The Rooster Crows – May 27, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Last Spring, it was too dry. This Spring, it’s too wet. On the average, though, it’s just right. This Spring, the weather has not been cooperating with the Spring planting plans of farmers in this area. Just when it seems that fields will get dry enough to allow the spring’s work to proceed, along comes another bolt of lightning, rumble of thunder and a quarter inch of rain to keep things at a standstill. With the market prices of wheat, corn and soybeans all in the high to higher range, this is the year to have a crop to sell. The fact that the weather is preventing that crop from getting planted is the cause of anxious impatience among local producers. About the only individuals more nervous about the situation than local farmers are local bankers. On the bright side, at least our farmers know that their bankers are concerned about their health, both physical and financial. The old timers used to say that whatever the weather was like on Memorial Day was a good indicator of what it would be like throughout the rest of the growing season, and every now and then the old timers were right.

Speaking of Memorial Day, Carolyn Christensen, an officer of the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary, says that the holiday will be back to normal in 2022, after 2 years of Covid-19 disruption. In Rutland, Memorial Day observances on the morning of Monday, May 30, will begin with military rites conducted by Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion at the Nordland Cemetery, 1½ mile east and ½ mile south of town, followed by military rites at the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town at 10:30 a.m. A program produced by the American Legion Auxiliary will be presented at 11:00 a.m. in the Rutland Town Hall, followed by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, also in the Town Hall. Everyone is invited to participate in Memorial Day observances in Rutland on Monday, May 30.

Bruce Burke of Seattle WA stopped in Rutland on the afternoon of Thursday, May 19, doing some research for a personal family history project. Mr. Burke grew up in Breckenridge MN, but the Burke family traces its history back to Rutland and the Great Northern Railway. Bruce’s parents were Harvey & Alice Burke; his grandparents were Rutland natives John & Anna (Spande) Burke; his great-aunt was the late Bertha (Spande) Penfield; and his great-grandparents were Knud & Alisa Spande. Knud & Alisa Spande owned & occupied the house at 309 Gay Street that is now owned by Paul Anderson, from 1918 until Alisa Spande’s death in 1958. The house had been built by Paul’s grandparents, Ole & Julia Anderson, back in 1909. Prior to moving to town, the Spandes had farmed south of Silver Lake. Bruce has a vivid memory of an event that occurred at the Spande house in Rutland back in the early 1950’s, when he was a small boy of about 4 or 5 years of age. It seems that there was an unused water well in the backyard that had been covered over with an old door. Being a boy of some energy, Bruce decided to take a run and jump on the center of that old door. When he did so, the deteriorated boards broke and down went Bruce. Fortunately, as he went through the door he stuck his elbows out and caught himself on the edges of the hole he had made, leaving his head sticking out, above the door, and his feet dangling just above the water in the well. He said that he can still remember looking down and seeing the cold water just beneath his feet. Bruce’s Dad, Harvey Burke, rushed to his assistance and pulled him to safety. Bruce said that he can’t remember just what his Dad said to his great-grandfather about the continued existence of that well, but he’s pretty sure that it was powerful. It had been Bruce’s intention to take a picture of the old well, if any evidence of it still existed. He could not find any trace of the well but was pleased to find that the house is in excellent condition and still looks much as it did back when his great-grandparents first bought it 104 years ago. Mr. Burke had taken the long way around to get to Rutland. He had driven through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to get here. He had stopped in New Mexico to take a look at the Air Force Base at which he had been stationed back in the late 60’s, and in Nebraska to visit some students he had taught there back in the 70’s. He was surprised to find that the teen-age students he remembered are now in their 60’s. Time marches on. Mr. Burke was visiting at the home of his cousin, the daughter of the late Jim & Nellie (Burke) McCulloch, at Ottertail Lake MN during his stay in this area. He planned to be heading back to Seattle on Saturday, May 21, and hoped to make it home in 3 or 4 days via I-94 & I-90.

Carrying on the baseball tradition of Rutland’s Roosters is Chris Chase Silseth, a pitcher for the major league Los Angeles Angels baseball team. The Angels, as of Tuesday, May 24, were in 2nd place in the American League’s western conference, with a record of 27 wins and 17 losses. Chris Chase Silseth is a Great-grandson of the late Orvis & Angeline (Slaby) Silseth of this community, and a grandson of Robert “Bob” & Linda (Marlowe) Silseth. Bob grew up on the farm 5 miles southwest of Rutland, and Linda grew up in Veblen SD. Chris Chase pitched an outstanding game for the Angels in his first start a few weeks ago. The next time you hear, “Now pitching for the Angels, Chris Chase Silseth,” just remember that he can trace his baseball pedigree back to ballparks in Rutland, Cayuga, Veblen and Havana. Chris Chase’s great-great grandfather was the late Anton Silseth, who had a magnificent farm on the north shore of Sprague Lake, and his great-great-great-grandfather was pioneer Rutland area homesteader Ole Silseth, who immigrated to Dakota Territory from Norway 140 years ago so that he and his descendants would have the opportunity to be farmers, teachers and professional baseball players.

Members of the Rutland Cemetery Association met at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, in the Community Room of Stock Growers Bank’s Rutland Station. Members reviewed expenditures and transactions since the last Annual meeting and authorized the Board of Directors to expend funds necessary to keep the Cemetery up during the coming year. Brad Siemieniewski and boys were retained to keep the Cemetery mowed and to do light maintenance work on the grounds. The contract price for mowing the Cemetery was increased from $225 to $275 per mowing, including maintenance work. As of May 17, the Association had approximately $21,000 in its checking account, and approximately $38,000 in CD’s. Cemetery Sexton Greg Donaldson reported that he is looking for a volunteer to train in on the Sexton’s duties. Officers and Directors of the Rutland Cemetery Association for the coming year are: Roger Pearson, President; Paul Anderson, Vice President; Casee Carlson, Secretary-Treasurer; Norbert Kulzer, Director; Chuck Sundlie, Director; and, Greg Donaldson, Sexton.

Sargent County District Health Nurses Brianna Spellerberg & Kelsey Nelson were at the Rutland Seniors Center on Thursday, May 12, providing foot care services to 12 patrons, and administering 5 more covid-19 booster shots. Covid-19 continues to be an unwelcome intruder in our community, according to County Health District Administrator Brenda Peterson. Another 6 cases of the illness were reported in Sargent County during the week of May 15-21. 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 & your community. Get vaccinated and boosted!

Republican Primary Election candidates Erbele, Brandenburg & Grueneich were in Rutland on Friday, May 20, doing some door-to-door campaigning. Erbele & Brandenburg are incumbents. Mr. Grueneich previously served in the Legislature representing another District and is now seeking election in this District. They are opposed for the Republican legislative endorsement by candidates Ertelt, Loehgering & Leppert. Ertelt had obtained the Republican endorsement for State Senate at the GOP’s District Convention, edging out incumbent Senator Erbele by a single vote. Both Brandenburg & Grueneich were endorsed by the GOP District convention. Mr. Ertelt is an incumbent Representative from the old District #26. 

District #28 Democratic-NPL Chairperson Mary Schlosser has extended an invitation to all to a “Meet & Greet” session at the Springs Golf Course Clubhouse in Gwinner on Thursday, June 9. The event is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. Sharon Ulmer of Merricourt, candidate for the State House of Representatives for District #28, and several Statewide candidates are expected to be present to meet with voters and discuss issues of interest. Lunch & refreshments will be provided.

Rutland’s Annual Community Block Party is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 in the City Park adjacent to the Rutland Town Hall, according to Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen. All in the Rutland Community are invited to come on in to visit with the neighbors, both old and new. The Volunteer Firemen will be manning the grills, preparing burgers & brats, and other picnic fare will be available. The Firemen will also be providing some opportunities for water recreation for the kids. . Don’t miss it! A good time is guaranteed.

CORRECTION: The Rooster Crows for May 20 had a couple of incorrect dates in it. The date for graduation ceremonies at Sargent Central was incorrectly shown as June 22. The correct date was May 22. The date for the next meeting of the Rutland Community Club was incorrectly shown as May 13. It should have been shown as June 13. Apologies are extended for the errors.  And for any inconveniences or problems they may have caused.

The Rutland Roosters Men’s Slowpitch Softball team was scheduled to play its first home game of the 2022 season against a team from Enderlin on Tuesday, May 24, at Lou Sanderson Field, but the matchup did not occur. As of Wednesday morning, May 25, Larry Christensen, Chairman of the Rutland Park Board, had not been informed whether the game had been cancelled, in which case it would be counted as a forfeit for Enderlin and a win for The Roosters, or merely postponed to a later date. The next 2 home games on the Roosters’ schedule will be on Tuesday, June 7, and Tuesday, June 14, according to Chairman Christensen. A T-ball game is scheduled to be played on the Rutland diamond on Wednesday, June 1. Roosters fans are invited to come out to Lou Sanderson Field to watch the home team play ball. The concession stand will be open, says Larry, with burgers & brats prepared by Chefs Mac Pherson & Hal Nelson. Come on out to the old ballpark and PLAY BALL!

Meanwhile, on the national scene, prior to May 24, 2022, Uvalde, Texas’ main claim to fame was that it was the hometown of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Vice President of the U.S. during the first two administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Nance Garner, also known as Cactus Jack. That changed on May 24 in a hail of gunfire and death. Now, here we are, 21 weeks into the year of 2022, and already there have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States of America, the country we used to think of as the land of the free and the home of the brave, the latest at an Elementary School in Uvalde TX in which an 18 year old high school student armed with an assault rifle shot and killed 19 2nd, 3rd & 4th Grade students and 2 teachers. . Some might think that any country that puts up with ignorant, mentally deranged gunmen armed with automatic weapons and a gut full of hate repeatedly killing school students, worshipers in churches, mosques & synagogues, or peaceful shoppers in a supermarket, would be more accurately described as the land of the stupid and the home of the insane. The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects the individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, but it is not a national suicide pact. It is not a license to kill our children, our co-workers, or our neighbors. There are those in this country who find it to their political advantage to make appeals based in ignorance and intended to rouse up fear, anger & hatred among their followers. They make up grievances, and then use those non-existent grievances to justify violent, destructive and deadly behavior from their followers. They are primarily of one political party, and they use their positions of power to block any attempts to deal with the epidemic of mass murder that has been ravaging our country. Americans want some commonsense action to stop the wanton slaughter of the innocent. If those in positions of authority refuse to heed the call to action, the American people can, and should, replace them. Are you listening, Senator John Hoeven and Congressman Kelly Armstrong?

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 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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