The rain showers of last week appear to have broken the grip of the drought in this area, at least for the present. Summer thunderstorms on Friday, July 20, Sunday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 24 deposited a total of .75 inch of rain on the Rutland area, give or take a tenth of an inch. Combined with the precipitation from showers earlier in the week, the total since July 16 adds up to about 1½ inches for the 10 day period. Harvey Bergstrom reports .85 of an inch of rain at his farm south of Cayuga on Sunday, July 22. Most corn and soybean fields in this area appear to have good moisture, despite the severe heat of the past 2 weeks. Another .1 of an inch of rain on the evening of Tuesday, July 24, coupled with .3 of an inch on Wednesday morning, provided a little bit of insurance, and assurance, for a crop that is proving the truth of the old adage, “Rain makes grain.”
Cayuga native Billy Kiefer was a Rutland visitor on the evening of Wednesday, July 18, and spent a few hours visiting with old friends here. Mr. Kiefer, a member of SCHS Class of 1968 and a 1972 graduate of NDSU, was in the area lining up an October pheasant hunt as a fund-raiser for Wounded Warriors, a group that assists military veterans wounded or disabled in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He also donated 2 tickets and a parking pass to the Rutland Community Club to use as a fundraiser. The tickets are for the November 10 game between the NDSU Bison and the SDSU Jackrabbits. The big game, between 2 of the top ranked Division 1-A football teams in the nation, will be played at the Fargo Dome. It is expected that the Community Club will raffle the tickets off to a lucky winner. Billy also reports that he is the proud owner of several horses and mules, and that one of his mules has been in more than 30 bars in North Dakota without a single misstep or mishap. That mule does better than a lot of humans. It probably possesses some horse sense.
Pherson Custom Combining was harvesting spring wheat in the hills along the State Line east of Havana, south of Rutland that was running from 53 to 58 bushels to the acre, at 12% moisture, on the afternoon of Thursday, July 19, according to Denny Pherson. The wheat weighed in at 61 pounds to the bushel and was top quality, reported Denny, and he knows wheat so well that it is his nickname.
Cam Gulleson has been over at Mott for the past week, harvesting barley and field peas on the Kerry Swindler farm there. Reports are that the barley is of excellent quality.
Russel Butaine of Silver Lake was applying a new coat of red paint to the Rutland Senior Citizens building at 109 First Street on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, July 18 – 20, last week. Prior to applying the new coat of paint, Mr. Butaine and his crew pressure washed the exterior of the building to remove old paint, and also repaired and caulked window sills, trim and mortar joints. The concrete block building was constructed in 1947 by Wilbur & Elsie Jacobson to serve as the home of the Rutland Recreation Center, and was originally equipped with 2 bowling alleys with manually operated mechanical pin setters, 2 pool tables, several card tables and a lunch counter. Rutland native Bobby Barger purchased the business from the Jacobsons in the mid-70’s, and the Rutland Senior Citizens acquired the building from Mr. Barger in 1981.
On the west side of Main Street, at 112 First Street, Lori McLaen recently applied a new coat of paint to the wood trim on the front of the Rutland Oil Company building. That brick and block building was built by George Hoflen in 1948 as headquarters for his Chrysler-Plymouth automobile, Dodge truck and Allis-Chalmers farm equipment dealerships. Kulzer Farm Supply acquired the building in 1967, and it continued as the local sales and service center for Allis-Chalmers, later Deutz-Allis and AGCO, farm equipment until 2003 when it was purchased by Greg Donaldson to serve as home base for Rutland Oil Co.
Wrapping up on recent improvements to the appearance of structures on Rutland’s Main Street, Rodney Erickson and helpers completed the application of siding and window trim to the front of his building at202 First Street on Tuesday, July 24. That building was originally constructed on East Front Street by Rutland pioneer Jack Prindiville back in 1887, and is now at its third location in Rutland’s business district. It was a saloon in the days of Dakota Territory, and later saw use as a pool hall, ice cream store, café, and, from 1933 to 2009, as a bar and liquor store, consecutively known as Skoglund’s Bar, Ink’s Place, Bohn’s Bar and, for 56 years, the Lariat Bar. Rodney has completely rebuilt and renovated the building, restoring the front façade to its 1887 appearance, while completely modernizing the interior. At this point, Rogney’s building is either the newest old building, or the oldest new building, in Sargent County. A new addition, now under construction on the west end of the building, will house the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and other equipment needed for the operation of the structure. It will be the first building in Rutland to use geo-thermal energy for heating and cooling.
The funeral for Marcine (McNeil) Olson was held in Minneapolis on Wednesday, July 18, with a number of friends and family from this community attending the service. She had passed away at a Minneapolis hospital on Friday, July 20, at the age of 74 years. Marcine was the eldest child of the late Vernal & Marcella (Johnson) McNeil of this community. Her father was employed by the Great Northern, later the Burlington Northern Railway here as a section laborer and track inspector. Marcine grew up Rutland and obtained her elementary and high school education here. She married Morris Olson, also of Rutland, in 1955, and the couple made their home in the Minneapolis area throughout their marriage. They have been frequent Rutland visitors over the years, returning often to visit friends and family here, and to participate in community events. Marcine is survived by her husband, Morris, of Minneapolis; by 1 son, 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren, all in the Minneapolis area; by 4 sisters: Janet (Mrs. Victor) Malstrom of Rutland; Sharon (Mrs. Roger) Pearson of Rutland; Beverly (Mrs. Harlan) Arneson of Wahpeton; Loretta (Mrs. Lary) Arneson of Rutland; and, by 1 brother, William McNeil of Oklahoma. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Marcine Olson.
This community was shocked and saddened on Monday, July 16, when word was received here that Mary Lee, wife of Brent Lee of this community, had died of an apparent heart attack while a patient at Sanford Hospital in Fargo. During the time she lived in Rutland, Mary was employed by several retail businesses in Rutland and Forman, and was appreciated for her off beat, cheerful, friendly and outgoing personality and attitude. Mary is survived by her husband, Bren, of Rutland; by one son, Wade Kluesner of Sioux Falls SD; and by one granddaughter, Kimberly Kluesner, also of Sioux Falls. A private, family memorial service is planned. The Rutland community extends its sympathy to the family and friends of Mary Lee.
Ray Erickson remained a patient at Essentia Hospital in Fargo as of the morning of Wednesday, July 25. Ray has been in the Intensive Care Unit at Essentia since undergoing surgery there last week. It is reported that, prior to going in for his surgery, Ray entertained the nursing staff with a full rendition of his repertoire of jokes and original songs, including The Honeymoon Song and The Little Ball of Yarn. Ray’s many friends here have him, and the Erickson family, in their thoughts and prayers.
DarWayne & Ardy Crandall stopped in Rutland on the morning of Friday, July 13, prior to departing on an Alaska cruise. Their trip plan called for the use of planes, trains, automobiles and ships during the course of their travels. The Crandalls expected to be back home by July 27.
Silver Lake Park Manager Dennis Goltz & his wife, Linda, return home on Saturday, July 21, at the conclusion of a trip to the West Coast. Dennis reports that they drove through North Dakota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota on their expedition. In the course of the journey, they visited 2 of Dennis’ aunts, his mother’s sisters, one in Seattle and the other in Medford OR. The aunts are age 92 and 89, and are both leading active lives. Dennis & Linda spent 2 days touring Yellowstone Park in Montana & Wyoming on the return trip. They also stopped to visit the Buffalo Bill Museum at Cody WY, where more than 2,700 firearms are on display, Dennis reported.
The Rutland-Cayuga Firemen’s annual supper was held on Saturday, July 21, at the Rutland Town Hall, with 80 fire district patrons braving the heat to attend the event. A supper of pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and potato salad was catered by Bert Siemieniewski. Fire District secretary Ron Narum reports that 152 advance tickets for the event had been purchased by District patrons.
In addition to commercial structures on Main Street, a number of Rutland’s residences have also been getting dressed up with new coats of paint. Lori & Tony Nesta have brightened up the corner of Bagley & Front Streets with a new coat of light yellow paint on their home at 103 Bagley Street. Lary & Loretta Arneson have applied a new coat of distinguished grey paint with white trim to their home at 209 Gay Street. Gretchen Vann has been scraping paint and power washing her rental house at 409 Anthony Street in preparation for a new coat of white paint, while Rob & Kylee Roney have painted their home at 404 Gay Street a classic blue. Lori McLaen has put a coat of white paint on her house at 403 Anthony Street, and has turned her corner of town into a real showplace. Congratulations to these property owners, and to others in the community, as well, who are keeping their homes and property in an attractive and well maintained condition.
Paul & Sue Anderson, accompanied by Sue’s mother, Etha Brost of Sun City West AZ, drove to Alexandria MN on Saturday, July 21, to spend the afternoon with their daughter and son-in-law, Katy & Josh Elfring of Minneapolis. Mrs. Brost has been visiting in Rutland since Tuesday, July 17. She is still working, full time, as a realtor in the Sun City West community, and reports that home sales there are picking up, but that prices have not yet recovered to pre-recession levels. It’s still “Bargain Day” for home buyers in the Phoenix-Mesa-Sun City market, Etha reports.
Special music was provided at Sunday services in the Rutland Baptist Church on Sunday, July 22, by Kathy Brakke and her 2 granddaughters, Kaia Mahrer and Claire Brakke. The musical selections performed included piano, violin and voice, and were appreciated by all.
Janet Bradbury has been at home in Rutland since Sunday, July 22, after spending most of the past 6 months at her childhood home, the Warren Ranch, near Rapid City SD. Janet reports that the drought has been very severe in that area, with pastures and hay in very short supply for local cattle ranchers. An Inch of rain at the end of last week was the first precipitation of any significance received all year, she states. Janet says that the brilliant green, blue and gold of southeastern North Dakota is too much for her, and she will be heading back to the dull beige, brown and grey of southwestern South Dakota in the next week or so.
Dick Meyers returned from New Hope MN on Monday, July 23, after spending the weekend in that Twin Cities suburb, attending the wedding of his granddaughter, Sara Burke, to Mr. Aaron Shepherd. Both the bride and the groom are employed in the Cities, and expect to make their home in the New Hope area.
Pam Gulleson spent a couple of days at home in Rutland last weekend, July 21 & 22, before hitting the campaign trail, again. Since being endorsed for election to the U. S. House of Representatives by the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party back in March, Pam has put more than 40,000 miles on her car, crisscrossing the State. She has visited 80 North Dakota communities and appeared in more than 20 parades, during the first 3 weeks of July, alone. So far, the tenor of the Congressional campaign has been positive, but low key. It is hoped that it will stay that way, but Pam’s GOP opponent, Kevin Kraemer, has been an unsuccessful candidate for the U. S. House on 3 other occasions, and has a record of taking the low road in those previous contests.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the spirit of the late Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy is once again skulking through the halls of the U. S. Congress, this time in the person of Minnesota’s Tea Party Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachman. While McCarthy destroyed lives and careers back in the 1950’s with baseless allegations of affiliation with Communism, a failed economic system of the 20th Century, Ms. Bachman does her dirty work with baseless allegations that accuse government officials and political opponents of affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical, religious based political movement that is currently popular in the Middle East. The Muslim Brotherhood has become the favorite boogeyman of the radical right in American politics since President Obama deprived them of their previous favorite boogeyman, Ossama Bin-Laden, by directing the elimination of the terrorist back in May of 2011. It is no surprise that Ms. Bachman, and other wing-nuts such as Rush Limbaugh, would seek to frighten Americans into irrational support for them. They have done it before. Propaganda experts from the Nazi Joseph Goebbels and the Communist Leon Trotsky to modern practitioners of the black arts such as Lee Atwater and Karl Rove have long known that any lie, if told loud enough and long enough, will be accepted as truth by someone, so they keep on spewing out lies, long and loud. What is surprising is that, with their record of unfounded allegations, baseless accusations, duplicity, deceit and out right lies, anyone pays any attention to them at all. We are Americans, after all, masters of our own fate, directing our own destinies, and have no valid reason to fear anyone or anything. So, pack it in, Congresswoman Bachman! Americans don’t need you, or your politics of fear!
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. Postmaster General Donahoe and a few irrational, but somehow influential, members of Congress are still working on implementing a plan leading to the destruction of the U. S. Postal Service, so remember to keep the pressure on North Dakota’s Congressional delegation to adopt meaningful Postal Service reform legislation, and to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.