The Wise Men gathered at the General Store, to philosophize a bit; when all of a sudden, like a rifle shot, the big Round Table split. It was neither hearty wit nor profound thoughts that caused the plank to crack, and not a steaming pot of Java nor a heavy-duty snack, but the simple act of drying out that pulled the wood apart, so when you are told to, “just dry up,” don’t ever, ever start.
Coffee and conversation came to an abrupt halt around the Round Table at the General Store on Tuesday afternoon, when the center 2X6 plank in the heavy duty 8’ diameter piece of furniture split. According to resident curmudgeon R. Harrington Bradbury III, one of those communing around the table, the plank cracked with a loud report, silencing all talk for a moment. When the store owner, Gretchen Vann, came over to inspect the damage, the board completed its split with an even louder report, like a high powered rifle shot. The table was hand-made for the Store by local cabinet maker Alan Olstad last Winter. Mr. Olstad was notified of the event, and came in to inspect the damage. According to the builder, a plank that is held in place by screws and bolts will occasionally expand or contract as humidity in the air changes. If the plank cannot move, as a plank in a tabletop cannot, something has to give. In this case, the plank dealt with stress by cracking up. Some individuals have a similar response to stress. Mr. Olstad repaired the table top after the Wise Men concluded their afternoon session on Wednesday. He advised that solid wood pieces have a tendency to crack or warp, and that is why most modern furniture is made of laminated material covered with a veneer. Ms. Vann expressed the opinion that the scar left by the split in the table top gave the table some character. Well, it certainly has plenty of characters around it on occasion.
Believe it or not, the rain that fell over the region last weekend was welcomed in most quarters. Rain gauges in Rutland measured .75 inch of precipitation from Friday evening to Monday morning. Corn planters were back in the field by Tuesday, and reports are that a substantial portion of this year’s corn crop is planted and nearly ready to emerge. Winds with gusts up to 48 mph on Wednesday presaged another storm system that is predicted to bring more rain to the area this weekend.
Edwin & Marlys Erickson were among the more than 100 diners who enjoyed the Sunday Brunch at the Rutland General Store on Sunday, April 25. Edwin reported that 18 landowners had attended the neighborhood meeting held in his farm shop to discuss water problems in the Crooked Creek – Buffalo Lake basin on the evening of Wednesday, April 21. The straw vote held at the conclusion of the gathering showed 13 in favor of moving ahead and 5 opposed to the establishment of a legal drain in the basin. With more than 70% favoring the establishment of a legal drain, Edwin said that petitions will be circulated asking other landowners in the watershed basin to express their opinion, either pro or con. If enough landowners show support for the project, the Sargent County Water Resource Board will be asked to move ahead with the establishment of the legal drain and assessment area. Landowners in a proposed legal drain and assessment district will have the opportunity to vote on the project prior to any work being commenced, states Water Board member Mark Breker of Rutland.
Pastor Justin Senger; Katie Christianson; Shannon & Hilary Mehrer and boys, Jacob & Thomas; Paul & Sue Anderson; Barry & Jen Christianson; Diane Smith; and, Peder Gulleson; drove to Minneapolis on Saturday, May 24, to serve as volunteers in the “Feed the Children” project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The local folks, all members of Nordland Lutheran Church of Rutland, packaged food supplies that will provide basic nutrition to children in areas ravaged by famine, pestilence and war around the world. While in Minneapolis, they also visited the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Science Museum, and attended a lacrosse game in which teams from Minneapolis MN and Orlando FL played a very fast, action packed, and sometimes violent, game that originated with the tribes of the Iroquois federation of the northeastern United States. The 12 arrived back home at about 3:00 on Sunday morning.
Norbert and Beverly Kulzer were traveling last week, down to Branson MO to take in some concerts and enjoy a change of scenery. Among the concerts they attended, Norbert reports that the Mickey Gilley Concert and the Roy Rogers Jr. Concert were the most entertaining. The Kulzers returned home on Sunday, April 25, after spending Saturday evening in Sioux Falls with their sons, Stan & Stephan, and their families.
Copies of the draft Home Rule Charter prepared by the Home Rule Charter Committee were delivered to Rutland residents on Monday, April 26. Committee members Paul Anderson, Gretchen Vann, Larry Christensen, Bertha Siemieniewski and Calvin Jacobson, delivered the documents to every household in Town, fulfilling the public notice requirement of North Dakota’s Home Rule statute. A Public hearing is scheduled for 7:00 on the evening of Tuesday, May 11, at which Rutland citizens will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the pros and cons of the proposed new Charter for a new century. The public hearing will be held in the Rutland Town Hall.
For much of the 20th Century, the words “Rutland” and “baseball” were synonymous. The community’s baseball team was one of the factors that persuaded the newly arrived bank cashier, Lou Sanderson, to make Rutland his home back in 1905. From the teens into the 30’s, Rutland’s semi-pro baseball team earned a winning record and a reputation for aggressive play, utilizing some local talent and some contract players from the Southern States. Rutland’s baseball diamond was integrated 4 decades before Jackie Robinson broke the Major League color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1947. After World War II, Rutland’s amateur team, the Rutland Roosters, dominated the Sargent County League, and then the Twin State League, through the 1940’s & 50’s and into the 60’s, with such players as Leif Sundlie; Harvey Shasky; Rusty Silseth; Ralph, Irv & Shorty Nelson; Bob & Earl Wyum; DuWayne Syverson; and many others. The Roosters’ exploits on the diamond were legendary. It has now been nearly half a century since serious baseball was played in Rutland’s ballpark, but the community’s ties to the game remain. This past Monday, James Anderson, the inventor and manufacturer of “Max Bats”, a premier line of solid wood baseball bats, was interviewed by Joel Heitkamp on KFGO Radio’s News & Views Show. James was one of several entrepreneurs who were interviewed for the show. Max Bats are used by a number of major league baseball players, including Jason Kubel of the Minnesota Twins. When Jason Kubel hit the first home run out of the Twins’ new stadium earlier this month, he hit it with a Max Bat made by James Anderson. James, who now lives in Minneapolis, is the son of Arden & Marilyn Anderson of Wahpeton and the grandson of the late Rudy and Edna Anderson of Rutland. James’ father, Arden, grew up steeped in Rutland’s baseball tradition, and played on the last Roosters teams to take the field back in the early 60’s. Arden’s interest in the game rubbed off on his son, who started making his own bats as a hobby in his basement workshop a number of years ago. Max Bats are now manufactured at James’ factory in Bruton MN, where James and 8 employees use two computerized lathes to turn out custom made baseball bats for professional and amateur players across the nation. So, even though men’s baseball has been absent from Lou Sanderson Field for many years, Rutland’s baseball tradition lives on, passed on from father to son, and now, through Max Bats, extending throughout the country. Take me out to the ball game, so we can hear those Roosters crow!
Well, that’s it for this week. For more information about what’s going on with Rutland and Rutland folks, wherever they may be, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com. The Rutland community now has a Facebook page, too. Later.