By Bill Anderson
We can always talk, and write, about the weather. We don’t, and can’t, do anything about it, but we sure can comment on it. At times we are so proud and boastful of the pleasant weather conditions in our home communities that an outside observer might think that we actually had something to do with creating it, while at other times our mournful wails against the injustice of harsh weather conditions might lead that same outside observer to conclude that some malevolent being is sending foul weather to torture us poor innocents who have chosen to make our homes here. The weather, though, is neither good nor bad. It is only our reaction to it that makes us perceive it as being one way or the other. As The Bard once wrote, “…There is nothing that is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so…” Well, that being said, after some mighty pleasant weather at the beginning of last week, a mean spirited old cold front moved through this area on Thursday and Friday, May 18 & 19, dropping temperatures down to the low 40’s, and drawing some cold weather clothing back out of the closet. The cold front brought the smoke from Canadian wildfires down to ground level, too, making breathing a hazardous practice for anyone with asthma, allergies, COPD or other respiratory ailments. The cold front also brought trace rainfall amounts to the Rutland area, further delaying Spring planting for a few more days. By Sunday, May 21, though, nearly everyone with crops to plant was in the field, some raising dust and some getting stuck in the mud, but all experiencing the feeling of action, if not the fact. By Wednesday, May 24, the temperature had hit the 90’s, a substantial percentage of the acres intended for wheat, corn and soybeans had been planted and the rocks had been rolled flat in preparation for the combine harvesters that will begin gathering in the golden harvest in a few short months, depending on the weather, of course.
The Rutland Community Club held its regular May meeting on Monday, May 15, at the Rutland Town Hall. Community Club President Katie McLaen supplied the following report: “We made a big purchase at our May meeting, 12 new plastic picnic tables and 2 new aluminum bleachers for the ball diamond at Lou Sanderson Field. Both purchases will be used through the Spring & Summer, as well as at Uff-Da Day in early October! The Annual Community Block Party is scheduled to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, in the City Park adjacent to the Rutland Town Hall. The Volunteer Fireman will be grilling burgers, bratwursts & hot dogs, and Miss Whitney Mahrer will be crowned Miss Rutland 2023. Everyone in the Rutland Community is invited to participate in the Block Party. It’s a great opportunity to greet your neighbors, renew old friendships and make some new ones. There is no charge, and it’s a lot of fun!
So, what the “H” is going on with the U.S. Postal Service now? For many years, the rural routes were classified as either category “J” or category “K”, and the compensation paid to rural mail carriers was based on several criteria, including mileage of the route; number of deliveries on the route; time it took to complete the route; etc. Now, however, the Postal Service has put forward a plan to classify all rural routes as category “H”, a category no one has ever heard of prior to May of 2023. Compensation on all routes will be the same, regardless of miles, deliveries and other criteria. According to at least one carrier who delivers mail to some addresses in Sargent County, the new compensation schedule will result in a reduction of approximately $1,000.00 per month for the carrier serving that route. No one is expected to get a raise under the new system. Additionally, although the Postal Service is advertising for applicants to serve as substitute carriers, the rule will be changed to require regular carriers to work 6 days a week, rather than 5, leaving no days for the substitute carriers to work. Since 2006, the Postal Service has been working hard to make itself unprofitable and to put itself out of business. It has gotten rid of postmasters, clerks and post offices. Now it’s taking aim at the rural mail carriers. It has discouraged customers by raising fees while decreasing service to its patrons. The Postal Service is subject to rules and regulations instituted by the Congress and is under the supervision of the Congress. It is about time that our Congressmen and Senators step up, take responsibility for the disaster they have created, and do something to correct it. The duty of the Postal Service is to deliver the mail in a timely and economical manner. That’s it! Pretty simple. Even a member of Congress should be able to understand it.
Jim & Shari Brown of this community have been doing landscape work at the house owned by Paul Anderson at 309 Gay Street for the past couple of weeks. Jim reports that he and Shari have decided to go into the handyman business full time, and that they will be available for projects and odd jobs on a full-time basis from now on. Give them a call at 701-680-7131 and get those projects on the “honey-do” list completed in short order.
Farming, it has been said, is the most dangerous occupation in the USA. Cam Gulleson proved the truth of that statement when he slipped off the top of a seed tender on Wednesday, May 17, bouncing off the side of the vehicle a couple of times before hitting the ground head first. Cam sustained Bruises, abrasions, a slight concussion and the loss of one tooth, a molar. He was on short hours for a few days, but is now back at “full speed ahead” getting the 2023 crop planted.
Steve & Sheila Wyum, accompanied by Pam Gulleson, attended the “Chicago” concert on the evening of Sunday, May 21 at the Bluestem Performance Center in Trollwood Park, Moorhead. “Chicago,” a rock Band, was organized back in 1967, and 4 of the original members are still performing. According to Pam, despite their age, or maybe because of it, they still perform with the same level of energy and intensity as they did 56 years ago, when she was a young girl listening to them on the radio.
Joining the Round Table Regulars at the Rutland Seniors’ Center on the morning of Wednesday, May 24, were Mike Kulzer, Roger McLaen and Rick Bosse. Topics of discussion included: the weather; gun control; marksmanship; Memorial Day; and Spring planting. Mike, Roger & Rick bring unique and interesting perspectives to the usual discussion, along with a little hot sauce to keep the conversation lively.
The following message was recently received from Jim Strand of Waukesha WI: “I received a WWI rifle from my sister-in-law, Linda Strand, and I am getting it ready for the range at the gun shop. It is a Springfield 30-06 caliber. I also found some rifle practice books in the boxes downstairs. It appears that the rifle was brought to the Strand Farm at Rutland by a Mr. Hilbert Johnson who served with the 1st US Infantry from Camp Lewis Washington during WWI. My brother, Tom, said that Mr. Johnson was a farmhand at the Strands and worked there for a while. He left a helmet and the rifle, which remained in the attic of the farmhouse until Victor & Hjalmar Strand sold the farm and moved to town in the early 60’s.” Jim would like to know if anyone knows of Mr. Johnson’s origins and final destination.
All residents in the Rutland community are invited to observe and participate in Memorial Day activities on Monday, May 29. The Memorial Day schedule at Rutland is as follows: Military rites at Nordland Cemetery 2 miles east and ½ mile south of town at 10:15 a.m.; military rites at the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town at 10:30 a.m.; Patriotic Program presented by the American Legion Auxiliary in the Rutland Town Hall at 11:00 a.m.; and, Annual Community Pot-Luck Dinner immediately following the program at the Rutland Town Hall. Honor the memory of those who have served their country with their last, full measure of devotion. Lest we forget!
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 a 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 US Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.