun has been shining, the wind has been blowing, the snow has been melting and the water has been flowing. Finally, the One who put it there is taking it away. Rutland’s maintenance man, Scott Haan, was opening culverts on Monday, March 21, helping the water find its way to Hudson’s Bay. The 6-foot snowbanks are down to 2 feet now, and some lawns are bare. The transition from Winter to Spring is moving fast. Winter may yet attempt a comeback, but the handwriting is on the wall as far as Winter’s future is concerned. Local farmers are beginning to move equipment around, so it won’t be long until reports of the first outfit stuck in the mud are received. Then, Spring will really be here.
The Rutland Community Club installed new signs and banners on Main Street this week. The banners feature a new community logo that combines Scandinavian design with themes from Rutland’s agricultural heritage. The logo was supplied by Long Ranch Design of Berlin ND. The new banners are very attractive and enhance the appearance of Rutland’s Main Street. A large banner has also been hung on the front (south) side of the Rutland Town Hall. Thanks to the Rutland Community Club for this attractive addition to the town.
The Rutland Community Club is also preparing for the Community’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 16, says Club President Katie McLaen. This year, the Easter Egg Hunt will be at Lou Sanderson Field, Rutland’s ballpark, on the north side of town. There will be Easter Egg hunts for kids as well as one for adults this time around, as well as prizes, the Easter Bunny and lunch, too. So, plan to be on hand at Lou Sanderson Field at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, for the Rutland Community’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt.
According to Rutland City Auditor Debbie Banish, the City’s annual Board of Equalization meeting will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 4, in the Rutland Town Hall, immediately preceding the April City Council meeting. The Board of Equalization meeting is the property owners’ chance to ask questions and express opinions about the valuation of real property within the community. Sargent County Director of Tax Equalization Denise Ferderer is planning to be on hand to advise the Equalization Board members and discuss property valuation issues with the public. According to Tax Director Ferderer, the prices paid for residential properties in Sargent County have been increasing significantly, and an increase in residential valuations for tax purposes may be in Sargent County’s future.
The Rutland City Council is scheduled to meet following the Board of Equalization meeting on Monday, April 4. One of the items on the agenda for the Council is Sargent County Drain #8, the County drain that takes runoff water from the City of Rutland and the immediately surrounding area to the Wild Rice River. A plan that would have made substantial improvements to Drain #8 was rejected by the Rutland City Council 5 years ago. Auditor Banish also reminds Rutland citizens that April 11 is the deadline for filing petitions as candidates for the Rutland City Council and Park Board. According to Ms. Banish, there are 2 four-year terms and 1 two-year term available on each board. Interested persons may obtain petitions and election information at the City office, or on line from vote.nd.gov.
The report from the Postal Service front is unchanged: No information; no action; no service; and no Post Office. As of the end of March, it will be 6 months since the door to the Post Office was locked due to “health & safety concerns.” It would be nice if the Postal Service was as concerned about delivering our mail and providing the services of a Post Office as it is about locking doors. There are times when delivering the mail is essential to the patron’s health and safety.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine; the Ukrainians’ determined and courageous defense of their country; and, the subsequent killing of soldiers & civilians, and the destruction of homes and businesses; have been a cause of great anxiety and concern for those with friends and family in that part of the world. Rutland native Eugene Breker (RHS & SCHS Class of ’66) was a frequent visitor to western Russia several years ago, when he worked with the Amity Co., a North Dakota manufacturer of planters and other farm equipment. Eugene said that most of his time there was spent in Russia, but that he had made a few trips into the Ukraine, as well, once travelling to the Capitol City, Kiev. His experiences in both Russia and Ukraine were positive and pleasant, he said. A Ukrainian woman who had once worked for the Amity Co. in Fargo had contacted Eugene shortly after the war began with the information that her family in northeastern Ukraine was safe at that time, but that the situation was uncertain. According to Eugene, the fact of war between Russia and Ukraine is a cause for great sadness. Thanks to Eugene for sharing his insights.
Ms. Lou Ann Lee of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, an organization that presents handmade quilts to war veterans, has announced that the organization will award several quilts in Rutland this weekend. According to Ms. Lee, an informal ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, at the Nordland Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. Those to whom quilts will be presented include Bill Anderson; Wallace Herman; John Hoflen; Andrew Hoflen; Boyd Jacobson Jr.; Calvin Jacobson; Douglas Olstad; and Douglas Spieker. Those being honored are all veterans of the Vietnam War. Family and friends are invited to attend. Lunch will be served following the presentation. That’s 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, at the Nordland Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, Wednesday, March 23, 2022, marked the 12th anniversary of “The End Of The World,” as proclaimed by former GOP Congressional leader John Boehner a dozen years ago. On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, was signed by President Barak Obama after being approved by Congressional Democrats without a single Republican vote. Twelve years later millions of Americans have obtained healthcare coverage through the ACA and the plan is one of the most popular programs administered by the Federal Government. And the World keeps on turning. Imagine that!
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 website at www.rutlandnd.com, 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.