The Rooster Crows – April 8, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Spring has been behaving like a reluctant maiden for the past few weeks, first bestowing her warm and radiant smile on her ardent suitors, then chilling their enthusiasm with a dousing of rain, snow and slush. Well, maybe it’s all part of an elaborate April Fools prank. Sooner or later, Spring is bound to bestow the warmth of her embrace upon the land, but, until then, she is delivering the promise without the squeeze. The 3 inches of new snow that fell on Sunday, April 3, was a reminder that April showers do not only bring May flowers. Those showers may also bring snow, slush and hazardous driving conditions. On the bright side, Janelle Brakke drove from Rutland to Fargo on Sunday afternoon, and reports that the clean snow removed all of the exterior dirt & grime from her car, as nicely as if she had purchased the high-priced option at the car wash. Every cloud has its silver lining.

A large group of family and friends gathered at the Rutland Town Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, April 2, to honor Delores “PeeWee” Breker on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Delores is one of the daughters of the late Mr. & Mrs. Harold Evenson. The Evensons made their home in Rutland when Delores was born, but later moved to Cogswell where she grew up and went to school. When she married Ralph Breker, she again became part of the Rutland community, residing on the farm southeast of town where Shane & Carla Breker now make their home. Guests from North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota were on hand to help Delores celebrate, and Stephen Ricksecker, a nephew who had made his home with Ralph & PeeWee during his high school years, flew all the way from California to attend the party. PeeWee’s many friends in this community extend an enthusiastic “Happy Birthday!” to her, and best wishes for many more to come.

Confirmation students at Nordland Lutheran Church: Greta Bladow; Kaycee Hamilton; Whitney Mahrer; and Charlize Willprecht; presented their Affirmation of Faith statements to the Congregation; and, 5th Grade students: Julia Mahrer; Loden Jochim; Lilith Pavek; and, Krosby Willprecht; had their First Communion; during worship service at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 3.  The Confirmation service, also called Affirmation of Baptism, for Greta, Kaycee, Whitney, and Charlize is scheduled for Sunday, May 1, at Nordland Lutheran Church. This is an impressive group of young ladies: intelligent; articulate; and, confident; of whom their families and their community can be proud.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – April 8, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – March 4, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The month of February ended on a pleasant note, as the temperature climbed to 41 degrees above Zero on Monday, February 28, and Mother Nature provided a sunny, nearly windless, day to close out the month. Winter isn’t over, yet, though. The forecast is predicting high temperatures below the freeze line, along with the possibility of more snow, for the coming week. We have to remember that the Ground Hog, old Rutland Rasputin, saw his shadow back on February 2, a circumstance calling for 6 more weeks of winter. Well, that 6 weeks will be up right around St. Patrick’s Day, so, no matter how cold the temperature or how deep the snow may be, be prepared to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and green beer, at about the same time.

Mike & Phyllis Wyum, Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson, and Randy & Gayleen Ptacek departed Sargent County, bound for Hawaii on Sunday, February 20. They arrived back home on the evening of Monday, February 28, after spending a week enjoying the climate and seeing the sites on America’s Pacific paradise. According to Chuck, they headquartered at a very nice hotel on the island of Oahu, fronting the beach, with rooms on the 22nd floor, overlooking an idyllic lagoon. 

Chuck said that he enjoyed the whale watching cruise, during which they got up close and personal with some humpback whales, including a playful calf; and a tour of Pearl Harbor that included a visit to the battleship USS Missouri, the ship on which the Japanese surrendered on September 2, 1945, at the end of WWII, and a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, the American battleship that was sunk, with about 1,100 of its crew still aboard, on the day the U. S. was thrust into WWII, December 7, 1941. Hawaii is a wonderful place, Chuck said, but he and Mary Beth have other locations on their “bucket list” to visit before they make a return trip. The weather on Hawaii is boring, perfect every day.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – March 4, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Feb. 25, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The snow began shortly after Midnight, in the early hours of Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 21, 2022. The wind was already blowing at a steady 35 mph, with gusts up to 45. The temperature had fallen off the edge, dropping like the proverbial rock, smashing through the Zero barrier, and staying there for the next four days. The snow just kept on coming, with the counties along the North Dakota-South Dakota State Line receiving more than their fair share. In Rutland, about 12 inches had fallen on Monday, followed by another 6 to 8 inches on Tuesday. Because of the sub-Zero cold, the snow was light and fluffy, which made it difficult to measure as the wind whipped it into huge snow drifts in local farmyards and on city streets. Nothing moved on Monday, and nothing moved on Tuesday, either. Snow drifts blocked the streets, and blowing snow reduced visibility to zero. Local students, who already had Monday off from school due to the Presidents’ Day holiday, got Tuesday & Wednesday off, too, giving them a 5 day weekend during which they all studied and prepared for class projects, just as students have always done on blizzard days. Well, maybe a few of them did that, maybe sometime in the distant past, but hope springs eternal.

The blizzard did not stop Jim Brown. He was out with his trusty snow shovel, wading through the snowdrifts, to keep the doorways and sidewalks of his snow removal customers clear. In some cases the drifts blocking doorways were as deep, or deeper, than Jim is tall. For the most part, Jim’s customers couldn’t get much farther than the front porch once the snow was cleared away from the door, but at least they could get out the door, providing the illusion of liberation, if not the reality. February, the shortest month of the year, has become the longest month of the winter, with high winds, low temperatures and one storm after another piling snow upon snow upon more snow, all on a foundation of ice. This global warming stuff sure is confusing.

Mark & Kathy Wyum hosted a number of youngsters and oldsters at the Rutland Seniors Center on the evening of Wednesday, February 16, for a viewing of two videos concerning Rutland community history. The first video presented was of Rutland’s “Pride Of The Prairie Centennial” celebration from June 25, 26 & 27 of 1982. The video showed the people of Rutland in action as they honored the history of the community with numerous events and activities, including making, frying, flipping and serving “The World’s Largest Hamburger,” a 3,591 pound behemoth, during the celebration. The second video was a medley of film clips provided by the late Dr. Hans Kuisk, who served as a medical doctor in the Rutland community from 1950 to 1956. Dr. Kuisk and his wife had escaped from their native Estonia after World War II, and were sponsored for admission to the United States by the Rutland community. As part of the relocation program, Dr. Kuisk agreed to provide medical services in the community for a period of 5 years. During his time in Rutland, Dr. Kuisk treated hundreds of illnesses & injuries, and delivered dozens of babies at the Rutland Maternity Hospital, with the assistance of Nurse Midwife and community activist Mildred Meyers. Dr. Kuisk was also an amateur movie maker, and made many 8 mm movies during his years here. Over the years, some of his films deteriorated, but about 20 years ago, Dr. Kuisk and one of his sons salvaged some of them, and put together the medley of scenes shown last Wednesday. It was like a window into the past, seeing Rutland and its people as they were back in 1954 & 1955. There were scenes from the Rutland High School Homecoming of 1954, showing the marching bands from Rutland High & Delamere High, complete with their booming bass drums and baton twirling majorettes; Santa Claus Day 1954, with Main Street full of people and cars; scenes showing the construction of Rutland’s municipal water tower and the installation of the water system; scenes from the businesses that served customers on Rutland’s Main Street back in the 1950’s, and many scenes showing the people of the community going about their daily lives. Some of those watching the video on Wednesday evening were in their 70’s & 80’s, and remembered the people and events recorded, and some of those watching the video were preschoolers who got to see what their home community was like in a bygone era, when their great-grandparents were young. All agreed that the videos were interesting, as well as nostalgic, and thanked the Wyums for presenting the program. Bryce Carlson even got to hear his grandpa, Robert Carlson, laugh. You’ll have to ask Bryce about it.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Feb. 25, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 17, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Last Saturday’s Santa Claus Day activities opened on a musical note as members of Nordland Lutheran Church serenaded members of the community with Christmas Carols following the Congregation’s afternoon service on Saturday, December 11. At 5:00 p.m. the Carolers adjourned to the Rutland Town Hall to participate in Rutland’s Santa Claus Day activities that included BINGO and other games, and to enjoy a spaghetti supper prepared by members of the Rutland Community Club. Suddenly, with a jingle of sleigh bells and a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Santa Claus appeared in the Town Hall and went right to work, consulting with youngsters about their Christmas wish lists. No one is quite sure how many children were present, as they did not slow down long enough to be counted. His consulting and counseling sessions complete, Santa then went to work presenting Christmas ham gifts to those whose names were drawn from the sign-up box. The hams had been donated for the event by local businesses and individuals. The donors were: R2 Inc. & Wild Rice Air (Rodney Erickson); Rutland Elevator – Wheaton-Dumont Co-op; Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Fire Department; Rutland Oil Company (Greg Donaldson); Rutland Senior Citizens; Stock Growers Bank-Rutland Station, Shawn Klein, Manager; Paul Anderson Consulting; Joe’s Fertilizer; Bill Anderson; Mayor Michael Mahrer; Bernard Mahrer Construction; Oleo Acres LLC (Bill & Paul Anderson); Lariat Bar (Pete & Michelle Denault); Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating; Woytassek Farms; Andrew Hoflen; Dave & Pat Bladow; Jim & Ione Lunneborg; Joe’s Ag Supply (Kenny & Tanya Hamilton); Farmers Union Insurance Agent David Bergeman; Walock-Johnson Insurance Agency, Kristine Radke, Agent; The Bunkhous (Lori McLaen); The Morning Coffee Crew; and, Jake’s Feed & Seed (Jake Erickson). Recipients of the Christmas hams were: Renee Cramton; Pam Maloney; Sarah Pavek; Paislee Pherson; Julia Mahrer; Pat Bladow; Audrey Anderson; Carol Fridgen; Delores Lysne; Kinsley & McKenzie; Carolyn Christensen; Rodney Erickson; Rodger Pearson; Delores Breker; Aunika Wyum; Mason Breker; Cher Spieker; Ione Pherson; Launa Peterson; Beverly Kulzer; Joanne Harris; Katie Johnson; Bill Anderson; Cohen Jensen; Diane Smith; Kayla Mahrer; Corbin Carlson; Janice Christensen; Dylan Anderson; Jesse Maly; Lori McLaen; Joanne Hawkinson; Ruth McLaen; Jim Huckell; Brady Anderson; Hadley Bladow; Briella Bosworth; Jetter Berg; Karla Breker; Julie Johnson; Yvonne Johnson; Joel Susag; Jameson Corry; Lyle Erickson; and, Dianna Anderson. His work for the evening completed, Santa made his departure at about 7:00 p.m., vowing to return on Christmas Eve with gifts for those who have been nice, and to make his 77th pre-Christmas visit to Rutland in December of 2022. So, “…You better be good, you better not cry, you better not pout and I’m tellin’ you why…cause Santa Claus is coming to town!” 

Mother Nature provided some mild weather for Santa Claus Day last week, boosting the temperature into the 30’s by Friday, December 10, and into the 40’s for the next 5 days. The weather gurus are predicting a turnaround beginning on the evening of Wednesday, December 15, however, with plummeting temperatures, high winds and snow forecast for Wednesday night and through Thursday, December 16. After that, cold for as far ahead as can be foreseen. As Boyd Jacobson Jr. put it, “The knowledge that it will most likely warm up by April is what keeps me going.” Well, it’s Winter in North Dakota. Enjoy it or suffer. It’s as simple as that.

The real reason for the Christmas celebration will be observed next weekend, on December 24th, 25th & 26th. According to Pastor Julie Johnson, the Christmas Eve service at Nordland Lutheran Church will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 24th, and Sunday worship will be at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 26th. Everyone is welcome.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 17, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 10, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Santa Claus is comin’ to town! He’s making a list and checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. Jolly Old St. Nick will be making his 76th annual pre-Christmas visit to Rutland on Santa Claus Day, Saturday, December 11, at 5:00 p.m., at the Rutland Town Hall. He will be handing out bags of candy, consulting with kids of all ages about their Christmas wish lists and awarding Christmas hams donated by local businesses to the lucky winners of the annual drawing. Other Santa Claus Day activities will include: crafts & games for the kids; BINGO for all; and, a spaghetti supper. This is your chance to see Santa Claus in the flesh and to have a personal, face-to-face visit with him before he swings through town to make deliveries on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget: Santa Claus Day in Rutland from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Winter has definitely arrived, making its presence known with a thermometer reading of 2 degrees below Zero on the morning of Monday, December 6 and a 60-mph wind that battered the area the night before. Less than a week earlier, on Wednesday, December 1, the mercury had topped out at 58 degrees above Zero. Preceding the wind on Sunday, Mother Nature, or maybe it was Old Man Winter, had deposited about 2 inches of snow on Rutland and vicinity in a series of snow flurries that began on the afternoon of Saturday, December 4 and ended on Sunday, December 5. After sidewalks and driveways had been cleared of snow on Monday, another half an inch of the white, powdery stuff was delivered to the community on Tuesday morning, just to show us who’s the boss.

CORRECTION: Last week’s column contained a few errors that need to be corrected. It was reported that, as of Tuesday, November 30, there had been no activity at the Rutland Post Office building. In fact, workers were observed doing some cleanup work around the exterior of the building, and removing materials from the interior on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, November 29, 30 & December 1. No explanation of what is planned for the building has been received, however. Apologies for the error. We’ll try harder in the future.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 10, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 3, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25, opened with a thermometer reading of +4 degrees F., and has turned out to be the coldest day of Autumn 2021, so far. The remainder of November, and the first few days of December have reached highs ranging from the upper 30’s to the mid-50’s. Not too bad for the month before Christmas. A return to more seasonal temperatures is forecast for this weekend, though, with even some snow included in the prediction. What a surprise! Snow in North Dakota in December. Will wonders never end?

Ted Lee reports that some consistent cold would be welcomed down on “the flat” south of Rutland, near the Lee farm in Tewaukon Township, where wet field conditions have prevented the harvest of several cornfields. Despite last summer’s drought, the rains of September & October turned the fields to mud, making them impassable for combines and impossible to harvest. Once the ground freezes, if it does, the task can be completed with relative ease. A covering of snow, which would insulate the ground and prevent its freezing, is not a possibility which the affected farmers prefer to contemplate.

Some local folks have been on the move this week. Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson; Mike & Debbie Banish; Mark & Kathy Wyum; and Roger & Caryn McLaen boarded the Farmers Union bus for a trip to Branson MO on Monday morning, November 29; and Joe & Patty Breker were seeing the sights in New York City during the weekend after Thanksgiving. The Brekers took in an NFL football game on Sunday, November 28, the Philadelphia Eagles v. the New York Giants, but, as they are Eagles fans and don’t like to see their team lose, the final score of Sunday’s game will not be reported here. Joe noted that it is ironic that the 2 NFL football teams claiming New York City as their home, the Giants and the Jets, both play their home games at a stadium located in New Jersey. Something to think about.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 3, 2021”