The Rooster Crows – Oct. 21, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Cold! Wind! Dry! Leaves!’ Nuff said! A portent of things to come. The low temperature on Monday, October 17, was +13, not too cold by January standards, but bad news in October. It has been colder, though. Back in 1972, the low temperature on October 18 was +10, a mark that has stood the test of time.

Speaking of the weather, they have it in other parts of the country, too. Sargent County native Millie (Breker) Schlekeway, who grew up on the Ferd & Olivia Breker farm in Tewaukon Township and made her home for many years on the east side of Clear Lake in South Dakota, recently reported to family members here about her experience with Hurricane Ian, the giant storm that recently did billions of dollars of damage, in addition to injuring & killing many, as it smashed its way across Florida. Millie now makes her home near Sarasota FL, a community that was just grazed by the edge of the storm as it passed by. Millie told her niece, Janet Kiefer, that even though she had lived for years in North and South Dakota, where there is plenty of wind, she had never experienced wind like Hurricane Ian. The wind blew with such force that it literally screamed, she said. Fortunately, Millie’s home suffered only minor damage. It takes more than a hurricane to chase a North Dakota native out of anyplace she wants to be, and Millie intends to stay put in Florida, at least until Spring comes to the prairie.

The dry weather of the past several months has allowed harvest of the 2022 corn and soybean crops to proceed at a rapid pace. Randy Pearson reports that his son, Chris, finished combining his 2022 crop on Saturday, October 15, and is now assisting a brother-in-law and neighbor, Tyler Speich, with his corn. According to Randy, the further north they went, the better the yields were. Chuck Anderson reported that he and his son, John, finished up with the harvest of their 2022 crop on Thursday, October 13. Chuck stated that their corn crop in Weber Township averaged 180 bushels per acre, the best report received so far. Well, the harvest isn’t quite done, yet, and as long as the combine is rolling, the possibility of making a profit remains.

At a special meeting of the congregation held on the morning of Sunday, October 16, members of Nordland Lutheran Church approved a proposal to acquire and install a new live streaming; audio; and video; system that will provide a better quality sound and video experience both for those attending services and programs inside the church and those participating online via the internet. The equipment will be supplied and installed by Mr. Randy McGinnity of RPM Sound Design of Wheatland ND. Cost of the project is $16,942.95, and the new system is expected to be up and running before Nordland’s Sunday School Christmas Program in early December.

Denny Pherson reports that the Gleaner combines of Pherson Custom Combining are still going full speed ahead, now under the direction of his son, Brian Pherson, the 4th generation of the Pherson family to head up the business that was started back in 1954 by Brian’s Great-Grandfather, Percy, and Grandfather, Dennis Sr. Denny isn’t letting any grass grow under his feet, either. He has now gone “Back To The Future” and for the first time in several decades the Pherson Farm is raising chickens and selling eggs. Denny says that Ione is in charge of the egg business right now, but has threatened to turn it over to Denny, “…the first time anyone calls me Edith.” Edith Pherson was Denny’s grandmother. She raised chickens and sold eggs in this community for many years, and when she ended her egg business she was delivering eggs for 50 cents a dozen in her Chrysler New Yorker 5th Avenue luxury car. Pherson Farm’s Poultry & Egg Division now has farm fresh eggs available in the refrigerator at the Rutland Elevator. These eggs have yolks that stand up and look you in the eye when they are dropped into the frying pan, and the price is reasonable, too. Feeding the world and fighting inflation, all with a simple egg. Next on Denny & Ione’s agenda, a milk cow!? Who knows? If Denny is becoming Percy, can Edith be far behind?

Robert & Darby (Brakke) Sebree arrived in Rutland on Monday, October 17. They made their headquarters at the Ransom Township farm home of Darby’s brother, Jesse Brakke, during their stay here. This was their first visit back to Darby’s hometown since July of 2021. The Sebrees had moved east from their longtime home in Los Angeles CA in October of 2021, and now make their home in Cincinnati OH, just across the Ohio River from the Sebree family’s ancestral farm home in northern Kentucky. Bill Anderson joined them for a fresh vegetable and chicken supper prepared by Robert on the evening of Monday, October 17. On Tuesday, October 18, they visited Pearl Brakke at her home in Havana, and that evening Darby, Robert & Jesse entertained Kyle & Kaia Mahrer and their family at the farm. On Wednesday morning Darby joined the morning coffee session at the Rutland Seniors’ Center, before she and Robert drove up to Fargo to spend the remainder of the week visiting at the home of her sister, Janelle Brakke. On Thursday they were scheduled to take Darby’s Mom, Kathy Brakke, who is now a resident of Mapleview Memory Care in Fargo, out to lunch at the “Porter Creek” restaurant. Friday is their day to start back to Cincinatti, with stops in Wisconsin to visit Darby’s nephew & niece, Mr. & Mrs. James Brakke and Claire Brakke. They are planning to be back in Rutland either next Spring, for Memorial Day, or next Fall, for Uff-Da Day. Maybe both.

The Board of Directors of Rutland Improvement d/b/a The Lariat Bar LLC has been meeting frequently to review job applications and interview prospective employees. The most recent meeting was held in the Lariat Bar on the evening of Tuesday, October 18, with directors Paul Anderson; Rob Wyum; Katie McLaen; Mike Wyum; and Patty Woytassek; present. They’re not ready to open, yet, but they plan to be up and running soon.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, every now and then it’s a good idea to take a look back to see how far we have come. Fifty years ago, on October 17, 1972, the Democratically controlled Congress passed the Clean Water Act and sent it to the Republican President for signature. Members of the 2 major political parties had worked together to address a serious national issue. At that time water pollution was a very serious problem in America. One of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie, had become a giant hazardous waste dump in which no living thing could survive, and several American rivers, including the Los Angeles River at Los Angeles CA, the Chicago River at Chicago IL and the Cuyahoga River at Cleveland OH had become so polluted with flammable industrial waste that they caught fire, threatening to destroy the cities through which they ran. In the half century since it was passed, America’s Clean Water Act has been responsible for cleaning up and restoring many rivers and lakes in this country, including Lake Erie and the rivers mentioned, above, and through its provisions has provided clean water to thousands of communities and millions of people all over America. There is hope. We Americans can work together for the common good, when we are ready to start using the commonsense God gave us. We have done it before, and we can do it again. Sixty years ago, from October 16, 1962 to October 28, 1962, the American people, along with the rest of the world, took a long look into the abyss of nuclear destruction. The Soviet Union, whose leader, Nikita Khrushchev, had threatened to bury us, had been caught trying to secretly install nuclear armed missiles, aimed at the United States, on the island of Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Our President, John F. Kennedy, had informed the Soviets, and the world, that any missile launched from Cuba would result in a “full retaliatory response” against the Soviet Union, and had ordered the American Navy to impose a “quarantine” around Cuba, to prevent any more missiles from being delivered to that island. Tension built as Soviet and American ships headed for confrontation on the high seas. Some American Generals urged an immediate invasion of Cuba by the United States. Soviet leaders threatened nuclear war if the U. S. attacked Cuba. Some Rutland boys would have been in harm’s way if any shooting had started. Harvey Anderson & Leo Christensen were in the U. S. Marines, and Norman Preble was in the U. S. Navy at the time. A nuclear confrontation, whether triggered intentionally or accidentally, would have killed those boys, and millions more, in a matter of minutes. The fate of civilization hung in the balance. Using every avenue of diplomacy available, public and secret, President Kennedy and chairman Khrushchev arrived at an understanding. The missiles were removed from Cuba by the Soviets; the soviet ships that were loaded with more missiles turned around and headed back to Russia; America did not invade Cuba; the U. S. removed some missiles from Turkey; and civilization survived. For 12 days back in 1962, civilization had teetered on the brink of destruction. Calm, strong leadership had removed the threat and saved the day. There are more nuclear actors on the world stage today than there were 60 years ago, and some of them do not seem to be rational. We live in the hope that calm, strong leadership can once again remove the threat and save the day.

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.

The Rooster Crows – Oct. 14, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Step, pause, step, pause, step, pause, the inexorable march on the down staircase from Summer into Winter is under way. A fast-moving front brought a change in the weather on Thursday, October 6, bringing with it a hard freeze on Friday, October 7. Afternoon highs got back up into the 60’s & low 70’s by Saturday afternoon, but the morning lows hovered near the 32-degree mark through Monday, October 10. Another fast-moving front warmed things up to near 80 on Tuesday the 11th, but the temperature was predicted to plummet by Wednesday morning, with highs sliding into the 40’s & 50’s and lows below freezing for the rest of the week. No rain has accompanied these changes in the weather, and none is being predicted for the foreseeable future. Well, that just means that every day we are getting one day closer to a day that will bring rain to the area. Local farmers are now transitioning from harvesting 40 bushel $14.00 soybeans to 175-bushel $7.00 corn, with yields varying from field to field and prices varying from day to day. They would just as soon have the rain hold off until the crop is harvested and either the grain is in the bin or the check is in the bank. As the late Lou Sanderson once wrote in his Sanderson Sez column many years ago, “The frost is on the pumpkin, and the corn is in the shock; the wheat has all been threshed, and the cash is in the sock.”

Friends here were saddened on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, when it was learned that Terry Price, owner & operator of Price Funeral Chapel of Britton & Forman, successor to Franzen Funeral Home, had passed away in Milbank SD at the home of his daughter and under the care of hospice, at the age of 67 years, 9 months, and 9 days. He had been battling cancer for several years. Terrance J. Price was born December 18, 1954, in Milbank SD to John Francis and Marjorie Twilight (Anderson) Price. He attended his K-12 schooling in Milbank, graduating from Milbank High School in 1973. He soon found his passion for music, and expanded his talents by participating in chorus, playing the trombone in the Milbank School band, and performing roles in school plays. Terry had a natural gift for playing by ear, and later honed his skills with years of lessons. Following graduation, he took a year off before college and worked for Jim Emanuel at the Emanuel Funeral Home in Milbank. Working for the Emanuel family helped him realize his calling to the funeral business. He began the process of becoming a funeral director by first attending Northern State College in Aberdeen from 1973-1976 studying pre-mortuary science. From there he went to San Francisco College of Mortuary Science and earned his mortuary degree in June of 1977. He became a licensed funeral director/embalmer in August of that year. Terry always said that he acquired his greatest treasure when he met Pamella Puetz, the love of his life. They were married on September 19, 1981, at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls SD. Their first child, Katie, was born in September 1986. Katie passed away from SIDS at the age of 6 weeks. Two years later their twins, Robb and Betsy, were born. Their fourth child, Scott, arrived 18 months later. In 1993 Terry was offered a job with Franzen Funeral Chapel at Britton by the owner, John Scott. Terry’s lifelong dream of owning his own funeral home became a reality in January 1999. He operated Price Funeral Chapel for over 23 years, and will be remembered for his kind, compassionate services, and his generous nature by all the families who entrusted him with their loved one’s final services. Terry shared his musical talents by singing in choirs, playing organ for many churches, singing at funerals, and was always willing to share his musical gift with others in any way he was able. He was a member and director of a 42-man barbershop group for many years! Along with his musical talents, he was an overall creative person. He found comfort in working on Tunisian crochet afghans (taught to him by Grandma Emanuel), needlework, baking pies, word games, and handmade projects for loved ones. Terry loved to make others laugh and always had a funny story or a good joke ready to go. His willingness to serve others was evident in his community involvement and his service on many charitable & community boards. He had a naturally generous spirit and caring heart that will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Pamella, of Britton; their children and their spouses: Robb (Gabbie) of Harrisburg SD, Betsy (Andrew) VanLith of Milbank SD, and Scott (Ashley) of Castlewood SD; his grandchildren: Lincoln and Myah Price and Wyatt and Claire VanLith; his sister, Jamey Price of Columbus NE; and his brothers: Tom (Pat) Price of Sioux Falls SD and Todd Price of Minneapolis MN. He was preceded in death by his parents; his infant daughter, Katie; his brothers: John “Jackie” (Mary) Price and Tim Price; his in-laws George and Mavis Puetz; and, by his brother-in-law, Scott Puetz. The Mass of Christian Burial for Terry Price was at 10:30 am on Friday, October 7, 2022, at the Abbey of the Hills, 46561 147th St., Marvin SD. Rev.Fr. Mike Kelly officiated, and interment was in the Milbank City Cemetery in Milbank SD. Visitation was from 4-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at the Price Funeral Chapel in Britton, and continued for one hour before the service at the Abbey of the Hills on Friday. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be given to one of the following charities: Special Olympics South Dakota, 800 E I, 90 Ln, Sioux Falls SD 57104, www.sosd.org; Marshall County Ambulance, PO Box 130, Britton SD 57430; Marching Medics Cancer Walk Team, 301 Flynn Dr., Milbank SD 57252; and, Marshall County Pantry Shelf, PO Box 734, Britton SD 57430. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Pam Price, PO Box 216, Britton SD 57430. The Rutland community extends condolences to the family and friends of Terry Price, a loyal friend who served the community with kindness, compassion and grace. He always enjoyed Uff-Da Day in Rutland, and those Rutland scalloped potatoes were among his favorites.

Workers employed by Western Area Power were replacing power line poles along the Wild Rice River south of Rutland on Wednesday, October 5. The double pole setting adjacent to the River two miles south of town was in danger of being washed out and falling into the Wild Rice. The men made arrangements to join diners at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for Wednesday’s Noon meal: barbecued chicken breast, green beans, au gratin potatoes and a baked apple. A good time was had by all.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Oct. 14, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Oct. 7, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Uff-Da, what a day!  Sunday, October 2, 2022, Uff-Da Day XXXVII, was a great day in the little city that can. It started out as a questionable day, with an overcast sky and sputtering rain showers as the 5k Run/Walk got underway at 8:00 a.m., but it just got nicer and nicer all day long, with increasing sunshine and just enough of a breeze to keep the flies grounded. The Sun really does always shine on Rutland, even when it’s raining! The streets were full of people, and every face had a smile. More than 3,000 lefse, 18 roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham, more roasters full of rice pudding, gallons of rommegrot, hundreds of krumkake, sandkaker & abelskievers, Uff-Da Tacos, hot dogs and bratwursts had been consumed by the time activities started to wind down. All that was left was the aroma of good cooking. Among the highlights of this year’s event were: the 2022 car show organized by David & Pat Bladow, and members of their family, that included 104 antique, classic, restored & modified automobiles from throughout North Dakota, South Dakota & Minnesota; the one room country school exhibit in which Val Pherson and a group of 32 youngsters, dressed in period garb demonstrated what school was like back in “the good old days”; the sawmill operated by Sod Buster volunteers from Fort Ransom and powered by Joel Susag’s WD-45 Allis Chalmers tractor; musical performances by Jim Levery, Harvey Bergstrom and Earl Fust at the Seniors’ Center and Town Hall throughout the day; The American Legion Color guard composed of Ted Lee, Roger McLaen, Andy Hoflen, Andy Harris & Calvin Jacobson that led the Uff-Da Day Parade through town; and, The temporarily reopened Lariat Bar, now under new ownership and management, that supplied refreshments to patrons throughout the afternoon and evening hours. Annie Kempel, owner & operator of The Monkey Hut Bar in Havana, was behind the bar at The Lariat to manage the day’s operations. Arts & craft vendors, 41 of them, reported a great day and local youngsters with their wagon loads of pumpkins, squash and other garden produce did a land office business. The Nickel Scramble, once again sponsored by Joe’s Ag Supply and the Kenny & Tanya Hamilton family, had enthusiastic participation by kids of all ages.  According to Rutland Community Club President and Uff-Da Day XXXVII Chairperson Katie McLaen, planning for Uff-Da Day XXXVIII will begin at the next meeting of the Rutland Community Club on Monday, October 10, at the Rutland Town Hall. Uff-Da Day XXXVIII will be on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Mark it on your calendar now, and don’t miss it.

Among the throng in Rutland for Uff-Da Day were Rutland natives, former residents and old friends: Eleanor (Kulzer) Bommersbach, age 102, and her daughter, Patsy Steiner, of Wyndmere ND; Pat Prindiville from Horace ND; Glen Larson and daughter, Laura, from Watertown SD; Lowell T. Wyum from Fargo ND; Ann Hoflen from St. Paul MN; John Hoflen from Bismarck; Allison Hoflen from West Fargo ND; James Hoflen from Iowa; Kathy Lee from Wahpeton ND; Carol (Welle) Fridgen from Nevis MN; Sonja (Anderson) Christensen from Wahpeton; Clarence “Stub” & Sharon(Lee) Sundlie from Fargo; Bonita (Bauman) Sundlie and daughter, Lisa, from Horace ND; Harlan Nundahl from Fargo; Mavis (Hoflen) Wold from Forman; Mary Alice (Pearson) Oyloe from Williston ND; Jerry & Ramona Kelsh from Fullerton ND; Sarah (Lee) Dobmeier from Alexandria MN; Mary (Olstad) Indridson from Cavalier ND; Jim Dotzenrod & grandson, Brody, a big fan of Rutland’s “Bounce Houses,” from Wyndmere ND; Alissa Mitskog from Wahpeton ND; Evangeline (Larson) Vold from Britton SD; Patty (Larson) Jacobson from Forman; Dean & Carol (Henjum) Nundahl from Mankato MN; Corrine (Narum) Romereim and granddaughter, Jaylyn Romereim & Jaylyn’s boyfriend, from Wahpeton ND; Rod & Brenda Romereim from Wahpeton ND; Steve & Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs from Rosholt SD; Brevin Watson & girlfriend from Wahpeton ND; Rita Preble from Forman; and, many, many more. 

Jim and Jennifer Boyko of Britton SD have purchased the Weber Township farmstead formerly owned & occupied by the late Terry & Patty Carlen and their family. The farmstead of about 20 acres is situated on the west side of County Road #10, approximately 6 miles south of Rutland. Mr. Boyko is employed by Hortons in Britton, and Mrs. Boyko is a teacher in the Britton school system. The Boykos have two adult children presently in college, and a daughter in Junior High at home. The Rutland community welcomes the Boykos to Sargent County, to the Coteau des Prairies hills, and to the Rutland & Havana communities. The Carlen Farm had been purchased last Winter by John Anderson of Weber Township. John offered the farmstead for sale last Spring, and the deal with the Boykos was closed about 2 weeks ago. It’s good to have people on our local farms.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Oct. 7, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Sept. 30, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The big day is almost here. In keeping with the old tradition that “The sun always shines on Rutland, even when it’s raining,” the weatherman is predicting near perfect weather for Sunday, October 2, the 37th Uff-Da Day Fall Festival in the little city that can. Rutland Community Club President and Uff-Da Day Chairperson Katie McLaen has furnished the following schedule of events for the day: Uff-Da Day 5k Run/Walk – 7:45 registration & 8 am race. Registration will be in Rodney Erickson’s green building on the SW corner of First & Arthur Streets, across the street from the Stock Growers Bank, the original Prindiville Saloon, Schweiden’s Pool Hall, Skoglund’s Café & Ice Cream Store, Ink’s Bar, Bohn’s Bar, The Lariat Bar, and, hopefully, the future Rutland Post Office. At 10:00 AM Vendors and Craft Sales begin; demonstrations at various indoor and outdoor locations commence; car show on Gay St begins; Lefse & Goodies available at Senior Center on Main St; freshly made Lefse for sale at the senior Center; and, the one-room country School House, Rutland Depot Museum & Pioneer House will be open from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. At 11:00 AM Dinner at the Community’s Town Hall, $13 Adults, $6 children age 6-12, Under 6 free. Rommegrot will be served at the Senior Center. Uff-Da Tacos, hot dogs & brats will be on sale at the Fire Hall on Bagley Street, and Abelskievers will be made outside by the Legion Hall/Fitness Center. The new Lariat Bar will be open at 10:00 AM with drink specials. At 1:00 PM it’s time for the Uff-Da Day Parade! 1:30 is the time set for the Nickel Scramble on Main Street, in front of Stock Growers Bank following the Parade. Bounce houses for the kids will be Open from 10:30 to 12:30, and from 1:30 to 3:00 PM. School starts at 2:00 PM with lessons for children of all ages at the one-room Country Schoolhouse. Everyone is welcome, and everyone is invited to Rutland to meet old friends and make new ones at Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 2. See you there!

Rodney Erickson reports that traffic has been brisk at Wheaton-Dumont Co-op’s Rutland Elevator station. Soybean harvest has been in full swing since last Friday, September 23. Reports of yield and quality are sketchy, but, as has been said many times before, “It sure looks good from the road. “Rodney said that he had been occupied with aerial spraying most of the summer, with most of his work this year being in northern North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota and southwestern North Dakota. Most of the aerial applications up north were insecticide and fungicide treatments for wheat, barley and canola, he said. Rodney states that he covered more acres in 2022 than in any other year since he started in the business. Next year, though, he is planning to take his business to a new level, not in altitude but in area. He is purchasing a newer, larger spray plane with an 800 gallon tank and a 1,400 horsepower turbine engine. The plane he has been flying has a 500 gallon tank and a 900 horsepower turbine engine. His current plane, and the new one he is acquiring, are single wing monoplanes. The Ag-Cat plane that he had when his business began was a bi-plane and had a 660 horsepower piston powered radial engine. In his spare time, Rodney, his wife, Andrea, and their 3 girls: Abby; Maddie; and, Sophie; are building a substantial addition to their home in Rutland.

Steve & Sheila Wyum accompanied Steve’s cousin, Joe Oyer and his wife, Patty, on a sight-seeing trip out to western North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming from Wednesday, September 14, to Tuesday, September 20. The Oyers reside near Boston MA. Joe’s mother was a Cookson girl from Forman, a sister of Steve’s mother, the late Jan (Cookson) Wyum. The Oyers and another cousin couple, Tim & Tessa Boehm, had been visiting in Sargent County during the previous week, and had made their vacation headquarters at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge during their time in the community. Tim & Tessa Boehm currently make their home in the Philippines, but they had previously resided at Eugene OR. The Oyers and the Boehms enjoyed their stay at the Lodge, and the hospitality of the Breker family and their employees. On their western tour, Joe & Patty and Steve & Sheila explored some family history on their way to the Custer Battlefield along the Little Big Horn River. Steve discovered a great-great-great-grandfather of whom he had previously been unaware. Back in 1862, 14 years before Custer’s fatal clash with the Sioux, a young man named Sanford Murphy had enlisted in an Iowa Regiment to fight in the American Civil War. Instead of going south, though, the Regiment had been sent to the northwest, to chase hostile Sioux, supposedly survivors of the Minnesota Uprising of 1862, across the prairies of Dakota & Montana Territories. Sanford Murphy left behind him a young wife and infant daughter. Back in 1862, an Army Private was paid the magnificent sum of $13.00 per month, so the Murphy’s weren’t in it for the money. The expedition to which Pvt. Murphy’s unit was attached crossed the Missouri River and established Fort Rice on the west bank of the river, near the current location of the “Dakota Nights” tribal casino, and south of the present location of the City of Mandan. At that time, there were no organized communities in the northern portion of Dakota Territory other than Pembina and Fort Abercrombie on the bank of the Red River of the North, more than 200 miles to the east, and the Fort Union trading post at the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone Rivers, near the present site of Williston. According to the story that Steve & Joe were told about their ancestor, he had been sent out on a scouting/hunting assignment from Fort Rice. While on this assignment, it was his misfortune to come in contact with some hostile Sioux. According to one version of the story, he was struck by an arrow and was taken back to the Fort where he died of the wound. According to the other version of the story, he was hit by several arrows, and died out on the prairie where those who had killed him smashed his head with a war club or large rock. In both versions of the story, his body had been buried at Fort Rice. In later years, the bodies of soldiers buried at Fort Rice had been disinterred and reburied at the Custer Battlefield along the Little Big Horn River, along with the bodies of those who had died there during Custer’s battle in June of 1876. Joe and Steve tried to find the grave, but had no luck in finding it, either at Fort Rice or at the Little Big Horn. Shortly after Pvt. Murphy’s untimely death, his wife also passed away. Their daughter was raised by her grandmother, a Mrs. Brown. The daughter grew up and became the ancestor of the Hurley family of Forman. Mrs. Charley Cookson, grandmother of Steve and Joe, was a Hurley. Steve reports that the Oyers and the Wyums thoroughly enjoyed their trip to the West, and their exploration of family history. Steve expects to do some more research on the subject.

Janice Christensen has informed friends here that her Granddaughter, Miss Laura Biewer, the daughter of Dennis & Stacey (Christensen) Biewer of Hickson ND, is a candidate for 2022 Homecoming Queen at NDSU in Fargo. The selection of the new Homecoming Queen will be made on Thursday, September 29, by NDSU’s students. Laura is well known to many in Rutland, and her friends here wish her the best of luck in Thursday’s election. If Janice shows up at the Uff-Da Day Rommegrot Counter wearing the tiara of a Queen’s Grandmother, we will know how the election turned out. In appearance and personality, Laura is a beautiful girl, and the students at NDSU would be fortunate to have her representing the student body as their Homecoming Royalty.

Congratulations to Josie Hamilton, daughter of Kenny & Tanya Hamilton, and Fletcher Willprecht, son of Kevin Willprecht and Wendy Willprecht, for their election as Sargent Central’s Homecoming Royalty last week. Both Josie and Fletcher have ties to this community. We are confident that they will do a great job representing the students, faculty and taxpayers of Sargent Central.

Personnel of the Sargent County Department of Health were in Rutland on Wednesday, September 28, administering flu vaccinations to all comers, and covid-19 booster shots to as many as could be accommodated. Hours were from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Shots were still being administered in the Rutland Seniors’ Center as this article was being written, so no numbers are available. A lot of people were on hand, so it is assumed that the event will be considered a success by County officials. For additional information about flu and covid vaccinations, call the Sargent County Department of Health at 724-3725, and speak with Brenda, Briana, Kelsey or Diane to make an appointment.

Meanwhile, on the international scene, Russian President Vladimir Putin is exhibiting more and more desperation as the war in Ukraine goes worse and worse for him and the Russian Army. His threats to use nuclear weapons rather than lose the war could lead to a global nuclear conflagration of epic proportions. Americans who are old enough will remember that sixty years ago, in October of 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of just such a disaster over the Soviet’s placement of nuclear missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy put down the marker on October 16 of that year with, “Any missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere will be considered to be an attack on the United States by the Soviet Union, requiring a full retaliatory response.” For 12 days, from October 16 to the 28th, the President of the United States and the leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, stood, eyeball to eyeball, while the world held its breath, a hair’s breadth away from disaster. The President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was second only to Theodore Roosevelt as the youngest person to ever serve as President, and was a combat veteran of WWII. Nikita Khruschev had survived World War I, the Communist Revolution, the Russian Civil War and World War II. Fortunately for the world, neither man wanted to subject his country and its people to the total destruction of a nuclear war. Both men sought a way out of the crisis, and our President finally found it. As then U. S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk said, “We were eyeball to eyeball, and the other fellow just blinked.” We can hope that our current leadership in both the U. S. and Russia will have the maturity, judgment and courage that it took to end the crisis 60 years ago. Within 2 years of October 1962, President Kennedy had been assassinated and Khruschev had been exiled to Siberia. Such are this world’s rewards for Peacemakers.

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.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Sept. 30, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Sept. 23, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Three weeks ago, the high temperatures were in the 80’s & 90’s. Last week, the temperatures were in the 70’s & 80’s. Forecasters are predicting daily high temperatures in the 60’s for next week. The endless Summer is coming to an end. According to the Sun, the Autumnal Equinox, the beginning of Autumn, occurred on Thursday, September 22. Spring, the Vernal Equinox, won’t be back until Monday, March 20.  Between now and then keep your parka, snowshovel and overshoes handy. 

Mourning doves, mud hens and other early migrating birds are flocking up, getting ready for the long migration that will take some of them as far as South America, and none of them have emigration, or immigration, visas, either. Although mud hens, also known as coots, are birds that migrate, no one ever sees them migrating on the wing, so it is assumed that a bus picks them up in the dark of night and drops them off, at their winter roost near the Gulf of Mexico, a couple of days later. Well, however they do it, they manage to get it done, making the trip down and back every Fall and every Spring, as they have been doing every year for thousands of years. If they  were fleeing oppression and looking for work, the Governors of Florida and Texas might furnish a bus or an airplane to send them to Martha’s Vineyard, a vacation isle off the coast of Massachusetts. And some folks think that mud hens aren’t very smart!

Dick Meyers, one of Rutland’s favorite snowbirds, has informed friends here that he will be commencing his Fall migration to sun City AZ sometime during the next week, pending a conference with “The Committee,” composed of his daughters: Pam; Paula; and, Patty; and his son, Wayne. The Committee is an advisory group that listens up when Dick advises its members what he intends to do. As in the past several years, Dick has been making his Summer home at Lori McLaen’s “Bunkhouse” on Main Street, just south of the Stock Growers Bank’s Rutland station. He participated in the “Senior’s Golf Tour again this past year, and concluded the tour with last weekend’s two-day tournament at the Forman Golf Course.  He complimented Kim, the golf course manager and operator of The Hole-in-One bar & grill at the golf course, on her excellent cooking and service. Seventy-two years ago, back in the Summer and Fall of 1950, Dick was in training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego CA, and preparing to be sent to the fight then going on in Korea. He arrived in Korea in December of 1950, confronted the Chinese Army as a machine gunner in the 7th Marine Regiment and fought them to a standstill. No winter fighting for Dick this year, though. He intends to be playing golf in sunny Arizona. Dick’s many friends here are looking forward to welcoming him home next Spring, just before Memorial Day. Have a great Winter, Dick!  See you next Spring!

When Autumn arrives the annual influenza season can’t be far behind. The Sargent County Health Department will be administering flu shots at the Rutland Seniors’ Center from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28. The new Covid-19 booster shots are still in short supply, so they will be available only at the County Health Department’s office on Main Street in Forman until a larger supply is available. Covid vaccinations are scheduled to be administered on Friday, September 23 and on Wednesday, October 5, at the Health Department’s office on Main Street in Forman. Call 724-3975 and speak with Diane, Brenda, Briana or Kelsey to make an appointment for the covid-19 booster shot. In the meantime, get your flu shot when the Health Department’s Traveling Clinic is at a location near you, or you are near it.

Preparations for Uff-Da Day XXXVII are proceeding, full speed ahead. The following progress report was received from Rutland community Club President Katie McLaen on Tuesday, September 20: “3,038 is the total number of lefse produced by Lefse Lena and her Lefse Crew. We just finished at 8pm tonight (Tuesday, September 20) so that is the final count. Sandbakkle making is on Friday, September 23. Krumkake making will be on Monday, September 27. We are ready to rock!”  Uff-Da Day XXXVII will be on Sunday, October 2. Everyone is invited, and everyone is welcome. Don’t miss it.

Rutland has three new residents. Ms. Tyler Weatherby and her two children, ages 2 & 4, are now making their home at 215 Cooper Street with Tyler’s sister and brother-in-law. They recently moved to Rutland from Frankfort MO. Ms. Weatherby was introduced to lefse making on the evening of Tuesday, September 20.  The Rutland community extends a hearty “Welcome” to the Weatherbys.

Rutland’s Maintenance Specialist, Scott Haan, is reminding Rutland residents that the Fall Community clean up is scheduled for Saturday, September 24.  A big roll off dumpster will be available, as well as trailers for appliances, electronics, tires and scrap iron.  There will be a flat fee charged for the disposal of all items.  According to Scott, the gate at the City’s Inert Landfill will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 24.  The City looks pretty good right now, but this is a great opportunity to get rid of that junk, stuff and debris that has been accumulating in the backyard, basement, garage and street gutter all Summer.  Let’s clean out, clean up and keep Rutland looking good!

The 2022 soybean harvest has begun.  Jerry & Andrew Woytassek were harvesting beans just north of Havana at the beginning of this week.  No reports of yield or quality have been received, but local farmers and local bankers are both relieved that their annual payday is near at hand.

Rutland’s official sidewalk superintendent crew has observed that Rodney Erickson has created a prodigious  mound of earth next to his house remodeling project on North 2nd Street, and that he has parked a large track-hoe on top of the mound.  Rodney has not yet disclosed his intentions, but, we have learned from past observation that, whatever his intentions may be, when he is done, his project will be a success, and worth the effort.  You have to watch quick when Rodney is working on a project, or you will miss the end.

Jim Lunneborg and Kim Rasmussen stopped in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for coffee & conversation on the morning of Wednesday, September 21, the last day of Summer.  Jim has missed most of the sessions with The Assembled Wise Men at The Round Table since the beginning of 2020, first, because of the covid-19 pandemic, and second, due to a medical condition that temporarily impaired his immune system.  He’s doing well now, though, and decided to stop in to get caught up on what he had missed.  According to Jim, “It’s a lot like the soap opera, ‘Days Of Our Lives,’ You can miss every episode for more than 2 years, and when you come back to it again you haven’t missed a thing.”  Consistency can be a comfort.  During Wednesday’s session with the Assembled Wise Men, someone mentioned an individual who had once been a Round Table regular, the late Jack Brummond of Havana.  Jack had a reputation as a frugal, some might say “miserly” individual who could squeeze a penny until it said “Ouch!”  He enjoyed this reputation, and played it to the hilt, even though he had made a lot of money and inherited a lot of money, and was one of the wealthiest men in the community.  Kim recalled that he had been at the Farmers’ Inn Café in Havana having breakfast one morning after an all night poker game.  Paul Bergh and a couple of other regulars were also at the table with Kim.  Jack Brummond stopped by their table and asked Kim if he had enjoyed any luck at the poker table the night before.  Kim replied that Lady Luck had been good to him at the poker table.  Jack, playing the role, held out his cap and shook it, like a panhandler looking for a handout.  Kim decided to call Jack’s bluff, took out his wallet, found a $50 bill and tossed it into Jack’s cap.  Jack took the $50 out of his cap, stuck it in his pants pocket, put on his cap and walked out the door.  Everyone was silent.  Jack did not come back in.  After a while Kim asked, “What just happened here?”  Paul Bergh responded with, “Two fools just met.”  “No,” said Kim, “it was only one, me!  And right now that fool is $50 short.”  Kim said that he had to hotfoot it home to explain the situation to his wife, before the local grapevine got the story to her first.  As the years have gone by, Kim has decided that giving that $50 bill to Jack was a good deal.  “I get more than $50 worth of enjoyment out of it every time I tell that story,” he says.  So, Jack was not really a tightwad.  He was just spreading laughter, one of his duties as “The Sage Of Weber Township.”

If you’re looking for a good job, and are willing to be remembered as one of those unique characters in Rutland’s history, get in contact with Paul Anderson; Rob Wyum; Katie McLaen; Mike Wyum; or, Patty Woytassek; and submit an application for the position of Manager of The Lariat Bar.  Opportunity is knocking, but, to obtain the benefits, you have to answer the door.

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.

The Rooster Crows – Sept. 16, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The long, hot days of Summer ended, and Autumn’s more moderate temperament, took over on the morning of Friday, September 9, with the mercury in the 40’s as day dawned and the high temperature for the day only hitting the 70 mark, replacing the high 80’s and low 90’s of the preceding week. The soybean and corn crops are beginning to show the effects of fewer hours of sunlight, cooler weather and dry conditions, as many fields are turning color, from green to gold, at a rapid pace. No combines are rolling, yet, but, with soybean and corn prices at astronomical levels, local farmers are not going to want to leave those golden crops in the field any longer than they absolutely have to. The cloud currently hanging over harvest plans is not a rain cloud but an impending rail strike. Most of North Dakota’s grain crops, including wheat; soybeans; and corn; are exported to other parts of the country, and other parts of the world, and dependable rail service is essential to that process. If the crops can’t move, they will just be big piles of grain on the ground. Sometimes, even with railroads moving the crops, local grain elevators end up with piles of grain on the ground. That’s likely to be a lot worse if the trains are not moving at all. Back in the 1940’s, when a rail strike endangered national security, President Harry Truman nationalized the railroads and called out the Army to operate them. Truman’s action was later declared to be illegal by the Supreme Court, but it did shock the rail unions and management into action to settle their problems and get back to work. North Dakotans can hope that the current President will follow the example of “Give ‘Em Hell” Harry, by taking firm, quick, no-nonsense action to keep the railroads moving.

Rick Bosse stopped in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for coffee & conversation on the morning of Monday, September 12. He reported that he was one of a party of hunters from the Britton SD & Brampton ND area who were on a guided black bear hunt near Big Falls, in northern Minnesota, during the week of September 5 through the 8th. Rick has been hunting in this area before, and his guide this time out was Jeff Larson of Big Falls. Rick said that he had a couple of opportunities early in the week but turned down the first one because it was too small and turned down the second because it was a sow black bear with 2 cubs at her side. On Friday, the last day of his hunt, Rick was in a tree stand when a big boar showed up and went for the bait. The bait, a combination of stale bread, candy and other edible items that bears like because it tastes good to them, even though it smells bad to us, was covered up by a pile of logs so raccoons and skunks wouldn’t get into it. The big black bear flipped the logs out of the way with one of its huge front paws. It was about 50 yards away, said Rick, and quartering away from him. He was armed with a rifle that fired the .300 Remington Ultra-Mag, a new type of ammunition that is quite powerful. Rick fired one well aimed shot, and the bear went down. After it was field dressed, the bear tipped the scales at 405 pounds, a real trophy by northern Minnesota standards. Rick received a lot of advice about what to do with his black bear from the Wise Men at the Round Table: have a full body mount; make a bear rug; or serve it up for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Harvey Bergstrom was in Andover SD last Saturday, September 10, to take in the steam power exhibition there. Harvey reports that the centerpiece of the show was a 150 horsepower J. I. Case steam tractor that was old and new at the same time. Back in 1909 the Case company manufactured fewer than ten of the mammoth tractors before scaling back to build a steam tractor that had less power and more demand. Over the years that followed, the 150 horsepower tractors all made their way to the scrap iron pile, and there have been none in existence for many decades. A few years ago, though, a young man from Andover, Corey Anderson, went to the head office of the J. I. Case company in Racine WI, found the original engineer’s specifications and drawings for the big steam tractor, copied them, then transcribed them into a computer assisted design (CAD) program, bought a foundry and used the information he had retrieved from Racine to make all of the parts needed to build a brand new 113 year old 150 horsepower steam powered tractor. Harvey said that a plowing demonstration was presented last weekend in which the big tractor pulled a plow with fifty 14” bottoms. The plow had 25 gangs of two bottoms each. A crew of men rode on the plow to manipulate the levers to put the bottoms into the soil at one end of the field and to withdraw them at the other end. There was no hydraulic or steam assist to operate the plow, only muscle power. Actually, Harvey said that one of the plow operators was a woman who did a good job of handling the plow’s levers.

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