The Rooster Crows – Sept. 16, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The long, hot days of Summer ended, and Autumn’s more moderate temperament, took over on the morning of Friday, September 9, with the mercury in the 40’s as day dawned and the high temperature for the day only hitting the 70 mark, replacing the high 80’s and low 90’s of the preceding week. The soybean and corn crops are beginning to show the effects of fewer hours of sunlight, cooler weather and dry conditions, as many fields are turning color, from green to gold, at a rapid pace. No combines are rolling, yet, but, with soybean and corn prices at astronomical levels, local farmers are not going to want to leave those golden crops in the field any longer than they absolutely have to. The cloud currently hanging over harvest plans is not a rain cloud but an impending rail strike. Most of North Dakota’s grain crops, including wheat; soybeans; and corn; are exported to other parts of the country, and other parts of the world, and dependable rail service is essential to that process. If the crops can’t move, they will just be big piles of grain on the ground. Sometimes, even with railroads moving the crops, local grain elevators end up with piles of grain on the ground. That’s likely to be a lot worse if the trains are not moving at all. Back in the 1940’s, when a rail strike endangered national security, President Harry Truman nationalized the railroads and called out the Army to operate them. Truman’s action was later declared to be illegal by the Supreme Court, but it did shock the rail unions and management into action to settle their problems and get back to work. North Dakotans can hope that the current President will follow the example of “Give ‘Em Hell” Harry, by taking firm, quick, no-nonsense action to keep the railroads moving.

Rick Bosse stopped in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for coffee & conversation on the morning of Monday, September 12. He reported that he was one of a party of hunters from the Britton SD & Brampton ND area who were on a guided black bear hunt near Big Falls, in northern Minnesota, during the week of September 5 through the 8th. Rick has been hunting in this area before, and his guide this time out was Jeff Larson of Big Falls. Rick said that he had a couple of opportunities early in the week but turned down the first one because it was too small and turned down the second because it was a sow black bear with 2 cubs at her side. On Friday, the last day of his hunt, Rick was in a tree stand when a big boar showed up and went for the bait. The bait, a combination of stale bread, candy and other edible items that bears like because it tastes good to them, even though it smells bad to us, was covered up by a pile of logs so raccoons and skunks wouldn’t get into it. The big black bear flipped the logs out of the way with one of its huge front paws. It was about 50 yards away, said Rick, and quartering away from him. He was armed with a rifle that fired the .300 Remington Ultra-Mag, a new type of ammunition that is quite powerful. Rick fired one well aimed shot, and the bear went down. After it was field dressed, the bear tipped the scales at 405 pounds, a real trophy by northern Minnesota standards. Rick received a lot of advice about what to do with his black bear from the Wise Men at the Round Table: have a full body mount; make a bear rug; or serve it up for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Harvey Bergstrom was in Andover SD last Saturday, September 10, to take in the steam power exhibition there. Harvey reports that the centerpiece of the show was a 150 horsepower J. I. Case steam tractor that was old and new at the same time. Back in 1909 the Case company manufactured fewer than ten of the mammoth tractors before scaling back to build a steam tractor that had less power and more demand. Over the years that followed, the 150 horsepower tractors all made their way to the scrap iron pile, and there have been none in existence for many decades. A few years ago, though, a young man from Andover, Corey Anderson, went to the head office of the J. I. Case company in Racine WI, found the original engineer’s specifications and drawings for the big steam tractor, copied them, then transcribed them into a computer assisted design (CAD) program, bought a foundry and used the information he had retrieved from Racine to make all of the parts needed to build a brand new 113 year old 150 horsepower steam powered tractor. Harvey said that a plowing demonstration was presented last weekend in which the big tractor pulled a plow with fifty 14” bottoms. The plow had 25 gangs of two bottoms each. A crew of men rode on the plow to manipulate the levers to put the bottoms into the soil at one end of the field and to withdraw them at the other end. There was no hydraulic or steam assist to operate the plow, only muscle power. Actually, Harvey said that one of the plow operators was a woman who did a good job of handling the plow’s levers.

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The Rooster Crows – Sept. 9, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The days are warm, the nights are cool, the lawns are getting brown, but the leaves have not yet begun to fall. It’s September, the most pleasant month of the year. Other States are flooding out or burning up, but up on the northern plains, out here on the prairie, residents are enjoying their reward for surviving December, January, February, and March. This little bit of Heaven called September doesn’t last very long, although it can occasionally stretch out and wrap itself around a substantial chunk of October, too, but it sure is nice while it’s here. Every silver lining has its cloud, though. Our old friend, the late Clayton McLaen, used to remind us that, “North Dakota has only two seasons: Winter; and getting ready for Winter.” It’s a sobering thought. Brace yourself, it’s coming. But, could we enjoy September half as much had we not experienced January?

Harvey Bergstrom, Mike Banish, Rick Banish, and Chuck Anderson took advantage of the pleasant weather for a trip up to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion at Rollag MN, on Friday, September 2, the first day of the 4-day event. Rumley Oil-Pull tractors were featured at the event this year. “Kerosene Annie,” the oldest Rumley tractor in existence, built during the first decade of the 20th Century, was the star of the show.  She is normally on exhibit in a glass case out in Idaho, but this year she broke loose and came out to Rollag to display her power and do some of the work she was built to handle more than a century ago. The four local men report a very good time observing steam power, horsepower and oil power in action.

The whitetail deer archery hunting season opened on Saturday, September 3, and two expert hunters in the hills of Tewaukon Township, Jim Huckell and his son, Bill, wasted no time in filling their tags. By sundown on opening day, they had each bagged a big buck, with its antlers still in velvet, and were getting ready to enjoy some venison.

Chuck Sundlie took advantage of the nice weather during the Labor Day weekend to apply a coat of paint to the south side of his house in the 400 Block of Cooper Street. Chuck’s house was originally built and occupied by the Osterberg family back in the early days of the 20th Century. Dick Meyers recalled that Grandma Osterberg was a very kind and generous person who was always willing to contribute her time or donate her resources to community and school causes back in the 1930’s & 40’s.

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The Rooster Crows – Aug. 26, 2022

By Bill Anderson

A very welcome rain fell on Rutland and vicinity on the morning of Friday, August 19. Even Kurt Breker’s perennially drought parched fields near Cayuga were blessed with 1.1 inch of cool, clear rainwater. Norbert Kulzer reported that his rain gauge registered 1 inch when the rain had stopped falling, while the gauge of his next door neighbor, Roger Pearson, showed only .65 of an inch. Mike Wyum reported that he has 3 rain gauges in the garden at his Ransom Township farm, and that one of them held .9, one held .95 and one held 1.1 inch. Mike says that he’s adding them all together, dividing by 3 to get the average, and then rounding up to arrive at a full inch of precipitation. Harvey Bergstrom reported 1½” at the Bergstrom farm 2 miles south of Cayuga, and Chuck Anderson reported that his rain gauge showed 1.02” after the rain had stopped and the clouds had cleared away at his farm in Weber Township. It is reported that cornstalks in local fields are “…smiling from ear to ear.” Some more rain wouldn’t hurt, but no one is complaining right now.

Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson; Mike & Phyllis Wyum; Alan & Doreen Olstad; and, Mark & Kathy Wyum; boarded a bus at Forman sponsored by the Sargent County Farmers Union on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 17, for a trip to Fargo to attend a F-M Red Hawks baseball game at Newman Outdoor Stadium. The Red Hawks took on the Sioux Falls Canaries, and whipped ‘em by a score of 7 to 0. Well, you wouldn’t expect a canary to do very well in a contest with a Hawk, anyway, would you? All who made the trip report that the afternoon at the ballpark was very enjoyable.

Rutland natives Mike & Diane Kulzer, now of Fargo, were visitors in their old home town from Friday, August 19 to Monday, August 22. They visited Diane’s mother, Phyllis Erickson, and helped her with some chores around the house during their stay. Mike also did some repair work on the deer stands on his hunting grounds near Rutland.

Family, friends and neighbors got together at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on Saturday, August 20, to celebrate Curt & Judy (Lee) Silseth’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. The Party was organized by the Silseths’ 3 children: Jill; JJ; and, Christie; and Curt & Judy didn’t know that the party was for them until they got there. The Silseths’ many friends in the Rutland community congratulate them on the occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and extend best wishes to them for many good years to come.

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The Rooster Crows – August 19, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The old saying that, “No news is good news,” does not apply when it comes to rain. As of Tuesday, August 16, there was no news about rain, and that was not good news. Well, the old timers always used to tell us that, “It always rains after a long dry spell,” and once again, the old timers were right! The dry spell had lasted about long enough, and accompanied by just enough thunder and lightning to awaken a person, but not enough to get them out of bed, a little rain was provided early on Wednesday morning. It wasn’t much, Chuck Anderson measured .07 of an inch at his Weber Township farm, and Mike Banish’s rain gauge held .08 of an inch on Wednesday morning, but it was enough to wash off some dust and put a sparkle on the lawn. Surprisingly, the corn and soybean crops still look pretty good, and the 2022 spring wheat crop, although there aren’t many acres, looks pretty good, too. Perhaps Mother Nature is just showing us, once again, that she can be generous or miserly, and there just isn’t one darned thing that we can do about it. Our only choice is whether we complain about what isn’t there, or express our gratitude for what is. We can think about that while we’re vacationing in Florida, Arizona or Mexico this coming Winter.

Capt. & Mrs. Mike Harris departed Rutland on the morning of Monday, August 8, bound for their home at San Diego CA. They planned to make the trip slow and easy but drove as far as North Platte NE on Monday evening. Their second stop was at Colorado Springs CO on Tuesday evening. They arrived safely in San Diego by the weekend. They plan to be back in Rutland after the Captain has been officially debriefed and detached from the U. S. Navy, sometime around the 1st of November.

The steering committee composed of : Katie McLaen; Mike Wyum; and, Paul Anderson; appointed by investors to complete the purchase of the Lariat Bar and get organized to get the business back in business reports that progress is being made on all fronts. To date, approximately $220,000.00 has been invested in Rutland Improvement LLC d/b/a The Lariat Bar, and it is expected that there are still a few more investors who will be chipping in on the project in the next few days. Committee member Katie McLaen recently sent out a press release to local news outlets and web sites informing qualified persons that those interested in a management position with the enterprise should contact: Paul Anderson @ 701.261.4638; Mike Wyum @ 701.678.3634; or, Katie McLaen @ 701.680.9354. The plan is to be up and running as soon as possible, with a target date of October 1, 2022, or earlier.

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The Rooster Crows- August 5, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Back in the 1930’s, our parents & grandparents used to sing, “It ain’t gonna rain no more, no more; It ain’t gonna rain no more. So how in the heck can I wash my neck if it ain’t gonna rain no more.” Well, it finally did rain, and, as those Old Timers used to say, “It always rains after a long dry spell.” We’re looking for that rain around here, but there hasn’t been any precipitation of any consequence for quite a while. Meanwhile, the growing crops have been reaching for whatever moisture is in the soil, and that’s starting to run short on the hilltops. It’s not the first time it’s been dry around here, and it won’t be the last, but, for this summer, it has gone on long enough. We’re ready to be too wet, again.

Steve & Sheila Wyum took off on a summer vacation trip on Friday, July 22, with their first stop at Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where they saw the sights and took in the Medora Musical at the Burning Hills Amphitheater. Next on their agenda was the Little Big Horn Battlefield where a Native American guide from the Crow tribe gave them a guided tour of the area where Gen. George Armstrong Custer and the 7th U. S. Cavalry met their end at the hands of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and the combined might of the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. (It should be noted that Crow scouts also guided Custer and the 7th on that fateful day back in June of 1876.) From there, they enjoyed the scenery of the Big Horn Mountains as they headed for Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they took in the Rodeo & Frontier Days. The last stop on their tour was the ranch of Steve’s cousin, Tommy Fabris, a grandson of the late Isabel Kulzer, in northwestern South Dakota. Tom was a professional rodeo bronc buster in his younger days, until one broke his back, once again proving that old cowboy proverb that, “There’s never a horse that couldn’t be rode, and never a cowboy that couldn’t be throwed.” He made a complete recovery, but now restricts himself to horses that can be, and have been, rode. The Wyums returned to their Ransom Township farm home on Tuesday, August 2, known to Icelanders as “The Deuce of August,” and celebrated by them as their National Day.

Debbie & Mike Banish, Rick Banish and Mark Wyum departed Rutland on Thursday, July 28, bound for Belton MO, a suburb of Kansas City, where Debbie, Mike & Rick checked out a motor home RV. They bought one, a 2019 Integra 45’ Motor Home, equipped with a full kitchen, living room, 1 master bedroom & a pull-out sleeping area, 2 bathrooms, a 605 horsepower X1500 Cummins diesel engine and a separate engine with a generator that produces enough electricity to run the motor home’s 3 air-conditioners. “It’s nicer than our house,” said Debbie. While at Belton, they looked up one of Mark’s & Mike’s old classmates, Becky (Reif) Hall, and her husband, Kirby. Becky is the youngest of the 3 children of the Late Rev. Jack & Martha Reif who were part of this community from 1953 to 1964 when Jack served as pastor of the First Baptist Church and Martha was a teacher and principal in the Rutland school system.  Becky & Kirby invited the quartet from Rutland to their home in Belton for supper on the evening of Friday, July 29. Mark served as an unpaid consultant during the trip, and, as any lawyer can tell you, “Advice is worth what you pay for it.”

The TNT Parish, composed of Trinity Lutheran Church of Forman; Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland; and, Trinity Lutheran Church of Havana; held a joint service at the Silver Lake Park Pavilion at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 31, the 5th Sunday of the month. It was Pastor Julie Johnson’s Sunday off, so Rachel Hoistad from Trinity at Forman conducted the service. Mrs. Hoistad is currently studying for the ministry. Following the service, a pot-luck dinner at which the cornucopia of good, home cooked fare overflowed, was served. Pastor Johnson will be departing for Holden Village WA on Friday, August 5, where she will take part in a retreat for pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She plans to return on Saturday, August 13.

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The Rooster Crows – June 10, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“There’s naught so rare as a day in June,” the late Earl W. Anderson used to say, and the first week of June 2022 proved the accuracy of his observation. Warm, sunny days, blue skies and gentle breezes replaced the cold, raging winds that were our constant companions throughout the Winter and Spring. Local farmers are still finding it difficult to locate fields that are dry enough to work in, but conditions are markedly improved from what they were in May. Mark Wyum reports that he has been “coltering” around sloughs in some fields in order to get them dried out enough to plant a few more acres. The piece of equipment that Mark is using for his task has shanks that are about a foot apart, and 2 colter blades attached per shank. Old timers remember a colter as a straight bladed disc that ran ahead of a plowshare, opening the ground to make it easier to keep the plow in the ground. Well, nobody plows any more, but the colter still has a use. The implement Mark is using is 41 feet wide and can cover a lot of territory when the need arises, as it has this Spring.

Despite some encouraging news about a month ago, the Post Office situation in Rutland has returned to the same old same old of no information; no action; no service; and no Post Office. Rodney Erickson reports that, as of Thursday, June 2, he has heard nothing further from the Postal Service office in Colorado that had previously informed him that it would be 1 or 2 months until they could get someone to Rutland to take a look at available facilities. One hundred sixty years ago, the Pony Express could deliver the U.S. Mail across the trackless wilderness from St. Joseph MO to San Francisco CA in 10 days. Of course, those horses are a lot older now, and may have slowed down some. Perhaps the Postal Service officials involved could hook a ride from Colorado to North Dakota on a Coors beer truck. Those trucks seem to be able to make the trip in a couple of days. The drivers must be properly motivated.

On the brighter side, the Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency has informed this writer that Ms. Michelle Sagvold has been hired to run the agency’s Rutland office. Ms. Sagvold is still in the process of training and getting licensed, and a firm starting date for her take over of the Rutland office has not yet been set. Waloch-Johnson’s many clients in the Rutland community are looking forward to having a full-time agent in the local office once again.

Correction: The wedding of Miss Hailey Hamilton and Mr. Evan Wyum was on Friday, May 27, not on Saturday, May 28, as was reported in The Rooster Crows last week. Apologies for the error are extended to the bride & groom. Despite the incorrect information that appeared in this column last week, Hailey & Evan are definitely officially married and living happily ever after at their home in Fargo.

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