The Rooster Crows – Mar. 18, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Well, if Spring hasn’t sprung, it’s sure getting froggy. From below zero temperatures a week ago to highs in the 40’s and 50’s above Zero this week, the weather turnabout has improved outlooks and lifted spirits throughout the community. Cameron Gulleson says that it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Gulleson Ranch has about 100 new Black Angus calves on the ground, with another 600 soon to arrive, and new calves do a lot better at 50 degrees above zero than they do at 10 or 20 below. The Vernal Equinox occurs this Sunday, March 20, and that is the First Day of Spring, according to the Sun. History tells us that there will still be plenty of opportunities for blizzards and freezing weather between now and the First of June, but at least the end of Winter is near. Although weather historians tell us that we have endured tougher winters than the one just ending, this one, with its biting cold and fierce winds, seemed to be about as tough as we would want to have it. We North Dakotans will hang on to bragging rights for enduring Winter’s icy blasts, but there’s no sense in overdoing it. Enough is enough!

Twenty-one volunteer firemen, 16 from the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Protection District and 5 from the Forman-Havana Fire Protection District, gathered at the Rutland Fire Hall on Friday and Saturday, March 11 & 12, for vehicle extraction training. The Rutland-Cayuga Department had recently acquired the tools, including: the Jaws of Life; hydraulic powered cutting tools; a hydraulic ram; and a hydraulic power unit; and Rutland Fire Chief Jesse Maly had arranged for Rick Jorgenson from Lidgerwood, a North Dakota Certified Trainer, to lead the training exercises. During the course of the 2-day training session, the firemen cut apart 4 wrecked automobiles while learning how to handle the new tools. The new equipment was obtained from a dealer in central Minnesota who spends a lot of time hunting in the Rutland area each Fall, according to Cam Gulleson, a member of the Rutland Fire Department. All 21 of those who attended the training sessions are now certified to operate the Jaws of Life equipment, when and if necessary. The Rutland-Cayuga Fire Protection District will be holding its annual meeting this Thursday, March 17, at the Rutland Fire Hall. Bryce Carlson & Chris Jochim currently serve as the District’s board chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, and Kaia Mahrer serves as the District’s Clerk. Jesse Maly is Fire Chief and Travis Peterson is Assistant Fire Chief of the Rutland Department. Kurt Breker is Fire Chief of the Cayuga Department. Sargent County Emergency Manager Wendy Willprecht has commended those firefighters who completed the Jaws of Life training, increasing their ability to provide potentially life-saving services to the people of the community.

A large group of friends and family members gathered at the Jesse Brakke home in Ransom Township on Saturday, March 12, to present Jesse with a surprise 60th birthday party. Among those who came from a distance were: James & Sydney Brakke of Somerset WI; Claire Brakke & Alex Markovic of Madison WI; and Doug & Nancy Glarum from Detroit Lakes MN. Those in attendance report that a rollicking good time was enjoyed by all. Jesse’s birthday was actually on Sunday, the 13th, but, as long as everyone was there on Saturday, might as well party on.

Speaking of rollicking good times, Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen reports that one was enjoyed by those attending Fun Night in Rutland on Sunday, March 13. More than 180 were present and having a good time in the Rutland Town Hall, according to Community Club board member Morgan Peterson. Twenty community volunteers manned the 12 game booths, the cakewalk, the BINGO game, and the lunch counter. Pizza & hot dogs were on the menu, as well as popcorn, cotton candy and Shirley Temples. You can’t beat that for a balanced diet! Sixty door prizes were awarded, and so many cakes had been donated for the cakewalk that, despite 2 hours of continuous action, there were still 15 cakes left at the end of the evening that also were awarded as door prizes. Congratulations to the Rutland Community Club and its officers on another great event in Rutland. The next Community Club event coming up in Rutland is the Annual Easter Egg Hunt at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, at the Rutland Town Hall.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Mar. 18, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – March 5, 2021

The weather roller coaster continues. From a high of 48 above on Friday, February 26 to below zero on the morning of Monday, March 1, then back up to a high of 57 above on Tuesday, March 2. Well, the old timers used to say, “If you don’t like the weather in North Dakota, just wait a minute. It’ll change.” In a land in which there always has to be something to be concerned about, though, the extreme swings in temperature, along with the lack of moisture in the topsoil and in the atmosphere, has some local farmers worried. Sargent County has not experienced a severe drought, a drought that completely eliminated the year’s crop, since 1988, but, right now, 2021 appears to be putting the conditions in place for a repeat of that performance. Of course, if you don’t like that forecast, just wait a minute. It’ll change!

Rutland native Judie Seavert reported from the Texas Gulf Coast on Thursday, February 25, that the weather inn Port Aransas TX had returned to normal, with clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s. Judy also reported that the severely cold weather that hit Texas 3 weeks ago wreaked havoc with fish populations that inhabit the shallow waters near the shore, in addition to inflicting terrible damage to vegetation in the area. According to Judie, crews were busy cleaning up huge piles of odoriferous dead fish from the beach this past week, and big sea turtles that had been rescued from the cold by commercial fishermen were being returned to the sea after getting a warmup at local rescue centers. The weather fluctuation also seemed to pique the appetite of the area’s premier game fish, the red snapper, and Judie’s husband, Steve Grohs, had been out on the Gulf on several occasions, bringing in his limit. There is nothing that is so bad that somebody can’t get some good out of it, and if it takes a weather disaster to get some good fishing, well, so be it.

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Hens Do Crow! Dec. 18, 2020

Rutland natives Dave & Pat (Anderson) Kulzer sent in a report on some interesting critters in their back yard. They live in the Swan River Valley, on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains, about halfway between Kalispell and Seelye Lake. Pat reports that they hit the jackpot of big animal pics from one of their trail cameras. “The buck pics are from Dec 5, 2020 about 1 pm, and the bear from Dec 6, 2020 about 2 am. We think the bear is a grizzly. What do you think?  Dave counts 5 pts each side on the heavy, wide rack of the buck. The animals were about 150 yards from our house on forest service land just west of the huge old, downed, hollowed-out tree trunk that we call “the bear’s den”. Maybe this griz will decide to hibernate there this winter. Hope not! Most of our snow is gone but today is cloudy and there is light snow in the forecast for several days of the next week. Staying bear aware in Swan Valley, Pat”

Santa Claus Day had to be cancelled this year due to COVID restrictions on events but that did not stop Santa and his band of elves from visiting the Rutland children. Thanks to the Rutland Community Club and the Rutland-Cayuga Rural Fire Department, Santa Claus made his rounds on Sunday, December 13. The Fire Department chauffeured Santa to about 40 houses to visit approximately 88 Rutland area children, newborn to age 18. The elves helped Santa visit the excited children at each home and to present them with gifts which were enthusiastically received. Thanks to the Rutland Community Club and members of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department for taking the time to make so many kids’ Christmas wishes come true!

December 21st marks the winter solstice which is the longest night of the year. It is the point when daylight once again starts to gain ground on the dark of night. This year, that date will also mark the appearance of the Christmas Star. It has been nearly 800 years since the Star appeared in 1226. Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest planets in the solar system, will align. It will seem from our view that they are nearly touching but they will still be hundreds of miles apart. This lousy year will provide a gleam of hope and wonder. Be sure to watch for the conjunction of the planets which will appear low in the western sky for roughly an hour after sunset.

That is it for this this week from Rutland. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Hens Do Crow! Aug. 21, 2020

Thursday, August 13th, was a fun evening to be in Rutland as the Rutland Community Club hosted a Back to School Party at the Veterans Memorial Park by City Hall. Members of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department grilled burgers and hot dogs to feed the kids and adults who came for the event. The kids cooled off in the pool provided by the Fire Department and tossed the water balloons provided by the Community Club. Chalk art designs were drawn on the sidewalk to be admired by all. A scavenger hunt was available for kids and adults alike and the evening ended with fresh smores made at the fire pit. The Rutland Summer Block Party is usually held in June but, due to Covid-19, it was postponed to August.

At 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, family and friends gathered at the Rutland Cemetery to lay to rest the mortal remains of lifelong Rutland resident Sharon Pearson. The graveside service was conducted by Rev. Nicholas Rohde, pastor of Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland. Among those honoring Sharon’s memory during the service were the members of the Bergman-Evenson Unit of the American Legion Auxiliary of Rutland. Following the service of the cemetery, a reception and luncheon were held at the Rutland Town Hall. Tributes to Sharon were presented during the reception by one of her daughters, Debbie Reuter of Fargo; and by 2 of her nieces: Tracy Wyum of Rutland; and Tammy Widmer of Devils Lake ND. Sharon Lee McNeil was born on September 27, 1942 to Vernal & Marcella (Johnson) McNeil in Britton SD. She grew up and attended school in Rutland, graduating from RHS in the Class of 1960. On September 23, 1961 she married Roger Pearson of this community at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland. Following their marriage, they lived in Fargo and Hankinson before returning to Rutland to bring up their three daughters. Sharon was active in the American Legion Auxiliary, the Rutland Community Club and Nordland Lutheran Church. For many years she worked in the interior painting business with Phyllis Sjothun of this community. She passed away on April 14, 2020 after a long period of declining health. Sharon was preceded in death by her parents; by three sisters: Marcine Olson; Janet Malstrom; and Loretta Arneson; and, by a brother, William McNeil. Left to mourn her passing and celebrate her life are her husband of 59 years, Roger Pearson of Rutland; three daughters: Debbie (Jake) Reuter of Fargo; Brenda (Roger) Gibbon of Milnor; and, Becky (David) Hicks of Fargo; 8 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; 1 sister: Beverly (Harlan) Arneson of Wahpeton; numerous nieces and nephews; and, a host of friends. The Price Funeral Chapel of Britton SD and Forman ND assisted with arrangements. Sharon’s many friends in Rutland will miss her calm good humor and stead presence. 

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! Aug. 21, 2020”

The Rooster Crows – July 20, 2018

By Bill Anderson

The thunderstorm that rolled through at about sun-up on Sunday, July 15, deposited .25 of an inch of rain in Norbert Kulzer’s rain gauge and .2 of an inch in the gauge of his next-door neighbor, Roger Pearson, and brought along some cooler, drier air in its wake. Norbert and Roger have both noticed an interesting development in their lawns this Summer, the presence of an abundant crop of volunteer corn growing in the bluegrass. For quite a few years, Roger has been supplying the local squirrels with several cobs of ear corn each week. The squirrels, being conservative North Dakotans who have experienced hard times, or think that they might, don’t eat all of the corn, but save some of it by burying it in the ground, “squirreling it away,” so to speak. This year, with the abundant precipitation and warm weather of June and July, the squirrels’ corn caches have all sprouted, providing Roger and Norbert with added incentives to mow their lawns on a regular basis. Corn is a grass, though, so as long as moisture and temperature allow, it will keep coming back. The squirrels have not indicated whether or not they have signed up for multi-peril crop insurance or for the Federal Farm Program. It’s pretty certain that their 2018 corn crop will end in disaster, though, but Roger says not to worry. There’s going to be plenty of ear corn this Fall, and he’ll keep on supplying it as long as the squirrels stay out of his attic.

Weather conditions aren’t so great for growing crops everywhere, it seems. Rolf Odberg of Halden, Norway, a cousin of the Anderson family of this community, reports that this Summer has been the hottest and driest in southern Norway and Sweden in more than 70 years. Not since 1947 have the farmers of that region experienced a total failure of the hay crop, but it has happened this year. Norway and Sweden have numerous small farms, and most of them rely on dairy production for a substantial portion of their income. No hay equals no milk, and Rolf reports that some farmers there have been forced to sell their cows on the slaughter market due to the hay shortage. The increased supply of beef on the local market has depressed meat prices, too, so the farmers’ woes have become even more dire. Fortunately for the farmers of Norway and Sweden, their Viking ancestors homesteaded the island of Iceland, out in the North Atlantic, more than a thousand years ago, and their Icelandic cousins are harvesting a bumper hay crop this year. The Icelanders are selling their surplus hay to their Norwegian and Swedish brethren, rescuing the dairy farms of southern Norway and Sweden, and proving once again that nothing that happens is so bad that someone can’t get some good out of it. Thanks to Rolf for the report. Mr. Odberg and members of his family have visited in Rutland several times in the past few years, most recently for family reunions in 2014 and 2017. Ms. Stephanie Watson of Rogers MN, a granddaughter of the late Rudy & Edna Anderson of this community, is planning to be visiting at the Odberg home in Norway at the end of July, Rolf reports.

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The Rooster Crows – April 1, 2009

By Bill Anderson

“Tough times don’t last.  Tough people do,” says the Rev. Robert Shuler. A brutal winter, the worst since 1996-’97, ended on March 20 and has been followed by a Spring that has turned into a cruel April Fool’s joke. Temperatures into the 50’s for a few days turned the 6 feet of snow that fell during the Winter into rapidly moving floodwaters, sweeping away approaches and culverts, as well as County and Township roads. Two miles south of Rutland, the rampaging Wild Rice River undermined County Road #10 and then swept it away on Wednesday, March 25, leaving a yawning chasm, through which the foaming, frigid waters of the normally placid stream roared, in their headlong rush to reach the Red River, Lake Winnipeg and Hudson’s Bay. Damage to Township roads has been even more extensive, and caution is advised when traveling throughout the area, especially when crossing water covered roads, as the road may have been washed away. In Rutland, Mayor Narum spent several days pumping water backed up by frozen culverts away from residential areas.  Other than the normal spring seepage into a few basements, no serious water damage has been reported in town. To the north, our neighbors in Milnor spent most of the week of March 21-27 sandbagging and diking to protect their community from the rising waters of Storm Lake. An exhaustive, round the clock effort saved Milnor and the City officials, employees and volunteers who accomplished the feat deserve a pat on the back and a hearty, “Job well done!” from their fellow Sargent County citizens. A number of volunteers from Rutland went up to Milnor to assist with the flood fight there. Further to the north, the City of Fargo made national news headlines with its fight to save North Dakota’s largest city from the floodwaters of the overflowing Red River of the North. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” the old-timers used to say, and Fargo proved to be tougher than whalebone, as thousands of volunteers from the city, from throughout the tri-state region and from across the nation poured in to fill sandbags, build dikes and evacuate threatened homes. Rutland native and current Fargo resident Gary Narum (RHS Class of ’60) reports that he spoke with volunteers from Chicago, Minneapolis, Manitoba and even Rutland while he was working on sandbag dikes on Fargo’s south side. Gary said that he saw several volunteers wearing the distinctive Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department shirts working on the dikes. Among the volunteers from Rutland who participated in the Fargo flood fight were: Cameron Gulleson; Jim Fust; Peder Gulleson; Trent Mahler; Paul Anderson; Mitch Mahrer; Mike Mahrer; Kyle Mahrer; Rob Wyum; Mike Kulzer; Diane Kulzer; and, a number of others whose names are not known by this reporter. As a punctuation mark to the flood disaster, Mother Nature gifted the area with a snowstorm that deposited anywhere from a foot to 26 inches of wet, heavy snow on the 30 & 31 of March, the ultimate April Fool’s joke for shovelers on the morning of Wednesday, April 1. Certainly, when compared to some other natural disasters that have occurred in this nation in recent years, North Dakotans can be proud of the way they have conducted themselves in facing this crisis. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” it has been said, and there is no doubt that those who have endured and survived the Winter and Spring of ’08-’09 are the stronger for it. They have earned the titles of Tough, Hardy and, in some cases, even Heroic. For the vast majority of the volunteers who fought the flood, their only reward will be the satisfaction of knowing that, in a time of crisis and need, they came to the aid of their neighbors, and prevailed. When this crisis ends, as it soon will, North Dakotans will pick up the pieces, clean up the mess, repair the damage, go back about their normal lives and start preparing for the next test.  That next tough time won’t last, either, but the tough people will.

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