Well, it’s been a relatively quiet week here in Rutland, North Dakota. Across the prairies, tractors equipped with global positioning and automatic steering systems pull high-tech planters across fields first tilled 130 years ago with oxen pulling 1 bottom breaking plows, while the tractor operators check market conditions on their I-phones and “Droids,” order supplies via the internet and confer with commodity brokers in Minneapolis & Chicago, while sending and receiving tweets, twitters and text messages to and from spouses, children and acquaintances scattered from Cayuga to Kabul. Farmers who were on top of the game 2 generations ago have been left in the dust by steadily accelerating technology, and Grandpa would be as bewildered and befuddled by today’s agriculture as if he had been transported to a different planet. But, one thing that does not change is the fact that “rain makes grain,” and, so far, all of the computers, I-phones, Global Positioning and Auto-Track systems in the world have not yet been able to control the weather, or produce a single drop of rain. With corn planting completed, soybean planting well underway, and those few wheat fields in the area looking good, The Assembled Wise Men at the Round Table are of the consensus that an inch of rain right now wouldn’t hurt a thing, and would do a lot of good. Well, as those old-timers who trudged behind a yoke of oxen while breaking up the prairie sod with a 1 bottom plow observed many years ago, “Every day that it doesn’t rain is one day closer to the day that it will.” Thus shall it ever be!
Friday, May 4, just happened to be the birthday of Janice Christensen, owner of the Lariat Bar. When Janice stopped by the Rutland Café for her morning coffee, the Assembled Wise Men at the coffee counter, led by Peder Gulleson, the only member of the assemblage with the ability to carry a tune in a bushel basket, burst into an enthusiastic, if not very musical, rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.” As the day wore on, though, it became apparent to Janice that the morning serenade was probably going to be the high point of her day. She just figured that everyone had forgotten about her birthday. The next day, though, on Saturday, her son and daughter-in-law, Brad & Rebecca Christensen of Rutland, and her daughter and son-in-law, Stacey & Dennis Biewer of Oxbow ND, and their families took Janice out to supper at a place where she wouldn’t have to clear the tables or wash the dishes. Their mother was their guest for supper at Dino’s, a bar and supper club in Claire City SD. Meanwhile, unknown to Janice, the Lariat Bar was being prepared for a big party. Everyone in the community was in on the secret, except Janice. While she and her family enjoyed a leisurely supper and drive back home, the Lariat was filled with party-goers waiting to help Janice celebrate her birthday. Decorations and costumes were in the western theme, fitting the Lariat’s name and history. Karaoke music equipment was set up and ready to go. Food was laid out for the guests. As Janice and her family got closer to Rutland, a cellular phone call alerted friends at the bar to make a parking space in front for Janice’s car. As she pulled in, right in front of the Lariat’s door, she noticed the large number of cars and pickups on Main Street, but didn’t think too much of it. Then she opened the door to the Bar, and the surprise was complete as “Happy Birthday” roared forth to greet her. Janice, her family and her many friends, had a very enjoyable evening. It’s not polite to mention a lady’s age, but, when Janice was born: Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his 3rd term as President; theU. S. had been involved in World War II for 5 months; and, gasoline, if you could get it, cost less than 25 cents a gallon. Oh, yes, by the way, a glass of beer at Ink’s Place, the forerunner of the Lariat Bar, cost a nickel, too.
Jack Brummond, the Sage of Weber Township, drove up to Rutland for some coffee and conversation at The Rutland General Store’s Round Table on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 9. Jack stated that Folks he hasn’t heard from for over 40 years have called him recently to tell him that they never knew he was such an interesting guy, until they read about him in The Rooster Crows. Well, there’s no doubt about it, Jack is an interesting, and interested, guy. He was back at the Round Table on Tuesday, May 15, and reported that corn planting is pretty well wrapped up in Weber Township, and he figures that soybean planting will be completed by week’s end, as well. Weber Township’s wheat fields are looking good right now, too, he says. Jack is also of the opinion that a good, soaking rain would be mighty welcome any day now, and his experience with the Street Dance in Havana last Summer was so good that he’s thinking of sponsoring a Sargent County Rain Dance to produce some precipitation this Spring. Jack’s rain dance is a three step process: shimmy; shake; and, shower. He’s working on the schedule.
Rutland native Ed Nelson drove down from his home in Crookston MN on Thursday, May 10, to spend a couple of days visiting at the home of his mother, Lois Nelson. Ed reports that Crookston residents were pleased with this Spring’s reprieve from the catastrophic flooding that has plagued that area for the past several years. Ed, a 1963 graduate of Rutland High School, retired from his teaching and coaching career in the Crookston school system several years ago, but still does some computer related consulting work for the school system. He had hip replacement surgery a number of years ago, and had to have some repair work done on that hip this Spring that slowed him up for a while, he says, but he and his spouse, Jody, have plans to do some traveling this coming Summer, and will be spending a few weeks in Florida next Fall. Their son, Cody, is currently earning a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business.
A number of local families got Mom out of the kitchen on Mothers Day, Sunday, May 13, and took her out to dinner. Sargent County Commissioner Jerry Waswick of Gwinner took his wife, Tracy, and children out to the annual Mother’s Day Dinner at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Geneseo, and reports that the parishioners there maintained their tradition of serving an excellent dinner in a warm and friendly setting. The Rutland General Store served a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, and owner Gretchen Vann reports that more than 120 diners were served here. It was also reported that the Forman Café served a Mother’s Day dinner that drew a large crowd, as well as good reviews. Mother’s Day has, historically, had the largest volume of long-distance telephone calls of any day of the year. Father’s Day comes in second, with the largest number of long-distance collect phone calls of any day in the year. What a difference a day makes!
Norbert and Beverly Kulzer drove their pickup and travel trailer down to Brandon SD on Friday, May 11, and attended the reception for their grandson’s, Nick Kulzer’s, graduation from High School that was held at the home of Stan & Karen Kulzer. Norbert reports that he and Bev parked their travel trailer in the South Dakota State Park campground along the Big Sioux River near Brandon, a beautiful spot where they have camped during previous visits to that area. Norbert reports that the campground was completely full on Friday evening, but there was only the Kulzer trailer and a tent in the facility on Monday morning. During Nick’s reception, Norbert visited with a local farmer who informed him that farmland in the Yankton SD area was bringing $10,000 per acre, if and when any came on the market. Thirty years ago, the same land was selling for $425.00 per acre, with the only problem being that $425 was as hard, or harder, to come by back then than $10,000 is today. The Kulzers returned to Rutland on Monday, May 14, and report a very enjoyable weekend.
The Rutland Community Club held its May meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 14, in the Rutland Town Hall. Members discussed the proposal to purchase an electronic bulletin board sign for the community, as well as several alternatives, and decided to table the matter until the June meeting when additional information should be available. Hal Nelson reported on the regulations to be complied with in order to have a billboard for Rutland along the State Highway. Uff-Da Day 2012 chairperson Lori McLaen gave a report on preparations for this year’s event, which will take place on Sunday, October 7. Lori stated that the bagpipe band from Aberdeen SD will be on hand to perform this year, and will be in the Uff-Da Day parade, too. Ione Pherson reported on the “Every Door Direct Mail” program now available from the U. S. Postal Service, and the Community Club allocated $500.00 to send out a community promotional brochure as a test use of the system. An 8½” by 11” document on cardstock can be sent out to every address in the zip code for a postage cost of 14.5 cents apiece, Ione reported. Bert Siemieniewski reported that painting had been completed in the Town Hall, and that the only work remaining was to finish the entryway, which the contractor, Kip’s Construction of Britton, has assured her would be done before Memorial Day. Right now, the interior of the Hall looks as good as it has at any time since the building was constructed 65 years ago, back in 1947, possibly better. Plans for the pot-luck dinner following the Memorial Day program on Monday, May 28, were discussed. Bonnie Anderson has agreed to take charge of the kitchen for that event. In other business, the Community Club made a donation of $100.00 to the Sargent Central Boosters for the new school playground equipment. The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.on Monday, June 11, at the Rutland Town Hall.
The Board of Directors of the Rutland Community Development Corporation met in the Rutland Town Hall on Monday, May 14, immediately following the Community Club meeting. The treasurer’s report, delivered by Rob Hoflen, indicated that all outstanding loans were either current or ahead of schedule, and that approximately $4,900.00 of cash is currently available for additional development opportunities. The board decided to work on encouraging new housing development in the Rutland community. Reports were also received on the progress of several ongoing business development projects currently under construction in the community, including the Coteau des Prairies Lodge and the Erickson Building. Current Directors and Officers of the RCDC are: Bill Anderson, president; Rodney Erickson, vice president; Mike Kulzer, secretary; Rob Hoflen, treasurer; Cam Gulleson, director; Jill Anderson, director; and, Rob Wyum, director. The RCDC was formed in 1976 to assist and encourage economic development in the Rutland community.
Schmidt movers of Wyndmere were on the job at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15, placing the house that used to be situated at 217 Ross Street in Rutland on its new foundation. Buskohl Construction of Milnor had poured the foundation, and Nick Schmidt III, in charge of the moving crew, commented that the foundation was a perfect fit for the 102 year old residence. The house, originally built by C. A. Rennix back in 1910, is now on the NE¼ of Section 15 in Ransom Township, on the south side of Highway #11 and 3½ miles east of the Rutland corner. It is now part of the new farmstead being constructed at that location by Jesse & Marcia Brakke. The Brakke’s also have a 36 X 64 pole building under construction at the site, and are in the process of putting together a very attractive farmstead. The property has been owned by Jesse’s family since the 1890’s.
That’s the news from Rutland for this week. For more information about what’s going on in “The 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 while you’re at it, too. May 15 marked the last day of the Postal Service’s self imposed moratorium on the closing of rural Post Offices. A plan has been announced by the Postal Service that will, if and when it is implemented, result in drastic cuts in the hours of service available at local Postal Service offices. The Congress can still act to require a more sensible approach to solving the Postal Service’s financial woes, so now is the time to keep the pressure on the Postal Service and on the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! A Post Office at which the service window is closed is a little, but not much, better than one at which the front door is locked. Later.