It’s the final week of October, and the sunny days with warm temperatures are about to convince some that winter may not pay North Dakota a visit this year. Even the muskrats, whose huge cattail lodges predicted a brutal winter last year, are taking it easy, constructing their 2011 castles much smaller than the 2010 models. While a muskrat possesses a brain the size of a peanut, and has no formal education of which it may boast, its record of successful predictions is as good as that of any college trained meteorologist, and better than most. At the Round Table in the General Store on Tuesday, October 25, Vince Young predicted a mild winter ahead, based on the size of the muskrat lodges in local sloughs. But, the Sage of Weber Township, Jack Brummond, stated that he wouldn’t bet his life on the ability of a muskrat to predict the weather. The Late Arnold Pederson of this community used to boast that he knew the muskrat’s language, and was able to communicate with them concerning the weather. Arnold once related that, while on a trip over to Forman, he noticed a group of muskrats building a lodge in a large slough near the highway, with the big boss muskrat perched on top of the lodge supervising construction. Arnold stopped his car, to listen in on what was being said, when he saw the boss muskrat rear up on his hind legs with one front paw pointed skyward and the other pointed straight down. Arnold reported that the boss muskrat was complaining to his minions that, “No matter how high we build it, there’s still water in the basement!” Well, as they say in the real estate business, “Location is everything.” Arnold also once predicted a big snow winter based on his sighting of a centipede with each of its 100 feet encased in a tiny 5 buckle overshoe. Vince has not reported any centipedes so equipped so far this Fall, and it is doubtful that Jack would put much stock in an overshoe wearing centipede’s ability to predict the weather, either. One of the Almanacs that make long-range predictions is forecasting 200 inches of snow for this area during the coming Winter, so we’ll just have to wait until Spring to find out if the muskrats or the Almanac authors are the better prognosticators. The same guy who predicted that the world was going to end back on May 21 of this year also predicted that, as his first prediction obviously did not come to pass, that the world would end, again, on Friday, October 21. Wrong, again. That guy is batting 0 for 2, and his predictions are still making the news. Well, he’s probably not as smart as a muskrat.
North Dakota Legislator Ed Gruchalla (D-45) of Fargo and 3 companions stopped in at the Rutland Café on the morning of Saturday, October 22, and reported that the pheasant hunting was real good, but the pheasant shooting was less impressive. Mr. Gruchalla had served in the legislature with Pam Gulleson of this community, and he had decided to stop by to find out if Pam’s glowing reports of her home community were accurate. They were, he concluded. Prior to his legislative service, Mr. Gruchalla had been employed as a member of the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Despite a quarter of an inch of rain last week, and another .2 of an inch on Tuesday of this week, the corn harvest continues at a fast and furious pace. Per acre yields being reported are mediocre, at best, when compared to those of the past several years, but producers want to get what is there into the bin before the snow flies. Mark and Kurt Breker wrapped up their 2011 harvest operations on Saturday, October 22, and Lyle Erickson reported that he was done on Thursday, October 20. Reports are that the bushel per acre average was about half that of last year. The heavy rains, high winds and hail of this past Summer were responsible for most of the damage.
Cameron Gulleson reported on Saturday, October 22, that he had about half a day of corn harvest remaining, but his combine was laid up after a rock picked up by the corn head damaged the gathering chains on the huge Case-IH harvesting machine. Well, taking a combine apart and making repairs in the field is certainly one way to get acquainted with its inner workings. Cam is chalking it up to education.
Rodney Erickson now has the front of his building at 202 First Street framed up, so passers-by and sidewalk superintendents can now see the outline of what the new front façade of the structure will look like when it is completed. As of Saturday, October 22, Rodney had also completed the installation of new, metal roofing on the south side of the roof and about 1/3 of the north side.
Construction is also progressing on the new Coteau des Prairies Lodge now being built in the hills southeast of Rutland. The porch deck that was originally planned for the north, east and west sides of the structure has now been expanded to wrap around to the south side, as well, adding additional space for lounging, barbecues and other lodge activities. The new lodge is expected to be open for business by June of 2012. Construction progress is being chronicled on the business’s internet web site at www.cdplodge.com. Check it out!
Doug Speiker has been fitted with a new right leg prosthesis and has been getting around with the aid of crutches for the past couple of weeks. Doug reports that the new limb is computer controlled, enabling him to stand and walk with greater ease and comfort. He states that it was a real relief to be able to park the wheelchair and get up on 2 legs, again.
Power Ball Lottery fever hit last week, when the grand prize topped $100 million, making it a little easier to justify the expenditure of $1.00 for a chance at the jackpot. The Grand Prize topped $140 million on Sunday, October 23, prompting some discussion at the coffee counter in the Rutland Cafe. Dale McLaen suggested that if all those buying lottery tickets would just give him the money, instead, he would give them half of their money back after the drawing, a good deal for all concerned.
Dan Carlisle, Bill Spears and John Nelson of Wadena MN, accompanied by Dan & Paul Kuffler of Scottsdale AZ, hunted pheasants in the Rutland area from Tuesday, October 18 to Friday, October 21. The 2 Dans, Bill and John have made a pheasant hunt here an annual event for the past decade, but this was the first visit in Rutland for Paul Kuffler, Dan Kuffler’s father. The 5 had some success, but nothing like the action of the past several years, they reported. They had good hunting dogs, and stated that the dogs were crucial when it came to finding downed birds. They resided at 116 Dakota Street during their time in Rutland. They also report that they very much enjoyed the hospitality of the Rutland General Store & Café and the Lariat Bar during their time in Rutland. They plan to be back in October of 2012, when John is planning to shoot a crow which either he, or his friend, Bill Anderson, will have to eat after the 2012 Election.
Although the pheasant hunting action was not as exciting as in previous years, Dan Carlisle did have some excitement he wasn’t looking for on Tuesday, October 18, when a Ransom Township skunk made him decidedly aromatic. Dan and his companions were hunting between Rutland and Cayuga when he ran into the black and white perfume dispenser. It got him real good, he reported. His hunting companions made him disrobe and discard his clothing before he was allowed to enter their residence at 116 Dakota Street, he reports. Even his dogs didn’t want to associate with him until he had scrubbed down and deodorized, he stated. Well, even the friendship of “Man’s Best Friend” can only go so far.
“Shots Fired During Church Dinner! One Dead!” could have been the headlines from our neighbors in Forman last Sunday, as an unwelcome intruder was gunned down in the alley behind the Forman City Hall. According to reports, As members of Trinity Lutheran Church of Forman served their annual Fall Dinner in the City Hall, a skunk, obviously not in good health, wandered into the alley outside. Sheriff Travis Paeper was notified, and, when the polecat declined to vacate the premises voluntarily, he dispatched it with a couple of well placed shots from his service revolver. The varmint is believed to have been infected with rabies. When it comes to skunks, “Shoot first and ask questions later,” is still the operative rule, at least for the 4 legged variety.
Wedding bells rang in Rutland on Saturday, October 22, when Miss Taryn Maloney, daughter of Wayne & Pam Maloney of this community, became the bride of Mr. Shane Jenson, son of Dale & LeeAnn Jenson of Mooreton ND, in a ceremony at Nordland Lutheran Church. A reception and dance were held at the Rutland Town Hall following the ceremony. The reception dinner was catered by Bert Siemieniewski, and “Rockin’ Rodney” Erickson provided the music for the dance. The bride is employed at Teal’s Grocery in Gwinner and the groom is employed in Fargo. The newlyweds will be making their home in Wyndmere. The Rutland community extends its congratulations to Shane and Taryn, and best wishes for many happy years together.
Glenn Kulzer of Dillon, Montana, arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 25, ready for his annual pheasant, duck and goose hunt. For the past several years Glenn’s arrival has coincided with the onset of a lengthy period of wet weather, another reason why corn harvesters have been rushing to get their work completed. Glenn had moved from Palmer, Alaska, to Dillon at the end of 2010, so he drove, rather than flew, to North Dakota this time. His parents, David and Pat Kulzer, have been visiting in Rutland since October 13.
Pam Gulleson has been in Washington DC this week, lobbying Representatives and Senators on behalf of North Dakota’s rural post offices, and discussing campaign strategy with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She expects to be back in North Dakota by Thursday, October 27. Pam announced her candidacy for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U. S. House of Representatives on September 22, and has been moving full speed ahead since then.
Contracts have now been signed and the pre-construction meeting was held on Thursday, October 20, for Rutland’s Town Hall improvement project. The general contractor is Martinson Home Center of Forman. Preliminary work has begun on the exterior ramp portion of the project. The projected completion date is March 31, 2012.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland, Pride Of The Prairie, for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook pages while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to get those letters in to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!” Later.