The Rooster Crows – March 12, 2010

By Bill Anderson

The 27th annual Rutland Sportsmen’s Club Fish Fry held here on Friday, March 5, drew another full house to the Rutland Town Hall. Advance tickets totaling 550 had been sold before serving started at 5:00 p.m., and 531 had been redeemed by 9:00 p.m., when the fryers shut down. In the on-going battle between the pan-fryers and the deep-fryers, the evening started out with the deep-fryers pulling out to a narrow lead according to an informal, unscientific survey taken by Club member Bill Anderson. The pan-fryers closed the gap by the middle of the evening, though, according to another informal, unscientific survey taken by Club Secretary/Treasurer Travis Paeper, and, by the end of the night the consensus was that the annual taste test competition had ended in a draw. Both crews will be refining their seasoning recipes throughout the year, and the competition is expected to resume at it’s usual red-hot and sizzling level on the first Friday in March of 2011. Raffle winners were: Diane Nelson of Milnor, a .243 cal. Remington Model 700 Varmint Rifle; Dennis Andrews of Britton SD, a laptop computer; Corey Mahrer of Forman, a digital camera; Sandy Hanson of Forman, a digital trail camera; and, Doug Speicher of West Fargo, Leupold binoculars.  The Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Fire Department equipment fund was the recipient of the raffle proceeds.

Edith Pherson returned to her temporary Winter home at 415 Anthony Street on Thursday, March 4, after spending a few days at the Oakes Hospital and about a month visiting at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Jeannie & Jerry Johnson at Alberta MN. Edith plans to return to her Tewaukon Township farm home as soon as Spring arrives. She took in the Sportsmen’s Club’s fish fry at the Town Hall on the Evening of Friday, March 5, in the company of her daughter, Marlys Erickson.

Bill & Mary Woytassek departed Rutland on Friday, March 5, headed south. They plan to spend the Easter holiday with their son & daughter-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Rob Woytassek, at their southern California home, before returning home to put in the crop this Spring.

Brian Pherson and Jason Smykowski arrived back in Rutland at 3:30 on Sunday morning, March 7, completing a one-shot drive from Wichita Falls TX where they had attended the annual Custom Cutters Convention during the preceding week. Brian reports an interesting convention that consisted of 80% business and 20% other activities, some of them entertaining. He said that the winter wheat crop in Oklahoma and Kansas looks real good at this time, with the stands appearing lush, green and thick. Brian and Jason also report that the snow cover ends about ¾ of the way across Nebraska, with no significant snow on the ground in Kansas, Oklahoma or Texas. The Pherson Combining crew will be heading for Oklahoma to begin harvesting the 2010 crop in about 10 weeks.

A number of Bald Eagles have been observed around Rutland recently, moving through the area on their annual migration to northern nesting sites. This magnificent bird, nearly extinct only a generation ago, was brought back from the brink of oblivion by the enactment and enforcement of the Endangered Species Act and other common sense environmental regulations. Those who loudly proclaim that, “Government can’t do anything right!”need only to gaze upon the magnificence of the Bald Eagle as it soars across the prairie sky to prove the hollowness of their assertion. The government did not make the Bald Eagle, but the people, acting through their government, did save it, for this and future generations.

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The Rooster Crows – April 1, 2009

By Bill Anderson

“Tough times don’t last.  Tough people do,” says the Rev. Robert Shuler. A brutal winter, the worst since 1996-’97, ended on March 20 and has been followed by a Spring that has turned into a cruel April Fool’s joke. Temperatures into the 50’s for a few days turned the 6 feet of snow that fell during the Winter into rapidly moving floodwaters, sweeping away approaches and culverts, as well as County and Township roads. Two miles south of Rutland, the rampaging Wild Rice River undermined County Road #10 and then swept it away on Wednesday, March 25, leaving a yawning chasm, through which the foaming, frigid waters of the normally placid stream roared, in their headlong rush to reach the Red River, Lake Winnipeg and Hudson’s Bay. Damage to Township roads has been even more extensive, and caution is advised when traveling throughout the area, especially when crossing water covered roads, as the road may have been washed away. In Rutland, Mayor Narum spent several days pumping water backed up by frozen culverts away from residential areas.  Other than the normal spring seepage into a few basements, no serious water damage has been reported in town. To the north, our neighbors in Milnor spent most of the week of March 21-27 sandbagging and diking to protect their community from the rising waters of Storm Lake. An exhaustive, round the clock effort saved Milnor and the City officials, employees and volunteers who accomplished the feat deserve a pat on the back and a hearty, “Job well done!” from their fellow Sargent County citizens. A number of volunteers from Rutland went up to Milnor to assist with the flood fight there. Further to the north, the City of Fargo made national news headlines with its fight to save North Dakota’s largest city from the floodwaters of the overflowing Red River of the North. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” the old-timers used to say, and Fargo proved to be tougher than whalebone, as thousands of volunteers from the city, from throughout the tri-state region and from across the nation poured in to fill sandbags, build dikes and evacuate threatened homes. Rutland native and current Fargo resident Gary Narum (RHS Class of ’60) reports that he spoke with volunteers from Chicago, Minneapolis, Manitoba and even Rutland while he was working on sandbag dikes on Fargo’s south side. Gary said that he saw several volunteers wearing the distinctive Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department shirts working on the dikes. Among the volunteers from Rutland who participated in the Fargo flood fight were: Cameron Gulleson; Jim Fust; Peder Gulleson; Trent Mahler; Paul Anderson; Mitch Mahrer; Mike Mahrer; Kyle Mahrer; Rob Wyum; Mike Kulzer; Diane Kulzer; and, a number of others whose names are not known by this reporter. As a punctuation mark to the flood disaster, Mother Nature gifted the area with a snowstorm that deposited anywhere from a foot to 26 inches of wet, heavy snow on the 30 & 31 of March, the ultimate April Fool’s joke for shovelers on the morning of Wednesday, April 1. Certainly, when compared to some other natural disasters that have occurred in this nation in recent years, North Dakotans can be proud of the way they have conducted themselves in facing this crisis. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” it has been said, and there is no doubt that those who have endured and survived the Winter and Spring of ’08-’09 are the stronger for it. They have earned the titles of Tough, Hardy and, in some cases, even Heroic. For the vast majority of the volunteers who fought the flood, their only reward will be the satisfaction of knowing that, in a time of crisis and need, they came to the aid of their neighbors, and prevailed. When this crisis ends, as it soon will, North Dakotans will pick up the pieces, clean up the mess, repair the damage, go back about their normal lives and start preparing for the next test.  That next tough time won’t last, either, but the tough people will.

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The Rooster Crows – March 21, 2008

By Bill Anderson

Temperatures ranging from the upper 40’s on Thursday, March 13, to 52 on Friday, down to 27 on Saturday, back up to 43 on Sunday, up to 52 on Tuesday and no snow on any day that it was predicted. As of Sunday, March 16, most of the snow in Rutland was gone, revealing a display of brown lawns decorated with bones, tree branches and beer cans that must have come down with the snow, because they sure weren’t there when the first snowfall covered things up back on December 1. Spring fever is in the air, evidenced by the fact that both the Canada geese and local farmers have been observed circling fields looking for a likely spot to land and begin production for the 2008 season.It was all quiet at Alley Cuts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week, as both Lori McLaen and Jen Christianson were in New York City –Yes, that’s right, NEW YORK CITY!- picking up information on the newest hair styling fashions and the latest beauty tips to bring back to their clients here. Folks who happened to be watching the NBC-TV show on Friday morning noticed Lori & Jen holding up a large banner reading “Good Luck Queen Candidates, Rutland ND”, during one of Al Roker’s weather reports outside Rockefeller Center on Manhattan. Lori and Jen returned home on the evening of Monday, March 17, and were back at work at Alley Cuts on Tuesday morning. They report that, despite its reputation for fashion leadership, they did not find many new or interesting hair styles among the ladies of the city that never sleeps. They did, however, enjoy a large number of sights and experiences, including: the Statue of Liberty; Ellis Island; a Broadway musical, “Chorus Line”; the Staten Island Ferry; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; fine dining at some excellent restaurants; and, many others. The 2 country girls stayed with a friend of Jens who put them on the subway on their first morning there, gave them instructions on where to get off, and told them to walk back home to experience the city. They walked through Chinatown and Little Italy, where no one spoke English, and window shopped along 5th Avenue. They had a great time, Lori reports, but they were glad to get home. New York, with its crowds, fast pace, constant activity and the sights, sounds and smells that go with a huge metropolis, is a great place to visit but they wouldn’t want to live there. Welcome home, Lori & Jen.

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The Rooster Crows – February 22, 2008

By Bill Anderson

Well, the weather roller coaster ride continues. Thirty-five above on Saturday, February 16 was only a teaser, as the mercury then commenced a slide that hit 25 below zero by Wednesday morning. On the bright side, a brisk breeze accompanied the falling temperatures, bringing in a continuous supply of crisp, fresh air. The record cold temperature for February 20 of 30 below zero was set back in 1889, the year of North Dakota’s Statehood.

Was it romance, or was it just the aroma of delicious food, that was in the air in Rutland on the evening of February 14, St. Valentines Day? According to Gretchen Vann, 53 diners enjoyed a special St. Valentines Day 5 course steak and lobster dinner at the Rutland General Store, and more than 100 enjoyed steak and torsk at the Lariat Bar. The dinner at the General Store featured a crab cake appetizer; potato Parmesan soup; Caesar salad; the entrée of grilled steak, lobster tail and baked potato; and, lemon dessert. The Store’s regular once-a-month Sunday brunch will be served this Sunday, February 24, at the Store. A special Easter Sunday Brunch will be served by the Rutland General Store and the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen on Sunday, March 23, in the Rutland Town Hall, and advance tickets for that event are available from local firemen and at the Store. Ms. Vann also states that another special gourmet dinner with an “April In Paris” theme is being planned for the month of April.

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