News & Events

The Rooster Crows – December 2, 2016

It’s not very often that the weather can be said to be “normal” around here, as weather conditions are usually only normal or average in that brief instant when they are going by, on the way to one extreme or the other.  The past week, though, may be said to have exhibited normal November weather: cold, but not too cold; wet, but not too wet; foggy, but not too foggy; and, miserable, but not too miserable.  In fact, conditions on Friday and Saturday of last week, the 2 days immediately following Thanksgiving Day, were downright nice, with sunshine, no wind and the temperature heading up into the mid-40’s.  The rain that has fallen since Sunday, November 27, has washed away all of the snow that had accumulated on roadways back on the 18th & 19th, but left the surfaces of most County and Township gravel roads in a soft and soggy condition that made driving hazardous for those whose only speed is FAST. One pickup made an unscheduled stop 2 miles east of Rutland at about 10:00 on the morning of Friday, November 25, when it slid into the south ditch of County #3, and then flipped end for end when the bumper and grill guard dug into the soft dirt at the bottom of the ditch.  The driver, who was wearing his seat belt, emerged from the wreck uninjured, but the same cannot be said for the pickup.  Paul Anderson’s electronic rain gauge at 309 Gay Street measured .75 of an inch of precipitation from Sunday, November 27 through the morning of Tuesday, November 29.  Paul had been up at his lake property near Nevis MN on Sunday & Monday, too, and reports that the 14 inches of snow that had fallen there during the weekend before Thanksgiving was all gone, washed away by the rain.  Winter is not vanquished yet, though.  Like the Terminator, it’ll be back!

Matt & Nicole Cramton of Minneapolis MN visited in Rutland from Monday, November 21, through Saturday, November 26, at the home of Matt’s mother, Renee Cramton.  Matt & Nicole were on hand for Thanksgiving Dinner, and paid a visit to The Old Parsonage while they were in town, as well.

Betsy Anderson returned to Rutland on Wednesday, November 23, after a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she visited some old friends from her college days at the University of Nebraska.  Betsy also toured a Community College near Lincoln, to check out a prospective teaching job there.

Joe & Nicole Rosenwald of Livingston, Montana, were Thanksgiving guests at the Jesse & Marcia Brakke farm home from Thursday, November 24 to Saturday, November 26.  The Rosenwalds son, Mason, enjoyed a day of pheasant hunting with Jesse Brakke and his English Setter, Rosie, on Friday, November 25.  The birds were wild, Jesse reports, and got up out of range for the most part, but that’s why it’s called “hunting,” isn’t it?

James Brakke and Sydney Koch of Stillwater MN; Claire Brakke and Alex Markovitch of Grand Forks ND; and John Maini of Moorhead MN also visited at the Jesse and Marcia Brakke home from Thursday, November 24 to Friday, November 25, and were among the more than 2 dozen guests who were present for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Brakke’s Ransom Township farm home.  This was John Maini’s first visit to the Rutland community, and he pronounced the occasion to be “the best Thanksgiving” he has experienced in the 16 years that he has been living in the United States.  Mr. Maini is currently a student at State University of Minnesota-Moorhead.  He is a native of the nation of Zambia, and came to the United States via The Republic of South Africa when he was 9 years old.  He has an older brother who is a businessman in Wisconsin, and an older sister who is in the real estate business in Seattle WA.  He states that he intends to return to Rutland for Uff-Da Day 2017, if not before.

Well, Thanksgiving has been observed for about 396 years now, and there are a lot of good memories that go with such a long-standing tradition.  The following Thanksgiving reminiscence was received from Rutland native Pat (Anderson) Kulzer, and it will probably bring more to mind.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic for the last few days so thought I’d share a memory with you.  Hope you enjoy.  Some simple events coincided and made a special happy memory for me:  snow in Rutland in November, a visit from a cousin, and a holiday gathering.  On a windy, cold Thanksgiving Day in my snow-covered homeland Cousin Verna McPhail visited and celebrated with us.  Verna, the oldest child of Grandma Anderson’s older sister, Emma (Peterson) Johnson, is my dad’s first cousin.  At the time of her visit I didn’t realize that Verna was more than 20 years older than my dad.  She was born in 1895 so was just 13 years younger than Grandma Julia.  To me she seemed young.  She laughed a lot and appeared to enjoy her life.  I don’t know why she was in Rutland that day but she was the catalyst for one of my most vivid Thanksgiving memories.  I loved our holiday family gatherings.  Uncle Rudy & Aunt Edna’s home was my favorite gathering place.  Both the farmhouse east of Rutland (now the Andrew & Katy Woytassek home) and the “elevator” house in town (now the Lary Arneson home), felt huge to me.  The fact that those houses had stairs and a second story made visits there an exciting event for me.    There were enough rooms for everybody – grandma & moms in the kitchen and dining room, dads in the living room or playing cards around the table, boys in Arden’s room or outside, and Judy & I just checking it all out.  Oh what a thrill it was to peek in Sonja’s room.  She had a vanity made from apple crates with a gorgeous pink skirt surrounding it and a mirror attached.  I still believe I’d enjoy having a vanity like that.  She also had many paper dolls, perfectly cut out and each with lots of clothes.  Judy & I would borrow them and lay them out on the stairs from the second floor all the way to the bottom step.  When Sonja noticed, she’d loudly scold us and notify Edna and Irene that we had invaded her space again.  Yes, she was a tattle-tale.  It didn’t matter that we were super careful with her stuff, Sonja did not want to share with us.  I loved her anyway.  On the day I remember, though, the gathering was at our house.  Our house had a small kitchen, a small combined living/dining room and three small bedrooms all opening into that living/dining room.  We did have an unfinished basement and sometimes we kids would play there.  It was exciting to play hide and seek with the lights off in the basement.  Arden was the best at finding hiding places.  Under the stairs with the 50-pound sack of sprouting potatoes was a popular and spooky spot.  One time Arden hid my brother Paul inside the drum of the old wringer-style washing machine.  None of us could find Paul and both Paul and Arden were so pleased.  When our family and Rudy’s family and Grandma were all inside our house, it was very crowded.  I wonder now how Mom was able to prepare and serve a huge holiday dinner in such cramped quarters.  Kudos to her for getting it done!  I believe it was in 1959 that Verna was with us for Thanksgiving.  I think that because I don’t remember Sonja or my brother Harvey being with us.   They had both graduated from high school in those years and Sonja was a college student with a boyfriend, and Harvey was in the Marine Corps.  But Cousin Verna was there and probably our Uncle Art Brown, my mom’s brother, and the Strand brothers, old & dear friends of the family.  That would have made about 15 people for dinner.  Only 12 could be seated around the extended dining table.  So that meant that Judy, Paul & I were again at the “little” table, the last to be served and hoping Bill and Arden hadn’t cleared the lefse plate.  The feast was over.  Judy & I, the clean-up crew, were washing dishes.  The adults were reminiscing and someone mentioned sledding at Windy Mound, the tallest hill in the hills south of Rutland.  Even though it was a bitterly cold, windy day, sledding sounded like fun.  Judy & I were good at begging and whining when we wanted something so we began our pursuit of a sledding party.  “Please, please, pleeeaaase!  We promise we’ll wash dishes at every family gathering.”  We did that at every gathering anyway, so it wasn’t a promise we wouldn’t keep.  There wasn’t much enthusiasm from Dad or Uncle Rudy to get moving, BUT then Cousin Verna helped us out when she said she’d like to go.  Thank you, Cousin Verna!  In those years everyone dressed up for holiday dinners.  Girls and moms in dresses.  Boys in their Sunday pants and shirts and dads in their suits.  We kids changed to warm clothes, coats, hats, gloves, jeans, boots, and we found our sleds.  No plastic sleds.  Ours were “Flexible Flyers” made of slats of wood with metal runners.  Our parents didn’t dress for sledding.  We all piled into two or three vehicles, and to the hills we went.  Walking up Windy Mound in deep snow was a strenuous workout, but the ride down was fantastic.  Wind and blowing snow froze the corners of our smiles to our ears, made our cheeks & noses red, and numbed our fingers & toes.  After a couple of hikes up and slides down, though, we were freezing and our energy was sapped.  None of the adults took part in that first rush, but as we slowed, the “child” in my dad got excited and he decided to hike up the hill.  He was wearing his newest suit.  It was light brown.  I don’t remember that he even had on a topcoat or a hat.  But I do remember the huge smile on his face as he came swooshing down the hill.  Suddenly the sled crashed into a big rock that was buried in the snow.  The sled jerked to a stop.  Dad kept going and got dumped in the snow.  The seat of his pants caught on a nail sticking up on the sled and the nail ripped a huge L shaped tear in the fabric.  Wow, did we think that was hilarious!  And Cousin Verna may have laughed the loudest.  Mom, of course, was concerned that Dad may have ripped an L shaped tear in his butt.  Luckily, that didn’t occur.  But Dad’s mishap was the end of the sledding for that day.  The pants were patched by Buhl’s Dry cleaning from Britton, SD.  They picked up clothes in Rutland for cleaning and repair once a week and dropped off the following week.  Dad continued to wear that suit for several years and probably remembered that special Thanksgiving Day each time he put it on.  I remember the joy of that Thanksgiving Day, too, and all the dear and special people who made it memorable for me.  How grateful I am to have known them.  Wishing you all a Happy and Memory-making Thanksgiving!…

Thanks for sharing that memory, Pat.

The Executive Committee of the 26th District Democratic-NPL Party met at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, in the Community Room of the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station.  The committee members present reviewed the recent campaign and the results of the November 8 General Election.  Two of the 3 incumbent legislators endorsed for re-election by the 26th District Dem-NPL, Rep. Jerry Kelsh of Fullerton and Rep. Bill Amerman of Forman, were unsuccessful in their bid for another 4-year term.  Incumbent State Sen. Jim Dotzenrod of Wyndmere was one of the few Democrats re-elected to the State Legislature, and will be one of only 9 members of the Dem-NPL caucus in the 2017 State Senate.  Rep. Kelsh had served District #26 in the State Senate from 1984 to 2002, and in the State House of Representatives from 2008 to 2016.  Rep. Amerman had served the people of District #26 in the State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2016.  both Kelsh and Amerman were well known as forceful advocates for the interests of farmers, local governments, education, labor and veterans during their service in the legislature.  The District’s financial report indicated that a little more than $31,000 had been expended on the 2016 campaign and that the District will finish the year with a small positive balance in its war chest for the next campaign.  The Executive Committee also decided to host a “Thank You” recognition reception in honor of Rep. Kelsh and Rep. Amerman from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, at The Springs Golf Course Clubhouse in Gwinner.  Everyone in District 26 is invited to the event, according to District #26 Chairman, Paul Anderson of Rutland.  The District’s re-organization meeting was scheduled for March 11, 2017, at a site to be designated nearer that date.

Regardless of who is in the State Legislature, Santa Claus is coming to Rutland on Saturday, December 17, his 71st annual pre-Christmas visit to Rutland as the guest and friend of the Rutland Community Club.  The Community Club has a number of activities planned, including: horse drawn sleigh or wagon rides, depending on the snow; arts & crafts projects for the kids; BINGO for young & old; a soup and sandwich supper; the award of Christmas turkeys donated by local businesses; the Christmas tree lighting ceremony; and, of course, a chance to visit with Jolly Old St. Nick himself.  Everyone is invited to get together with Santa Claus at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 17, at the Rutland Town Hall.  If you’ve been nice, not naughty, Santa will discuss your Christmas list with you.

Some upcoming events in Rutland include: Rutland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 5, at the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Community Club meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 12, in the Rutland Town Hall; and, Rutland’s 71st Annual Santa Claus Day, with the action commencing at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 17, in the Rutland Town Hall.

A “Get Well” card was being passed around the table, collecting the signatures of the Assembled Wise Men, at The Lariat Bar on the morning of Wednesday, November 30.  The card is destined for a regular at the Wise Men’s table, John Harris, who has been a patient at Sanford Hospital in Fargo for the past 2 weeks.  John did make it home for a brief visit on Wednesday, November 23, but had to make a quick return trip to the hospital when unexpected complications developed.  John’s many friends in Rutland wish him a speedy recovery and return home.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week.  For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, stop by the community’s internet web site at, and check out the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re wandering around in cyberspace, too.  Remember to patronize your local Post Office, and don’t forget 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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