The Rooster Crows – Apr. 15, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Good Friday and the deadline for filing your 2021 State & Federal personal income tax returns are both on Friday, April 15 this year. The symbolism is obvious. Everybody gets crucified on the same day. Easter Sunday, April 17, commemorates the Resurrection of One, and the redemption of all the rest of us. Redemption, better than a Presidential Pardon, won’t get anyone who cheats on their taxes out of Leavenworth, but it will get everyone who accepts it into Heaven. That’s a better deal, and a better destination.

Despite the fact that the Spring Equinox occurred 3½ weeks ago, the actual arrival of Spring has been an elusive prize. So far, the warmest day of the year, just above 60, was experienced back in March. April has seen nothing above the mid-50’s, and the temperature has had difficulty breaking the 30 mark this week. More of the same is being predicted for next week. What’s the world coming to!? A steady rain rinsed some of Winter’s accumulation of dirt and grime away on Palm Sunday, April 10, but it didn’t warm anything. Gary Thornberg reported that his farmstead rain gauge in Weber Township measured 1¼ inch of rain on Sunday, and the gauge of his neighbor, Chuck Anderson, registered 1.22” from the same event. Chuck reported another .53 of an inch from the rain on Tuesday, April 12, with Mike Banish’s rain gauge 2 miles south of town registering .32 of an inch on Tuesday. The weather system that has brought cold temperatures and rain to Rutland has also blanketed most of the State with anywhere from 6” to 30” inches of snow. This is cause for celebration in the western 2/3 of North Dakota, which has been in a severe drought for the past 2 years. This snow and rain will not end the drought, but at least there will besome green grass when the Sun finally does shine, which it will, one of these days.

Just because the bar is closed doesn’t mean that there isn’t any excitement in the old town. According to a report from Sargent County Sheriff Travis Paeper, Rutland resident Jason “Schwank” Smykowski was driving north on Ross Street at about 11:00 p.m. on Monday, April 11, when he paused at the intersection with Gay Street, just ½ block west of his home, and apparently lost consciousness. His pickup truck was in gear with the engine running when his foot slipped off the brake pedal, allowing the pickup to idle forward. The vehicle angled slightly to the right and crossed the front lawn of Rutland Mayor Mike Mahrer’s house. The pickup missed a tree but passed close enough to fold the external mirror on the passenger side back. It proceeded north, still at idle speed and passed by another tree, this one on the driver’s side, that folded the external mirror back on that side, too. The pickup, with Mr. Smykowski still slumbering, then hit the south side of the attached garage on the house belonging to Calvin & Wendy Jacobson. The wall sustained some damage, but it did stop the truck. According to the Sheriff, the speed of the pickup at the time of impact was estimated to be about 3 mph, and Mr. Smykowski was cited for DUI. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the damage to both Schwank’s pickup and to Calvin & Wendy’s garage appears to be minimal. And they say that nothing exciting ever happens in a small town! This is the second time in less than a year that a vehicle has collided with a building in Rutland. Last fall, the mini-van driven by Vaughan Rohrbach, and owned by the late Joe Malstrom of this community, went through the front wall of The Lariat Bar building on Main Street. One more reason to not sit too close to the door.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Apr. 15, 2022”