The year of 2010 departed, and the year 2011 arrived in a blizzard that piled snow drifts 6’ high on some of Rutland’s streets and yards. The official snow depth measuring device for the Rutland community, an empty molasses tub sitting near a granary on Mike Kulzer’s farm ½ mile east of town, registered 14½ inches of new snow by the time the storm moved on. Then, just as an afterthought, 2 more inches of new snow were recorded on Monday, January 3. With more than 3 feet of snow now on the ground, more than 4 feet in some areas of Sargent County, this area appears to be heading for another highwater Spring of record proportions. At this point, the Wild Rice River is still running full, as are the tributary streams and creeks that feed into the Wild Rice, including Crooked Creek that runs through the center of the County from west to east, pours into Buffalo Lake and, from there, into the Wild Rice. Potholes and sloughs that have never run over, or even been full, in the more than 130 years since European settlement of the prairie began, are now full and running over. Communities that have sustained flood damage in the past, and many communities that have never experienced the ravages of raging floodwaters, are likely to be inundated by the Flood of 2011. What can be done to prevent the flood? At this point, nothing. Communities can and should begin planning to deal with the flood waters, though, and planning to mitigate any damage that may result. Sargent County Emergency Management Director Sandy Hanson can be contacted at 724-6241, extension 113, to coordinate community disaster emergency planning and mitigation efforts. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” wrote Ben Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanac about 250 years ago, and “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance,” said Gy/Sgt. Pat Patterson, D.I., USMC, back in 1969. Both wise men.
Mayor Narum was operating the City’s snowplow at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday mornings, keeping Rutland’s streets open. County and State snowplow crews also worked through the New Year’s holiday to make sure that the traffic could keep moving, although any motorist on the road after dark on either of those days deserved to be incarcerated and held for observation on suspicion of insanity. On Friday, December 31, Chuck Malvick, driver of the truck that brings mail out to Cayuga, Rutland & Havana, drove the only mail truck to make it back to Wahpeton that afternoon. All the rest were stuck in the snow somewhere in Sargent, Ransom or Richland Counties.
Chuck Sundlie was home for a few days off from his duties as an over the road truck driver, arriving in Rutland on Saturday, January 1, coming in on the coattails of the blizzard that had pounded the area for the 2 days previous. Chuck reported that he had hauled a load of corn syrup from Minnesota to Lubbock TX earlier in the week, and that the temperature had been in the 60’s when he departed Lubbock on Thursday. From there, he went to Colorado, where he picked up a load of milk to be transported to the dairy processing plant at Pollock SD. He also picked up the blizzard in Colorado, and drove in snow the rest of the way home. Chuck states that he finds the snow covered terrain and the sub-zero temperatures of North Dakota to be invigorating, and preferable when compared to the over-heated climates of Texas, Arizona or California, and he is looking forward to another trip into those regions to keep the comparison fresh in his mind.
The 2010-11 Pheasant season officially ended at sundown on Sunday, January 2. A group composed of Paul Anderson of Rutland, Don Isensee of Minneapolis, Lynn Roesler and son Kyle, of West Fargo, Bryce Carlson of Rutland, Hillary Schreiner of Forman and James Brakke of Havana took to the field for a late season hunt after ringnecks on Tuesday, December 28, and brought home 10 roosters for their afternoon’s effort. Assisting the hunters were James’ dogs, an English Setter named Jetta and a German Shorthair/Standard Poodle cross named Mavis, and Bryce’s English Springer Spaniel Kujo. On Wednesday, Paul Anderson, Don Isensee, Lynn Hartje of Cavalier and Don Sayer of Grand Forks put in a long, hard day of hunting and bagged 3 roosters for their efforts. They reported that they had seen a large number of birds, but most got up well out of shotgun range, at least that was the excuse. According to Mr. Hartje, birds could be found hiding among the inner cattails on large sloughs, but the trick was to get across the 4’ deep drifts around the outside of the slough, and then to get back out again. On several occasions, the hunters had to leap up on the snowbanks and then roll out, careful not to jam snow into the barrels or actions of their shotguns, no small feat for guys in their 60’s. Lynn Hartje, Don Isensee and Paul Anderson have made a post-Christmas pheasant hunt at Rutland an annual tradition for the past several years. While here they enjoyed a supper at the Lariat Bar and breakfasts at the Rutland General Store and Café, and Don Isensee, a native of Cayuga, even got in on the Tuesday afternoon Round Table session of the assembled Wise Men where, by virtue of being more than 10 miles from home and having an opinion, he qualified as a visiting expert.
Matt Smith, son of Diane (Jacobson) Smith of Rutland and the late Wes Smith, took Miss Amy Odegard of Milnor as his bride in a New Year’s Eve ceremony in the bride’s home town. Mother Nature provided a blizzard for the occasion, and most of those from Rutland who made it to Milnor for the ceremony spent the night at the Hillside Motel, rather than risk life and limb on the road. The groom is employed by Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating of Rutland, and the bride is employed at the First Community Credit Union in Milnor. Their many friends in Rutland extend congratulations to Matt & Amy, and wish them many happy years ahead, together.
Providing an example for newlyweds to emulate, Pete & Verna Kiefer, formerly of Cayuga and now residing in Lisbon, celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday, January 1 & Sunday, January 2 with receptions at the Beverly Ann Assisted Living Center in Lisbon. Most from this area were unable to attend the event on Saturday due to blocked roads and reduced visibility caused by the tail end of the blizzard that had pummeled the area on Thursday and Friday. Pete Kiefer, whose name is really George, and Verna Janish were married on January 1, 1941, at Lake City SD. Their many friends here extend congratulations, and best wishes for another 70.
Rutland native Judie (Anderson) Seavert reported in on Monday, January 3, that she has been at Port Aransas Texas since the first of December, and that she expects to remain there until March 1, except for a brief trip home to Rutland for the Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament during the first weekend in February. Port Aransas is on an island on the Texas Gulf Coast, near the port of Corpus Christi. An avid angler, Judie states that she has been using the same fishing gear she uses to catch walleyes in Minnesota and the Dakotas for fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and has been having good luck. The first fish she caught was a 33 inch long 20 pound red snapper, one of the premier eating fish found in those waters. So far, the lightweight tackle has been adequate for the fish she has hooked, but it must be thoroughly cleaned and oiled after each use to prevent corrosion from exposure to the ocean’s salt water. Judie states that the climate at Port Aransas is quite pleasant, but there are some critters there, such as snakes and rats, that she has not warmed up to. The cost of housing there is also quite reasonable she reports, although that may change as the housing market continues to bounce back from the depressed prices of the past several years.
Escaping Winter on one of the last flights to depart Fargo just ahead of the blizzard on Thursday, December 30, Steve & Sheila Wyum have been relaxing on a Caribbean cruise this week. The Wyums are accompanied on the cruise by Rutland native Christina (Reif) Woolwine and her husband, John, who recently relocated to Florida after residing in Italy for several years. Steve & Sheila plan to return to Rutland, and reality, on Monday, January 17.
The Rutland City Council meeting which was scheduled for Monday, January 3, has been postponed to Monday, January 10, because the City Auditor, Doris Hoistad, had been snowed in at the Hoistad farm 1½ mile west of town and could not get in to the City Office to get the monthly reports ready. The rescheduled meeting will be at 5:00 p.m. this coming Monday, according to Rutland Mayor Ron Narum.
The Rutland Community Club held its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 4, at the Rutland Town Hall. Diane Smith reported that a play has been tentatively selected for presentation at the Club’s annual supper on Saturday, March 19, and prospective cast members are being contacted. Events Group #3 will be taking on the challenge of planning, preparing and serving the supper. The 16th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament scheduled for Saturday, February 5, was also discussed. Events Group #2 will be in charge of lunches and the noon meal for tournament participants and observers. In other business, it was noted that some of the Christmas decorations displayed on Main Street by the City during the recent holiday season appeared to be in need of replacement. The Community Club will meet with the City Council and offer assistance in obtaining replacement decorations in time for Christmas 2011. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1.
Paul & Sue Anderson, accompanied by their daughter, Betsy, headed out of Rutland on Wednesday, January 5, bound for Houston TX. Betsy has secured a teaching position at a community college there, and Paul & Sue are assisting with the move. They made it as far south as Omaha on day 1, and report that the roads are in good condition despite large amounts of snow blanketing South Dakota and Nebraska. The Andersons expect to be back home by next week.
“No man’s life or property is safe when the legislature is in session!” said an American patriot, and the legislature is now in session. The 72nd session of the North Dakota Legislature and the 122nd session of the U. S. Congress both convened on January 3, 2011, sworn to do the peoples’ business, but just what the peoples’ business is remains to be decided. With a Republican Governor in the Executive Tower and GOP super-majorities in both houses of the North Dakota Legislature, we can expect to see the Republican caucus fracture along the urban-rural fault line as the session goes on. Twenty-sixth District Representative Jerome Kelsh of Fullerton, a skilled and experienced legislator, is Floor Leader of the Dem-NPL minority, and can be expected to exploit that fault line to magnify the influence of his caucus. In Washington, the new GOP majority in the House of Representatives has already shown that it is not serious about addressing the nation’s problems, wasting valuable time on legislation aimed at repealing all of the legislation just passed by the previous Congress. With the Senate controlled by the Democrats, and Barak Obama, a Democrat, in the White House, they know that they are wasting valuable time and resources on a nonsensical effort, but that has never stopped a Congress before. When a Congressman once objected to including some remarks from American humorist Will Rogers in the Congressional Record, on the grounds that he was a “professional jokester,” Rogers remarked, “Well, Congress is the only place where every time they make a joke it’s a law, and every time they make a law, it’s a joke.” Enough said.
That’s it for this week. For more information about what’s happening in Rutland, “Pride Of The Prairie,” check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook pages, too. Later.