News & Events

The Rooster Crows – January 5, 2018

Poor old 2017 dragged itself out, bruised, battered, beaten and bamboozled, after being saddled with the mistakes, mishaps and missteps of its predecessor. 2018 bounced in at the stroke of Midnight on New Year’s Eve, clean, confident and cheerful, as yet unmarked by the fury of nature or the cruelty and stupidity of mankind, and now it will have its chance to defend truth, justice and the American way. The New Year inherited the long-handled union suit, coveralls, snow paks and parka that 2017 discarded as it shuffled off the stage, and it needed them as the year started out at 20 below, although that was a marked improvement over the last 2 days endured by 2017, at -25 and -24, respectively. At least the dreaded, and much misunderstood, wind Chill never got colder than 50 below, proving that the weather is not as bad as it could have been, a condition that passes for a nice day in January. Well, the late Dave Hoflen of this community used to say that, “North Dakota has had 2 good years – 1914, and next year!” Next year is now here, and there are better times a’comin’! Just you wait and see.

The big tractor-trailer rigs of Wheaton-Dumont Co-op have been hauling out the large pile of corn on the south side of town for the past 2 weeks, and finished up the project on Wednesday, January 3. Several hundred thousand bushels of corn (Rodney Erickson, Manager of Wheaton-Dumont Co-op’s Rutland Elevator facility, says only that the pile contained “somewhere between 1 thousand and 1 million bushels.”) had been stockpiled just south of Ron Narum’s property at 422 First Street back in October and November, when the corn was being hauled in faster than it could be hauled out. Wheaton-Dumont began hauling the corn to its large grain terminal complex and unit train loading facility in Britton SD on Thursday, December 21, with a frontend loader scooping the corn from the pile to load it into the semi trailers. There were 4 semis hauling on the 21st and 22nd, each making 4 to 5 round trips per day. On Tuesday, December 26, though, the Co-op got serious, and had 17 semis, each holding approximately 1,000 bushels, each making 4 to 5 round trips per day, moving the corn to Britton. Hauling ceased for the year on Friday, December 29, but resumed with vigor on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 2 & 3. Based on the number of semis hauling and the number of trips per day, A conservative estimate of the amount of corn in the pile is 500,000 bushels, which is, as Rodney stated, “somewhere between 1 thousand and 1 million bushels.”

Jesse Brakke of this community, accompanied by his daughter, Claire, of Grand Forks, and son, James, of Stillwater MN, drove up to Arneson’s Rocky Point Resort at Lake Of The Woods on Monday, January 1, to get in several days of ice fishing on one of the prime walleye fisheries in North America. The resort furnishes lodging, meals, heated ice fishing houses, fishing equipment and transportation across the ice. If ice fishing can be described as a First-Class experience, this is it. Although the resort furnishes basic fishing equipment, anglers may bring and use their own, and Jesse reports that Claire had a narrow brush with disaster involving her favorite fishing rod, “The Pink Panther,” a lucky rod she has owned since elementary school days with which she has caught many monster lunkers. As the trio were getting started in their fishing house on Tuesday, January 2, a large fish grabbed the bait on the Pink Panther and took the entire outfit, bait, bobber, hook, line and sinker, including the Pink Panther, through the hole and into the water. Claire was devastated to lose her favorite piece of fishing equipment, but being a dedicated pursuer of piscatorial prey, she kept on fishing with the equipment furnished by the lodge. A short while later, she felt a tug on her line and reeled in, only to find that there at the end of her line was the Pink Panther, including the hook, line, sinker, bobber and fishing rod. Apparently, the fish that stole it felt guilty and gave it back. A pink fishing rod is probably a little too flashy for the stoic and businesslike walleyes of Lake Of The Woods. Jesse reports that the 3 anglers had 20 walleyes on their stringer when they stopped fishing on the evening of the 2nd, a few short of their combined limit. He states that each fisherman can keep only 1 walleye that is between 19½” to 29” in length, and that they had to toss several of that size back into the water. Jesse, Claire and James all expect to be heading for home on Friday, January 5.

It’s not just the Dakotas and Minnesota that are experiencing winter weather. Our neighbors to the west, plagued by drought, dust and fire last Summer and Fall are finally getting some much-needed precipitation in crystalline, rather than liquid, form. Rutland natives Dave & Pat (Anderson) Kulzer sent this New Year’s Day report from their home on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains, in the Swan River Valley between Seelye Lake and Kalispell, Montana:

“Happy New Year from our snug abode nearly buried under a heavy blanket of snow! Seeley Lake reported more than 2 feet of snow fell there between December 27 & December 30. We estimate about that much here, too. The trees are still loaded. When the arctic front blew in during the early morning hours of Saturday, December 30, several trees toppled due to their heavy coats of snow & ice. One tree blocked the driveway until Lumberjack Dave attacked it with his chainsaw. We had several power outages during the 4-day storm, the longest lasting 16 hrs. Thank goodness for our generator! Temps are now cold with nights in the single digits and days in the teens but we won’t complain as that makes us pretty balmy compared to you Nodaks. Well, we’ve made it through December so it’s all downhill from here, right? Dave & I and the four canines had an old folks’ new year’s celebration with pizza and a movie, “The Ballad of Lefty Brown”, a western. … 2018 arrived at our house anyway with no greeting of fireworks, horns blowing, or balls dropping. Oh well! Wishing you all a happy & healthy 2018!”

We have to ask what kind of New Year’s celebrations they have out in Montana, when even the trees are still loaded on New Year’s Day. Thanks to the Kulzers for the report.

It’s winter, and it’s cold. Quite a few have taken off for the sunny south for a while, but some have gone a little farther than most. Don Silseth, the eldest son of Rutland natives, the late Arthur “Rusty” & Gladys (Hoflen) Silseth, and grandson of the late Art & Nellie (Ryan) Silseth and the late Oscar & Alma (Anderson) Hoflen, of this community has gone so far south that the North Star is only a memory, and the water circles the wrong way when the plug is pulled on the bathtub drain. Don sent the following message on Tuesday, January 2: “I’m writing early, cuz I don’t know how long it takes a message from here to get that far, being it has to cross the equator and all, so better safe than sorry. We arrived on the north island of New Zealand December 1 and drove around for a week. We’ve been on the south end of the South Island since December 9 and will return home on January 19. There’s a lot to like here. Ocean, scenery, people and politics. Could be a possible refuge if The Tangerine Tornado gets any worse. Heaven help us all if he does!” Since retiring a couple of years ago, Don and his wife have been globe-trotting, seeing the sights in many areas of the world. Thanks to Don for the report, and a Happy New Year to all those folks down under, too!

Tired of Trump or No Trump? You’re in luck! The following message was recently received from Sonja Christensen, North Dakota’s First Lady of Pinochle: “Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! It’s coming … 23rd Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Partners Pinochle Tournament, Saturday, February 3, 2018, Rutland Town Hall, Rutland ND, 9:00 a.m., $40 per couple. YOU are invited! Contact: Sonja Christensen, 1645 11th St N #2, Wahpeton, ND 58075, Land Line #701-642-6793, Cell Phone #701-899-1463, e-mail address:” Bryce Carlson of Rutland will be co-chairing the tournament with Sonja again this year. The tournament is sponsored by the Rutland Community Club, and Club members will be on hand to serve forenoon and afternoon lunch as well as a dinner of Rutland Scalloped Potatoes to the players.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the President of the United States of America has sent out a Twitter message informing the world that his nuclear button is bigger and more potent than is the nuclear button boasted about by North Korean dictator Kim Jung Oon, or Kim Jong Un, depending on who is pushing the buttons. Really? This braggadocio is a product of the fevered mind of the President of the United States? In what elementary school is he enrolled? First it was the size of his hands, now it’s the size of his “button.” What next? As of Friday, January 5, there are 50 weeks down, and only 158 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. How infantile does it have to get?

Well, 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 check out the Rutland blog and Facebook page 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! Happy New Year!

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