The Rooster Crows – March 4, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The month of February ended on a pleasant note, as the temperature climbed to 41 degrees above Zero on Monday, February 28, and Mother Nature provided a sunny, nearly windless, day to close out the month. Winter isn’t over, yet, though. The forecast is predicting high temperatures below the freeze line, along with the possibility of more snow, for the coming week. We have to remember that the Ground Hog, old Rutland Rasputin, saw his shadow back on February 2, a circumstance calling for 6 more weeks of winter. Well, that 6 weeks will be up right around St. Patrick’s Day, so, no matter how cold the temperature or how deep the snow may be, be prepared to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and green beer, at about the same time.

Mike & Phyllis Wyum, Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson, and Randy & Gayleen Ptacek departed Sargent County, bound for Hawaii on Sunday, February 20. They arrived back home on the evening of Monday, February 28, after spending a week enjoying the climate and seeing the sites on America’s Pacific paradise. According to Chuck, they headquartered at a very nice hotel on the island of Oahu, fronting the beach, with rooms on the 22nd floor, overlooking an idyllic lagoon. 

Chuck said that he enjoyed the whale watching cruise, during which they got up close and personal with some humpback whales, including a playful calf; and a tour of Pearl Harbor that included a visit to the battleship USS Missouri, the ship on which the Japanese surrendered on September 2, 1945, at the end of WWII, and a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, the American battleship that was sunk, with about 1,100 of its crew still aboard, on the day the U. S. was thrust into WWII, December 7, 1941. Hawaii is a wonderful place, Chuck said, but he and Mary Beth have other locations on their “bucket list” to visit before they make a return trip. The weather on Hawaii is boring, perfect every day.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – March 4, 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”

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.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Feb. 4, 2022”