The Rooster Crows – Sept. 23, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Three weeks ago, the high temperatures were in the 80’s & 90’s. Last week, the temperatures were in the 70’s & 80’s. Forecasters are predicting daily high temperatures in the 60’s for next week. The endless Summer is coming to an end. According to the Sun, the Autumnal Equinox, the beginning of Autumn, occurred on Thursday, September 22. Spring, the Vernal Equinox, won’t be back until Monday, March 20.  Between now and then keep your parka, snowshovel and overshoes handy. 

Mourning doves, mud hens and other early migrating birds are flocking up, getting ready for the long migration that will take some of them as far as South America, and none of them have emigration, or immigration, visas, either. Although mud hens, also known as coots, are birds that migrate, no one ever sees them migrating on the wing, so it is assumed that a bus picks them up in the dark of night and drops them off, at their winter roost near the Gulf of Mexico, a couple of days later. Well, however they do it, they manage to get it done, making the trip down and back every Fall and every Spring, as they have been doing every year for thousands of years. If they  were fleeing oppression and looking for work, the Governors of Florida and Texas might furnish a bus or an airplane to send them to Martha’s Vineyard, a vacation isle off the coast of Massachusetts. And some folks think that mud hens aren’t very smart!

Dick Meyers, one of Rutland’s favorite snowbirds, has informed friends here that he will be commencing his Fall migration to sun City AZ sometime during the next week, pending a conference with “The Committee,” composed of his daughters: Pam; Paula; and, Patty; and his son, Wayne. The Committee is an advisory group that listens up when Dick advises its members what he intends to do. As in the past several years, Dick has been making his Summer home at Lori McLaen’s “Bunkhouse” on Main Street, just south of the Stock Growers Bank’s Rutland station. He participated in the “Senior’s Golf Tour again this past year, and concluded the tour with last weekend’s two-day tournament at the Forman Golf Course.  He complimented Kim, the golf course manager and operator of The Hole-in-One bar & grill at the golf course, on her excellent cooking and service. Seventy-two years ago, back in the Summer and Fall of 1950, Dick was in training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego CA, and preparing to be sent to the fight then going on in Korea. He arrived in Korea in December of 1950, confronted the Chinese Army as a machine gunner in the 7th Marine Regiment and fought them to a standstill. No winter fighting for Dick this year, though. He intends to be playing golf in sunny Arizona. Dick’s many friends here are looking forward to welcoming him home next Spring, just before Memorial Day. Have a great Winter, Dick!  See you next Spring!

When Autumn arrives the annual influenza season can’t be far behind. The Sargent County Health Department will be administering flu shots at the Rutland Seniors’ Center from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28. The new Covid-19 booster shots are still in short supply, so they will be available only at the County Health Department’s office on Main Street in Forman until a larger supply is available. Covid vaccinations are scheduled to be administered on Friday, September 23 and on Wednesday, October 5, at the Health Department’s office on Main Street in Forman. Call 724-3975 and speak with Diane, Brenda, Briana or Kelsey to make an appointment for the covid-19 booster shot. In the meantime, get your flu shot when the Health Department’s Traveling Clinic is at a location near you, or you are near it.

Preparations for Uff-Da Day XXXVII are proceeding, full speed ahead. The following progress report was received from Rutland community Club President Katie McLaen on Tuesday, September 20: “3,038 is the total number of lefse produced by Lefse Lena and her Lefse Crew. We just finished at 8pm tonight (Tuesday, September 20) so that is the final count. Sandbakkle making is on Friday, September 23. Krumkake making will be on Monday, September 27. We are ready to rock!”  Uff-Da Day XXXVII will be on Sunday, October 2. Everyone is invited, and everyone is welcome. Don’t miss it.

Rutland has three new residents. Ms. Tyler Weatherby and her two children, ages 2 & 4, are now making their home at 215 Cooper Street with Tyler’s sister and brother-in-law. They recently moved to Rutland from Frankfort MO. Ms. Weatherby was introduced to lefse making on the evening of Tuesday, September 20.  The Rutland community extends a hearty “Welcome” to the Weatherbys.

Rutland’s Maintenance Specialist, Scott Haan, is reminding Rutland residents that the Fall Community clean up is scheduled for Saturday, September 24.  A big roll off dumpster will be available, as well as trailers for appliances, electronics, tires and scrap iron.  There will be a flat fee charged for the disposal of all items.  According to Scott, the gate at the City’s Inert Landfill will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 24.  The City looks pretty good right now, but this is a great opportunity to get rid of that junk, stuff and debris that has been accumulating in the backyard, basement, garage and street gutter all Summer.  Let’s clean out, clean up and keep Rutland looking good!

The 2022 soybean harvest has begun.  Jerry & Andrew Woytassek were harvesting beans just north of Havana at the beginning of this week.  No reports of yield or quality have been received, but local farmers and local bankers are both relieved that their annual payday is near at hand.

Rutland’s official sidewalk superintendent crew has observed that Rodney Erickson has created a prodigious  mound of earth next to his house remodeling project on North 2nd Street, and that he has parked a large track-hoe on top of the mound.  Rodney has not yet disclosed his intentions, but, we have learned from past observation that, whatever his intentions may be, when he is done, his project will be a success, and worth the effort.  You have to watch quick when Rodney is working on a project, or you will miss the end.

Jim Lunneborg and Kim Rasmussen stopped in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for coffee & conversation on the morning of Wednesday, September 21, the last day of Summer.  Jim has missed most of the sessions with The Assembled Wise Men at The Round Table since the beginning of 2020, first, because of the covid-19 pandemic, and second, due to a medical condition that temporarily impaired his immune system.  He’s doing well now, though, and decided to stop in to get caught up on what he had missed.  According to Jim, “It’s a lot like the soap opera, ‘Days Of Our Lives,’ You can miss every episode for more than 2 years, and when you come back to it again you haven’t missed a thing.”  Consistency can be a comfort.  During Wednesday’s session with the Assembled Wise Men, someone mentioned an individual who had once been a Round Table regular, the late Jack Brummond of Havana.  Jack had a reputation as a frugal, some might say “miserly” individual who could squeeze a penny until it said “Ouch!”  He enjoyed this reputation, and played it to the hilt, even though he had made a lot of money and inherited a lot of money, and was one of the wealthiest men in the community.  Kim recalled that he had been at the Farmers’ Inn Café in Havana having breakfast one morning after an all night poker game.  Paul Bergh and a couple of other regulars were also at the table with Kim.  Jack Brummond stopped by their table and asked Kim if he had enjoyed any luck at the poker table the night before.  Kim replied that Lady Luck had been good to him at the poker table.  Jack, playing the role, held out his cap and shook it, like a panhandler looking for a handout.  Kim decided to call Jack’s bluff, took out his wallet, found a $50 bill and tossed it into Jack’s cap.  Jack took the $50 out of his cap, stuck it in his pants pocket, put on his cap and walked out the door.  Everyone was silent.  Jack did not come back in.  After a while Kim asked, “What just happened here?”  Paul Bergh responded with, “Two fools just met.”  “No,” said Kim, “it was only one, me!  And right now that fool is $50 short.”  Kim said that he had to hotfoot it home to explain the situation to his wife, before the local grapevine got the story to her first.  As the years have gone by, Kim has decided that giving that $50 bill to Jack was a good deal.  “I get more than $50 worth of enjoyment out of it every time I tell that story,” he says.  So, Jack was not really a tightwad.  He was just spreading laughter, one of his duties as “The Sage Of Weber Township.”

If you’re looking for a good job, and are willing to be remembered as one of those unique characters in Rutland’s history, get in contact with Paul Anderson; Rob Wyum; Katie McLaen; Mike Wyum; or, Patty Woytassek; and submit an application for the position of Manager of The Lariat Bar.  Opportunity is knocking, but, to obtain the benefits, you have to answer the door.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week.  For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too.  Remember to patronize your local Post Office, and don’t forget to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!  Later.

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 – June 17, 2022

By Bill Anderon

Despite the wet Spring that had delayed field work until the end of May, this community was pleased to get the rain that fell on Friday night, June 10. As soon as it doesn’t rain for a few days, a true North Dakotan starts to worry that it will never rain again, or, that when it does rain it will be too much, too little or in the wrong place. It can’t be helped. It’s in the blood. Roger Pearson reported .3 of an inch in his rain gauge on Saturday morning, while his next-door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, had .4 of an inch in his gauge a few feet away. Norbert’s reading was matched by the .4 in Lary Arneson’s gauge, 2 blocks to the west. Chuck Anderson reported .37 of an inch at his Weber Township farm6 miles southwest of town; Harvey Bergstrom reported .31 of an inch in the gauge at his farm 3 miles south of Cayuga; and, Kurt Breker had .3 of an inch in his gauge 1 mile south of Cayuga. Another .1 or .2 of an inch was scattered across the countryside on Sunday & Monday, helping to keep lawn mowers and mosquito swatters busy. Well, the old timers used to say that it always dries up after a wet spell. We’ll just have to find out if they knew what they were talking about.

The Annual Rutland Community Block Party opened up at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, with more than 100 community residents and over 3,000 water balloons on hand for the festivities. The Rutland Volunteer Fireman manned the grills, turning out burgers, bratwursts, and hot dogs for participants, and also provided water game facilities for the community’s youth. During the Block Party, Miss Abbie Erickson, daughter of Rodney & Andrea Erickson, and a Senior at Sargent Central High School, was crowned “Miss Rutland 2022; and, Corbin Carlson, son of Bryce & Casee (Hawkinson) Carlson, and Lilith Pavek, daughter of Corey & Sarah (McLaen) Pavek, were awarded the titles of Mr. & Miss Lefse for the coming year. All 3 of Rutland’s reigning royals will be in the 2022 Uff-Da Day Parade on Sunday, October 2, 2022. The Rutland Community Block Party is held each year to give the community’s present, former and future residents an opportunity to get acquainted and re-acquainted, to talk over old times and to make plans for future good times. Thanks to Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen for the information in this report.

Katie McLaen also reports that the Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 13, at the Rutland Town Hall. The meeting was short. It was reported that the stage curtains in the Town Hall had been repaired and cleaned; and, that lefse production for Uff-Da Day 2022 will commence with a morning and an evening session on Thursday, June 16. Check the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com and the Rutland Facebook page for more information about the dates and times for future sessions. Fourteen sessions have been scheduled between mid-June and mid-August, so far.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – June 17, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – May 27, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Last Spring, it was too dry. This Spring, it’s too wet. On the average, though, it’s just right. This Spring, the weather has not been cooperating with the Spring planting plans of farmers in this area. Just when it seems that fields will get dry enough to allow the spring’s work to proceed, along comes another bolt of lightning, rumble of thunder and a quarter inch of rain to keep things at a standstill. With the market prices of wheat, corn and soybeans all in the high to higher range, this is the year to have a crop to sell. The fact that the weather is preventing that crop from getting planted is the cause of anxious impatience among local producers. About the only individuals more nervous about the situation than local farmers are local bankers. On the bright side, at least our farmers know that their bankers are concerned about their health, both physical and financial. The old timers used to say that whatever the weather was like on Memorial Day was a good indicator of what it would be like throughout the rest of the growing season, and every now and then the old timers were right.

Speaking of Memorial Day, Carolyn Christensen, an officer of the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary, says that the holiday will be back to normal in 2022, after 2 years of Covid-19 disruption. In Rutland, Memorial Day observances on the morning of Monday, May 30, will begin with military rites conducted by Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion at the Nordland Cemetery, 1½ mile east and ½ mile south of town, followed by military rites at the Rutland Cemetery on the east edge of town at 10:30 a.m. A program produced by the American Legion Auxiliary will be presented at 11:00 a.m. in the Rutland Town Hall, followed by the traditional community pot-luck dinner, also in the Town Hall. Everyone is invited to participate in Memorial Day observances in Rutland on Monday, May 30.

Bruce Burke of Seattle WA stopped in Rutland on the afternoon of Thursday, May 19, doing some research for a personal family history project. Mr. Burke grew up in Breckenridge MN, but the Burke family traces its history back to Rutland and the Great Northern Railway. Bruce’s parents were Harvey & Alice Burke; his grandparents were Rutland natives John & Anna (Spande) Burke; his great-aunt was the late Bertha (Spande) Penfield; and his great-grandparents were Knud & Alisa Spande. Knud & Alisa Spande owned & occupied the house at 309 Gay Street that is now owned by Paul Anderson, from 1918 until Alisa Spande’s death in 1958. The house had been built by Paul’s grandparents, Ole & Julia Anderson, back in 1909. Prior to moving to town, the Spandes had farmed south of Silver Lake. Bruce has a vivid memory of an event that occurred at the Spande house in Rutland back in the early 1950’s, when he was a small boy of about 4 or 5 years of age. It seems that there was an unused water well in the backyard that had been covered over with an old door. Being a boy of some energy, Bruce decided to take a run and jump on the center of that old door. When he did so, the deteriorated boards broke and down went Bruce. Fortunately, as he went through the door he stuck his elbows out and caught himself on the edges of the hole he had made, leaving his head sticking out, above the door, and his feet dangling just above the water in the well. He said that he can still remember looking down and seeing the cold water just beneath his feet. Bruce’s Dad, Harvey Burke, rushed to his assistance and pulled him to safety. Bruce said that he can’t remember just what his Dad said to his great-grandfather about the continued existence of that well, but he’s pretty sure that it was powerful. It had been Bruce’s intention to take a picture of the old well, if any evidence of it still existed. He could not find any trace of the well but was pleased to find that the house is in excellent condition and still looks much as it did back when his great-grandparents first bought it 104 years ago. Mr. Burke had taken the long way around to get to Rutland. He had driven through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to get here. He had stopped in New Mexico to take a look at the Air Force Base at which he had been stationed back in the late 60’s, and in Nebraska to visit some students he had taught there back in the 70’s. He was surprised to find that the teen-age students he remembered are now in their 60’s. Time marches on. Mr. Burke was visiting at the home of his cousin, the daughter of the late Jim & Nellie (Burke) McCulloch, at Ottertail Lake MN during his stay in this area. He planned to be heading back to Seattle on Saturday, May 21, and hoped to make it home in 3 or 4 days via I-94 & I-90.

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The Rooster Crows – May 20, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Sunday & Monday, May 15 & 16, were not only the two nicest spring days of May 2022, but they were the two nicest days of the entire year of 2022, so far. Actually, they were the two nicest days since mid-October of last year. With the sun shining, the birds singing, the temperature hovering around 70 and, for once, the wind not howling like a hurricane. the experience was almost nice enough to make enduring the most miserable Winter in recent memory worth the effort. Nothing lasts forever, though, especially nice weather. By Tuesday, the rain clouds had moved back in and made the afternoon of Tuesday, May 17, a soggy Syttende Mai for those inclined to celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day. Rick Bosse reports that his rain gauge at his farm near Brampton registered .25 of an inch from Tuesday’s rain, enough to keep the already saturated fields saturated, and to require cancellation of Brampton’s Syttende Mai Parade. Chuck Anderson had a .23 of an inch reading on the gauge at his farm in Weber Township; Duane Lock stated that .3 of an inch was measured at his farm near the center of Rutland Township; and Mike Banish said that .23 of an inch of rainfall was measured at his farmstead 2 miles south of Rutland. 

The wet weather has continued to hamper planting progress throughout southeastern North Dakota. Even so, some local farmers have made a little headway. Last week, Larry Erickson managed to get a field of corn planted west of his farmstead 2 miles south of town, and Mark Wyum reports that his son, Rob, has managed to get some field work done on fields near Brampton in the southwestern quadrant of the County, and on fields near Crete, in the northwestern quadrant of Sargent County. As of the morning of Wednesday, May 18, Mark says that two acres of corn planted, along with a few more acres of soybeans and wheat, is a good start.

Kristine Radke, longtime manager of the Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency’s Rutland office, has accepted a position at Town & Country Bank in Fargo and has resigned from her position here as of the end of April. According to Walt Johnson of Lisbon, owner and general manager of the agency, the search is on to find a replacement for Kristine at the Rutland office. Anyone interested in the position can give Walt a call at 701.724.6484. The Rutland community is sorry to lose Kristine. She was dedicated to her profession, and to her clients.

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