The Rooster Crows — February 19, 2021

Below zero at dawn; Below zero at dusk; It’s getting old; should all be told; we’re tired of this incessant cold. Burma Shave! It’s not a record, but some communities in eastern North Dakota have just experienced 10, or more, consecutive days during which the thermometer has failed to claw its way above the zero mark. In Rutland, the mercury dropped below zero on the evening of Wednesday, February 10, and did not get into positive territory until the afternoon of Tuesday, February 16, and then not by much. The cold weather is not just local, either. Rutland native Judie (Anderson-Seavert) Grohs reported on Monday, February 15, from her winter haven at Port Aransas TX, that the temperature there was at the 21-degree mark and that the entire Texas Gulf Coast community was without electricity and covered in ice. The only folks moving around, Judie said, were the winter refugees from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, who were the only people down there with the know how to walk or drive on the ice. Judie also reported that the ice had taken down power lines all over Texas, leaving more than a million Texans without electricity. So, spending the winter in North Dakota, where ice, snow, wind and cold are part of the daily winter routine, isn’t all that bad. The residents here prepare for winter, and, as a result, the plumbing isn’t frozen, the electricity works, and central heat keeps folks comfortable. As the late Clayton McLaen of this community often observed, “There are two seasons in North Dakota: winter; and getting ready for winter.” We’re ready! We’re ready to be done with it for a while, too, now that bragging rights have been established. The TV weather gurus are predicting temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s above zero for the upcoming weekend. Bring it on!

Mr. Alex Marcovich of Madison WI and Mr. Joe Diaz of Chicago IL were visitors at the Jesse Brakke residence in Ransom Township last week. The two have been visitors to the Rutland Community several times in the past, most frequently for community events such as Uff-Da Day and Memorial Day, but this year they wanted to experience something different, ice-fishing on the prairie. They arrived on Wednesday, February 10, as the mercury slid below the zero mark, and headed back east on Saturday, February 13, having caught their limit of ice, as well as some nice perch, walleyes, and northern pike. Their best catch of the trip, though, was on the evening of Friday, February 12, when they stopped at The Lariat Bar and ordered the walleye special. Alex had the pan-fried walleye and Joe ordered the deep-fried walleye. They agreed that both were outstanding. Alex is a commercial pilot flying charter flights for SC Airlines of Madison, and Joe is an IT Specialist employed by the Home Chef division of Kroeger Foods in Chicago. Alex was first introduced to Rutland by Jesse’s daughter, Claire, when they were students at UND in Grand Forks. Alex and Joe have been friends since boyhood days in Chicago. Claire, the real fisherman of the bunch, wasn’t able to take time off from her duties as an Occupational Therapist in the Madison area to show the boys how to catch the big ones. Maybe next time. They are hoping to be back in Rutland for Uff-Da Day on the first Sunday in October, if not sooner.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows — February 19, 2021”

The Rooster Crows — February 12, 2021

By Bill Anderson

The month of February has brought with it the coldest weather of the year, making January, the usual cold weather champ, seem like a semi-tropical memory by comparison. Starting on Wednesday, February 3, the day after Ground Hog’s Day, the mercury began to drop and has only risen above the zero mark on a couple of occasions since then. But, while frigid temperatures are torture for some, they are opportunity for others. Mr. Sawyer Toepke, an elementary student at Sargent Central, reports that he is organizing a hockey team, and that he already has 20 prospective players lined up, if they can find 20 pairs of skates and 20 hockey sticks. Sawyer should probably be thinking of lining up a team dentist, as well. The optimism of youth sees opportunity where others see only misery and discomfort. Hang in there, Sawyer, and bring the NHL’s Stanley Cup back to Sargent County some cold winter day. That ought to make the sun shine! As the old timers used to say, “Nobody ever succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, unless they had some wild expectations to begin with.”

Ice fishing! The cold weather now has the ice on local water holes thick enough for reasonably sane anglers to get out there and go after the ever elusive walleye. Some reports have been received of a few fishermen having some success on a local body of water that bears the name of three former Sargent County Commissioners. If you know your county’s history, you might be able to figure out where that hot spot might be, but by then the fish will have quit biting. Have faith.

Rutland native Mavis (Hoflen) Wold called friends here on Friday, Feb. 5, reporting that she is still in the hospital recovering from the broken leg she suffered a month ago. Mavis said that she had been working in the kitchen of her Minneapolis home when she lost her footing, fell and sustained the broken leg. She is currently undergoing therapy, and hopes to be back in her home in the near future. Mavis is the eldest daughter of the late Oscar & Alma (Anderson) Hoflen of this community. She is a member of the RHS Class of ’47. Her many friends here wish her a speedy recovery and return home.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows — February 12, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – December 7, 2018

By Bill Anderson

The cold weather of the past several weeks has thickened the ice on local lakes to 7 inches or more, enough to support the weight of ice fishermen and ice fishing houses. Norbert Kulzer reported that there were three ice fishing houses on Buffalo Lake on Tuesday, December 4, and one on Consolidated Lake, along with a couple of fishermen out on the ice in cold weather fishing gear. Several houses were on the ice at Silver Lake last week, but they had picked up and moved to some other location by Tuesday afternoon. No reports of fishing success have been received, and when fishermen aren’t talking it usually means that they are catching fish and don’t want anyone else to find out about it. Of course, it could mean that there just aren’t many fish being caught, but that’s not as interesting.

Rutland native Dan Narum, Presiding Judge of North Dakota’s Southeast Judicial District for the past several years, was preparing to deliver jury instructions at the conclusion of a trial in the Dickey County Courthouse in Ellendale last Tuesday, November 27, when he stood up from his desk and discovered that his right leg was numb. A terrible pain in his back put him to the floor. Ever the professional, the Judge got himself back to his desk, called the 2 attorneys in the case into his office, explained the situation to them, then delivered the jury instructions to the waiting jurors in written form, and had himself taken to the hospital. He was first taken to Aberdeen, the closest hospital, where a serious back problem was diagnosed. Immediate surgery was necessary, but a surgeon capable of performing it was not available, so Dan made a trip to Sanford Hospital in Fargo where the surgery was performed on Tuesday night. Tests indicated that the surgery had been successful, and, “…when I moved my toes about ¼ of an inch, they really got excited,” Dan reported. On Friday, November 30, he moved to Sanford’s Physical Therapy Unit on South University Drive for what was expected to be 2 weeks of intensive physical therapy, but his recovery and progress was so rapid that he was scheduled to be released from the hospital to return to his home in Lamoure on Wednesday, December 5. Dan states that he has an elk hunt booked in northeastern New Mexico beginning on January 1, and is still planning, and hoping, to be able to make it happen. Well, Dan is a tough and determined guy. If he can’t make it to New Mexico, maybe he can issue a judicial order, and have the elk brought to him. In the meantime, he is recuperating at home, in the care of his wife, Caroline, and their 2 children. Dan’s many friends in Rutland wish him a speedy and complete recovery, and a good hunt, too.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – December 7, 2018”

The Rooster Crows – November 16, 2018

By Bill Anderson

Mother Nature has been supplying all of the cold, snow, wind and ice we ever wanted, and more. Tuesday, November 13, registered the lowest temperature of the season, so far, at -1, but that won’t even register on the discomfort scale in a few weeks. Right now, here in Sargent County, we have a bin-busting soybean crop and the most bountiful corn crop in history in the process of being harvested. From cold to corn, we have everything in abundance in North Dakota. You sure can’t beat that!

Roger Pearson and Mac Pherson report that the siege of cold weather has put ice on all of the local lakes and sloughs which had been producing fish a few weeks ago, putting an end to both fishing from a boat and fishing from shore. Mac estimated that the ice on Sprague Lake could be as thick as 4 inches on Tuesday, November 13, which some ice fishing enthusiasts claim is thick enough to walk on. Mac, however, is a little more cautious, preferring at least 6 inches of ice before he ventures out. Roger has no illusions at all about his ability to walk on water, even if it is frozen, and prefers to wait for warm weather and open water, so he can catch his fish while both feet are firmly planted on dry land.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – November 16, 2018”

The Rooster Crows – February 26, 2010

By Bill Anderson

The Calendar said February 24 on Wednesday morning, but the thermometer said it was the 55th day of January, according to the Assembled Wise Men at the Rutland Café. Depending on whose thermometer was checked, the mercury was hovering at somewhere between 21 and 25 degrees below zero. “Is it cold enough for you?” was the question of the day, to which the correct answer was, “Not until the fat lady sings!” The answer was nonsense, but so was the question.

Kevin and Wendy Willprecht returned from a Winter vacation get-away in Jamaica on Friday, February 19. They had flown out of Fargo a week earlier, making stops at Minneapolis and Atlanta before landing at Montego Bay.  The Breezes Beach Resort near the city of Nigrel was their final destination.  Kevin reports that 7 miles of white sand beach and ocean water temperatures hovering around 80 helped make their stay a pleasant one. Coffee beans and sugar cane are the two major crops grown on the mountainous island, says Kevin, with much of the sugar cane becoming the raw material for the production of Jamaican rum, one of the island nation’s major exports, along with bauxite, the ore from which aluminum is made. A former British colony, Jamaica has been an independent nation since 1962. Despite a booming tourism business, much of the island nation’s population appears to struggle with Third World economic status, says Kevin. All in all, he reports a very enjoyable time on the tropical Caribbean paradise. The Wilprecht’s children spent their vacation time in the Grandma and Grandpa Resort at the home of Arlen & Jan Willprecht in Lidgerwood, where the attentive staff catered to their every need.

Rob & Lacey Wyum departed Rutland on Friday, February 19, bound for Minneapolis, where they boarded a flight to Miami on Saturday, Feb. 20, with their destination being a cruise ship headed for the eastern Caribbean. The cruise is a delayed honeymoon trip for Rob and Lacey, who were married in Milnor last October. Rob is employed with his father, Mark, and uncles, Steve and Mike, in the Wyum Brothers Ransom Township farm business. Lacey is employed at the Sargent County Abstract Co. in Rutland and in the Clerk of Court’s office at the Sargent County Courthouse in Forman.

Here’s some urgently needed information! The Spring Conservation Snow and Blue Goose hunting season opened in North Dakota on Saturday, February 20.  Although we have plenty of snow, right now we have no geese. According to Jack Lalor, Assistant Project Manager at the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge, the geese are still down in Texas, Louisiana and Mexico with the rest of the snowbirds, waiting for the snow between here and there to melt. As conditions appear now, Mr. Lalor stated, it is unlikely that many geese will be seen here before late March or early April. The purpose of the Spring conservation season is to reduce the numbers of snow and blue geese so they do not over populate, over graze and destroy their summer nesting range in northern Canada. Resident hunters need a valid 2009 North Dakota hunting license and a shotgun in order to participate in the hunt, according to Mr. Lalor. There is no daily limit or possession limit during the conservation season, and hunters may remove the plugs from shotgun magazines, as well. Non-resident hunters may also participate in the hunt without the usual limitation on the number of days that restricts their hunting opportunities during the Fall season. Non-residents may purchase a license to participate in the Spring snow and blue goose season from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for a fee of $50.00. The season ends on the first Sunday in May.  Even though the season is open right now, though, an expedition afield will probably not be very productive for several more weeks, in Mr. Lalor’s opinion.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – February 26, 2010”

The Rooster Crows – December 26, 2008

By Bill Anderson

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor dark of night may stay this faithful courier from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.  Attaining age 63 and 30 years of service allows the courier to turn his rounds over to another and retire, however. Louis Siemieniewski pulled his Jeep off his U.S. Postal Service rural route on Wednesday, November 26, the day before Thanksgiving, and hung up the mail bag for good. Louis started delivering mail back in 1980, as temporary substitute for Ray Murray on the Cayuga and Rutland routes. When Ray retired a few years later, Louis moved up to the full-time position. He turned 63 in October, and his 2 years of service in the U. S. Army during the Vietnam era were added to his years with the Postal Service to give him the 30 years of Federal service needed for retirement. A 1963 graduate of RHS, Louis has also been an avid outdoorsman since youth, and has been a Hunter Safety Instructor for over 30 years. He said that, from now on, whenever the snow starts to fall and the wind starts to blow, he is just going to open his drapes, sit in his recliner, look out the window and smile. The Rutland community extends congratulations and best wishes to a native son on his well deserved retirement. Jim Lunneborg of rural Rutland has taken over Louis’s old route, which now includes addresses with the Forman, Rutland, Havana and Cayuga ZIP codes.

Attorney Trent Mahler has been practicing his profession in Rutland since Monday, December 8, co-officing with Bill Anderson at 316 First Street, here. Trent is a native of Milnor, having graduated from High School there in 1985. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Moorhead State University in 1989. Following several years as program director with WDAY TV News in Fargo, Trent enrolled in Law School at the University of North Dakota and obtained his Juris Doctorate Degree in 1999. One of his classmates was Rutland native Daniel Narum, now a District Court Judge. Prior to returning to his home territory, Attorney Mahler served as a prosecutor in the Cass County States Attorney’s Office, as a partner with Kessel, Splitt & Mahler in Lamoure, and as an Assistant Attorney General in the office of North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. He and Attorney Anderson are not partners, but will be sharing office space as he establishes his practice here. Trent’s parents are Curt & Vi Mahler of rural Milnor. Welcome to Rutland, Trent.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – December 26, 2008”