By Bill Anderson
Button up that overcoat! Baby, it’s cold outside. Saturday, Sunday & Monday, January 28 through the 30th, showed North Dakota what winter could be like if it wasn’t for global warming. Sub-zero temperatures for daily highs, and sub-sub-zero double digit low temperatures for each morning. Monday morning, January 30, had the lowest thermometer reading at -24. It might have been colder, but the thermometer didn’t go any lower than that. Starting with Tuesday, January 31, the daily high peaked above the Zero mark, even though the morning low stood at 10 below. It’s still going to be cold on Ground Hog’s Day, Thursday, February 2, but by this weekend the weather gurus are predicting a warmup, all the way into the mid-30’s by Saturday, February 4.
January’s cold didn’t stop local residents from enjoying some arctic fun. More than fifty snowmobiles and approximately 100 riders, passengers and 4-WD pickup drivers stopped at The Lariat Bar in Rutland on the evening of Saturday, January 21. The event was a Poker Run, and Rutland was the last stop. The trip had begun in Wyndmere, then went west, through Delamere, Milnor and Gwinner, then south to Forman, and then east to Rutland. Just for fun, some riders continued east to Cayuga, Geneseo and Lidgerwood, before arriving back at Wyndmere. They had the staff at the Lariat hustling for drinks & food, and a good time was enjoyed by all.
Hal Nelson, a die-hard Minnesota Twins baseball fan, drove to Minneapolis on Friday, January 27, with the intention of attending the Twins’ mid-winter “Meet The Team” event on Saturday, January 28. Unfortunately for Hal, his brother-in-law, Alan Wilke, who had planned to accompany him, fell ill on Saturday morning, and Hal decided to forego exposing the Twins 2023 lineup to whatever illness had felled Alan. Hal must have been immune to the bug that ailed Alan because he didn’t get it. Despite not getting to meet the Twins’ lineup, Hal said that he still had a good weekend visiting with his sisters, Becky Wilke & Tammy Tipton, and their families. Hal said that the Twins apparently did not miss him, as he did not receive any calls or text messages from the Twin’s Front Office inquiring about his absence. Hal usually purchases an autographed team baseball at the mid-winter event, but so far at least, the spot reserved for the 2023 ball on his display shelf is still vacant.
The Harris sisters, Kathy Wyum & Pam Gulleson, daughters of the late Marlin & Marlys Harris of Crete, flew via Delta Airlines from Fargo ND to Phoenix AZ on Saturday, January 28, to escape the coldest week of North Dakota’s winter, and to spend several days having some fun in the sun and warm weather of Arizona. They are headquartering at Scottsdale AZ during their stay in the Sunshine State, and they intend to spend some time visiting with some of the home folks who are wintering down there, including: their brother, Tim Harris, and his wife, Jo, at Sun City; friends, Paul Anderson & Carol Fridgen at Sun City West; and friends Randy & Cheri Pearson at Mesa. Pam also intends to do some hiking on mountain trails in the area. Kathy doesn’t. They expect to be back home in Rutland in time to enjoy the weekend warmup on Saturday, February 4.
The 27th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, the Premier Pinochle Tournament of southeast North Dakota, northeast South Dakota and West Central Minnesota is set to take place at the Rutland Town Hall on Saturday, February 4, according to one of the tournament organizers, Rutland native Sonja (Anderson) Christensen. Sonja reports that 51 teams had pre-registered for the tournament as of Monday, January 30, up from 43 a week earlier. The Rutland Community Club plans to serve mid-morning and mid-afternoon lunch to tournament participants, as well as a dinner at Noon featuring Rutland’s scalloped potatoes with ham, made with real potatoes, real ham and real cream by real cooks who learned their skills at Grandma’s knee.
Kim Rasmussen of rural Havana was a Rutland visitor on the morning of Monday, January 30, stopping in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for coffee and conversation with the Assembled Wise Men at the Round Table. Kim reports that he has not been playing as much poker this winter as he has in prior years, and he is thinking that the cards are punishing him by not falling his way. He plans to remedy that situation in the near future, though, with a trip to Las Vegas NV and the chance to make a small fortune at the poker tables there. Of course, Kim has to bear in mind the old saying that, “The best way to make a small fortune in Las Vegas is to have a large fortune with you when you get there.” Kim is a careful poker player, though, and is not expected to either bet, or lose, the farm. His many friends in Rutland wish him the best of luck.
The blood drive that had been scheduled to be held in the Rutland Town Hall on Tuesday, January 31, was cancelled due to a shortage of technicians and an excessive amount of frigid weather and slippery roads. A blood drive is scheduled to be held in Forman in 8 weeks, and another blood drive is scheduled to be held in Rutland during the month of June. Blood is a precious commodity that is always in short supply, so, when you get the call asking you to donate, please say “Yes!”
Meanwhile, on the national scene, former President Donald Trump held his first campaign event of the 2024 Presidential Campaign last week, and the District Attorney in Manhattan moved to indict him for fraud and other crimes committed in the State of New York. A big week for the Donald. It is anyone’s bet whether he will be moving into the White House or the Big House after the 2024 Election.
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.