By Bill Anderson
“The Lariat Is Back! Long Live The Lariat!” proclaimed Paul Anderson, President of the Board of Managers of Rutland Improvement d/b/a The Lariat Bar LLC on the evening of Friday, December 9, as shareholders and guests gathered to officially reopen the business and provide a “shakedown” cruise for newly hired employees and newly installed equipment. As expected, there were a few problems getting the new, electronic Point Of Sale (POS) system to properly interface withwaitresses and bartenders, but those problems were ironed out as the evening went on. The older technologies – a beer glass is still a beer glass, a bottle is still a bottle and a pizza oven is still a pizza oven – worked right off, without a hitch. In the Kitchen, the full menu that is intended to be offered to the public is not yet available, but customers were pleased to have a full line of appetizers and pizzas available during the first night of operations. The Lariat opened its doors to the public at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 10, with Silvia Brooks behind the bar, and business was booming from the moment the first customer came through the door until the bar closed at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. “I am a very happy man,” stated Jerry Woytassek, as he surveyed the full tables and the lineup at the bar. Jerry, along with his wife, Patty, is among the 41 shareholders who acquired The Lariat’s building, equipment & furniture from The Stockgrowers Bank earlier this past Fall, and has been working to get it ready to reopen ever since. Even Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus, alias Alwood & Jeri Huckell, came to Rutland from their Summer home in Fort Ransom to participate in opening night festivities. With its 2 jumbo TV screens available, one in the main barroom and one in the back room, it is likely that Santa and his Mrs. will be stopping by again before the football season is over. Bar Manager Sue Kaehler expressed her appreciation to all those who came in to make The Lariat Bar’s revival weekend a big success. It is intended that The Lariat Bar will be open 7 days a week, with abbreviated hours on Sunday. In addition to Ms. Kaehler, some of those on the staff include: Silvia Brooks; Tyler Weatherby; Courtney Setter; Tony Banish; Nicole Flannery; Heidi Siemieniewski; and, Shauna Bergh. The Lariat Bar and its predecessors has been Community central in Rutland since Jack Prindiville first poured a shot of whiskey in Prindiville’s Saloon back in October of 1886. The Rutland community is pleased and proud to have The Lariat Bar as an integral part of the community once again.
For the 2nd time in a month, Rutland & vicinity were hammered by a major winter storm, beginning with rain and high wind on the evening of Monday, December 12, changing to snow and high wind on Tuesday, December 13. The storm, moving up from the mountains of Colorado through Nebraska, was predicted to last through Thursday, December 15. Rutland folks woke up to about 9” of new snow that was about the same consistency as wet cement on Wednesday morning. The wet, heavy snow is expected to be tough on pheasants and other wildlife, but just what the doctor ordered for drought parched pastures and fields. It is wet enough, and heavy enough, to stay put once it touches down. The hard packed snow over a sheet of ice has made travel hazardous, and both motorists and pedestrians are advised to proceed with caution. Students at the Sargent Central School system were disappointed that the storm forced the cancellation of classes on Tuesday and Wednesday, but all successfully managed to hide their disappointment behind big smiles and shouts of happiness as they created snow fortresses and snowmen from the material provided by Mother Nature.
Mike Harris; Andy Harris; and, Bill Anderson; stopped in at the PAM Rehab Center in south Fargo on the afternoon of Thursday, December 8, to visit with Doug Spieker who was there recuperating from the effects of a fractured hip. Doug reported that the rehabilitation therapy had been effective, and that he anticipated being back at his Tewaukon Township farm home the next day, Friday, December 9. Doug’s many friends in Rutland know that he is as tough as nails, and that he will be in town, checking out The Lariat, in the near future.
After several years of unsuccessfully applying for financial assistance to aid with the repair and replacement of damaged sidewalks adjacent to Rutland’s Main Street, Rutland City Auditor Debbie Banish would have been justified to have just given up. Giving up is not in Debbie’s constitution, though, so she kept trying. Finally, her perserverance has paid off. On Monday, December 12, 2022, the City received word that it has been awarded more than $147,000.00 to assist with the sidewalk improvement project. The grant is part of the Federally funded Local Transportation Alternatives Program (LTAP), and it is expected that bids for the work that needs to be done will be solicited this coming Spring.
Mike Anderson; Mike Harris; Ione Pherson; and, Norman Preble; Rutland folks with birthdays during the month of December, were honored at the Rutland Seniors’ Center during morning coffee on Monday, December 12, with a big, thickly frosted birthday cake prepared by the birthday girl herself, Ione Pherson. Friends present entertained the birthday gang with a chorus of the “Happy Birthday” song and many good wishes. All of those honored are over the age of 21.
“Oh, you better be good, you better not cry, you better not pout, and I’m telling you why, ‘cause Santa Claus is comin’ to town!” Santa Claus is scheduled to make his 77th annual pre-Christmas visit to Rutland on Santa Claus Day, Saturday, December 17. According to Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen, activities will begin at 5:00 p.m. in the Rutland Town Hall. There will be a spaghetti supper, games for all and the award of Christmas hams donated by local businesses and individuals. Santa is expected to make his appearance shortly after 5:00p.m. on Saturday, and will be on hand to listen to Christmas requests from children of all ages prior to distributing the Christmas hams. He’s making his list and checking it twice, he’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice, so be on hand in Rutland when Santa slides in on the ice.
The Christmas Eve worship service at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 24. All are invited to attend and participate. More good news! The Winter Solstice arrives next Wednesday, December 21. After that, more light and less dark. Things are looking up. Of course, it will keep on getting colder for a while, probably until the middle of February, but as long as the Sun is shining a little more each day, we can take it. At least there will be more daylight to illuminate the thermometer.
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 web site at http://www.rutlandnd.com 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.