By Bill Anderson
April, it seems, has become the new March up here on the northern plains, at least during 2023. Weather conditions have been swinging back & forth, like the pendulum on a Grandfather’s clock, between winter and spring. Mother Nature has become an exotic dancer, enticing observers by removing one layer of ice & snow at a time, turning up the heat and turning it down to serve her purpose, her preference, and her passion. The thermometer registered fifty-one degrees above Zero on Wednesday, April 12, while those with memories recalled that a week earlier Rutland was in the midst of a great blizzard that hammered the region with high winds, heavy snow and frigid temperatures. Spring will arrive in its own good time. Meanwhile, though, we might as well relax and enjoy the show. Mother Nature is bound to regain her usual modesty one of these days.
Rutland and vicinity were rocked by a wild thunderstorm at about 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19. The thunder wasn’t the first we have heard so far this spring, but it certainly was the most emphatic. Lightning, wind and heavy rain provided accompaniment for nature’s symphony of thunder. In what was most likely a “first” in broadcast history, WDAY News, which began broadcasting on the radio back in 1922, 101 years ago, reported the rainfall amounts from both Rutland and Brampton in the same report, .62 of an inch at Rutland and .5 of an inch at Brampton on Wednesday, April 19. Congratulations folks, we’ve finally made the big time!
The combined effects of thunder, lightning, wind and rain also knocked out the supply of electricity from Otter Tail Power Co. to homes and businesses in Rutland on Wednesday morning. The power went off right after the storm hit, but Otter Tail’s repair crews had the power restored shortly before 6:30 a.m., in time to make breakfast for the kids before sending them off to school. The Rutland community extends thanks to the Otter Tail service technicians who went out into the storm to make the needed repairs. There is an old saying that, “We don’t miss the water until the well runs dry,” and we could add that we don’t miss the electricity until the lights don’t work and the coffee maker quits.
Randy Pearson reports that he and Cheri arrived back in North Dakota on the evening of Wednesday, April 5, on the heels of our most recent blizzard. Randy stated that the plane they were in landed at Fargo’s Hector Airport on a runway recently cleared of snow, but they then had difficulty getting out of the airport due to Fargo’s snow clogged streets. They finally managed to obtain the services of a taxi that could plow through the snow, and made their way to a hotel where they spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning. They finally arrived at their Shuman Township farm home on Thursday, April 6. Randy also reported that Arizona had its coldest month of March in recent history, but the weather there was still quite a bit warmer than North Dakota.
Hal Nelson & Bill Anderson drove up to Moorhead MN on Saturday, April 15. Bill visited his wife, Kathy Brakke, at her new place of residence, Lilac Homes Memory Care in Moorhead. They made it back to Rutland in time for a light supper at The Lariat Bar.
Paul Anderson & Carol Fridgen departed Sun City West AZ on Monday, April 17, heading for their summer base camps at Rutland ND & Nevis MN. They were migrating north as our ancestors had in days of yore, by automobile, with all 4 wheels on the road and the shiny side up. By Tuesday afternoon they were in south central Nebraska, near the town of Arapahoe, where the mercury had climbed up to 85 degrees, about 30 degrees warmer than the temperature in Rutland. They expect to arrive in the little city that can by the afternoon of Wednesday, April 19. According to the weatherman, they may still be able to enjoy a snowfall on Thursday & Friday, April 20 & 21, if they’re lucky, that is.
Roger Pearson was in Fargo on Monday, April 17, getting his shoulders loosened up and a hearing aid repaired at the VA Medical Center. The 2023 slowpitch softball season is approaching, and Roger may be planning a comeback with his old team, the Rutland Roosters. Then again, maybe not.
Rob Roney reports that Rutland’s Roosters are getting ready for the 2023 season, and anyone interested in playing on Rutland’s men’s slowpitch softball team should give him a call. The Roosters do not discriminate on the basis of age.
In the hospital in Fargo this week are the mother-daughter team of Yvonne Johnson and Launa Peterson. Both are in Sanford Hospital, and on the same floor, too. Cards & letters are welcome.
Joel Susag returned to his home in Rutland on Friday, April 14, after spending a little more than 3 weeks in the hospital and at Parkside Nursing Home in Lisbon. Joel had a minor surgical procedure at Sanford in Fargo on March 23, but the incision got an infection, and he required more care and recovery time than originally anticipated. Joel reported that he is now doing quite well, back home in Rutland. As a side benefit, he reports that he also shed several pounds during his medical ordeal.
The Rutland Community Club met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 17 in the Rutland Town Hall, with Vice-President Morgan Peterson presiding. Members present reviewed the Annual Easter Egg Hunt that had taken place on Saturday, April 8, and discussed several possible changes to consider prior to the 2024 event. Members also discussed some upcoming community events, including: Memorial Day program and community pot-luck dinner on Monday, May 29 at the Rutland Town Hall; and, the annual Community Block Party in early June. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8, at the Rutland Town Hall. Everyone is welcome.
The Rutland Senior Citizens Center usually hosts a birthday party during the morning coffee session on the second Monday of each month to honor those regulars who have a birthday during that month. During April of 2023, however, the observance was changed to the 3rd Monday, April 17, due to the Palm Sunday & Easter observances during the first and second weekends of the month. On the morning of Monday, April 17, a very spring like lemon birthday cake, prepared by Ione Pherson, was sliced and served in honor of Phyllis Erickson; Delores Lysne; Yvonne Johnson; Janet Kiefer; and, Harvey Bergstrom. Phyllis, the senior member of the group, was born in 1929, about a month after Herbert Hoover was sworn in as President of the U.S., and Harvey, the youngest of this year’s crop of April birthdays, was born in 1957, when “I Like Ike!” was the slogan of the day. Their many friends in Rutland extend heartfelt congratulations to these valued members of the community.
A substantial number of Rutland residents attended the Elementary School Spring Concert at The Sargent Central School in Forman on the evening of Tuesday, April 18. The youngsters, under the direction of Sargent Central’ Music Director, Kaia Mahrer, presented an outstanding performance. Congratulations to the students, their parents and to Mrs. Mahrer for a job well done.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, Fox News, a propaganda and publicity organization owned by Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, finally saw the light and settled the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit that had been brought against it by the Dominion Voting Services Co., a company that had been the subject of false stories that had originated with, and been disseminated by, the defeated 45th President of the U. S. after the General Election in 2020, and were spread by the Fox organization. Language in the settlement acknowledged Fox’s complicity in knowingly spreading the former President’s false narrative. The settlement amount was $787,500,000, not only a substantial amount in anyone’s book, but also the largest out of court settlement in American history. For those who think that Fox has not yet paid enough for its unethical and dishonest behavior, don’t worry, the company still faces several additional defamation lawsuits, including one for $2.6 billion that is being pressed by a California based company. The late American author and humorist Samuel Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain, once advised his readers, “Always tell the truth…it will please some of the people, and astonish all the rest.” Perhaps the essays, short stories and novels of Mark Twain should be required reading for Fox News executives from now on. If they change their ways, and become a truly “fair & balanced” news organization, it will please some of our friends and neighbors, and astonish all the rest of us.
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. 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.