Corn planters have been working their way across fields in the Rutland area this week, and even a few fields of soybeans have been sown, as well. Another .2 of an inch of rain on the morning of Wednesday, April 18, and a sprinkling on the morning of Thursday, April 19, gave the growing wheat just what was needed to keep it lush and green, as the 2012 crop appears to be off to a good start. Temperatures, too, have been on the rise, with the mercury hitting the 80 mark on Tuesday, April 24, before beginning to cool down to a more seasonable range.
The Sage of Weber Township, Jack Brummond, stopped in at the General Store for a session with the Assembled Wise Men on the afternoon of Thursday, April 19. “No comment!” was Jack’s response to questions about the progress of his 2012 non-campaign campaign for the Governor’s office. Jack did report that, “the corn is already knee high in Weber Township, If you’re standing in a knee deep hole, that is.”
Marcia Brakke of Havana; Margo Ganske of San Diego CA; Mary Ann Parker of Casselton; Sue Anderson of Rutland; Victoria Christianson of Denver Co; Kate Tagg of Blaine MN; and, Kathy Brakke of Rutland; had their sewing machines humming from the evening of Thursday, April 19, until the afternoon of Sunday, April 22, during their annual “Quilting cousins weekend” in Rutland. The ladies, with 1 exception, are either descendants of, or are married to descendants of, the late K. P. and Ingrid Ahrlin, who emigrated from Ostersund, Sweden, to Rutland, Dakota Territory, in the late 1880’s. The friends and cousins all share a passion for quilting, and greatly enjoy their combination family reunion/quilting retreat each year. This year, they occupied the kitchen in the Bill Anderson & Kathy Brakke home on Thursday evening and all day Friday, then moved up to the Rutland General Store for Saturday and Sunday. They took a break from their labors on Saturday, though, to enjoy a tour of the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, and a visit to the Weber Township home of Mary Ann Thornberg, where they were served a gourmet luncheon and enjoyed desserts in Mary Ann’s “Summer Kitchen.” The Quilting Cousins are already planning their next get-together, in April of 2013.
The mild Spring weather has allowed local construction projects to proceed at a steady pace. Joe Breker reports that interior work is now being done on the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, and that his wife, Patty, has become well acquainted with each and every log in the structure, as she has applied the caulking between the huge timbers. Also south of town, the new homes being constructed by the Kenny Hamilton and Thane Bergh families are nearing completion, and Roy Hildebrandt reports that he has nearly completed rearranging the farmstead along the State Line that was formerly owned by Leo & Susanne Malstrom, and by the Ed O’Brien family before that. North and east of town, a new Foltz pole building is going up on the new farmstead being constructed by Jesse & Marcia Brakke on the NE¼ of Section 15 in Ransom Township. And, in Rutland, Rodney Erickson and crew were installing new siding on the Erickson Building (formerly Prindiville’s Saloon, Skoglund’s Café, Ink’s Place, Bohn’s Bar and The Lariat Bar building) at 202 First Street. Rodney states that the siding is “LP Smartside,” a composite siding made with a resin that prevents the water damage that so often attacks composite or particle board siding. The new siding on the Erickson Building is a shade of green described as “avocado” by some, and as “olive” by others. Whatever the color, all agree that it is very attractive and a nice improvement to the appearance of Rutland’s Main Street. At present, the Erickson Building is 24 feet wide by 60 feet in length, but Rodney states that he intends to add another 16’ to the structure’s length this Summer. The addition, on the west end of the building, is intended to house heating, plumbing and other mechanical equipment necessary for the operation of the facility. Rodney intends to have the building completed and ready for occupancy this Fall.
Rockin’ Rodney Erickson’s building projects in Rutland have been on hold for the past several weeks while he has been in Thief River Falls MN, working on the airplanes used by Thompson Flying Service of Wyndmere. Rodney, an FAA certified airframe and engine mechanic, overhauled the big 9 cylinder Pratt & Whitney radial engines that power the AgCat biplane which he owns and the Thrush monoplane owned by Dan Thompson of Wyndmere. Rodney states that all of the big, 600 horsepower engines were manufactured for the U. S. military between 1938 and 1942, and are still reliable power, even though they are now all over 70 years old. They do require careful maintenance and frequent overhauls, though. Both planes are equipped with constant speed variable pitch propellers to give their pilots the best control over power and speed when the aircraft are in use applying agricultural chemicals to growing crops. The AgCat has a conventional 2 bladed prop, while the Thrush is equipped with a 3 blade model. Rodney and Dan will be checking out their aircraft and spray equipment at the NDSU test site near Wahpeton this coming weekend, he says.
Meanwhile, in the U. S. District Court in Fargo last week, a hearing loaded with irony, and a hefty dose of hypocrisy, played out. On Thursday, April 19, Federal District Court Judge Ralph Erickson presided over a hearing in which the Spirit Lake Dakota Sioux Tribe and members of the Standing Rock Dakota Sioux Tribe claimed that the NCAA and the State of North Dakota have violated their treaty rights by not including them in negotiations, lawsuits and settlements concerning the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname and logo. The tribes contend that the University’s use of the nickname and logo are an honor to them and their members, and that the right to use the nickname and logo was granted to the University by a treaty which the Dakota Sioux, a sovereign nation, have deemed to be in their best interests. This is the ultimate irony: the NCAA is in Federal Court telling the tribes that the nickname and logo are racist and demeaning, while the tribe is saying that they are not racist and demeaning, but bestow honor and pride on both the University of North Dakota and the Dakota Sioux people. The NCAA is telling the tribe that it knows what is in the best interest of the Dakota Sioux tribe and tribal members better than the tribes and tribal members, themselves. Apparently, paternalistic racism is a good thing, when it comes from the NCAA, but the use of ethnic nicknames and logos, such as the Seminoles of Florida or the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, is only acceptable when accompanied by enough money from an alumni association to grease the skids and get the NCAA’s attention. The NCAA should stick to organizing tournaments, and leave the issue of team names and logos to the parties involved.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For more 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. May 15, the end of the Postal Service’s Post Office closing moratorium is coming up in a couple of weeks. Now is the time to keep the pressure on the Postal Service, and North Dakota’s congressional delegation, to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.