By Bill Anderson
Uff-Da, what a day! Sunday, October 2, 2022, Uff-Da Day XXXVII, was a great day in the little city that can. It started out as a questionable day, with an overcast sky and sputtering rain showers as the 5k Run/Walk got underway at 8:00 a.m., but it just got nicer and nicer all day long, with increasing sunshine and just enough of a breeze to keep the flies grounded. The Sun really does always shine on Rutland, even when it’s raining! The streets were full of people, and every face had a smile. More than 3,000 lefse, 18 roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham, more roasters full of rice pudding, gallons of rommegrot, hundreds of krumkake, sandkaker & abelskievers, Uff-Da Tacos, hot dogs and bratwursts had been consumed by the time activities started to wind down. All that was left was the aroma of good cooking. Among the highlights of this year’s event were: the 2022 car show organized by David & Pat Bladow, and members of their family, that included 104 antique, classic, restored & modified automobiles from throughout North Dakota, South Dakota & Minnesota; the one room country school exhibit in which Val Pherson and a group of 32 youngsters, dressed in period garb demonstrated what school was like back in “the good old days”; the sawmill operated by Sod Buster volunteers from Fort Ransom and powered by Joel Susag’s WD-45 Allis Chalmers tractor; musical performances by Jim Levery, Harvey Bergstrom and Earl Fust at the Seniors’ Center and Town Hall throughout the day; The American Legion Color guard composed of Ted Lee, Roger McLaen, Andy Hoflen, Andy Harris & Calvin Jacobson that led the Uff-Da Day Parade through town; and, The temporarily reopened Lariat Bar, now under new ownership and management, that supplied refreshments to patrons throughout the afternoon and evening hours. Annie Kempel, owner & operator of The Monkey Hut Bar in Havana, was behind the bar at The Lariat to manage the day’s operations. Arts & craft vendors, 41 of them, reported a great day and local youngsters with their wagon loads of pumpkins, squash and other garden produce did a land office business. The Nickel Scramble, once again sponsored by Joe’s Ag Supply and the Kenny & Tanya Hamilton family, had enthusiastic participation by kids of all ages. According to Rutland Community Club President and Uff-Da Day XXXVII Chairperson Katie McLaen, planning for Uff-Da Day XXXVIII will begin at the next meeting of the Rutland Community Club on Monday, October 10, at the Rutland Town Hall. Uff-Da Day XXXVIII will be on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Mark it on your calendar now, and don’t miss it.
Among the throng in Rutland for Uff-Da Day were Rutland natives, former residents and old friends: Eleanor (Kulzer) Bommersbach, age 102, and her daughter, Patsy Steiner, of Wyndmere ND; Pat Prindiville from Horace ND; Glen Larson and daughter, Laura, from Watertown SD; Lowell T. Wyum from Fargo ND; Ann Hoflen from St. Paul MN; John Hoflen from Bismarck; Allison Hoflen from West Fargo ND; James Hoflen from Iowa; Kathy Lee from Wahpeton ND; Carol (Welle) Fridgen from Nevis MN; Sonja (Anderson) Christensen from Wahpeton; Clarence “Stub” & Sharon(Lee) Sundlie from Fargo; Bonita (Bauman) Sundlie and daughter, Lisa, from Horace ND; Harlan Nundahl from Fargo; Mavis (Hoflen) Wold from Forman; Mary Alice (Pearson) Oyloe from Williston ND; Jerry & Ramona Kelsh from Fullerton ND; Sarah (Lee) Dobmeier from Alexandria MN; Mary (Olstad) Indridson from Cavalier ND; Jim Dotzenrod & grandson, Brody, a big fan of Rutland’s “Bounce Houses,” from Wyndmere ND; Alissa Mitskog from Wahpeton ND; Evangeline (Larson) Vold from Britton SD; Patty (Larson) Jacobson from Forman; Dean & Carol (Henjum) Nundahl from Mankato MN; Corrine (Narum) Romereim and granddaughter, Jaylyn Romereim & Jaylyn’s boyfriend, from Wahpeton ND; Rod & Brenda Romereim from Wahpeton ND; Steve & Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs from Rosholt SD; Brevin Watson & girlfriend from Wahpeton ND; Rita Preble from Forman; and, many, many more.
Jim and Jennifer Boyko of Britton SD have purchased the Weber Township farmstead formerly owned & occupied by the late Terry & Patty Carlen and their family. The farmstead of about 20 acres is situated on the west side of County Road #10, approximately 6 miles south of Rutland. Mr. Boyko is employed by Hortons in Britton, and Mrs. Boyko is a teacher in the Britton school system. The Boykos have two adult children presently in college, and a daughter in Junior High at home. The Rutland community welcomes the Boykos to Sargent County, to the Coteau des Prairies hills, and to the Rutland & Havana communities. The Carlen Farm had been purchased last Winter by John Anderson of Weber Township. John offered the farmstead for sale last Spring, and the deal with the Boykos was closed about 2 weeks ago. It’s good to have people on our local farms.
Thirty influenza vaccinations and 20 of the new covid-19 bivalent vaccinations were administered by the Sargent County Health Department at the September 28 immunization clinic at the Rutland Senior Citizens Center. Health Department Administrator Brenda Peterson, and County Health Nurses Briana Spellerberg and Kelsey Nelson took care of the paperwork and administered the shots during the 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. vaccination session. For additional information about the new influenza and covid-19 vaccinations, or to schedule an appointment to obtain vaccinations, call the Sargent County Health District’s office on Main Street in Forman at 724-3725.
The Board of Directors of Rutland Improvement d/b/a The Lariat Bar LLC met in the Lariat Bar building at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, October 3, with Directors Paul Anderson; Rob Wyum; Katie McLaen; Mike Wyum; and Patty Woytassek; present. No directors were absent. The directors adopted several provisions for the LLC’s Operating Agreement/Bylaws and discussed upcoming interviews with prospective employees. The Directors have additional meetings scheduled for Thursday, October 6, and Tuesday, October 11. They are striving to get The Lariat fully staffed and up & running as soon as possible.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Mike Mahrer; Auditor Debbie Banish; and Council Members Bill Anderson; Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and Lori McLaen; present. No Council Members were absent. Mayor Mahrer called the meeting to order and convened the public hearing on the City’s proposed 2023 Budget. No one was present to ask questions or make comments concerning the proposed 2023 Budget. The Council reviewed and approved the City’s financial statements. The City’s pending bills were reviewed and payment of all bills presented was authorized. The Council took up the matter of the 2023 Budget and, by a unanimous vote, approved the proposed 2023 Budget as presented. Sources of funding for next year’s budget will be a mill levy of 105 mills on the taxable property within the City, producing tax revenue in the amount of $51,387.21; income from revenue sources such as water sales, sewer service and trash & garbage disposal; and State & Federal assistance for local governments. The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 7, 2022, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and residents of Rutland are invited to stop by to observe their city’s governing board in action.
Soybeans and corn are rolling into the Rutland Elevator in a golden wave. Yield reports range from good to outstanding, with only a mile or 2 in distance and an inch or so of rain making all the difference in this year of near drought. Harvey Bergstrom reports that soybean yields in his home area near Cayuga are reported to be running about 38 bushels per acre, and Chuck Anderson reports that corn yields out in the middle of Weber Township, between Rutland & Havana, are running from 175 to 200 bushels per acre on non-irrigated fields. Reports of test weight and moisture content are also good. Good yields, good quality and good prices make for a good year on the farm. Harvey Bergstrom also reports that life on the farm is a lot less stressful since he & Judy retired. He has been working part-time for the Gulleson Brothers and says that he likes that just fine.
As of September 30, it has been one full year since the Rutland Post Office was shut down “for a few days” to address health & safety concerns with the old Franzen Building on Main Street, where the Rutland Post Office had been located since 1981. The U. S. Postal Service has, in the past year, terminated its lease with the owner of the Franzen Building; and, given the run-around to everyone who has tried to get in contact with anyone in authority to get a straight answer as to when a Post Office will be restored to this community. Most recently, an interested person here who has chased the Postal Service from Gwinner to Sioux Falls, Denver, Los Angeles and back to Washington DC was told by a USPS employee that service in Rutland was not a “high priority” for them. Back in the days when the Post Office was a Department of the Federal Government, rather than a Federally owned quasi-corporation, we could grab someone by the necktie and shirt collar and shake them until they came to their senses. A Post Office is a matter of dollars and cents to any community, but it appears to make no sense to the U. S. Postal Service. The USPS is owned by us and is controlled by Congress. In North Dakota, a Congressman and a Senator are up for re-election, and can be replaced on November 8. They’re supposed to be working for us, too. Just listen to their ads. They say that they’re doing a lot for North Dakota’s small towns. Well, let’s see some action, boys!
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the fishing world was shocked, yes, shocked, to learn that two fishing tournament regulars in Ohio had been caught cheating. Who could possibly believe that fishermen would lie about the weight of the fish they catch; about where they caught the fish; about when they caught the fish; or, about what kind of bait they were using? Well, it has been known since time immemorial that it makes no sense to ask a fisherman, or fisherwoman, any questions about fishing, because they are so used to lying that even they have no idea of what the truth might be. There is an oath required of anglers when they take up the sport that requires them to use any trick, artifice, or deception available to avoid telling the truth about where, when or how they may have caught their fish. Now it has been proposed that all anglers be required to take a polygraph, lie detector, test whenever they submit fish to be weighed or commence telling a story about their fishing experiences. What good will that do? They will have that lie detector needle dancing like a polka fanatic at a Whoopee John Concert. Rather than ruin a sport that has brought enjoyment to millions for eons, a better approach would be to ban weight, length, numbers, or any other measurements as the determining factor at any fishing tournament, and to base the determination on the angler’s skill as a teller of tall tales and a concealer of the truth. You can’t accuse anyone of cheating when the measure of their skill is how well they can lie. Not only that, but, as is well known, not all fishermen can catch fish, but all of them can tell stories. Making this simple change would keep everyone on the right side of the law and give everyone a chance to win. Back in the early 1950’s, long before there was any talk of polygraph exams for anglers, there was a crisis in Rutland that only a fisherman could resolve. It seems that a new baby had just been born at the Rutland Maternity Hospital, operated by Mildred Meyers, a dynamic and resourceful individual. When Mildred put the newborn on her scale to get its weight for the birth certificate, though, she found that her scale was broken and could indicate neither fact nor fiction. Just then, Mildred looked out the window and spotted Ole Breum, as trustworthy and honest a fellow as ever put hook, line & sinker together, driving by. Mildred knew that Ole was an avid fisherman, and that he would have a scale with him. She ran out with the baby in her arms, and flagged Ole down. “Quick!” she implored him, “Get your fishing scale out, we have to weigh this baby!” Well, Ole loved kids, too, so he dug out his fishing scale, and he and Mildred got the official weight for the birth certificate. It was said that the baby was the largest one ever born in the Rutland Maternity Hospital, weighing in at just under 35 pounds at birth, according to Ole’s scale. Mildred got a new scale for the Maternity Hospital a few days later, and weighed the baby again, but by that time it had shrunk down to about 7 pounds. Fish will do that, too, you know. They never weigh as much a few days, or even a few hours, later, as they did when they were first caught. That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it. Polygraph test results are not admissible in court, anyway.
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 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.