The Rooster Crows – Feb. 11, 2022

By Bill Anderson

As of Saturday, February 5, the bone-chilling cold that had characterized the month of January and the first few days of February gave way to more moderate temperatures, still not warm, but at least able to peek above the freezing mark for a few hours and provide some hope to those who had been considering giving up on Spring. It’s still Winter, though; the wind still blows; it can still get cold; the snow still falls; and the streets are still covered with packed snow and ice; but there is hope. In the middle of a North Dakota Winter what more can you want or expect. We can ask the one who put it there to relieve us of the snow, but not too far south of us, in south central and southeast South Dakota, there is no snow, and the weather experts are predicting severe drought conditions in the Spring, while signs warning of the extreme fire danger are posted on nearly every corner. We have to be careful what we ask for, we just might get it.

Local anglers have gotten what they wanted: ice; water; and fish; and they are happy with it, at least for now. Walleyes, northerns, perch and crappies have been biting, but sometimes here and sometimes there. One day there may be 40 ice fishing houses on a fishing hot spot, but when the catching slows down and a report is received that the fish are biting somewhere else, like an old-time gold rush mining camp, the fishermen and their houses pick up and move elsewhere, leaving their former location looking forlorn and deserted. We know that the fishing is pretty good, though, because the fishermen aren’t talking about it. In fact, it’s so good that they don’t even lie about it. That’s what’s called a contrary indicator. Whatever it looks like, it’s really the opposite. 

This community was saddened last week when word was received here that Violet Wyum, a life-long member of the Rutland community, and a long-time elementary school educator in Sargent County, had departed this life on the evening of Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at the Four Seasons Healthcare center in Forman. She had attained the age of 97 years, 2 months, and 25 days at the time of her death. Violet Martha Olson was born on the Olson family farm in Ransom Township on Friday, November 7, 1924, to Olof and Hilma (Peterson) Olson. She grew up on the farm and attended elementary school in a 1 room Ransom Township country school. She attended high school in Rutland and graduated in the RHS Class of 1942. She earned her 2-year teaching degree from Valley City State Teachers’ College in 1944, and taught school in 1 room country schoolhouses in Ransom and Tewaukon Townships before teaching in Cayuga, Cogswell and Rutland. While teaching, she took classes at Bethel College in St. Paul and at Valley City State to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1959. Thirty-two years of Violet’s teaching career were spent in Sargent County, including country schools, town schools and the Sargent Central Elementary School in Rutland. She also taught for one year in Bismarck ND, and one year in an elementary school in San Juan Capistrano in California. While at San Juan Capistrano she encouraged elementary students from Rutland to become pen pals with her students in California. Sixty-five years later some of those pen pals are still corresponding with each other. She is remembered by her former students as an effective teacher who knew how to maintain discipline in the classroom. Violet was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Rutland, serving as a Sunday School teacher; Sunday School Superintendent; Deaconess; Clerk; and, as a member of the choir. On June 3, 1961, she married Robert Wyum of Rutland in a ceremony in the First Baptist Church in Rutland at which Pastor Jack Reif officiated. They made their home on the Wyum farm 3 miles north and 1 mile east of Rutland. They became the parents of one daughter, Wendy Sue, and Violet became the stepmother of Robert’s 3 sons: Steven Robert; Michael Charles; and Mark Obed. Robert passed away in 2001, and Violet continued to make her home on the farm until she moved to Four Seasons Villas Assisted Living Center in 2019. From the time she retired from teaching until she moved to Four Seasons Villas, Violet served as the “go-fer” on the farm, making parts runs and performing other errands as well as preparing meals when called upon. For Violet, the speed limit was a suggestion, not a hard and fast rule. Her children and grandchildren often referred to her as “The Energizer Bunny” because she was always going full speed ahead, whether she was running for parts or scrubbing the floor. She relocated to the Four Seasons Healthcare Center nursing home in 2021. Violet is survived by: one daughter, Wendy Honchl; by 3 step-sons, Steven Wyum of Rutland; Michael Wyum of Rutland; and, Mark Wyum of Rutland; 1 sister, Shirley Mahrer of Hankinson; 1 brother, Don Olson of Mound City MN; 10 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren & 1 on the way; numerous nieces, nephews & cousins; and by a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, in 2001; her parents, in 1955 & 1979; 4 brothers: Woodrow Olson; Martin Olson; Carl Olson; and Maurice Olson; and, by 2 sisters: Myrtle Orth; and, Alice Seline. The funeral service for Violet M. Wyum was at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, with Pastor Julie Johnson officiating. Also assisting in the service were Pastor Wayne “Hutch” Hutchins of the Baptist Church in Lisbon; soloist Karen Hutchins; vocalists Michael Wyum & Janet Kiefer; and, Phyllis Wyum, organist. Interment will be in the Rutland Cemetery in the Spring. Condolences may be sent to Michael Wyum, 9720 139th Avenue Southeast, Rutland ND 58067. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Violet Wyum, a woman of intellect, ability and character who devoted her life to her family, her community, her career and her country. Many will remember that Violet provided a moral compass for the Rutland community. If you couldn’t answer “Yes!” to the question “Would Violet think this is OK?” you had better not do it.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Feb. 11, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Feb. 4, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Here it is! The Rooster Crows is back! This writer’s move to a different residence in Rutland is still a work in progress, but the people and pets have relocated somewhat successfully. There are still boxes to open and unpack, and needed items to locate, but, on the bright side, some items have been found that haven’t been seen since the last move, back in 2019. If anyone finds a Rutland High School letterman’s jacket, Class of ’63, please let me know.

The bitterly cold weather endured by North Dakotans throughout the month of January has continued into February. The Ground Hog, Rutland Rasputin, saw his shadow on Ground Hog’s Day, Wednesday, February 2, presaging at least 6 more weeks of winter for this area. Had Rasputin not seen his shadow, winter weather would only have lasted for another 42 days. The high winds and blowing snow that hit the region on the evening of Monday, January 31, and continued on into Tuesday, February 1, even caused Waste Management to reschedule the regular Tuesday morning trash pickup to Wednesday, February 2. Rutland residents were notified of the change by telephone on Tuesday morning. A personal robo-call from the community’s garbage service provider is always appreciated.

The Rutland community was saddened to learn that Violet (Olson) Wyum, a lifelong member of the Rutland community, had passed away on the evening of Tuesday, February 1, at the age of 97 years. She was residing at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman at the time of her death.  Additional information about Violet Wyum’s life among us will be in next week’s column.  Funeral arrangements had not yet been made as of this writing.  Price Funeral Chapel of Forman & Britton will be in charge of arrangements.

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The Rooster Crows – Jan. 14, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Old Man Winter tightened his grip on Thursday & Friday, January 6 & 7, providing those who love ice with some morning temperatures in the mid-20’s below Zero range, and not getting above Zero all day. Saturday’s high of +24 felt almost tropical, but it was only temporary, as the mercury plunged into sub-Zero territory again on Sunday & Monday. Warmer temps are predicted for mid-week, to be followed by a return of more frigid conditions. Well, it’s January in North Dakota, so what else is new? This information is provided just so those who are reading it while lounging on their patios at their winter residences in Arizona, Texas, Florida or some other warm & sunny location can be satisfied with their decision to head south for the winter. 

A brief “January Thaw” was experienced on Tuesday & Wednesday, January 11 & 12. The mercury soared all the way up to 37 above on Tuesday, with the warmer weather propelled by a 20-mph wind out of the south. Wednesday’s high only made it to +32, but that’s a lot better than -32. January weather is predicted to return by the weekend.

Snow, cold and Ice may be reasons for frowns and complaints from some, but snowmobile fans and ice fishing enthusiasts are grinning from ear to ear. With about 2½ feet of snow on the ground, and more where the wind has done its artistry, the entire countryside appears to be open to snowmobilers. After a couple of winters with little or no snow, though, some are still digging their snow cats out of the back of the shop or garage. The recent spell of sub-zero temperatures has given a great deal of depth and strength to the ice on area lakes, giving ice anglers the confidence to haul their insulated and heated ice castles out on local lakes and sloughs. Two fishermen trying their luck on one of the larger sloughs near Rutland reported that the ice was 18” thick, plenty of ice to hold the weight of a fishing house or a pickup truck. Anglers should still be cautious where the ice is covered by snow, though, as the insulating effect of the snow may have kept the ice a lot thinner. Just remember, even though it’s frozen, it’s still only water.

One ice angler reports that he was planning to relax in his fishing house with a mixed drink while waiting for the fish to bite when he realized that he had forgotten to bring ice cubes. Well, when you’re sitting on top of acres of ice, that’s no problem. So, he chipped out some ice cube sized chunks of ice and prepared to make his drink. Then he thought, “It’s still slough water, even if it’s frozen,” and he decided that the ice should be sterilized before using. He fired up his stove, filled a pot with water and heated it up to boiling temperature to get rid of any offensive germs and viruses. The sub-Zero chunks of ice were then dropped into the bubbling water. He states that the ice was so cold when he started that it was still frozen hard when he removed it from the pot. This fellow is currently looking for a job with a national political organization. For a fisherman, the “Big Lie” is small potatoes.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Jan. 14, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 31, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Oh, say can you see, by the New Year’s first light, what so proudly we hailed at September’s last gleaming; Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through 3 months of perilous nights, O’er the old Franzen Building were so gallantly streaming; And the street lights’ bright glare, the stars shining in air, gave proof through the nights that our flag was still there; Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the little city that can, home of the free and the brave? Well, the Flag still flies over the Rutland Post Office, and the door is still locked. The Postal Service has provided no information to the Rutland community as to when, if ever, service may be expected to be restored. In the meantime, there has been no additional clean up or repair activity observed at the Rutland Post Office building. No information. No action. No service. No Post Office. It could be described as a heck of a way to run a railroad, except that, back when the railroads hauled the mail the Post Office was open, and the mail got delivered. So much for 50 years of progress! Benjamin Franklin, America’s first Postmaster General, would be appalled by the disrespectful and cavalier attitude of today’s U. S. Postal Service management.

Mother Nature and Old Man Winter teamed up to deliver the first blizzard of the season, commencing on the day after Christmas, Sunday, December 26, and continuing into the early evening of Monday, December 27. Depending on whose report you choose to listen to, the storm delivered either 1 to 3 inches of new snow or 6 to 8 inches of new snow, along with sustained wind speeds of 30 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, and temperatures falling from the mid-20’s above Zero to the sub-Zero regions by Monday night. Below Zero conditions are predicted to continue throughout this week and into the New Year. While there is no relief from cold, snow and wind foreseen in the near-term forecasts, most prognosticators are of the opinion that warmer conditions will return to the region before the next summer solstice.

The blizzard had both I-94 and I-29 closed to traffic on Sunday night and Monday morning, and a “No Travel” advisory posted for the entire eastern end of North Dakota. Roads were also closed in northeastern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. In Sargent County, the State & County snowplows were out opening roads by Monday afternoon, and in the City of Rutland Scott Haan was opening streets with the City’s snow removal equipment by mid-afternoon, with some assistance from Bernard Mahrer Construction’s big equipment, as well. There is now enough snow on the ground to provide employment opportunities for snow removal crews every time the wind shifts. As the old-timers used to say, “There’s nothing so bad that it doesn’t do someone some good.”

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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.

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The Rooster Crows —– January 15, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Rutland and vicinity have been enjoying a welcome guest since the New Year began. The traditional annual visit of “The January Thaw” began early and has stayed late. This is one guest that doesn’t get old after 3 days. A high temperature of 41 above was forecast for Wednesday, January 13, and even though cooler weather is being predicted for the coming week, the highs are still predicted to be in the mid-20’s to low 30’s, with the lows in the double digits above zero. Weather like that for North Dakota in January just can’t be beat. But, Winter isn’t over, yet, so don’t lose track of your parka and snow shovel!

The house at 301 First Street, also known as The Bagley House, has been occupied by Aaron & Silvia Brooks since shortly before Christmas, 2020. Mr. Brooks is a native of New Orleans LA, and Mrs. Brooks grew up in Bakersfield CA. He is employed by RayMac at Gwinner, and she has her own residential cleaning business in addition to attending classes at the State College of Science in Wahpeton and working part-time as a bartender in Gwinner. The Rutland Community extends a hearty welcome to Aaron & Silvia Brooks! As soon as this covid-19 pandemic is over, we’ll teach you how to make lefse and rommegrot. Uff-Da!

Sonja (Anderson) Christensen, one of the organizers and original sponsors of The Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, has announced that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 26th annual tournament, originally scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2021, has been postponed and rescheduled to Saturday, February 5, 2022. Sonja extends best wishes to all of the tournament’s regular participants and hopes to see all of them at next year’s event. They are all longing for those Rutland scalloped potatoes.

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