These days, in mid-August, are what the old-timers used to call “The Dog Days of Summer,” when warm nights, hot days and barely moving air brings on a feeling that Summer will never end, and that there’s no reason to be in a hurry about anything. In Rutland, the main concern of local residents this time of year is that they will forget to lock their car one day, and someone will fill up the backseat with zucchinis. The Dakota, the people who occupied this land before the tidal wave of European immigration overwhelmed them, called this season “Canpa sapa wi,” which, according to the tribal newsletter published on the Wahpeton-Sisseton Reservation, translates as “When the chokecherries are ripe.” The chokecherry crop was especially abundant in 2016, so the recipient of a back seat full of zucchinis might luck out and get a jar of homemade chokecherry jelly or chokecherry syrup, too. Sweet corn has also been in abundant supply this year, and even the raccoons couldn’t steal all of it. Home grown tomatoes, one of only two treasures of great value, the other being true love, that money can’t buy, are also now ripening on the vine. Some of our would be political leaders tell us that times are bad, and getting worse; while others proclaim that times are good, but we could do better; and, here we are, surrounded by natural wealth so abundant that many fail to appreciate it, or even realize it. The Dog Days of Summer, when the living is easy and it’s too hot to do much, is a good time to sit back and contemplate: the hectic race for material things that consumes most of our lives; the abundant blessings that surround us out here on the prairie; and, the appreciation that is due to the Creator for making it all possible. Sit back…Relax…Have a tomato.
Rutland was where the action was on Saturday, August 13, as a community-wide garage sale, the 2nd Annual Relay For Life Junk-Fest and the 8th Annual Rutland Rib-Fest kept The Little City That Can hopping. Two dozen vendors participated in the Junk-Fest and had a tremendous variety of goods on display, ranging from precision hand-crafted items to enough parts for Model A Fords to build a couple of them, from radiator cap to rear bumper. The Rutland Rockets Relay For Life team had a rummage sale at the Rutland Town Hall and also served a dinner featuring scalloped potatoes with ham, and the Relay For Life team from Four Seasons Healthcare also had a lunch stand in the Rutland Seniors’ Center on Main Street. By mid-afternoon the Junk-Fest phased into the Rib-Fest as the aroma of ribs on the grill drifted down Main Street. The Rutland American Legion Auxiliary served home-made pie with ice cream in the Seniors’ Center while other vendors enticed diners with sweet corn, deep fried green beans, mini-doughnuts, burgers, bratwursts and other offerings. The rib judging team, this year consisting of County Extension Agent Melissa Seykora, Pastor Nicholas Rohde and expert rib chef Kenny Hamilton, sampled the ribs prepared by those competing for the title of “Best Ribs In Rutland,” and awarded the 2016 title to the Lariat Bar, and Chef Mike Pyle. Mike & Kyle Mahrer were awarded 2nd place honors and Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion took the 3rd prize award. Ironically, Doug Spieker, one of the head chefs at the American Legion’s rib stand, had prepared the barbecue sauce for both the Lariat Bar and the American Legion, so he could claim a share of the credit for both 1st and 3rd place. It was pointed out that, as there were only 3 competitors for The Best Ribs in Rutland this year, 3rd place might not be so special, but those who sampled the fare of all 3 stands expressed the opinion that all 3 were equally outstanding. The day was warm and sunny, and the evening was warm and nearly windless, so guests occupied the picnic tables set up on Main Street long into the evening, enjoying the music of the “Whiskey Sam” band. All in all, it was a great day for Rutland, and for all who visited Rutland throughout the day.
Another 1.3 inch of rain from another thunderstorm on Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11, brought the total rainfall for the week to 2.4 inches, and the consensus from The Assembled Wise Men that there is now sufficient moisture to “make” the corn and soybean crops. Unlike the storm of the night before, there was No wind, or at least not much, with this blast. Local rain gauges measured 1.3 inch at Paul Anderson’s, 1.1 inch at Norbert Kulzer’s and 1.9 inch at Roger Pearson’s. Heavier rains were reported to the north, with downpours of 6 to 9 inches inundating areas along the Sargent-Ransom County Line. County Road Supervisor Sparky Engquist reports that improvements to County Roads made in 2013 kept trouble spots that would have been under water from such a deluge in previous years high and dry in 2016. Read More