The Rooster Crows – Jan. 20, 2023

By Bill Anderson

The January Thaw, if it was a January thaw, was brief, but welcome. On Sunday, January 15, the mercury clawed its way above the freezing mark for the first time in 2023. Some thermometers even registered temperatures as high as 35 above for a couple of hours. According to Dennis McLaen, a UFO report was about to be made on the bright, shining object that appeared in the sky on Sunday afternoon, before someone figured out that it was the Sun, making its first appearance in several days. Dennis and his grandchildren took advantage of the beautiful sunny day to go sledding in the hills south of Rutland, just west of the Jesse & Bobbi Jo Maly farmstead. The short reprieve from January didn’t last long, though, as the temperature was below freezing all day on Monday, the 16th, and the northwest wind blew in another 4 to 6 inches of new snow. On the bright side, according to the local TV weathermen, there is more snow and cold weather in the forecast for the remainder of January. Just what we wanted.

Chuck Anderson was checking weather reporting web sites on his cell phone during the morning coffee session at the Rutland Seniors’ Center on Wednesday, January 18, and came across the North Dakota Agriculture Weather Network (NDAWN) web site. NDAWN has reporting stations across the upper Great Plains, from Montana to Minnesota. There is a monitoring site at the Kelly Cooper farm, near Brampton. According to NDAWN, the thick snow cover that has blanketed this area since mid-November has insulated the soil, and prevented the frost from going very deep. According to the NDAWN statistics, the frost depth in Sargent County ranges from 0 to 12 inches, not very deep for a winter that has been consistently cold for 2½ months. The good news from this information is that the frost is not likely to prevent the snowmelt from being absorbed by the soil when the snow finally melts in March, April or May. With a little bit of luck there will be enough soil moisture to get a crop started this spring, despite last year’s drought conditions. So, even though shoveling snow is a pain in the neck, in the back, or somewhere else on the anatomy, snow is good for something, once in a while.

The best laid plans of mice, men and fishermen sometimes go awry. That was the experience of Cameron Gulleson and Darren Ptacek when they accompanied two representatives from Peterson Farms Seeds on an ice fishing expedition to Lake Of The Woods during the second weekend in January. Cameron reports that they had no sooner arrived at the resort where their expedition was headquartering than Darren came down with the nasty variety of influenza that has been plaguing this area. Six hours later, Cameron was afflicted with the same ailment, and shortly thereafter the2 seed reps were also laid low. All four were aching, wheezing, sneezing, hacking & coughing in unison. It was not the type of fishing trip they were expecting, Cameron said. After suffering in their cabin for a few days, they finally crawled out and drove home on Tuesday, January 10, still suffering the symptoms of fever, congestion, aches, pains and exhaustion. As of Tuesday, January 17, Cameron reports that he is back in the land of the living, although he still occasionally feels some of the effects of the illness. Once a person has acquired this particular brand of influenza, they can expect that it will take a month, or more, to fully recover from its effects. The Rutland community extends best wishes to Cameron, Darren and their friends for a speedy and complete recovery.

Rutland is proud of the fact that two new residents, acquired the old-fashioned way, have been added to the community’s roster in the past month. Briggs Alan Erickson was born to Jake & Taryn Erickson on the morning of the First Day of Winter, Wednesday, December 21, 2022, in Sanford Hospital, Fargo. Briggs weighed in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and stood 21 inches tall in his bare feet at birth. He joins big brothers Easton and Everett in the Erickson family’s Ransom Township farm home. The latest arrival is Bridger Curtis Wyum born to Rob & Dana Wyum at Sanford Hospital in Fargo on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 11, 2023. Bridger weighed in at 7 pounds 6 ounces and stood 20 inches tall in his bare feet on arrival. He joins big brother Braylon and big sisters Briella and Bryce in the Wyums’ Ransom Township farm home. Welcome to Rutland, Briggs and Bridger.

Hal Nelson had visitors from the east, and from the west, at his home in Rutland from Thursday, January 5 to Saturday, January 7. Hal’s 3 sisters and their husbands: Becky & Alan Wilke of North Branch MN; Lori & Larry Hruby of Beulah ND; and, Tammy & Glen Tipton of North Branch MN; drove to Rutland to help their big brother celebrate his birthday. Hal’s birthday was actually on Tuesday, January 3, but he waited until the 5th to celebrate so all 3 sisters could be present. “A good time was had by all,” said Hal.

There was a change in management at the recently reopened Lariat Bar in Rutland on the morning of Tuesday, January 17, when Manager Sue Kaehler resigned to take advantage of other opportunities. A current employee, Shauna Bergh of Rutland, has been hired as interim manager. A meeting of the investors in Rutland Improvement d/b/a The Lariat Bar LLC, owner of The Lariat Bar, has been called for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, in the Back Room of The Lariat. The purpose of the meeting is to inform investors of developments since the Bar reopened on December 10, and to inform them of plans for the future. So far, the business appears to have been doing well. The Rutland community wishes the best of luck to Sue, Shauna & Rutland Improvement in their future endeavors.

There has been no change in the management of Rutland’s 27th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament. Sonja (Anderson) Christensen is still in charge, and, as everyone knows, what “Sonja Sez” goes. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” sez Sonja. As of Tuesday, January 17, Sonja reported that 32 teams have pre-registered to play in this year’s tourney. The region’s premier pinochle tournament will be held on Saturday, February 4, in the Rutland Town Hall. To get pre-registered or to obtain more information about the tournament, send an e-mail to Sonja at, or give her a call at 701-899-1463 or 701-642-6793.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, on Monday, January 16, many Americans, perhaps most Americans, paused to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Baptist minister who heard & answered the call to lead the Southern Christian Leadership Council through the turbulent civil rights campaigns of the 1950’s and 60’s. Dr. King was thoroughly admired and loved by the socially oppressed and economically downtrodden during his time on history’s stage, and just as thoroughly despised and hated by the socially privileged and economically favored of his day. As he led the movement for social and economic justice in America, He advocated responding to hatred with love, responding to ignorance with understanding and education and responding to violence with non-violence. Eventually, the American people saw the light, and passed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today, 94 years after his birth and 55 years after his murder, Dr. King’s example is still a beacon of hope and inspiration to the downtrodden and oppressed, and it is still a target for the malevolent hatred of the socially privileged and economically favored. In recent years the voting rights, civil rights and economic justice for which Dr. King campaigned have all been diminished by decisions of a U.S. Supreme Court that answers to the privileged and favored. Dr. King’s example invites all Americans to reexamine and reaffirm their belief in the basic principles upon which this country was founded, to oppose violence with non-violence, to oppose hate with love, to oppose ignorance with understanding, and to oppose oppression with opportunity. As several of our more inspiring leaders have reminded us in recent years, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, pay a visit to 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.