Hens Do Crow! May 8, 2020

The custom of distributing May Baskets on May Day has almost, but not quite, disappeared from American culture. Those who grew up in the 1950’s remember making small baskets from cupcake papers, putting some candies and maybe even a flower blossom into the basket and then hanging them on the doorknobs of those for whom they held special affection. The custom was that the basket was to be delivered stealthily and included the requirement that a recipient who discovered the basket being delivered was to chase down and kiss the delivering party.  Young boys and girls ran very fast when they were 8 or 9 years old but got a lot slower by the time they were teen-agers. Last Friday, May 1, three youngsters from the Rutland community — Paislee Pherson, Brooklyn Pherson, and Kyler Pherson — accompanied by their grandmother, Ione Pherson, revived the old May Day tradition by delivering May Baskets to several homes here. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the kissing part of the custom was suspended this year. The Pherson kids are the daughters and son of Brian and Lyndsee Pherson of this community.

State and national regulations and recommendations intended to prevent, or at least slow, the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, have had a dramatic effect upon individuals and communities throughout the country. In North Dakota, bars, restaurants, hair salons, barbershops and other businesses were closed by the Governor’s Executive Order back in mid-March. Many of these businesses have been allowed to reopen, on a limited basis, as of Friday, May 1. In Rutland, though, the Lariat Bar has remained closed. Most bars in Sargent County had elected to continue their off-sale liquor and takeout food business during the shutdown, but Mike Pyle and Jeremy Becker, who have been operating the Lariat Bar for the past four or five years, elected to lock the door and walk away, leaving their patrons dry, but not high. This is the first time that a bar has not been operating on Lots 9 & 10, Block 2 of Cooper’s Addition in Rutland since prohibition ended back in 1933. Back then, Ingwald “Ink” Skoglund, who had been operating an ice cream store and café at the location, obtained a liquor license and reconfigured his business as a liquor establishment known as Ink’s Bar. In 1947 Ink sold the business to Bud & Toddles Bohn, and the name was changed to Bohn’s Bar. Bud & Toddles remodeled and redecorated the premises in 1953, and renamed the business “The Lariat Bar,” the name by which it has been known ever since. Other owners and operators of the Lariat since 1958 include: Ronald Donaldson; Darwin & Kathy Brakke; Calvin Jacobson, Boyd Jacobson Jr. & Art Carlson; Dead Eye Dick Povlitzki; Bruce & Paula Meiers; Norman & Rita Preble; Janice Christensen; Bradley & Rebecca Christensen; and, Mike Pyle & Jeremy Becker. The original bar building was moved from the site it had occupied since the 1890’s back in 2009, and the owner at that time, Janice Christensen, had the current Lariat Bar building constructed on the site, retaining much of the original ambiance, including the western motif mural on the north wall, the classic antique backbar and the wagon wheel chandeliers. Janice also promoted the business, had consistent hours, and provided service with a smile, three attributes that it is hoped any future owner will bring to The Lariat, a Rutland community institution since 1933.

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