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.
Moisture continues to be in short supply in the Rutland area, but .25 of an inch of rain on the morning of Saturday, June 26, and another .15 of an inch on the morning of Monday, June 28, provided continued sustenance to growing crops, and continued hope to worried farmers and their anxious bankers. The forecast for the next couple of weeks calls for clear skies and temperatures into the 90’s, a forecast not likely to produce a lot of smiles on the faces of local grain and livestock producers. Although predictions of the quantity and quality of the crops currently growing are chancy, the old prediction that it always rains after a long dry spell is a sure bet. So, put your money on the arrival of rain. It may not be enough, and it may not be in time, but it will arrive. It never fails!
Former Rutland area residents Doug & Nancy Glarum of Battle Lake MN were visitors in their old home town on Wednesday, June 23. They had been over to Havana to pick up some locally produced meat from Drew Smith & Lacey Block at Ranchers Rebellion Beef. Nancy reports that she is still working for the abstract company, but she has been transferred from the company’s Detroit Lakes office to the office in Perham MN, giving her a shorter commute to and from work. During their time in Rutland they enjoyed lunch at The Lariat Bar, and then sparked an impromptu reunion with old friends on Main Street as: Bill Anderson; Chuck Sundlie; Lori McLaen; Ione Pherson; Jerry & Patty Woytassek; and, many others; stopped to greet their old friends. They report that their daughter, Megen, and her family; and, their son, Brent, and his daughter; now work and make their homes in West Fargo ND, where Brent has recently purchased a new home.
Ms. Katie Wolters resigned her position as Postal Clerk in charge of the Rutland Post Office as of Wednesday, June 9. Ms. Wolters had been at the Rutland Office since Lori McLaen was transferred to the Gwinner Post Office in the spring of 2020. With all 5 of Katie’s children now in school, she has decided to head back to school herself, to further her own education with some college classes. Former Rutland Postal Clerks Lori McLaen and Bert Siemieniewski will be serving as the tag team managers of the Rutland Office until a permanent clerk is hired to replace Ms. Wolters. Patrons of the Rutland Post Office are sorry to lose Katie’s services, and wish her well in her new endeavors.
Take me out to the ballgame! Rutland’s Roosters are flying high once more. On Tuesday, June 22, the Roosters took on a tough and seasoned team from Havana at Lou Sanderson Field, and finished them off in 2 games, both by the 10 run rule in 5 innings. A week later, on Tuesday, June 29, the hard-hitting Lisbon team was at Lou Sanderson Field, looking for a chicken dinner, but the Roosters put 2 more games into the Win column, again by the 10 run rule after 5 innings. It appears that the Roosters have hit their stride and will be heading into the 2nd half of the season with a full head of steam. Keep your eyes open for the next home game. The team at the Lou Sanderson Field concession stand has been practicing their art, too, and can now get a bratwurst from the grill to the customer faster than Bobby Richardson & Moose Skowron could pull off a double play.
Speaking of smoothly operating teams, Cogswell native Brad Arneson, now a District Manager with the Bobcat Company, had his team of dealers from the State of Missouri up at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge south of Rutland from Tuesday, June 22 to Friday, June 25. The Bobcat dealers met with company representatives to discuss new developments in the industry in a relaxing setting. A total of 14, including Bobcat experts from Gwinner and Fargo were at the Lodge for the meeting. Others in the group with ties to Sargent County included Forman native Brady Seavert, son of Judie (Anderson) Seavert and the late Ron Seavert, and Regional Manager Shane Christensen, son of Sonja (Anderson) Christensen and the late Charles Christensen. On Tuesday, June 22, the entire group was at The Lariat Bar for their evening repast. The Coteau des Prairies Lodge is proving to be a popular venue for business meetings as well as social gatherings. For information about the Lodge, check out the cdplodge.com web site, or give Olivia a call at 701.680.1175.
Work has commenced on the Rutland Community Club’s mural on the north wall of the Rutland Oil Company building on Main Street. Artist Shelly (Pherson) fink, assisted by her mother, Ione Pherson, applied the primer and base coat on Wednesday, June 23. The mural itself will be a work in progress for the next several weeks.
Kelly Hawkinson of Kalispell MT visited in Rutland, at the home of her uncle, Bill Anderson, on Thursday & Friday, June 24 & 25. Kelly is the daughter of the late Harvey Anderson and one of the granddaughters of the late Earl & Irene Anderson of this community. Among her numerous jobs, Kelly is employed as Secretary and statistician for the Professional Bull Riders organization at many rodeos across the western half of the United States. On Saturday, June 26, she performed her duties at the big rodeo in Binford ND, northeast of Jamestown. Binford is about the same size as Rutland, but draws about 5,000 rodeo fans on each day of its 3 day annual event. Kelly drove back to Kalispell on Sunday, June 27, and was at work at her regular employment on Monday morning.
Saturday, June 26, was a big day for celebrations of life, and for celebrating milestones of life. In Rutland, a memorial service was held for Teresa Gilbertson, a sister of the late Catherine (VanVlanderen) Jacobson of this community at Nordland Lutheran Church with the Rev. Julie Johnson officiating. Interment was in the Rutland Cemetery. Mrs. Gilbertson had grown up in the Geneseo-Lidgerwood area, but had spent most of her life in California. She was a maternal aunt to Carolyn Christensen, Calvin Jacobson, Diane Smith and Pam Maloney of Rutland, and Boyd Jacobson Jr. of Starbuck MN. In Forman, a graveside interment service for the late Mike Seavert, a friend of many in this community, was held at the Forman Cemetery on Saturday, June 26, also with Rev. Julie Johnson officiating. Mr. Seavert had passed away on Saturday, June 12, about a month before his 71st birthday. On the afternoon of Saturday, June 26, about 250 to 300 of the friends of the late Harris Lee Anderson gathered at the Anderson family’s farm home east of Havana to celebrate the life of a man who had been friend to many. Harris had served as a 4-H leader, Township officer, County Commissioner and Chairman of the Sargent County Health District Board. He was active in both the Rutland and Havana communities. The gathering at the Anderson farmstead on Saturday afternoon was impressive, and an indication of the esteem in which his fellow citizens held Harris Anderson. Later on the afternoon of Saturday, June 26, the friends and family of Ted & Joan Lee of this community hosted a 50th Anniversary party at The Green Lantern Hall in Geneseo. . The Rutland community extends congratulations to Ted & Joan on their Golden Anniversary, and wishes them many more happy years together.
Rutland native Wayne Susag was a visitor in his old home town during the week of June 27-July 2. Wayne, who resided in Minneapolis for 43 years, reports that he has recently acquired a new home and relocated to Desert Palm Springs CA. He said that it’s hard to believe that his younger sister, Sandy, is catching up to him in the age department. Wayne and his brother, Joel, intend to head out to the home of their older sister, Carolyn Story, at Billings MT for the Independence Day holiday.
Dave & Pat Kulzer of Condon MT, accompanied by their dog, Buster, arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Monday, June 28, at the conclusion of a 3 day trip from northwestern Montana to southeastern North Dakota. Unlike earlier days, when they used to make the trip in one long, grueling day, they now travel at a more leisurely pace. They report that Montana is dry, and getting drier, with forest and prairie fire concerns rising by the day. After spending a few days in Rutland, at the home of Pat’s brother, Paul Anderson, at 309 Gay Street, they intend to drive over to Lanesboro MN for a reunion of the descendants of Myrtle (Aus) Kulzer near where her grandfather homesteaded after his arrival from Norway back in the 1870’s. Dave’s brother & sister-in-law, Norbert & Bev Kulzer of Rutland, also plan to attend the reunion. Dave & Pat intend to be back in Rutland on Tuesday, July 6, and to begin their return trek to their home in Montana’s Swan River Valley on Saturday, July 10. Buster is a good passenger, and is happy to just go along for the ride.
According to Joel Susag, a member of Fort Ransom’s Sodbusters Association, a bench will be dedicated to the memory of the late Clayton McLaen of this community at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 10, on the opening day of the first Sodbusters’ horse farming demonstration and exposition of the year at Fort Ransom State Park. Clayton McLaen, who passed away in 2008, loved his horses, and was a charter member of both the Sodbusters Association and the Fort Ransom Chapter of the North Dakota 7th Cavalry. The bench that will be dedicated was handcrafted by local wood artist Alan Olstad of Rutland. Joel would like to see a substantial group from Rutland on hand for the dedication ceremony.
So, here we are, at the mid-point of the year already. As Orvis Pearson says, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you are to the end, the faster it goes.” 2021 is no exception to that rule. Some upcoming events in Rutland include: Rutland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 5, in the Rutland Town Hall; the 2nd Farmers Market of the year beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 11, in the City Park adjacent to the Rutland Town Hall; and, Rutland Community Club meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 12, at the Rutland Town Hall.
Meanwhile, on the international scene, have you ever wondered what Americans in other countries do on Independence Day, the 4th of July? According to frequent Rutland visitor, Rolf Odberg of Halden, Norway, Americans in Norway gather near the statue of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States that is located in Frognerparken, the huge city park in Oslo, the Capitol of Norway. Each year, the American Coordinating Council of Norway (ACCN) organizes a 4th of July observance in Frognerparken that is described as “the largest Independence Day celebration outside the United States.” The Lincoln statue, created by sculptor Paul Fjelde of Valley City ND, was presented to Norway as a gift from the people of North Dakota by the State’s Governor, Louis B. Hanna, in a ceremony in Oslo on July 4, 1914, during the centennial year of the Norwegian Constitution. Andrew Miller of Rutland, a Norwegian immigrant, and his daughter, Charlotte, were members of the delegation that accompanied Gov. Hanna to Norway for the purpose of making the presentation. The base of the statue has the words, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth,” on the left side, and, “Presented to Norway by the People of North Dakota USA, July 4, 1914,” on the right as you face the statue. A replica of the Lincoln statue in Oslo, also created by Paul Fjelde, is located in Hillsboro ND. So, wherever you may be on July 4th, celebrate the independence, history and accomplishments of our Country. With all of its faults and all of its virtues, it is still, as Lincoln described it, “The last best hope of humanity.” If you happen to be in Norway, head over to Frognerparken in Oslo for the largest Independence Day celebration outside the United States!
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.