Hens Do Crow! May 22, 2020

Members of the Rutland Community Club spent time on Friday, May 15, to brighten up the town. The adults and kids planted some bright purple petunias and other flowers in several flowerpots they had placed along the main business district. The block between Walock-Johnson and the Post Office has five beautiful large potted plants and one was also placed by City Hall. The businesses have been asked to water the plants to keep them looking lively for residents and visitors alike. Sargent County Bank also has two of their own flowerpots greeting patrons who stop in at the Bank.

The column last week mentioned the Birthday caravan that made its way through and around town. One birthday girl was missed. Kaitlyn Shirley Mahrer turned three last Thursday and the parade made sure to pass by there first to wish her a happy birthday. Then, as mentioned last week, the caravan made its way south to greet Anthony “Tony” Banish and then back through town and East to share the day with Audrey Anderson. Small towns can have big celebrations especially when three share the same date.

Word was received here on Tuesday, May 19, that Rutland native, John A. Lee, had passed away the previous evening at a Fargo hospital after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 76 years old at the time of his death.  John was a son of the late Tollef and Ethel (Weller) Lee of this community. He was a member of the RHS Class of ’63 and was a frequent visitor in his old hometown.  He and his wife, Cheryl (Halstenson) Lee, have made their home in Colfax ND since the 1970’s. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend with a party at their home organized by their two daughters. John had served as Mayor of Colfax for many years, and he was known to his many friends as the common man’s Renaissance man, multi-talented and always willing to share his talents to make life better, and living more enjoyable, for all. Funeral plans were not available at this writing.

Sargent Central High School finished up the school year on Wednesday, May 20th.  Students and parents lined up in their cars on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon to return their books, computers, and other school materials that had been used for the past several weeks while COVID-19 kept most at home. A closed graduation ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 24, at 2 p.m. with only immediate family members allowed. A livestream video of the ceremony will be available on Sargent Central’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Vy4ocl4qO5k. Some graduates have postponed the customary reception following graduation with a few selecting to have the reception with guests spreading outside to conform with the six-foot distance suggestions.

Memorial Day military rites ceremonies will be held at the Nordland Lutheran Cemetery and at the Rutland Cemetery. On Monday, 25, the American Legion Post #215 ceremonial detail will be at Nordland Cemetery, (2 miles east and 1/2 mile south of Rutland) at 10:15 a.m. and will be at the Rutland Cemetery (east edge of town) at 10:30 on Memorial Day morning. Commander Christensen requests that all Post members, and all members of the public attending the services, observe social distancing guidelines and wear face masks or other appropriate face coverings to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Auxiliary members will also be at the ceremonies.

That’s it for this week in Rutland. Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Hens Do Crow! May 15, 2020

Several members of the Rutland Community Club met on Monday, May 11, for an update on events and projects. The Missoula Theater Group still plans to be in Rutland June 22-26 for a community play unless cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Sargent County Fair has not been cancelled as of this writing and the Sargent County Queen pageant will be held even if it is cancelled. The ‘passing of the crown’ event for the new Miss Rutland has been done in the past at the Rutland Block Party. However, the Block Party may not be held so the new Miss Rutland, Cora McKinney, may be crowned at a smaller event. The Rutland Community Club has purchased flowers to be placed in the flowerpots that popped up around town and those will be planted on Friday afternoon to beautify the community. Planter boxes will be placed in Rutland this week with two planters by City Hall and two by the Rutland Senior Center. The Sargent County Garden Committee has been working with the NDSU Sargent County
Extension office, Sargent County Ambassadors, and the Master Gardener program. The group obtained donated wood to make the boxes and seeds for planting. Several boxes have already been delivered and planted in Forman and four will be placed in Rutland. The planter boxes by the Senior Center will provide vegetables for use at the Senior Center for meals. Two Sargent County Ambassadors, Tony Banish and Emily Hamilton, will help maintain the Senior planters. The planters by City Hall will be community gardens to be watered, weeded, and harvested by volunteers from the community. Katie McLaen will get a schedule for volunteers to help water and weed the boxes. The Community Club will provide additional funding for plants and tools needed for the project.

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Hens Do Crow! May 8, 2020

The custom of distributing May Baskets on May Day has almost, but not quite, disappeared from American culture. Those who grew up in the 1950’s remember making small baskets from cupcake papers, putting some candies and maybe even a flower blossom into the basket and then hanging them on the doorknobs of those for whom they held special affection. The custom was that the basket was to be delivered stealthily and included the requirement that a recipient who discovered the basket being delivered was to chase down and kiss the delivering party.  Young boys and girls ran very fast when they were 8 or 9 years old but got a lot slower by the time they were teen-agers. Last Friday, May 1, three youngsters from the Rutland community — Paislee Pherson, Brooklyn Pherson, and Kyler Pherson — accompanied by their grandmother, Ione Pherson, revived the old May Day tradition by delivering May Baskets to several homes here. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the kissing part of the custom was suspended this year. The Pherson kids are the daughters and son of Brian and Lyndsee Pherson of this community.

State and national regulations and recommendations intended to prevent, or at least slow, the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, have had a dramatic effect upon individuals and communities throughout the country. In North Dakota, bars, restaurants, hair salons, barbershops and other businesses were closed by the Governor’s Executive Order back in mid-March. Many of these businesses have been allowed to reopen, on a limited basis, as of Friday, May 1. In Rutland, though, the Lariat Bar has remained closed. Most bars in Sargent County had elected to continue their off-sale liquor and takeout food business during the shutdown, but Mike Pyle and Jeremy Becker, who have been operating the Lariat Bar for the past four or five years, elected to lock the door and walk away, leaving their patrons dry, but not high. This is the first time that a bar has not been operating on Lots 9 & 10, Block 2 of Cooper’s Addition in Rutland since prohibition ended back in 1933. Back then, Ingwald “Ink” Skoglund, who had been operating an ice cream store and café at the location, obtained a liquor license and reconfigured his business as a liquor establishment known as Ink’s Bar. In 1947 Ink sold the business to Bud & Toddles Bohn, and the name was changed to Bohn’s Bar. Bud & Toddles remodeled and redecorated the premises in 1953, and renamed the business “The Lariat Bar,” the name by which it has been known ever since. Other owners and operators of the Lariat since 1958 include: Ronald Donaldson; Darwin & Kathy Brakke; Calvin Jacobson, Boyd Jacobson Jr. & Art Carlson; Dead Eye Dick Povlitzki; Bruce & Paula Meiers; Norman & Rita Preble; Janice Christensen; Bradley & Rebecca Christensen; and, Mike Pyle & Jeremy Becker. The original bar building was moved from the site it had occupied since the 1890’s back in 2009, and the owner at that time, Janice Christensen, had the current Lariat Bar building constructed on the site, retaining much of the original ambiance, including the western motif mural on the north wall, the classic antique backbar and the wagon wheel chandeliers. Janice also promoted the business, had consistent hours, and provided service with a smile, three attributes that it is hoped any future owner will bring to The Lariat, a Rutland community institution since 1933.

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Hens Do Crow! May 1, 2020

Happy May Day! For many this date may bring back memories of May Day baskets and dancing around the maypole at school. May Day marks the official half-way point to summer so that is a good sign of things to come.

April was the first full month of social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, people in and around Rutland are enjoying the change of weather and getting outdoors while social distancing continues.  Parades of decorated cars, with honking horns, have gone through Rutland and area towns to help celebrate birthdays. Within the past week or so, farmers have begun spring planting which helped them get out of the house. The threat of rain is looming, so this planting window has been cut short. Many local gardeners were able to get their vegetables in the ground too if they had their seed in hand. The recent pandemic has brought a shortage of many things and some vegetable seeds have been in short supply. Area greenhouses are open, with restrictions, so there are still options for getting plants for several garden favorites. There will be some farmers markets in Rutland over the summer and fall so watch for the dates when they are announced.

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The Rooster Crows – April 24, 2020

By Bill Anderson

The old-timers around Rutland, and most other American small towns, used to say, “There’s nothing that happens that is so bad that someone can’t get some good out of it.” The Covid19 pandemic crisis, with its shutdown of economic activity, especially travel, coupled with the oil production war between Russia and the OPEC countries led by Saudi Arabia, has resulted in the lowest gasoline and diesel fuel prices in the past 30 years. On Monday, April 20, 2020, regular gasoline with a 10% ethanol blend was selling for $1.39 at Rutland Oil Company’s pumps on Main Street, and diesel fuel was only a few cents more. But the collapse in the price of refined petroleum products is nothing compared to what has happened to the crude oil market. For a while on Monday, April 20, the price of a barrel of American crude oil on the spot market was less than Zero. That’s right, the producers were paying the customers to take it off their hands. A few years ago, the price of crude oil was over $100 per barrel, and everyone was worried that we were running out. How times have changed! Greg Donaldson, owner of Rutland Oil Co., said on Monday that his sources are saying that they do not expect the price of crude oil, or the refined products, to rise significantly for quite a while. So, with gas prices low, travel is relatively inexpensive. The biggest problem is that the entire country is shut down, so there’s no place to go. “Every silver lining has its cloud,” is something else that the old-timers used to say.

Fuel prices couldn’t have collapsed at a better time, as far as local farmers are concerned. There was not much field work done right in the Rutland area as of Monday, but the Brekers were seeding fields in the hills south of town, and Greg Donaldson reported that the Heimbuch Farm near Brampton was getting fields ready to plant potatoes on Monday morning.  Some of the local farmers are still harvesting last year’s corn crop, and report that the quality of the crop improved over the winter. Mark Wyum reported last week that corn that weighed in at 48 pounds per bushel and was at 28% moisture last December is now up to 52 pounds and down to 16% moisture, making it a product worth hauling to market.

Meanwhile, on the national scene…well, the national scene is too chaotic and depressing  to waste time commenting on it. Suffice it to say that America and the world will breathe a sigh of relief if and when a new American Administration takes over the reins of power in Washington D.C. on January 20, 2021. As of Friday, April 24, 270 days remain until that day.

On the local scene, Rutland has plans to bring the community together again. Stay tuned, and remember that Memorial Day is the last Monday in May, and that Uff-Da Day is the first Sunday in October. We’ve never had a “virtual” Uff-Da Day before, and you never know, it might be fun!  Later.

Hens Do Crow! April 10, 2020

News this week has been hard to locate. Everyone is behaving and nobody working. The war is just like the weather…. WAIT! WHAT? That’s how L.S. Sanderson started his Sanderson Says column in the Sargent County News on January 18, 1951 referring to the Korean War.  (So, I’ve been cleaning out old newspapers and happened to find that with some family memorabilia. Just another way to pass the time and avoid housecleaning!).

News has been harder to locate as people have self-quarantined and the coffee clutch talks have stopped for now.  There are other ways people have been gathering – like the caravan of cars to celebrate birthday’s for Whitney Mahrer in Rutland and Charlize Willprecht in Forman. Friends and family waving as they pass by in their cars decorated with balloons and streamers and other birthday designs lifted the spirits of the birthday girls and their own as well. More things are happening remotely, and people are utilizing technology to keep in touch, but we must remember that there many people of all ages who are not connected by computers and smartphones.  Thankfully, the weather has warmed a bit – at least for a while – providing more inspiration to get out and walk, ride, jog or run.

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