By Bill Anderson
Cold! Wind! Dry! Leaves!’ Nuff said! A portent of things to come. The low temperature on Monday, October 17, was +13, not too cold by January standards, but bad news in October. It has been colder, though. Back in 1972, the low temperature on October 18 was +10, a mark that has stood the test of time.
Speaking of the weather, they have it in other parts of the country, too. Sargent County native Millie (Breker) Schlekeway, who grew up on the Ferd & Olivia Breker farm in Tewaukon Township and made her home for many years on the east side of Clear Lake in South Dakota, recently reported to family members here about her experience with Hurricane Ian, the giant storm that recently did billions of dollars of damage, in addition to injuring & killing many, as it smashed its way across Florida. Millie now makes her home near Sarasota FL, a community that was just grazed by the edge of the storm as it passed by. Millie told her niece, Janet Kiefer, that even though she had lived for years in North and South Dakota, where there is plenty of wind, she had never experienced wind like Hurricane Ian. The wind blew with such force that it literally screamed, she said. Fortunately, Millie’s home suffered only minor damage. It takes more than a hurricane to chase a North Dakota native out of anyplace she wants to be, and Millie intends to stay put in Florida, at least until Spring comes to the prairie.
The dry weather of the past several months has allowed harvest of the 2022 corn and soybean crops to proceed at a rapid pace. Randy Pearson reports that his son, Chris, finished combining his 2022 crop on Saturday, October 15, and is now assisting a brother-in-law and neighbor, Tyler Speich, with his corn. According to Randy, the further north they went, the better the yields were. Chuck Anderson reported that he and his son, John, finished up with the harvest of their 2022 crop on Thursday, October 13. Chuck stated that their corn crop in Weber Township averaged 180 bushels per acre, the best report received so far. Well, the harvest isn’t quite done, yet, and as long as the combine is rolling, the possibility of making a profit remains.
At a special meeting of the congregation held on the morning of Sunday, October 16, members of Nordland Lutheran Church approved a proposal to acquire and install a new live streaming; audio; and video; system that will provide a better quality sound and video experience both for those attending services and programs inside the church and those participating online via the internet. The equipment will be supplied and installed by Mr. Randy McGinnity of RPM Sound Design of Wheatland ND. Cost of the project is $16,942.95, and the new system is expected to be up and running before Nordland’s Sunday School Christmas Program in early December.
Denny Pherson reports that the Gleaner combines of Pherson Custom Combining are still going full speed ahead, now under the direction of his son, Brian Pherson, the 4th generation of the Pherson family to head up the business that was started back in 1954 by Brian’s Great-Grandfather, Percy, and Grandfather, Dennis Sr. Denny isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet, either. He has now gone “Back To The Future” and for the first time in several decades the Pherson Farm is raising chickens and selling eggs. Denny says that Ione is in charge of the egg business right now, but has threatened to turn it over to Denny, “…the first time anyone calls me Edith.” Edith Pherson was Denny’s grandmother. She raised chickens and sold eggs in this community for many years, and when she ended her egg business she was delivering eggs for 50 cents a dozen in her Chrysler New Yorker 5th Avenue luxury car. Pherson Farm’s Poultry & Egg Division now has farm fresh eggs available in the refrigerator at the Rutland Elevator. These eggs have yolks that stand up and look you in the eye when they are dropped into the frying pan, and the price is reasonable, too. Feeding the world and fighting inflation, all with a simple egg. Next on Denny & Ione’s agenda, a milk cow!? Who knows? If Denny is becoming Percy, can Edith be far behind?
Robert & Darby (Brakke) Sebree arrived in Rutland on Monday, October 17. They made their headquarters at the Ransom Township farm home of Darby’s brother, Jesse Brakke, during their stay here. This was their first visit back to Darby’s hometown since July of 2021. The Sebrees had moved east from their longtime home in Los Angeles CA in October of 2021, and now make their home in Cincinnati OH, just across the Ohio River from the Sebree family’s ancestral farm home in northern Kentucky. Bill Anderson joined them for a fresh vegetable and chicken supper prepared by Robert on the evening of Monday, October 17. On Tuesday, October 18, they visited Pearl Brakke at her home in Havana, and that evening Darby, Robert & Jesse entertained Kyle & Kaia Mahrer and their family at the farm. On Wednesday morning Darby joined the morning coffee session at the Rutland Seniors’ Center, before she and Robert drove up to Fargo to spend the remainder of the week visiting at the home of her sister, Janelle Brakke. On Thursday they were scheduled to take Darby’s Mom, Kathy Brakke, who is now a resident of Mapleview Memory Care in Fargo, out to lunch at the “Porter Creek” restaurant. Friday is their day to start back to Cincinatti, with stops in Wisconsin to visit Darby’s nephew & niece, Mr. & Mrs. James Brakke and Claire Brakke. They are planning to be back in Rutland either next Spring, for Memorial Day, or next Fall, for Uff-Da Day. Maybe both.
The Board of Directors of Rutland Improvement d/b/a The Lariat Bar LLC has been meeting frequently to review job applications and interview prospective employees. The most recent meeting was held in the Lariat Bar on the evening of Tuesday, October 18, with directors Paul Anderson; Rob Wyum; Katie McLaen; Mike Wyum; and Patty Woytassek; present. They’re not ready to open, yet, but they plan to be up and running soon.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, every now and then it’s a good idea to take a look back to see how far we have come. Fifty years ago, on October 17, 1972, the Democratically controlled Congress passed the Clean Water Act and sent it to the Republican President for signature. Members of the 2 major political parties had worked together to address a serious national issue. At that time water pollution was a very serious problem in America. One of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie, had become a giant hazardous waste dump in which no living thing could survive, and several American rivers, including the Los Angeles River at Los Angeles CA, the Chicago River at Chicago IL and the Cuyahoga River at Cleveland OH had become so polluted with flammable industrial waste that they caught fire, threatening to destroy the cities through which they ran. In the half century since it was passed, America’s Clean Water Act has been responsible for cleaning up and restoring many rivers and lakes in this country, including Lake Erie and the rivers mentioned, above, and through its provisions has provided clean water to thousands of communities and millions of people all over America. There is hope. We Americans can work together for the common good, when we are ready to start using the commonsense God gave us. We have done it before, and we can do it again. Sixty years ago, from October 16, 1962 to October 28, 1962, the American people, along with the rest of the world, took a long look into the abyss of nuclear destruction. The Soviet Union, whose leader, Nikita Khrushchev, had threatened to bury us, had been caught trying to secretly install nuclear armed missiles, aimed at the United States, on the island of Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Our President, John F. Kennedy, had informed the Soviets, and the world, that any missile launched from Cuba would result in a “full retaliatory response” against the Soviet Union, and had ordered the American Navy to impose a “quarantine” around Cuba, to prevent any more missiles from being delivered to that island. Tension built as Soviet and American ships headed for confrontation on the high seas. Some American Generals urged an immediate invasion of Cuba by the United States. Soviet leaders threatened nuclear war if the U. S. attacked Cuba. Some Rutland boys would have been in harm’s way if any shooting had started. Harvey Anderson & Leo Christensen were in the U. S. Marines, and Norman Preble was in the U. S. Navy at the time. A nuclear confrontation, whether triggered intentionally or accidentally, would have killed those boys, and millions more, in a matter of minutes. The fate of civilization hung in the balance. Using every avenue of diplomacy available, public and secret, President Kennedy and chairman Khrushchev arrived at an understanding. The missiles were removed from Cuba by the Soviets; the soviet ships that were loaded with more missiles turned around and headed back to Russia; America did not invade Cuba; the U. S. removed some missiles from Turkey; and civilization survived. For 12 days back in 1962, civilization had teetered on the brink of destruction. Calm, strong leadership had removed the threat and saved the day. There are more nuclear actors on the world stage today than there were 60 years ago, and some of them do not seem to be rational. We live in the hope that calm, strong leadership can once again remove the threat and save the day.
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 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.