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.

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The Rooster Crows – May 27, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Last Spring, it was too dry. This Spring, it’s too wet. On the average, though, it’s just right. This Spring, the weather has not been cooperating with the Spring planting plans of farmers in this area. Just when it seems that fields will get dry enough to allow the spring’s work to proceed, along comes another bolt of lightning, rumble of thunder and a quarter inch of rain to keep things at a standstill. With the market prices of wheat, corn and soybeans all in the high to higher range, this is the year to have a crop to sell. The fact that the weather is preventing that crop from getting planted is the cause of anxious impatience among local producers. About the only individuals more nervous about the situation than local farmers are local bankers. On the bright side, at least our farmers know that their bankers are concerned about their health, both physical and financial. The old timers used to say that whatever the weather was like on Memorial Day was a good indicator of what it would be like throughout the rest of the growing season, and every now and then the old timers were right.

Speaking of Memorial Day, Carolyn Christensen, an officer of the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary, says that the holiday will be back to normal in 2022, after 2 years of Covid-19 disruption. In Rutland, Memorial Day observances on the morning of Monday, May 30, will begin with military rites conducted by Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion at the Nordland Cemetery, 1½ mile east and ½ mile south of town, followed by military rites at the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town at 10:30 a.m. A program produced by the American Legion Auxiliary will be presented at 11:00 a.m. in the Rutland Town Hall, followed by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, also in the Town Hall. Everyone is invited to participate in Memorial Day observances in Rutland on Monday, May 30.

Bruce Burke of Seattle WA stopped in Rutland on the afternoon of Thursday, May 19, doing some research for a personal family history project. Mr. Burke grew up in Breckenridge MN, but the Burke family traces its history back to Rutland and the Great Northern Railway. Bruce’s parents were Harvey & Alice Burke; his grandparents were Rutland natives John & Anna (Spande) Burke; his great-aunt was the late Bertha (Spande) Penfield; and his great-grandparents were Knud & Alisa Spande. Knud & Alisa Spande owned & occupied the house at 309 Gay Street that is now owned by Paul Anderson, from 1918 until Alisa Spande’s death in 1958. The house had been built by Paul’s grandparents, Ole & Julia Anderson, back in 1909. Prior to moving to town, the Spandes had farmed south of Silver Lake. Bruce has a vivid memory of an event that occurred at the Spande house in Rutland back in the early 1950’s, when he was a small boy of about 4 or 5 years of age. It seems that there was an unused water well in the backyard that had been covered over with an old door. Being a boy of some energy, Bruce decided to take a run and jump on the center of that old door. When he did so, the deteriorated boards broke and down went Bruce. Fortunately, as he went through the door he stuck his elbows out and caught himself on the edges of the hole he had made, leaving his head sticking out, above the door, and his feet dangling just above the water in the well. He said that he can still remember looking down and seeing the cold water just beneath his feet. Bruce’s Dad, Harvey Burke, rushed to his assistance and pulled him to safety. Bruce said that he can’t remember just what his Dad said to his great-grandfather about the continued existence of that well, but he’s pretty sure that it was powerful. It had been Bruce’s intention to take a picture of the old well, if any evidence of it still existed. He could not find any trace of the well but was pleased to find that the house is in excellent condition and still looks much as it did back when his great-grandparents first bought it 104 years ago. Mr. Burke had taken the long way around to get to Rutland. He had driven through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to get here. He had stopped in New Mexico to take a look at the Air Force Base at which he had been stationed back in the late 60’s, and in Nebraska to visit some students he had taught there back in the 70’s. He was surprised to find that the teen-age students he remembered are now in their 60’s. Time marches on. Mr. Burke was visiting at the home of his cousin, the daughter of the late Jim & Nellie (Burke) McCulloch, at Ottertail Lake MN during his stay in this area. He planned to be heading back to Seattle on Saturday, May 21, and hoped to make it home in 3 or 4 days via I-94 & I-90.

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Hens Do Crow! Nov. 15, 2019

By Deborah Banish and Bill Anderson

Paul Anderson departed Rutland on Thursday, October 31, bound for Punkin Center AZ via Fargo ND, Minneapolis MN, Phoenix AZ & Sun City West AZ. Paul visited at the Sun City West home of his mother-in-law, Etha Quinlan, on Friday & Saturday, November 1 & 2, before heading out for Punkin Center and the 45th Annual Arizona Hunt Club Quail Hunt from Sunday, November 3 to Friday, November 8. At the conclusion of the hunt, Paul retraced his steps and arrived back in Rutland on the evening of Saturday, November 9. At Punkin Center a dozen more members of the Arizona Hunt Club joined Paul for some long walks in the sun and some great campfire cooking. Among the North Dakota natives participating in this year’s gathering were: Cavalier ND native Lynn Hartje, now a resident of Punkin Center; Cayuga native Don Isensee, now a resident of Perham MN; Rutland native Bill Anderson, still at Rutland; Stanley ND native Don Hynek, now residing at Ventura CA; Cavalier ND native Rodger Kemp, now a resident of Minneapolis MN and Tucson AZ; and, Elgin ND native Barton Thompson, now a resident of Flagstaff AZ. Over the years other friends have been adopted into the group, and its members now span the continent, from Virginia to California. As many of the members of the group are military veterans, the final evening campfire of the gathering includes appropriate beverages and toasts to the health of the Army, Navy, Air Force & Marines, as well as the singing of the Marine Corps Hymn by all present. All in all, a good time was had by all, and justifiably so.

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The Rooster Crows – July 26, 2019

By Bill Anderson

Rutland native David Sundlie, now a resident of Bismarck, reports that he and his wife, Ruth, became Grandparents on Saturday, July 13, when a grandson, Cole Alexander, was born in the Capitol City. Dave reports that Cole weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and that pitching & batting coaches are already standing by to get the latest scion of the Sundlie baseball dynasty off on the right, or maybe left, foot.

Cayuga native Randy Kiefer stopped in at the Lariat Bar in Rutland for supper and a visit with old friends, Paul Anderson & Bill Anderson of this community, on the evening of Thursday, July 18. Randy has traveled thousands of miles in many areas of the globe by bicycle, and recently completed a ride from Anchorage, Alaska, to Fargo ND. He has been headquartering at the farm home of his sister and brother-in-law, Pam & Keith Hoistad, between Milnor and Lisbon, since arriving back in his native territory. He also made a trip to Milwaukee WI to attend the wedding of a niece but made that side trip by automobile. Randy stated that he is planning to spend a couple of weeks with the Hoistads at their mountain cabin in Idaho, and will then return to North Dakota to commence a bicycle trek back to California, the place from which his epic journey from southern California to the Arctic Ocean and back to Anchorage began back in the Spring of 2018. For his next ride he is contemplating a trip down the west coast of South America, along the west slope of the Andes Mountains from Colombia through Ecuador, Peru and Chile, to Tierra del Fuego, at the very southern tip of the continent. From there he may travel by sea or air to Antarctica for some cycling with the penguins. Randy is a 1967 graduate of Sargent Central High School, and a 1971 graduate of NDSU. He’s not sure what he’s going to do when he grows up but thinks that it might involve traveling all over the world and meeting a lot of people…and possibly some penguins, too.

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The Rooster Crows – January 25, 2019

By Bill Anderson

One week to go until Ground Hog’s Day, and a chance to break Winter’s tyrannical grasp on a people who will be neither bowed nor cowed, although they may, occasionally, have to be towed. We are now at that stage of the Winter in which it has ceased to be interesting or entertaining, and has become a brutal burden, to be endured, outlasted and overcome. Adversity does create opportunity, though, and men of ambition, such as Dave Young, Jim Brown and Larry Christensen, have shown that even winter’s bleak cloud brings with it the silver lining of polished and shiny snow shovels. Bitter cold and the sharp sting of snow driven by fierce winds cannot stay these stalwart yeomen from the efficient completion of their appointed snow removal duties. 

On Tuesday, January 22, Sonja Christensen, one of the co-chairpersons of the 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, reported that 57 teams of pinochle enthusiasts had preregistered to play their favorite game of skill on Saturday, February 2, in the Rutland Town Hall, and that there is still room for a few more teams. The tournament is sponsored by the Rutland Community Club, which will also serve morning and afternoon lunches, as well as a Noon dinner, to tournament participants and to the public. For more information about registering to compete in the pinochle tournament, give Sonja a call at 701-899-1463.

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Veterans Memorial Placed

The Rutland Veterans Memorial pyramid was placed on site on Thursday, July 3, 2014.  It made it to the location just before the Rutland All-School Reunion over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The Rutland Veterans Memorial project began in 2012 with the formation of a committee comprised of members of the Rutland American Legion Post No. 115 and members of the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary. The Committee, comprised of Co-Chairs Deborah Banish and Ted Lee, also included Bill Anderson, Carolyn Christensen, Sonja Christensen, and Joan Lee.  The Committee, and members of the Post and Auxiliary, held several fundraisers – pancake breakfasts, bake sales, pie and ice cream socials – and solicited contributions from local businesses.  Concrete was poured in August 2013 after being delayed by scattered showers.  The electricity for the steel column and the lighting, along with the flag poles were already in place with the concrete.

The current pyramid with names of hundreds of Rutland area service men and women still needs a few finishing touches and some landscaping before the project will be completed. There will always be upkeep and maintenance needs and a few names to add as time goes by so there will be a few more fundraising events to help with that important aspect of the project.

If you wish to donate toward this cause, just send a check to the American Legion Auxiliary Veteran’s Memorial and send it to Pamela Maloney, Treasurer, American Legion Auxiliary, PO Box, Rutland, ND 58067.