By Bill Anderson
Spring has finally arrived, and the blizzards of April have been replaced by the thunderstorms of May. Last weekend, from the evening of Friday, May 6, to the morning of Monday, May 9, Rutland and the surrounding area received more than 2 inches of rain, every drop accompanied by a bolt of lightning and the rumble of thunder. There is some nervous pacing going on, as most farmers in the community have not yet turned a wheel planting the 2022 crop, due to the excessive moisture. Shane Breker has managed to get some wheat planted in the hills south of town, where the fields are better drained, but even Shane has about run out of hilltops that are solid enough to carry a tractor and planter. More rain is forecast through the coming weekend, and some are predicting that the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation will be looking at a lot of “prevented Planting” acres this year. Well, experience tells us that the weather can turn on a dime around here, and we might be crying for rain by Memorial Day, but, for now, just a little bit of “normal” would be nice.
If you can’t farm, you might as well go fishing. The local lakes are now full of water, and some of them are even full of game fish. Walleyes, crappies and northern pike just waiting to grab a hook and jump into the boat. During the first week of May, good catches of walleyes were reported at Buffalo Lake, about 6 miles north of town. No reports about fishing success at other lakes in the area have been received, but, in keeping with the Fisherman’s Code of Silence, that most likely means that the catching is even better on those bodies of water. The guys who aren’t fishing say that the fish aren’t biting, but they usually don’t bite if you don’t have a line in the water.
Roger Pearson reports that there is a shortage of good fishing minnows in the area. The ones that are available are either too small or already dead, he says. One bait shop in the area has a coin operated minnow dispensing machine that is a lot like playing the one-armed bandits at the casino. You put in your money, and you take your chances. It has been reported that minnows of the appropriate size are available at the bait shop in Britton SD, but transporting minnows across State Lines is illegal, so don’t do it. The minnows might get smart and turn you in.
Hal Nelson drove out to Beulah ND, out in the coal country on the west side of the Missouri River, on Friday, May 6 to visit his sister and brother-in-law, Lori & Larry Hruby. Hal says that the 40” of snow that was dumped on the Beulah area back in mid-April was very welcome, but not enough to break the drought that has devastated agriculture in that region for the past 2 years. Hal said that there was some green grass, but not much.
Back in the 1950’s & 60’s, “the Strand boys,” Tom & Jim, spent their summers visiting at the Strand farm east of Rutland, and participating in the life of a small town out here on the prairie. Last week, on Friday, May 6, old friends here were saddened to learn that Tom had passed away at his home in Whitefish Bay, WI, at the age of 77 years, 6 months and 6 days. He had been battling esophageal cancer for the past several months. Thomas Albert Strand was born in St. Paul MN on October 31, 1944, to Albert & Lucille (Mayer) Strand. Tom’s father was serving in the U. S. Army in France, Luxembourg & Belgium at the time of Tom’s birth. After the War ended, The Strand family moved to Milwaukee WI where Albert and his eldest brother, Walter Strand, established a successful dry-cleaning business. Tom grew up and went to school in Milwaukee, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. In 1966, Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Wisconsin-Osh Kosh. During those growing up years, the Strands visited at the family farm a mile east of Rutland every summer. The Strand farm is now owned by Lyle & Ann Erickson. After a few weeks, Albert & Lucille would head back to Milwaukee while Tom and his younger brother, Jim, stayed at the farm with their uncles, Hjalmar & Victor Strand, the farm’s hired man, Martin Harles, and a variety of “hired girls,” including: Jerda Johnson; Mattie Jacobson; Nora Sjothun; and, Laura Christensen; who cooked, cleaned and occasionally delivered a disciplinary lecture to the boys. It was the era during which baseball was America’s pastime, and the Strand boys were big fans of the Milwaukee Braves, especially after the Braves beat the Yankees in the 1957 World Series. Martin would tease them about cheering for the Milwaukee Braves from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During those summer days, the Strand boys came to town nearly every day to play baseball with the local kids and were members of Rutland’s Little League team. Rutland native Dave Sundlie remembers the Strand boys hiking in from the farm, carrying their baseball gloves, to engage in the perpetual game of “work up” that was carried on at the ball diamond, now Lou Sanderson Field. They were from Milwaukee, home of the Braves, so they must be good, right? They were good. As Dave remembers it, Jim’s baseball glove was about half as big as he was back in those days. Tom & Jim continued to be regular visitors in Rutland until their father passed away in 1995, and even returned to help out & greet old friends at the Uff-Da Day abelskiver stand for several years after that. Tom served in the U. S. Army from 1968 to 1970, and was stationed at Ft. Dix NJ, Ft. Carson CO and in Korea during his service. He returned to Milwaukee and worked for Milwaukee County as an investigator and probation officer in the social services department until his retirement. Tom was married to Linda Kajpust at Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church in Milwaukee in February of 1978. They made their home in Whitefish Bay, a suburb of Milwaukee, following their marriage. Linda was employed in the legal department of the Allis-Chalmers Corporation during the early years of their marriage. Tom is survived by his wife, Linda, of Whitefish Bay WI; by his brother, James, of Milwaukee WI; by 2 sisters-in-law, Joan Strand and Susan Kajpust; by one nephew, one niece, one grandnephew, one grandniece and by many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, by his parents-in-law, and, by his uncles & aunts. A private family graveside service and interment at St. Adelbert’s Cemetery in Milwaukee will be held at a later date. The Feerick Funeral Home of Shorewood WI is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to Linda Strand at 6128 N. Shoreland, Whitefish Bay WI 53217. The Rutland community extends its sympathy to the family and friends of Thomas A. Strand, an old friend and a good comrade.
The Rutland Community Club met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9, in the Rutland Town Hall. The Club’s Fun Night, held in March, and the Easter Egg Hunt held on April 16 were reviewed. Although some last-minute changes for the Easter Egg Hunt, including relocating the event from Lou Sanderson Field to the Town Hall due to inclement weather, were required, the event was well attended and enjoyed by all. The banners on Main Street were discussed, and Club President Katie McLaen reported that the supplier had been contacted concerning the failure of the banners to survive this Spring’s high winds, and remedial action is pending. President McLaen said that a plan to refinish the gymnasium floor in the Town Hall is in the works. The Hall was completed for use by the Rutland Community 75 years ago, back in October of 1947. The floor has been refinished many times since then, and that’s one reason why the hardwood is still in excellent condition. Members discussed the Memorial Day community pot-luck dinner that will follow the Memorial Day program in the Town Hall on Monday, May 30. The Community Club will furnish: 2 roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham; and, coffee; and those attending the dinner will supply the rest. Katie McLaen reported that Miss Abbie Erickson, daughter of Rodney & Andrea Erickson, will be crowned as Miss Rutland 2022 at the upcoming Community Block Party in June. The date of the Block Party will be announced sometime in the next 2 weeks. Club members were also informed that a number of Sargent Central school students will be in Rutland on Friday, May 20, the last day of the current school term, performing some repair, maintenance and clean-up chores around town. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 13, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Some upcoming events in Rutland during the month of May include: Rutland Cemetery Association annual meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, in the Community Room of the Stock Growers Bank’s Rutland Station; and, Memorial Day observances in Rutland, commencing with: Military Rites at 10:15 a.m. on Monday, May 30, at the Nordland cemetery 2 miles east and3/4 of a mile south of Rutland; Military Rites at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 30, in the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town; Memorial Day Program presented by the American Legion Auxiliary at 11: a.m. in the Rutland Town Hall; and, a Memorial Day pot-luck dinner at the Rutland Town Hall following the program.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, U. S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida, Chairman of the Republican National Senatorial Campaign Committee (RNSCC), has described the 95% of Americans with incomes of less than $400,000 per year as “deadbeats,” undeserving of a Federal income tax cut. The GOP tax cuts of the G. W. Bush and D. J. Trump administrations went to the 5% of Americans with incomes over $400,000. They exploded the national budget deficits, increased the national debt and resulted in the deterioration of the national infrastructure. They did help multi-billionaires become mega multi-billionaires, though, and that was good for them. The rest of America: the factory workers; small business owners; and farmers; the ones that Sen Scott thinks are deadbeats, are working hard to keep ahead of inflation and hoping to win the lottery. Well, at least Sen. Scott’s deadbeats have the satisfaction of knowing that they have the power to throw arrogant rascals like him out of office.
That’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, take a look at the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com and check out 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.