News & Events

The Rooster Crows – September 23, 2016

Soybean harvest has now been underway for nearly 2 weeks.  Occasional rain showers have interrupted progress, but a short break to take care of machinery and other chores is not unwelcome, as long as it’s brief.  For the most part, the weather has been typical of late September, warm & sunny during the day and cool  & damp during the night.  Mike Walstead reported that the beans he had been harvesting in Rutland Township on Monday, September 19, were at 10% moisture, almost too dry to harvest, as extremely dry beans may crack or shatter during the harvesting process, converting them from a valuable commodity to dockage.  The light shower on the morning of Tuesday, September 20, .06 of an inch according to Paul Anderson’s electronic gauge, halted combines for the forenoon, but most were rolling again by Tuesday afternoon.  Gary Thornberg reports that the soybean harvest has been proceeding at a brisk pace in Weber Township, and that yields of 40 bushels to the acre, or better, seem to be the norm.

If you are looking for a 1929 Model A Ford, fully restored and in perfect running order, Doug Spieker has all of the parts you might need to build one.  Doug has the Model A chassis, a 1929 Crown Victoria body that was manufactured for Ford by the Murray Company, engine blocks, transmissions, wheels, radiators and all of the other parts needed to make a fully restored classic antique automobile.  Doug, a skilled mechanic, machinist and metal worker, had intended to do the restoration work himself, but, after several years of pondering the project, finally decided that he has too many irons in the fire and just needs to let some of them go.  Give Doug a call at 724-6298 if you have a hankering to follow in the footsteps of Henry Ford and build a Model A.  The Model A Ford was built from 1928 through 1931 by the Ford Motor Company.  It was the successor to Ford’s famous Model T, better known as the “Tin Lizzie,” the automobile that put America on wheels.  The Model T was built from 1908 through 1927, with only minor modifications over those 20 years.  The Model A had a more rounded appearance than the Model T, actually had all 4 doors, had a standard transmission and had real brakes, among other improvements.  At the time it was said that in making the Model A, Henry Ford had “…made a lady out of Lizzie!”  “It’s all there.” says Doug, the master’s touch is all that’s needed to bring her to life.”

Joayne (Brown) Hogoboom of Denver CO and Jeanne (Brown) Campbel of Aberdeen SD stopped in Rutland over Noon on Thursday, September 15, and had lunch with their cousins, Bill Anderson, Paul Anderson and Betsy Anderson, at the Lariat Bar.  The Brown girls are the daughters of the late John H. “Jack” and Ida (Breum) Brown, and they spent their early childhood years with their parents and grandparents in Rutland.  Their mother had passed away when they were quite young, and they later resided in the home of their aunt & uncle, the late Clara (Breum) and Lincoln Flados, in Bowman ND.  Their paternal grandparents, the late Hans & Karolina Brown, lived on the farm on the east ½ of Section 28 in Ransom Township, about 2½ miles east of Rutland.  That farm is now owned by Gulleson Brothers, and the last remnants of the buildings were removed from the site this past Spring.  The Ernest & Mary Gast family had resided on the farm from 1948 until 1961, and it has been unoccupied since then.  Joayne and Jeanne state that they have very fond memories of their childhood years in Rutland, and that they always enjoy returning to spend some time visiting in their old home town.

Where were you when the lights went out?  Electrical power in Rutland was interrupted shortly after 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, when a chisel plow with the wings folded up snagged the service line that crossed Cooper Street about ½ a block east of Main Street.  The chisel plow was being towed east on Cooper Street/County Road #3 by a truck that was driven by Rutland Fire Chief Cameron Gulleson.  The service line that ran from the Otter Tail Power Company’s substation half a block east of Main Street over to a utility pole behind the City Shop was hooked by the chisel plow and pulled loose, snapping off the utility pole, shutting down the substation and leaving Rutland with no electricity.  The pole in the alley was snapped off at ground level, and the wires that lay across the street were still hot.  Cameron immediately brought a fire truck and emergency flashers to the site to keep others from driving into the hot wires.  The line across the street was supposed to be 13½ feet above the road surface, but the line had apparently sagged just low enough to be snagged by the chisel plow wing.  Cameron’s brother, Cody Gulleson, was driving behind Cameron in another vehicle when the accident took place, and stayed to direct traffic away from the scene until the repair crew could arrive.  Otter Tail’s repair crew was quick to respond, the line was repaired and power restored at 8:30 p.m.  A tall, new pole was installed to replace the one that had been broken off, raising the line to 17’ above the road surface.  Reports are now circulating that the repair was only temporary, as Otter Tail intends to convert some of the overhead electrical service lines in Rutland to underground lines at some point in the near future.  According to Cameron, the change can’t happen soon enough.

Paul Anderson and Bill Anderson of this community drove up to Grand Forks on Friday, September 16, to participate in a reunion commemorating the 90th anniversary of their college fraternity, Kappa Sigma, at the University of North Dakota.  More than 260 alumni, and their guests, had registered for the event.  They attended events at the UND Alumni Center, at the King’s Cross Golf Course, at the Kappa Sigma Fraternity house at 2510 University Avenue, at the Alerus Center, where the UND football team tallied a heart stopping 47-44 come from behind double overtime victory over the University of South Dakota; and, a banquet, program and dance at the Ralph Inglestad Arena.  A farewell brunch at the Alumni Center was attended by many on Sunday morning before they departed for home.  Over the course of the weekend there was a lot of reminiscing and renewing of old friendships.  The oldest Alumni in attendance at the Saturday evening banquet was a 1948 initiate.

Norbert & Beverly Kulzer returned home from a late Summer vacation trip to one of their favorite destinations, Branson MO, on the evening of Sunday, September 18.  They had begun their journey in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 11.  Driving conditions were good and the trip went smoothly, except for a 50-mile detour that occurred when Norbert missed a turn on the way home.  He says that his GPS named Beverly, not Siri, was taking a nap in the passenger seat at the time.  A new attraction in Branson is a huge Ferris Wheel which Norbert estimated to be about 90 feet in height.  The big ride had been acquired from an amusement park at Chicago, which had put up a bigger one, Norbert was informed.  Norbert also visited with a retired professor who had taught at The College Of The Ozarks, a school from which every student graduates debt free.  Students work at the various businesses run by the trade and technical school in order to earn their tuition, room and board, and when they graduate from their course of study they have a diploma, work experience and no debt, a winning combination.

Preparations for Uff-Da Day 2016 continued this week with 12 batches of sandkakes produced on Tuesday, September 20, according to Uff-Da Day chairperson Marcia Brakke.  Marcia reports that 5 volunteer bakers produced 6 batches in the morning and that a crew of 8 baked 6 batches in the evening session.  The Tuesday evening crew included 4 Family & Consumer Science students from Lidgerwood High School.  Uff-Da Day is on Sunday, October 2, and everyone is invited, says Marcia.

Tis the season to be sneezin’, but if the flu is not for you, then getting a shot is the thing to do.  Sargent County Health District Director Brenda Peterson and County Health Nurse Joyce Chapin have announced that there will be a flu vaccination clinic from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, October 5 at the Rutland Seniors’ Center.  A flu vaccination will not only help the recipient avoid the flu, but it will keep them from spreading it to others, too.  That’s Wednesday, October 12, at the Rutland Seniors’ Center.

Dick Meyers recalls that, sometime around 1940 or ‘41, his Dad, Otto, purchased a thoroughbred horse named Blossom from Henry Johnson who farmed in Ransom Township.  Blossom was to be the transportation for Dick and his older brother, John, who would have been about 8 and 10 years old at the time, and they kept her in the barn at Bert & Reina Olson’s place on the west side of Dakota Street, where the garage owned by Richard Bradbury now stands.  Blossom was well past her prime as a racer by the time she came into the possession of the Meyers boys, but she was a thoroughbred, and she had been born to run.  As the younger, and smaller, of the 2 boys, Dick usually ended up being the jockey in the impromptu races organized by the local youngsters.  Blossoms competitors were most often the Silseth boys’ Indian ponies, and Neil Johnson’s big black horse named Nigger, a name that is now unacceptable but which was commonly conferred on black horses, dogs and other pets back in that era.  Back then, most North Dakotans had never met, or even seen, a black person, much less thought of the racist connotations of the “N” word.  Anyway, the name is not important to the story, except as background information to show that the owners respected their horses enough to give them names.  The late Clayton McLaen was often involved in laying out the racecourse, carefully measuring and marking the distances around the Rutland baseball park, states Dick, and sometimes some of the adults in the community would come out to watch the races and bet on the outcomes.  “They bet on everything back then,” states Dick.  During baseball games the late Chris Dyste was known to take bets on whether the pitcher would throw a fastball or a curve, or on whether or not the batter would swing at the ball or take the pitch.  On one occasion, Neil Johnson’s father, Rutland store owner Harold “Dutch” Johnson, was doing a little imbibing and rashly made a bet that, like a rodeo cowboy, he could ride a bull for 8 seconds, the required time for a ride to score in a PRCA rodeo.  The 2 oldest Prindiville boys, Dennis & Jerry, then in their early 20’s and late teens, took Dutch up on his bet.  There being no rodeo in Rutland at the time, however, they had to find an available bull.  The Prindiville boys’ Dad, Rutland Postmaster John D. Prindiville, had a bull on the farm just south of town.  All involved knew that John D. would not approve of any shenanigans involving his valuable bull, but the boys reasoned that Dad was up at the Post Office, and what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.  Out to the farm went the whole group, participants, bettors and interested observers.  Dennis and Jerry got their Dad’s Shorthorn bull out into a pen by the barn, ready for Dutch’s big ride.  Meanwhile, Dutch had been bolstering his courage with a few more sips from a flask containing liquid bravery, and probably thought himself to be in better form than he actually was.  With all bets down, Dutch leapt onto the bull’s back, and the normally placid bull let loose with a burst of energy and athleticism that none had suspected he possessed.  The bull jumped into the air, arched his back, twisted, bucked and sent Dutch flying, well before the 8 second, or 6 second or even 4 second time was reached.  Dutch did have a soft landing, though, according to Dick, as he hit the ground on a pile of fresh manure.  Dutch lost the bet, but gained a new respect for Shorthorn bulls, and inspired a good story that gets better with age.  Shortly thereafter The United States was attacked by Japan, and most of the eligible young men, as well as many of the young women, of the community went off to war, Dennis Prindiville into the Army, Jerry into the Navy, and Rutland settled down to the serious business of gaining the victory over the Axis powers.  No more rodeos at the Prindiville farm, just the silo races.  Thanks to dick for the story.  As the late Romey Kulzer once said, “That’s the way it is in Rutland.  You have a crazy idea, and before you can change your mind, you’re doing it!”  Long may it be so.

Next Monday, September 26, is the date set for the first Presidential Debate of the 2016 Campaign, pitting Donald Trump, the Republican endorsed candidate, against Hillary Clinton, the candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party.  Mrs. Clinton brings 4 decades of public service experience to the campaign.  Mr. Trump brings 4 decades of private business experience to the campaign.  Public opinion polls have been telling us that potential voters dislike Hillary Clinton slightly less than they dislike Donald Trump.  The impression that each makes on the electorate during the debates, particularly the first one, could be critical in determining the outcome of the November 8 election contest.  “History doesn’t repeat itself,” American author and humorist Mark Twain once observed, “but it does rhyme.”  This campaign seems to be rhyming with the anti-Irish prejudice and anti-Catholic bigotry of the 1852 campaign of the “Know Nothing” American Party, and with the anti-Semitic, pro Nazi rhetoric of the1930’s America First movement.  In 2016, the rhetoric from one campaign is anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic, anti-Muslim and, in the opinion of many, anti-American.  At their previous peaks, the fear mongers have never succeeded, but they have never had the power of today’s mass media at their disposal before, nor a professional huckster as their spokesperson.  The appeals to the darker side of human nature are strong, and the emotions that are being played to: fear; anger; and, hatred; are among the most powerful.  Whether they succeed in overwhelming the American character remains to be seen.  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” said FDR in 1933, and he was talking about the fear that paralyzes people into inaction, that discourages them from working with their fellow citizens to solve common problems and achieve common goals.  Well, it’s up to us to decide whether it will be fear or reason that determines the direction of our country for the next 4 years, and that could shape its destiny for a long time to come.  We should listen to the debates, use the good sense that our Creator gave us, and remember to vote on Election Day.  That’s our chance to make a difference.

That’s the news from Rutland 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, and take a look at the Uff-Da Day and Rutland Facebook pages while you’re at it, too.  Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!  Later.

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