The Rooster Crows – July 8, 2022

By Bill Anderson

What would the 4th of July be without fireworks? There was quite a display of fireworks from every corner of Rutland commencing about 10:30 p.m. on the evening of Sunday, July 3, but Mother Nature topped off the evening an hour or so later with a Thunder & Lightning sound and light show of her own. She even added half an inch of rain for effect. 

The heat and humidity of recent weeks, coupled with plenty of soil moisture and a few timely rains, have had crops in this area literally jumping out of the ground. Despite having been planted only a little over a month ago, local cornfields had all surpassed the traditional “knee high by the 4th of July” indicator of a good crop coming. Well, a lot can happen between now and harvest time, and we don’t want to be counting our chickens before they’re hatched, or our corncobs before they’re picked.

Rutland’s City Election was held back on Tuesday, June 14, in conjunction with the North Dakota State Primary Election. The City had two 4-year terms on the Council up for election, and one 2-year term to fill out, Bert Siemieniewski’s unexpired term. Incumbents Rodney Erickson and Lori McLaen had filed petitions to be put on the ballot for the 4-year terms, and both were elected. No one had filed for the 2-year term, though, and some voters wrote in their choice for the position. The result was a tie, with Kathy Wyum and Bill Anderson each receiving four write-in votes. At the Council’s Reorganization meeting on Tuesday, June 28, the two names were put on slips of paper and placed in a bucket. The Council selected the winner by drawing out one name. Bill Anderson was declared to be the victor as the result of his name being drawn. No claims of election fraud, stolen election or shenanigans at the polling place have been made by either Kathy or Bill, and no riotous crowds have assaulted the Rutland Town Hall as the result of the election’s outcome. Bill had previously served on the Council from 1978 to 1985. He says that he intends to work with Mayor Mahrer; City Auditor Banish; and the other Council members: Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and Lori McLaen; to maintain & improve Rutland’s services and infrastructure. In other business at the Reorganization meeting the Council set the first Monday of each month, with the exception of those months in which the first Monday is a legal holiday, as the Council’s regular meeting date; re-appointed Debbie Banish as City Auditor; re-appointed Mike Basingthwaite of Interstate Engineering as City Engineer; and, reappointed Attorney LeeAnn Even as City Attorney. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 11, at the Rutland City Hall.

Rutland native Harold Young, now a resident of Mesa AZ, arrived in Rutland on the evening of Thursday, June 23, intending to vacation in his old hometown for a couple of weeks. Harold brought Arizona’s heat and North Dakota’s humidity together for a tropical experience. This is Harold’s first visit in Rutland since the Summer of 2019, pre-pandemic. This time, he was here for the interment ceremony for his mother, Gwendolyn (Prindiville) Young, on July 2, and said that he planned to start working his way back to Arizona on July 6.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – July 8, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – July 1, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The fierce heat and wild winds that had afflicted this area on Fathers’ Day weekend eased off by Wednesday, June 22, and settled some very pleasant weather on Rutland and vicinity last weekend.  The tough weather didn’t depart without taking a final shot, however.  A rockin’, rollin’, rootin’, tootin’ thunderstorm rolled through on the evening of Friday, June 24, leaving an inch, or more, of rain to our north, but only somewhere between .05 and .1 of an inch at Rutland.  The green and growing crops around here still look good, though, and it appears that there is still ample soil moisture to keep them going, for now.  Well, it has been said that North Dakota is never more than 10 days away from a drought or 10 hours away from a flood, and folks around here would like to stay somewhere in between those two extremes.

A few weeks ago, Virginia Goerger of Wyndmere, a granddaughter of the late Caroline Kulzer Gooley Haring, drove over to Rutland to deliver some posters advertising a community play coming up in Barney ND.  On Thursday evening, June 23, Delores Lysne, Ann Erickson, Janice Christensen, Dianna Anderson, Bev Tesch, Janet Kiefer, Cher Spieker, Kathy Wyum, Mary Beth Anderson, Joanne Harris and Bev Kulzer drove over to Barney to take in a performance of “Don’t Talk To The Actors,” a comedy that was well done and very humorous.  The local ladies had stopped at the Black Pelican in Wyndmere for supper prior to heading over to Barney for the play. “It was a fun evening,” said Bev Kulzer, “and if anyone didn’t have a good time, it was their own fault.”  All of the ladies made it home all right, and there were no arrests reported.  

Mark & Kathy Wyum and Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson harnessed their heavy-duty pickup trucks to their travel trailers and headed north on Friday, June 24, headed for Cavalier ND and Icelandic State Park in northeastern North Dakota. The camping quartet arrived back home on the evening of Monday, June 27. According to Kathy Wyum, they had a very enjoyable trip.  One of the highlights, she said, was taking in a performance of “The Sound Of Music,” performed by the Foxfire Theater Group, in the scenic beauty of the Park.  According to Mark, the highlight of the trip was the thunderstorm that rolled through the Cavalier area on the evening of Friday, June 24, with continuous lightning that lit up the sky from horizon to horizon and heavy rain that washed out a section of North Dakota Highway #32 near the campground in which the Wyums and the Andersons were parked. The campers avoided the damaged area of Highway #32 by taking a different route, through Fargo, on the way home. If you happen to stop in Cavalier one of these days, Mark recommends the home made basil tomato soup at The Blue Fox Café. He said that the basil flavor kind of threw him off, at first, but by the time he finished the first cup of soup, he was ready for another.

Chuck Sundlie reports that he sold his fishing boat, motors and trailer on Saturday, June 25. The boat was equipped with electronic fish finding equipment as well as with 2 motors, one a 90 horsepower unit, and the other a 9.9 horsepower kicker. Chuck had acquired the boat a year ago, but found that he just didn’t have the time to use it as much as he thought he would.  He did stand in it and cast out into the front lawn a few times, he said, but it just didn’t have the same effect as being on the water. The new owner took his prize to South Dakota, said Chuck, and Chuck sent the check to the bank.  Everybody’s happy.  

Greg Donaldson and Hal Nelson drove to Minneapolis on Saturday, June 25, to take in a couple of Minnesota Twins’ baseball games. The Twins played the Colorado Rockies on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, winning the first game by a score of 5-0, and capturing the second contest by a 6-3 margin. The presence of Greg & Hal changed the Twins’ luck, as they had dropped the opener of the 3 game series to the Rockies in a 0-1 squeaker on Friday evening, before the 2 retired Rutland Rooster veterans came to the rescue.

The Rutland Roosters Men’s Slowpitch Softball team hosted the Cowboys from McLeod at Lou Sanderson Field on the evening of Tuesday, June 28. The Cowboys rode roughshod over the Roosters in Game #1, posting a 17 to 4 victory in that contest. Game #2 turned out to be a real slugfest, with the McLeod team squeaking out a 24 to 23 come from behind win. The Roosters next home games will be on Tuesday, July 5, when they are scheduled to take on Hankinson at Lou Sanderson Field. The final home games of the regular season will be against Sheldon on Tuesday, July 19.  Games start at 6:45 p.m. Whether the Roosters win or lose, the staff at the Rutland Park Board’s concession stand at Lou Sanderson Field are winners every time. Come on out to the ballpark to see real pros like Larry Christensen, Andrea Erickson, Hal Nelson and Mac Pherson in action, handling hot dogs, bratwursts, popcorn, soft drinks and other snacks with the grace & skill of gymnasts or ballet dancers, and the repartee is pretty sharp, too.

Members of Rutland’s Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion were called upon to provide graveside military rites for the interment of 2 veterans at the Rutland Cemetery this week. The service for the interment of Noel Liermark, a U. S. Army veteran of the Vietnam era, was at 10:30 on the morning of Tuesday, June 28. It was a beautiful day, with the sun shining, birds singing, a gentle North Dakota breeze and the temperature about 70 degrees. Noel served with Military Assistance Command – Vietnam (MAC-V) back in 1960-61, before most of us knew where Vietnam was, or how to spell it. Noel’s spouse, Deborah (Vanderwolf) Liermark, continues to make her home in Rutland.  Members of the American Legion detail for Noel Liermark’s interment included: Post Commander Larry Christensen; Post Chaplain Ted Lee; Sergeant At Arms Cal Jacobson; Bugler Roger Pearson; Color Bearers Andrew Hoflen & Roger Lunde; Doug Olstad; Roger McLaen; Andy Harris; and, Bill Anderson.  The service for Gwendolyn (Prindiville) Young, a U. S. Army  veteran of World War II, was scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, at the Rutland Cemetery. Gwen was residing at her winter home in Mesa AZ when she passed away at the age of 101 last Fall. She remained physically active and mentally sharp to her final day. Gwen’s Army service included an assignment in General Eisenhower’s Headquarters in Algiers during the North African campaign of 1942-43. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the families of Noel Liermark and Gwen Young, and expresses its gratitude for their service to our community and our country.  Welcome Home, Gwen & Noel, and thank you for your service.

Guests at the Joanne Harris home this week are her son & daughter-in-law, Mike & Joy Harris of San Diego CA. Mike, a Captain in the U. S. Navy, is getting ready to retire from the navy at the beginning of November.  Mike & Joy plan to fly back to San Diego on July 9, and will return to North Dakota this coming Fall. During his 37 year Navy career, Mike has served at duty stations on both coasts of the U. S., in the Far East and with NATO Command in Europe.  He began his career as an enlisted sailor on an aircraft carrier, then obtained a commission through the Navy ROTC program at Iowa State University. He said that the toughest part of officer training was learning how to sail a real, wind-powered, sailing vessel. At the present time, the only sailing vessel on the Navy’s list of active ships is The USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, commissioned in 1798 and berthed at its home port of Boston MA.  Mike says that, despite the fact that the Navy taught him how to sail a sailing ship, it never assigned him to Old Ironsides. Too late now.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, things are jumping. On Friday, June 24, the U. S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, cranked American legal history back half a century by overturning the Court’s 1973 decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. The 1973 decision had held that the U. S. Constitution protects an individual’s right to privacy, including the right of a woman to control her own body and obtain an abortion if she so decides. The holding in Roe v. Wade had been reviewed and upheld on several occasions during the past 49½ years. The big difference between then and now is the makeup of the Court. Although the 3 Justices appointed by former President Trump had all testified, under oath, at their confirmation hearings that the reasoning and holding in Roe v. Wade was “settled law,” all 3 voted to overturn it.  U. S. Senator Susan Collins, Republican, of Maine, was outraged that the 3 had lied to her, under oath, but she should not have been surprised. After all, they had been appointed by the biggest liar to ever hold public office in the history of this country, so what did she expect?  So, the Party that likes to call itself the Party of “small c conservatives,” and the Party of “small government,” is now celebrating the largest expansion of Federal and State Government power into the private lives of citizens in the history of the Republic, and the first time since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 that a previously recognized Constitutional Right has been taken away from the people as the result of a Supreme Court decision. As if that wasn’t enough, a former staff member in the Trump White House testified before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U. S. Capitol by supporters of former President Trump, that the former President knew that the mob carried weapons and that he wanted them admitted to the Capitol, anyway, despite their threats to kill former Vice-President Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, among others. As justification for his appalling conduct, his supporters remind us, “You knew he was nuts, and you put him into the White House anyway.” Can’t argue with that.  

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.

The Rooster Crows – June 24, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The 4 day stretch from Friday, June 17, to Monday, June 20, was sizzling hot, with the mercury hitting the upper 90’s on Friday and Monday, and getting over the 100 mark on Saturday & Sunday. You could have fried an egg on the sidewalk, if it wasn’t for the fact that eggs now cost about $9.00 a dozen, and are too expensive to fry on the concrete. . As a bonus, Mother Nature did throw in some 50 mph wind just to keep things interesting. The ample supply of soil moisture appeared to protect growing crops from damage, so far, but the thunderstorm that passed through on Monday evening was welcome.  It dropped some more precipitation that alleviated fears of a permanent drought. Roger Pearson reported .3 of an inch in his rain gauge, and both Norbert Kulzer and Larry Arneson reported that their gauges showed .4 of an inch.

Most farmers in the Rutland area completed their planting operations by the June 10 crop insurance deadline for coverage on soybeans. The crop insurance deadline for corn and wheat was back on May 31. It is estimated that approximately 20% of the normal crop acres were prevented from being planted due to this past spring’s excessive moisture, although, for some, the acres prevented from being planted was as high as 40% of normal. Some of those acres were under water, and some were just too soft & muddy to operate machinery on, unless you wanted to leave it there as a permanent landmark. According to Cam Gulleson, the acres left idle due to excess moisture this spring will likely be seeded to cover crops in the next few weeks. The cover crops will be able to be grazed or cut for hay.

According to Siri, the little know it all who lives in the I-Phone, the Summer Solstice arrived at 4:41 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, June 21, so the longest day and shortest night are now behind us. It’s all downhill from here. The next thing we know, it will be 20 below, the wind will be howling and the Christmas lights will be up. At least there are a few things out here on the prairie that are regular and predictable. It is interesting to note that, according to Siri, the Sun operates on Daylight Saving Time during the Spring & Summer months. Will wonders never cease?

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 24, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – June 17, 2022

By Bill Anderon

Despite the wet Spring that had delayed field work until the end of May, this community was pleased to get the rain that fell on Friday night, June 10. As soon as it doesn’t rain for a few days, a true North Dakotan starts to worry that it will never rain again, or, that when it does rain it will be too much, too little or in the wrong place. It can’t be helped. It’s in the blood. Roger Pearson reported .3 of an inch in his rain gauge on Saturday morning, while his next-door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, had .4 of an inch in his gauge a few feet away. Norbert’s reading was matched by the .4 in Lary Arneson’s gauge, 2 blocks to the west. Chuck Anderson reported .37 of an inch at his Weber Township farm6 miles southwest of town; Harvey Bergstrom reported .31 of an inch in the gauge at his farm 3 miles south of Cayuga; and, Kurt Breker had .3 of an inch in his gauge 1 mile south of Cayuga. Another .1 or .2 of an inch was scattered across the countryside on Sunday & Monday, helping to keep lawn mowers and mosquito swatters busy. Well, the old timers used to say that it always dries up after a wet spell. We’ll just have to find out if they knew what they were talking about.

The Annual Rutland Community Block Party opened up at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, with more than 100 community residents and over 3,000 water balloons on hand for the festivities. The Rutland Volunteer Fireman manned the grills, turning out burgers, bratwursts, and hot dogs for participants, and also provided water game facilities for the community’s youth. During the Block Party, Miss Abbie Erickson, daughter of Rodney & Andrea Erickson, and a Senior at Sargent Central High School, was crowned “Miss Rutland 2022; and, Corbin Carlson, son of Bryce & Casee (Hawkinson) Carlson, and Lilith Pavek, daughter of Corey & Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, were awarded the titles of Mr. & Miss Lefse for the coming year. All 3 of Rutland’s reigning royals will be in the 2022 Uff-Da Day Parade on Sunday, October 2, 2022. The Rutland Community Block Party is held each year to give the community’s present, former and future residents an opportunity to get acquainted and re-acquainted, to talk over old times and to make plans for future good times. Thanks to Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen for the information in this report.

Katie McLaen also reports that the Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 13, at the Rutland Town Hall. The meeting was short. It was reported that the stage curtains in the Town Hall had been repaired and cleaned; and, that lefse production for Uff-Da Day 2022 will commence with a morning and an evening session on Thursday, June 16. Check the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com and the Rutland Facebook page for more information about the dates and times for future sessions. Fourteen sessions have been scheduled between mid-June and mid-August, so far.

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The Rooster Crows – June 10, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“There’s naught so rare as a day in June,” the late Earl W. Anderson used to say, and the first week of June 2022 proved the accuracy of his observation. Warm, sunny days, blue skies and gentle breezes replaced the cold, raging winds that were our constant companions throughout the Winter and Spring. Local farmers are still finding it difficult to locate fields that are dry enough to work in, but conditions are markedly improved from what they were in May. Mark Wyum reports that he has been “coltering” around sloughs in some fields in order to get them dried out enough to plant a few more acres. The piece of equipment that Mark is using for his task has shanks that are about a foot apart, and 2 colter blades attached per shank. Old timers remember a colter as a straight bladed disc that ran ahead of a plowshare, opening the ground to make it easier to keep the plow in the ground. Well, nobody plows any more, but the colter still has a use. The implement Mark is using is 41 feet wide and can cover a lot of territory when the need arises, as it has this Spring.

Despite some encouraging news about a month ago, the Post Office situation in Rutland has returned to the same old same old of no information; no action; no service; and no Post Office. Rodney Erickson reports that, as of Thursday, June 2, he has heard nothing further from the Postal Service office in Colorado that had previously informed him that it would be 1 or 2 months until they could get someone to Rutland to take a look at available facilities. One hundred sixty years ago, the Pony Express could deliver the U.S. Mail across the trackless wilderness from St. Joseph MO to San Francisco CA in 10 days. Of course, those horses are a lot older now, and may have slowed down some. Perhaps the Postal Service officials involved could hook a ride from Colorado to North Dakota on a Coors beer truck. Those trucks seem to be able to make the trip in a couple of days. The drivers must be properly motivated.

On the brighter side, the Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency has informed this writer that Ms. Michelle Sagvold has been hired to run the agency’s Rutland office. Ms. Sagvold is still in the process of training and getting licensed, and a firm starting date for her take over of the Rutland office has not yet been set. Waloch-Johnson’s many clients in the Rutland community are looking forward to having a full-time agent in the local office once again.

Correction: The wedding of Miss Hailey Hamilton and Mr. Evan Wyum was on Friday, May 27, not on Saturday, May 28, as was reported in The Rooster Crows last week. Apologies for the error are extended to the bride & groom. Despite the incorrect information that appeared in this column last week, Hailey & Evan are definitely officially married and living happily ever after at their home in Fargo.

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The Rooster Crows – June 3, 2022

By Bill Anderson


The brisk southeast breeze was heavy with humidity from the thunderstorm that had rolled over Rutland and surrounding area at about 4:30 a.m., giving the countryside a 1 inch drenching in the early morning hours, on top of the .4” and .6” that had been received on Friday & Saturday mornings. The American Flag, at half staff on the Nordland Cemetery flagpole, snapped in the breeze. The ceremonial detail from Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion formed up just east of the Main Gate a little before 10:15 a.m. and prepared to march to its pre-designated position at the east end of the cemetery. This year, members of the detail were: Color Bearers Rob Wyum & Andy Hoflen; Post Chaplain Ted Lee; Sergeant At Arms Calvin Jacobson; and, squad members: Roger McLaen; Tom Manley; Andy Harris; Larry Christensen; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Pearson. Calvin, a veteran of the Vietnam War, has been serving as Sergeant At Arms since 2009. Before then, Clayton McLaen, a Korean War veteran, had been Sergeant At Arms. No one remains who remembers the name of the Sergeant At Arms prior to Clayton. High water had deterred spectators so the crowd was sparse. The ceremony was to honor those who sleep beneath the grass, though, not those who are on top of it, so the number of attendees was irrelevant. The detail was arrayed at the east end of the cemetery, and Chaplain Ted Lee delivered a prayer before the firing detail fired off 3 volleys in salute of their departed comrades. The command to “Present arms!”was then given. Roger Pearson played “Taps,” and the detail marched back to the Main Gate to head for the Rutland Cemetery, where the process was repeated 3 more times. At the Rutland Cemetery the volleys echoed off the Woytassek Farm’s grain bins, providing double the effect. The ladies of The American Legion Auxiliary placed floral tokens of remembrance on the graves of veterans prior to the volleys being fired. The ceremonies out at the cemeteries were followed by a brief program at the Rutland Town Hall, and by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, to which everyone was invited. During the Program, Auxiliary President Carolyn Christensen recognized those who had earned years of service pins during the 2 years that covid-19 prevented the program from being held, and presented pins to those entitled to them this year, among those honored were: Pam (Jacobson) Maloney, 10 years; Brianne (Maloney) Nelson, 10 years; Taryn (Maloney) Jensen, 10 years; Ione (Bensen) Pherson, 10 years; Susan (Orth) Fust, 20 years; Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, 25 years; Carolyn (Jacobson) Christensen, 25 years; Allison Hoflen, 40 years; Joan (Jacobson) Lee, 45 years; and, Rita Preble, 45 years. Ted Lee; Bill Anderson; and, Roger Nelson; received 50 Year membership certificates and pins from The American Legion. Auxiliary member Sonja Christensen read an article from the Sargent County News of January 9, 1943 that reported on a community gathering at the Baptist Church honoring some of the local servicemen who were home on leave at that time. Woodrow Olson had served aboard the USS San Francisco in the big naval battle near Guadalcanal in mid-November of 1942 in which the American cruiser had slugged it out toe to toe with Japanese battleships. The Americans won the battle, but the San Francisco had to return to the shipyard at Bremerton WA for repair of battle damage, and Woodrow had been granted leave to return home for a few weeks while his ship was being made fit to return to duty. The newspaper report, written by the late Lou Sanderson, included the information that a poem written by Mrs. Seaquist, the wife of the Baptist Minister, which contained the names of the young men & women from Rutland then in the military service, had been read. A collection of $153.35 had been received at the gathering, and that sum was used to purchase a War Bond that would be used for the benefit of Rutland’s returning veterans when the war was over. Following this year’s program the traditional Memorial Day pot-luck dinner was enjoyed by all. The Rutland Community Club had supplied a couple of roasters of scalloped potatoes with ham that had been prepared by Mrs. Lyndsee Pherson, and were judged to be as good as those prepared by the Lutheran Ladies Aid back in the good old days. Some who had come from a distance had to cut their conversation time short due to severe weather warnings being issued by the U.S. Weather Bureau. They all plan to be back next year.

Some of those from out of town who were in Rutland for Memorial Day were: Pat Prindiville of Horace; Clarence “Stub” & Sharon Sundlie of Fargo; Becky Hicks & daughter, Ashley, of Fargo; Brenda Gibbon of Milnor; Kathy Stout of West Branch IA; Allison Hoflen of Fargo; Ann Hoflen of St. Paul MN; and, many others.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 3, 2022”