The Rooster Crows – March 3, 2023

By Bill Anderson

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Thus spoke Hamlet in Act 2, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s tragedy of that name. Poor Hamlet, he couldn’t make up his mind. Almighty God, however, does not hesitate to make a decision when one is desired or required. For instance, after creating man in his own image, without clothing, God pronounced his entire creation, including unclothed men and women, to be “good.” Now, however, in 2023, the Republican dominated North Dakota State Legislature is in the process of adopting legislation declaring that depictions of human nudity in library books is “bad.” The legislature, for the first time in the history of the State, is on the verge of: banning books containing depictions of unclothed humans; censoring the content of books to make sure that they don’t include any pictures that the legislators, in their wisdom, might find offensive; and, imprisoning any librarians who fail to remove offending books from their library shelves. Just imagine, Marian, the Librarian, locked up behind bars, a desperate, corrupting criminal, in the opinions of North Dakota’s Legislators. So, Almighty God, omniscient and omnipotent, has declared that the naked human body is good. The North Dakota State Legislature thinks that the naked human body is bad. It will be interesting to see who wins this argument. At 24 degrees below Zero, though, even the Almighty would most likely agree that some clothing might be a good thing.

Once again, Mother Nature and Old Man Winter have teamed up to give us another winter storm, this one on the evening of Tuesday, February 28, and the morning and some of the afternoon of Wednesday, March 1. As of 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the snowfall amount, at a little over 1 inch, was considerably less than the 5 to 9 inches that the weather gurus had been predicting on Tuesday. The wind had most of the snow up in the air, though, so the total snowfall reading might be considerably higher when it all settles down. The experts were right on when it came to their wind prediction, though. As of Wednesday morning, there was more than enough wind to run multiple windmills that could be pumping water, generating electricity or just providing targets for near-sighted birds to run into. So, are the winter wind, cold and snow good or bad? What about windmills? We’ll probably have to follow Hamlet’s advice, and think about it.

A moving crew consisting of Janelle Brakke of Fargo; Wanda (Brakke) Rasmussen of Fargo; Andy Harris of Rutland; and, Bill Anderson of Rutland; coordinated their efforts to move Rutland native Kathleen Brakke to a new residence east of The Red River on Friday, February 24. Since October of 2019 Kathy had been a resident at Mapleview Memory Care in south Fargo. Her new home is at Lilac Homes Memory Care, 2615 Parkview Drive South, Moorhead MN 56560. Kathy enjoys receiving cards and postcards from friends and family. She also enjoys music, particularly visits from her cousin, Cayuga native Emily (Banish) Wangen, who works with Music Therapy In Motion of Fargo.

Last week it was reported here that a lifelong member of the Rutland and Havana communities, Curtis Silseth, had passed away at his Weber Township farm home on the morning of Monday, February 20, 2023, four days after being diagnosed with cancer. His personal “Army of Angels” had moved heaven and earth to fulfill his last wish, which was to be at home for his final days. He had attained the age of 73 years, 9 months and 25 days at the time of his death. Curt was born on April 26, 1949 in Britton SD to Louis Orvis and Angeline (Slaby) Silseth. He grew up on the family farms near Rutland and Havana, first on the Silseth farm in Rutland Township, on the north shore of Sprague Lake, 1 mile south and 2miles west of Rutland, and then on the farm in Weber Township, 4½ miles south and 1 mile west of Rutland & 4 miles east and 2½ miles north of Havana. He attended twelve years of school at the Public School in Havana, and graduated from Havana High School (HHS) in 1967. While in high school, Curt enjoyed playing basketball and football, but often stated that he had gotten kicked out of chorus. He went on to further his education at The North Dakota State College of Science at Wahpeton and at State University of North Dakota, Mayville, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1971. He then returned to the family farm to begin his life’s dream of farming alongside his dad. In 1972 he met and married the love of his life, his “blue eyed Norwegian sweetheart,” Judy Lee, and was blessed to help raise three children, Jill, Christina and James. He was always happy to include the kids and their friends in the farming process. He enjoyed playing softball with the Rutland Roosters Men’s Slowpitch Softball team, and, after his active playing career ended, Curt stayed active in the game as an umpire for many years. The Roosters won many tournaments, and made several trips to the State Tournament, during the years when Curt was playing, primarily as the team’s First Baseman. He later helped coach the Phillips Oil girls’ softball team at Havana. He served as an ambulance attendant and a CPR instructor for area counties for a number of years. In the mid 1980’s, the depressed farm economy forced Curt to seek off farm employment, and he worked for Horton’s Inc. in Britton for several years. He then decided to return to college and earned a 2 year degree in computer science. Curt then worked with his brother-in-law, Kim Paulson, in the construction business in Devils Lake ND. In recent years, he also assisted his cousin, the late Jerry Sapa, with construction projects in the Rutland and Havana areas, including installing new siding on the Rutland Town Hall. Curt later took a job at Wall’s Inc. in Britton, working there until his retirement in 2021. After retirement he filled his days with lawn care, gardening and woodworking. You could always find Curt putzing around in his garage with his dog, Lexi. Through the years he has been involved with many clubs and organizations. His favorite time of year was hunting season. He thought if you “salt it,” “stuff it,” or “smoke it,” the hunt has gone well. He spent hundreds of hours making deer sausage with friends and relatives, as well as making jerky for his grandkids, only burning one smokehouse to the ground in the process. Curt is survived by: his wife of 50 years, Judy Silseth of Weber Township; 1 son, James Silseth of rural Havana; daughters Christina (Brandon) Nielsen of Williston ND and Jill (Corey) Toyne of Phoenix AZ; his brother, Robert “Bob” (Linda) Silseth; his sisters, Pat (Steve) Saewert and Paulette (Kim) Paulson; 9 grandchildren; 4great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; his brothers in spirit, Scott and Kim; and a multitude of friends. Preceding him in death were his parents; Orvis and Angeline; brother and sister-in-law, Duane Silseth and Pam (Johnson) Silseth; his in-laws, Harold and Borghild Lee; and special nephews, Darren Smulan and Corey Saewert. The memorial mass for Curtis Silseth will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Forman. Rev. Fr. Timothy Schroeder will celebrate the mass. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Everyone is invited to join the family at the Havana Civic Center for lunch following the service. Interment will be at a later date. The Price Funeral Chapel of Britton and Forman assisted the family with arrangements. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Judy Silseth, 9750 134th Ave SE, Havana ND 58043. The Rutland Community extends condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Curtis Silseth, a steadfast husband, father and friend.

The 2023 Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s Great Northern Pike Fish Fry will be held on Friday, March 3, at the Rutland Town Hall. This year, for the first time in the history of the event, there will be no advance ticket sales. Those attending the fish fry are asked to make a generous free will contribution, and the net proceeds will be donated to the Sargent County Food Pantry. Serving is scheduled to commence at 5:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and to continue until: 9:00 p.m.; all the pike filets are gone; or, all the hungry are fed; whichever comes first.

Harvey Bergstrom reports that he has been working on Henry T, his 1924 Ford Model “T” Touring Car, getting the vintage automobile all tuned up for a 500 mile endurance run through Kansas this summer. Harvey has sent Henry’s ignition coils off to be rejuvenated, and has replaced so many gaskets, seals and “O” rings that he now has to crawl under the Model t with an oil can in the morning to create an oil spot as evidence that the car really is a Ford Model T. From 1908 to 1927 the Ford Motor Co. made 15 million Model T’s. Henry Ford had said, “Don’t tell me how to make it better unless you can also tell me how to make it cheaper.” By 1927, the car that had a nearly $2,000 price tag in 1908 cost the buyer less than $500. For most of its 20 year production run, Ford told buyers that they could get it in any color they liked, “…as long as it’s black.” Ford’s development of assembly line production, with standardized procedures, parts and paint, presented Americans with a car that anyone could afford, and “put America on wheels.” With his restoration of Henry T, Harvey is preserving that part of our American heritage.

Charles “Chuck” Anderson was in Fargo during the blizzard of Wednesday & Thursday, February 22 & 23, undergoing knee replacement surgery at Sanford Hospital. He was released from the hospital on Friday, February 24, and his wife, Mary Beth, was going to drive home. They were a fair distance down the road, however, when Mary Beth was stricken with the flu, so Chuck, very carefully, took over and drove the remainder of the way back to their farm home in Weber Township. As of last weekend, Chuck’s recovery appeared to be progressing more rapidly than Mary Beth’s. Their many friends at the “Rutland Round Table” wish them both a speedy recovery.

The District 28 Democratic-NPL Political Party will hold a Gala Night and Reorganization meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 20, 2023, at Growing Small Towns, 510 Main Avenue, Oakes ND. A short district meeting with election of Executive Officers and approval of the bylaws will begin at 6pm. A special guest presentation by Patrick Hart, State Chairman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, is scheduled to begin at 7pm.  According to 28th District Co-Chairperson Sarah Dux of Forman, all interested persons are invited to attend.

The Rutland City Council’s meeting for the month of March is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 6, in the Rutland Town Hall. This month’s business includes: The opening of sealed bids and the conduct of oral bidding for the sale of the property at 217 Arthur Street, described as Lots 1 & 2 of Block 5, Original Townsite of Harvard, now Rutland, to the City of Rutland. Bids are due at the City Auditor’s office by noon on Monday, March 6. Payment terms are: cash on acceptance of the bid by the City. A purchase agreement requiring significant progress on the site within six (6) months will be required at the time the bid is accepted. Previous owners of this property include: Charles & Martha Weller; Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Weller; Andrew & Esther Sundlie; Jeff & Katy Kulzer; and, Bradley Christensen. The next item of business on the agenda will be discussion, and possible acceptance, of price quotes for the replacement of the main entrance door and the kitchen entrance door on the Rutland Town Hall. City Engineer Mike Bassingthwaite will be next on the agenda to discuss the possible replacement of some of the City’s water mains with larger pipes; and, to discuss plans for the replacement of sidewalks on Main Street, utilizing the Local Transportation Alternatives Program (LTAP) grant that was awarded to the City last fall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and the public is invited to attend.

Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch, the multi-billionaire owner of The Fox Network and Fox News has admitted, under oath, that Fox News reporters & commentators, such as Sean Hannady, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram, lied, and knew that they were lying when they repeated former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 Presidential Election had been stolen from him. Despite Mr. Murdoch’s admission, Mr. Trump keeps on repeating the lie, and some Americans keep on believing it. How about that? Is telling a lie, repeating a lie and believing a lie good or bad? Well, Hamlet, think about it.

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 and stop by to 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.

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