It was “out with the old and in with the new,” as a 50 mph wind swept 2011 into the dustbin of history and carried in the bright, sparkling and unused new year of 2012, complete with 365 brand new days ready to be marked up, worn out and tossed aside in their turn. The wind brought with it some colder weather, too, with the daytime highs on Sunday, January 1, and Monday, January 2, in the low 20’s, but even 2012’s cold weather is tolerable, especially when compared to January of a year ago. Another weather front, this time a warm one, pushed the mercury up to the 40 mark, again, on Tuesday, January 3. So far, this Winter has shattered warm temperature records set back in the “no snow” Winter of 1959-60, and the only complaints have been received from snowmobile enthusiasts whose machines do not run well on bare gravel and dirt.
The record high temperatures in December have also made the traditional winter sport of ice fishing a risky proposition. Although no reports have yet been received of vehicles or individuals going through the ice in this locality, there have been several reports of ice fishing houses that have had the ice melt out from under them, leaving them semi-submerged and bobbing in the waves. An ice fishing house belonging to Joe Anderson of Forman went through the ice of Walstead’s Slough in Rutland Township last week, and 3 houses were floating in the open water on Buffalo Lake in Shuman Township on Saturday morning, December 31. For fishing enthusiasts the message is as clear as the ice that isn’t there – it cannot be assumed that the ice on any body of water is safe, and caution must be exercised when venturing out after their finned and scaled prey. For those who are careful, though, the water has produced its rewards. Shan Meyer reports that she and her husband, Steve, caught a number of nice sized perch at Houge’s Slough, near old Fort Sisseton, over the New Year’s weekend; Jim, Travis & Ally Peterson brought home some nice stringers of perch from Consolidated Slough over the New Year’s holiday weekend, and report that the walleyes were biting near the north shore of that body of water; and, Andrew Woytassek recently speared a large, 35 inch northern pike in his darkhouse on Buffalo Lake. The fish are there. The trick this season is to bring them up without going down to meet them.
Brady Haussler spent the Christmas holiday at home in Rutland, with parents Rick & Vicki Haussler, and his younger sister, Tracy. Brady headed back to Fargo, where he is an honor student pursuing a degree in civil engineering at North Dakota State University, on Wednesday, December 28. A 2009 graduate of Sargent Central High School, Brady is currently mid way through his Junior year at NDSU.
Adrienne Jacobson returned to Ames, Iowa, on Thursday, December 29, after spending the Christmas holiday in Rutland, at the home of her parents, Calvin & Wendy Jacobson. Adrienne is a student at the Iowa School of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State in Ames IA. She earned her undergraduate degree from Iowa State in 2010, and will be graduating from the School of Veterinary Medicine in 2014.
The reception honoring Pam Gulleson on Thursday, December 29, packed the house with a standing room only crowd that filled the Erickson Building at 202 First Street in Rutland. Pam had announced her candidacy for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U. S. House of Representatives here back in September, and she has been on the campaign trail ever since. A 26th District Democratic-NPL Party officer reported that Pam’s friends and neighbors here contributed more than $10,000.00 to her Congressional campaign at the Rutland event. Pam was born and raised on a dairy farm near Crete, in northwestern Sargent County, but she has made Rutland her home since she and Bill Gulleson married more than 30 years ago. The Gullesons, along with their sons: Lance; Cody; and, Cameron; own and operate a family farming and ranching enterprise, and other ag related businesses, that are headquartered in the Rutland community. Bill’s great-grandparents, Norwegian immigrants Peder & Marin Gulleson, were among the first homesteaders to settle in Ransom Township back in 1882.
Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove down to St. Paul MN on Friday, December 30, to attend the wedding of their great-niece, Miss Katy Sundlie, and Mr. Andrew Seeley. The bride is the great-granddaughter of the late Andrew & Esther Sundlie of this community, and the granddaughter of Beverly’s late brother & sister-in-law, Dennis & Kathy Sundlie. Katy recently graduated from college and is employed as a teacher in the Minneapolis area. Mr. Seeley is pursuing a graduate degree at the U of M, and is currently employed by Caribou Coffee in the Twin Cities. The Kulzers were back in Rutland in time for a quiet New Year’s Eve at home. Also attending the St. Paul wedding was Beverly’s younger brother, John Sundlie of Green Bay WI.
New Year’s Eve proved to be a quiet one in Rutland this year. With the Town Hall in the midst of an improvement project, the usual dance and party sponsored by the Volunteer Firemen had to be cancelled, and the Firemen are sponsoring a 20 gun raffle as a fund-raiser, instead. The dining room at the Lariat Bar had a good night on New Year’s Eve, with nearly 100 suppers served, but the crowd was quiet there, too, and Janice Christensen reports that most patrons went home shortly after midnight, safe, sane and, for the most part, fairly sober. The high speed wind on New Year’s Eve was reminiscent of conditions a year ago, but, with no snow to move around this year, it did not hinder travel at all.
Mike & Diane Kulzer drove down to Minneapolis for the New Year’s holiday weekend, and took in the last Minnesota Vikings NFL football game of the season while they were there. The game may also have been the last to be played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metro-dome, too, as the Vikings lease on that facility expired at the end of the season. The Kulzers son, Chad, and daughter, Carla, and their families accompanied them to the game. The Chicago Bears handed the Vikings a 17-13 defeat on Sunday, but Mike reports that the loss did not dampen his grandchildren’s enthusiasm for the occasion.
Despite the fact that it is only the first week in January, the mild weather has some local farmers thinking about Spring planting already, says Mike Kulzer, and he is pleased to report that Kulzer Feed & Seed has a supply of wheat seed on hand for the early planter. The seed dealer has to be ready to go when his customers are, says Mike, and Kulzer Feed & Seed is ready. Give Mike a call at 724-3345.
The holiday season is officially over in Rutland, and it’s back to work for all. Paul Anderson removed the Christmas lights from the Community Christmas tree at the corner of First and Arthur Streets on Monday, January 2, and Mayor Ron Narum plucked the tree out of its stand using the grapple fork on the City’s Bobcat loader on Tuesday, January 3. The other decorations on Main Street have also been taken down and packed away until this coming November. This year’s Community Christmas tree, a beautiful Douglas fir donated by Joe & Patty Breker and Doug & Cher Spieker, revived an old Rutland tradition from the 40’s, 50’s & 60’s, and the entire Rutland community appreciated the gift. Doug Spieker says that he has an even nicer tree picked out for next year.
Chuck Sundlie and Shelby Rohrbach of this community have been hired to work at the Bobcat factory in Gwinner, and began their employment with orientation sessions at the plant on Monday, January 2. The company has a backlog of orders for its popular skid-steer loaders and track-hoe excavators, and has hired several hundred new employees in the past 2 years, attempting to increase production to meet the demand. The Bobcat factory at Gwinner, owned by the Doosan Co. of South Korea, and the strong farm economy have been the cornerstones of prosperity in southeastern North Dakota for the past 5 years. Good luck to Chuck and Shelby in their new endeavor.
The Rutland Community Club held its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, in the auditorium of the Rutland Town Hall. Bert Siemieniewski reported that the Town Hall improvement project is on schedule to be completed by the end of January, and that dry wall installation had finished up that day. Diane Smith reported that a musical is being considered for the Community Club’s Annual Supper & Play, scheduled for the 3rd Saturday in March. Prospective cast members should be exercising their vocal cords, says Diane. Deb Banish & Ione Pherson reported that the Community work group list was being updated and reorganized, and that it would be sent out as soon as it is completed. Paul Anderson was re-elected to the Club’s board of directors and Lori McLaen was elected to replace Hilary Mehrer who did not seek re-election. Community Club officers for 2012 are: Paul Anderson, president; Rebecca Christensen, vice-president; Ione Pherson, secretary; Deb Banish, treasurer; and, Lori McLaen, director. Due to conflicts with school activities, it was decided to change the monthly meeting date from the first Tuesday in each month to the second Monday in each month. The next monthly meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled to be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Arden Anderson reports that plans are moving ahead for the17th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament that is scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 4, in the Rutland Town Hall. Thirty-eight teams had already pre-registered for the invitational tournament by Tuesday, December 27, Arden states, and the full complement of 60 teams should be signed up in the next week, or so. Arden also reports that he is continuing to make good progress in his recovery from the November surgery that repaired 3 ruptured disks in his neck. He still has some weakness on his left side, but rigorous therapy appears to be doing the trick, he states.
Work has continued to progress on the new homes being built south of Rutland by Kenny Hamilton and Thane Bergh, as well as on the Coteau des Prairies Lodge. Rafters and roofing have gone up on all 3 structures in the past 2 weeks, as the continuing mild weather has allowed construction to proceed long past the normal Winter shut-down date.
Some upcoming events in Rutland are: the 17th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament on Saturday, February 4, in the Rutland Town Hall; American Legion pancake & sausage breakfast/brunch/lunch on Sunday, February 12, in the Rutland Town Hall; St. Valentine’s Day gourmet supper on Tuesday, February 14, at The Rutland General Store; Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s Annual Northern Pike Fish Fry on Friday, March 3, at the Rutland Town Hall; and the Rutland Community Club’s Annual Supper & Play on Saturday, March 17, at the Rutland Town Hall. There’s always something going on in Rutland.
The first Texas Hold’Em Tournament of 2012, on the evening of Tuesday, January 3, had some familiar names on the Lariat Bar’s Winner’s Board when the last hand had been played. Gretchen Vann took first place, edging out The Sage of Weber Township, Jack Brummond, who raked in the second prize chips. Deb Liermark captured 3rd place, and Bradley Christensen gathered in 4th place honors.
Time marches on, and change follows in its wake. For the past 36 years, most phone calls to The Sargent County Teller at Milnor have been answered, “Teller office, this is Carol,” but no more. Carol Edison has recently retired from her long-time employment with the County newspaper, and those of us who have worked with her over the years bid her a fond farewell, and wish her success in whatever endeavors she may undertake in the future. Carol’s ironic humor and wry wit on the other end of that phone call will be missed. Thanks, Carol, for putting up with us, and with the Old Curmudgeon, too, for all those years, and, even though it took us 36 years to say it, the work you did was appreciated.
Finally, the Iowa Presidential Caucuses are over. After months of listening to broadcasters blather on about who’s up and who’s down, we now know who won – no one. Mitt Romney finished first, but because his margin was not as large as the self-proclaimed experts thought it should be, he actually lost. Rick Santorum finished second, but because he did better than expected, the experts say that he actually won. Ron Paul came in third, but he is all washed up, say those same self-appointed experts, because the rational components of his campaign alienate the irrational wing of the Republican Party, and the irrational components of his campaign alienate the rational wing, whatever might be left of it, of the Republican Party, and even Ron Paul can’t fly with no wings. The serial philanderer, adulterer, liar and flim-flam artist, Newt Gingrich survived the Iowa Caucuses with enough mean spirit to declare a Republican Jihad against Mitt Romney, who spent several million dollars to destroy the Gingrich candidacy in Iowa. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who once led the pack but has now slipped to fifth, has retreated to the Alamo to rethink his candidacy and await a much needed brain transplant. Michelle Bachman, who finished last, has yet to make contact with reality in any form and has proclaimed her dismal showing as proof that she is “not a politician.” It may also be proof that she is a dim-witted nincompoop, and while the voters of Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District seem to believe that those qualifications are sufficient to send her to Congress, most folks figure that they don’t pass muster for the office of President. Next week it’s the New Hampshire Primary, and by then there won’t be a news reporter who remembers how to spell Iowa, much less caucus. Sic transit Gloria!
Well, that’s the way it was in Rutland for this past 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. Remember to keep the pressure on the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.