The Rooster Crows – Mar. 25, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“Follow me,” cry the wild geese, as northward they fly; Follow me to the Arctic’s cold and the midnight sun, our journey’s end for centuries gone by. Their cries move on, and soon they’re gone, ‘til Autumn’s migrants fly, and once more their calls of “follow me” echo through the sky. This Fall, I just might heed the call, to see what I might find, and keep company with the wild geese, I’m sure that they won’t mind.

The joyous Spring song of the wild geese is one of our rewards for enduring Winter on the prairie. The annual migration of snow & blue geese began moving into Sargent County last week, with the first large flocks flying over town on Monday, March 14. The Spring conservation hunting season is underway, too, so the birds have run a gauntlet all the way from Texas to North Dakota.  Despite the liberal rules of the hunt, the population of these prolific birds seems to be holding its own. Perhaps that means that the management plan is working.

Scott Haan of this community joined a cousin, Rick Kuhn of Grand Forks, to make a 4-wheel flight to Sun City West AZ a few days back. The 2 men departed Rutland at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, and arrived at the home of Rick’s father, Bob Kuhn, in Sun City West on the morning of Friday, March 11. The occasion for the trip was to help the elder Mr. Kuhn celebrate his birthday, as well as to soak up some Arizona sunshine and warm weather. Scott & Rick reversed course on Monday, March 14, and were back in Rutland on Tuesday, March 15, the Ides of March. Scott brought back a big box of tree ripened Arizona lemons that he shared with friends here. Arizona sunshine juice, wrapped in a lemon peel.

A follow-up to the story about the wild palomino stallion, Golden Sovereign, that was in last week’s column. According to Gary Thornberg, his friend, Neil Herman, had told him that his Dad, Meredith Herman, had taught his favorite riding horse to jump fences in an attempt to keep up with the rampaging Golden Sovereign when the wild stallion was running free across the prairie and through the hills south of Rutland. Meredith taught the horse so well that, even after Golden Sovereign was caught, his horse still remembered how to jump a fence, and kept practicing the skill on his own. Finally, Meredith had to sell his horse to someone with taller fences, and more time to chase a fence jumping horse. As the Old Timers used to say, “Be careful what you want. You just might get it.” 

The sun has been shining, the wind has been blowing, the snow has been melting and the water has been flowing. Finally, the One who put it there is taking it away. Rutland’s maintenance man, Scott Haan, was opening culverts on Monday, March 21, helping the water find its way to Hudson’s Bay. The 6-foot snowbanks are down to 2 feet now, and some lawns are bare. The transition from Winter to Spring is moving fast. Winter may yet attempt a comeback, but the handwriting is on the wall as far as Winter’s future is concerned. Local farmers are beginning to move equipment around, so it won’t be long until reports of the first outfit stuck in the mud are received. Then, Spring will really be here.

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The Rooster Crows – Jan. 7, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The New Year, pure, pristine and untouched, was dropped on the front porch like a block of ice precisely at the instant that the clock and the calendar changed from December 31 to January 1. Poor old 2021, all beat up, bruised, broken and scarred, departed at the same instant, giving the New Year a clean slate to work with, at least for a couple of minutes. So far, in its first week, 2022 is doing all right: the stock market is up; unemployment is down; and, wages are up. Coronavirus infections; the crime rate; and, inflation; are all up, too, but decrepit old 2021, even though he is now long gone, still gets the blame for that disagreeable trio. The temperature on the morning of Saturday, January 1, was 22 degrees below Zero in Rutland, the perfect temperature for cooling a Bloody Mary at The Lariat on the morning after the night before. The snow total for the current winter, 2021-2022, already exceeds the 28” snow total for the entire winter of 2020-2021, and we’re not even one-third of the way through it, yet. Well, the old-timers always told us that everything evens out – too little one year and too much the next – but, on the average, it’s about where it has been. So, enjoy the New Year! It’s unlike any we have ever experienced, but, on the average, it’s just like everyone we’ve ever lived through.

As far as the Rutland Post Office is concerned, as of Wednesday, January 5, the New Year is exactly like the Old Year: no action; no service; no information; and, no Post Office. The Postal Service is consistent, though. It doesn’t just keep the public in the dark. It doesn’t even tell itself what’s going on! At the current time, one department of the USPS is preparing to renew its lease on the building, while another USPS department has the building locked up and won’t allow it to be used as a Post Office. Situations similar to that in Rutland are also occurring at other small town Post Offices across North Dakota and throughout the Nation. So, what is happening? Don’t bother to ask the management of the Postal Service. They don’t know, and wouldn’t tell you if they did.

Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove down to Brandon SD on Friday, December 24, to spend Christmas at the home of their son & daughter-in-law, Stephen & Ann Kulzer, and 3 of their grandchildren: Lauren; Brooke; and, Will Kulzer. They drove home on Sunday, December 26. Norbert reports that there wasn’t much snow south of Brookings, and that the driving conditions were good, even at Summitt where the wind is always blowing.

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Hens Do Crow! Aug. 7, 2020

Neither wind nor heat nor dark of night nor the coronavirus can stay a farmer from cutting wheat when it’s ready to harvest. Rodney Erickson reports that the 2020 harvest of Spring Wheat in the Rutland area began on Tuesday, July 28, when Nick McLaen hauled the first load to the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op Rutland Elevator. Both the yield and the quality of the crop were very good, Rodney said. The first wheat came in from one of Nick’s fields approximately two miles north of town. Rodney said that he expects more combines to be in the field, and more wheat to be coming in, during the first week of August. Spring wheat is not as big a crop as it once was out here on the northern plains, but it is still an important element in many crop rotation plans, and, if you want to eat good bread, you can’t beat bread made with flour that started out as North Dakota Hard Red Spring Wheat. If you don’t believe it, just ask Dennis or Nick. In addition to taking delivery of grain at the Rutland Elevator, Owner/Manager Rodney Erickson has been busy with aerial application of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides on crops throughout the region. Matt Smith is in charge at the Elevator when Rodney is absent.

Last month Darwin Brakke passed away at his home in Havana. Darwin attended Rutland high school, graduating in 1957, and he married Kathleen Bauman the same year. Together they had four children – Darby, Julie, Jesse, and Janelle. He married Pearl Parrow in 1990. Darwin was one of the original founding members of the Rutland Sportsman’s Club. Over the years, Darwin worked for Ronald Donaldson at Rutland Plumbing & Heating as a plumber and backhoe operation, he owned and operated the Lariat Bar, was a partner in J&B Excavating and was a loader operator for Bernard Mahrer Construction. A private burial for immediate family was held in Rutland and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

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Hens Do Crow! June 12, 2020

On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Vernon Leist of this community was injured when the motorcycle he was driving was struck by a wild turkey. The accident occurred on ND Highway #11, near the Southeast Water Users water plant about one mile east of the Rutland corner. The impact of the 10-12-pound bird in flight was enough to cause Mr. Leist to lose control of the motorcycle which tipped over and slid along the pavement. He suffered numerous cuts, abrasions, and several broken ribs because of the collision and contact with the road surface. Vern was taken to the new Sanford Hospital in Fargo by the Sargent County Ambulance Service, Forman squad, and received medical treatment there for more than a week. He is now undergoing rehabilitation treatment at Cobalt Rehabilitation Hospital, 4671 38th Street South, Fargo ND 58104. Mr. Leist said on Saturday, June 6, that he still has no clear memory of the accident and does not remember if he was going to Lidgerwood, or coming home from Lidgerwood, at the time it occurred. His many friends in the Rutland community wish him a speedy recovery and a quick return to his home here.

The Nordland Lutheran Church Council met on the evening of Tuesday, June 2, to establish a schedule and procedures for resuming worship services and other activities in the congregation’s Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall in Rutland. According to Nordland Council Chairman Hal Nelson, Sunday worship services will resume at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, with Pastor Nicholas Rohde officiating. Hal said that face masks and social distancing will be required of all in the sanctuary, except those who are excepted by CDC guidelines. “The coronavirus pandemic is still on the move,” he said, “and we don’t want anyone to become infected, or to infect others, while attending worship services.” He urged anyone who has questions to check the Nordland Lutheran Church Facebook page.

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Hens Do Crow! April 3, 2020

The weather looked promising with some sunlight this past week, but it quickly changed to cloudy and gloomy. That certainly doesn’t help the mood of everyone who is staying close to home and social distancing themselves. More events have been cancelled and it doesn’t look like there will be much going on during Easter this year. Watch out summer when the coast is clear!

Students at Sargent Central School began their online classes on Wednesday, April 1, and they will be continuing them for the next several weeks. As ordered by the Governor, in-person classes were suspended on March 16th and all 175 school districts were required to submit an online learning plan to the State Department of Public Instruction. Sargent Central’s plan was approved and students and parents received specific details on the process earlier this week. The online classes will continue during the COVID-19 restrictions. College students have been home since spring break and will not be returning to in-person classes for the remainder of the school year.

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Hens Do Crow! March 27, 2020

Rutland has been a bit quieter and less busy the past two weeks or so. Meetings and events have been cancelled and restaurants and bars have cut back hours or closed — and school is out. Yes, the Sargent Central students had a nearly a two-week ‘spring break’ but are not returning to the classroom for now. Classes are expected to resume, online, on April 1 and will continue until the end of the school year. The busyness has slowed down but that doesn’t mean that this rural area is closed. It has been fun heading to Forman to window peak at the Four Seasons Manor and Villas to wave and visit with the elderly through the open window. Then, ordering food to be delivered to your car to take home for a family sit-down meal. We can keep in touch with people and family in other states and countries so much easier than was possible during the flu pandemic of 1918 which infected over a third of the world’s population and ending the lives of 20-50 million people. The community has stepped up with making grocery runs and dropping off necessities for families. The Sargent County Courthouse may be closed but families are still able to get supplies from the Food Shelf. Where there is a will, there is a way.

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