The Rooster Crows – Aug. 12, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“Ask and ye shall receive,” the scripture reads. Last week rain was requested on Friday morning, and rain was received that night. That’s a quicker return than Sears-Roebuck or Montgomery-Ward used to make back in the day. It wasn’t a lot of rain in the Rutland area, but, as the Old Timers say, “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.” In an unusual coincidence worth noting, the rain gauges of next door neighbors Norbert Kulzer and Roger Pearson agreed that .2 of an inch was the amount received in Rutland. Harvey Bergstrom reported that his rain gauge on the Bergstrom Farm south of Cayuga held “.29 of an inch and 10 mosquitoes,” when he checked it on Saturday morning. Mike Banish reported that the gauge at the Mike & Debbie Banish farm held .22 of an inch on Saturday morning; Lisa Wyum reported that the gauge at the Tom & Lisa Wyum Farm south of Buffalo Lake held .235 of an inch on Saturday morning; Steve Wyum reported .325 of an inch at the Steve & Sheila Wyum farm northeast of Rutland; and, Randy Pearson reported that the gauge at his Shuman Township farm registered .75 of an inch. Reports from the airports at Gwinner and Milnor indicated 2 inches at Gwinner and 1 inch at Milnor.

Mark & Vicky Weber took their business, M & V Consulting, on the road last week, and traveled out to the western reaches of the State to check farm fields for bugs, weeds, diseases and other disorders. The Webers were in Dickinson on Thursday & Friday and checked fields in the Dickinson, Mott, New Leipzig and Carson areas before heading for home on Friday night.

The family of Cayuga native Mary (Kiefer) Breker hosted a Birthday Party in her honor at The Coteau des Prairie Lodge on Saturday, August 6. Mary was actually born in January of 1933, but it was decided to celebrate while the weather was a little more cooperative than it usually is in January. Mary’s parents were the late Bill & Cecelia (Riba) Kiefer, who farmed near Lake Tewaukon at the time of her birth. In 1942 Mary’s Dad and one of her uncles, George “Pete” Kiefer, bought the international Harvester dealership in Cayuga and created a legendary business where customers could buy “…everything from soup to nuts,” and, just in case someone called them on the slogan, they kept a case of Campbell’s soup under the parts counter, and had a penny operated peanut dispenser by the front door. Mary and her husband, the late James Breker, farmed just south of Cayuga and were members of the community for their entire lives. Their son, Kurt, is currently on the farm and one of their grandsons is also producing cattle and grain in the Cayuga area. For many years Mary was the Avon Lady in the Cayuga, Rutland, Geneseo and Havana communities, and she is still known by many and missed by all. The many friends of Mary Breker in the Rutland community wish her a very Happy Birthday, and many more in the future. Mary currently resides at Sheyenne Crossing Assisted Living Center in West Fargo.

Rutland native Bonnie Anderson, now a resident of Brookings SD, was the guest of her sister-in-law, Dianna Anderson, from Friday, August 5, to Sunday, August 7. Bonnie had driven up to attend the Birthday Party for an old friend, Mary Breker, at The Coteau des Prairies Lodge.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Aug. 12, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Mar. 25, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“Follow me,” cry the wild geese, as northward they fly; Follow me to the Arctic’s cold and the midnight sun, our journey’s end for centuries gone by. Their cries move on, and soon they’re gone, ‘til Autumn’s migrants fly, and once more their calls of “follow me” echo through the sky. This Fall, I just might heed the call, to see what I might find, and keep company with the wild geese, I’m sure that they won’t mind.

The joyous Spring song of the wild geese is one of our rewards for enduring Winter on the prairie. The annual migration of snow & blue geese began moving into Sargent County last week, with the first large flocks flying over town on Monday, March 14. The Spring conservation hunting season is underway, too, so the birds have run a gauntlet all the way from Texas to North Dakota.  Despite the liberal rules of the hunt, the population of these prolific birds seems to be holding its own. Perhaps that means that the management plan is working.

Scott Haan of this community joined a cousin, Rick Kuhn of Grand Forks, to make a 4-wheel flight to Sun City West AZ a few days back. The 2 men departed Rutland at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, and arrived at the home of Rick’s father, Bob Kuhn, in Sun City West on the morning of Friday, March 11. The occasion for the trip was to help the elder Mr. Kuhn celebrate his birthday, as well as to soak up some Arizona sunshine and warm weather. Scott & Rick reversed course on Monday, March 14, and were back in Rutland on Tuesday, March 15, the Ides of March. Scott brought back a big box of tree ripened Arizona lemons that he shared with friends here. Arizona sunshine juice, wrapped in a lemon peel.

A follow-up to the story about the wild palomino stallion, Golden Sovereign, that was in last week’s column. According to Gary Thornberg, his friend, Neil Herman, had told him that his Dad, Meredith Herman, had taught his favorite riding horse to jump fences in an attempt to keep up with the rampaging Golden Sovereign when the wild stallion was running free across the prairie and through the hills south of Rutland. Meredith taught the horse so well that, even after Golden Sovereign was caught, his horse still remembered how to jump a fence, and kept practicing the skill on his own. Finally, Meredith had to sell his horse to someone with taller fences, and more time to chase a fence jumping horse. As the Old Timers used to say, “Be careful what you want. You just might get it.” 

The sun has been shining, the wind has been blowing, the snow has been melting and the water has been flowing. Finally, the One who put it there is taking it away. Rutland’s maintenance man, Scott Haan, was opening culverts on Monday, March 21, helping the water find its way to Hudson’s Bay. The 6-foot snowbanks are down to 2 feet now, and some lawns are bare. The transition from Winter to Spring is moving fast. Winter may yet attempt a comeback, but the handwriting is on the wall as far as Winter’s future is concerned. Local farmers are beginning to move equipment around, so it won’t be long until reports of the first outfit stuck in the mud are received. Then, Spring will really be here.

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

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 – 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”