Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Food, Good Friends, Good Visit

by Keith

The last breakfast of the year, and our first breakfast of the season, was great—as usual.

A lively crew of men from the park cook breakfast at the clubhouse each Saturday. The rest of us can enjoy the fruits of their labor for $4.

Today, Rick served as maitre-d'-in-training as Marv had more pressing matters, having arrived just recently.

We enjoyed the meal, then enjoyed visiting with friends for another hour or so! Winter Texans at Rockport 35 RV Park certainly are friendly!

Tom serving scrambled eggs to Pat

A good breakfast, followed by great conversation!
Breakfast is served each Saturday, 7-9 AM. Next week: pancakes!


Friday, December 30, 2011


by Keith

Clearly, I'm not a food critic. To me, food is either Good or Bad.

In the last 74 years, I've had bad food twice—both times back in the 50s. All the other times, the food has been "good." Oh, I like some food better than others, but who am I to say that food at such-and-such a place is Good? Isn't it up to the individual? Each individual's taste may vary.

Nor am I a restaurant critic. But that doesn't stop me from mentioning a couple of our favorite places.

First, there's Pop's up in Lamar. Just cross the bridge, turn right, and it's the place with all the cars parked around it. When we need a good hamburger, we head for Pop's!

Second is Stevie Lew's BBQ Kitchen, just up the road and on the right. There are lots of changes this year, so thought this might be a good place to publish them.

Most importantly, they are back to their one-family operation so are open 10 to 7 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. (Last year, another family was involved in the operation so they were open six or seven days a week.)

This is a true Mom & Pop operation. Well, Mom & Pop plus 4 kids who are very actively involved in all phases of the operation. It's a neat operation, we think!

The dining room has been redecorated and looks very attractive. (Next time, I'll try to remember to take my camera so I can prove it.)

Besides the regular BBQ fare, they also offer hamburgers, carry-out, and "bulk" meat. And roasted-on-site coffee!

We enjoy going there; you might, too!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Check out Venus!

by Keith

Yesterday, soon after the sun disappeared behind the trees at the back of the park, I looked to the SE and saw a beautiful crescent moon.

Not far below it was a bright object. I thought it was an airliner with the sun glistening off its belly, or perhaps even the International Space Station. I convinced myself it was moving generally south.

Surely it could not be a "star" because it was too light out.

A few minutes later, I checked again. It was still there! It must be a planet!

On the Ch 3 news, later, they commented on the brightness of the planet Venus—located just below the moon.

What I had seen was Venus! You can see it tonight, too! As soon as it gets just a wee bit less light than it is in the late afternoon, take a look.

If you're with youngsters, this would be a great educational opportunity.

Dec 30 ---first comment, from Dianne:

Is that Venus in Blue Jeans?

My Venus in blue jeans
Is ev'rything I hoped she'd be
A teenage goddess from above
And she belongs to me

Just remembering the hit song from 1962


Sunday, December 25, 2011

News from Rocky and Carol

by Rocky, via Keith

Carol Stammer 
"Dear friends,

It saddens our hearts to announce that we are going to stay home for this winter season. There were simply too many elements and concerns to resolve, hence our decision to remain in our beautiful northern Michigan surroundings. We are faithfult visitors of the "Rockport 35 blog so we keep up with the latest news and views from the park, furthermore, many of you keep us up-to-date via texting, phone calls and e-mails. We will truly miss each and every one of you. Mother Nature is toying with us here in Cheboygan, Michigan, it is presently 37 degrees and no snow on the ground......Go Figure. If you guys find that the weather is much too favorable there in Rockport, simply fill some one quart canning jars, insulate the shipping carton and send them too us....."Smile"

Have a Blessed and Spirit filled Christmas and the very best of 2012

Rocky & Carol Stammer"

The above note arrived from Rocky just before our feast today. We're sorry they won't be coming, but understand that sometimes "ya just gotta do what ya gotta do."

We wish you a Merry Christmas, Rocky and Carol, and hope to see you next year.


Dec 26 Comment:

Hi Carol and Rocky

Sorry to hear you will not be able to spend some time in Texas this winter.  We will miss you on 2nd street. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and we wish you a healthy, Happy New Year.  Hopefully next year a trip south will be in your plans.   Take care ~ Dianne and Rick


Christmas at Rockport 35 RV Park

by Keith and Dianne

Christmas is the time of fun, friends, and food here at the park!

Rather than spend a lot of time writing words which you might or might not read, we'll just post lots of pictures which you probably will look at.

The pictures cover the Christmas Eve finger-food dinner and following gift exchange plus the Christmas Feast began at 1PM Christmas day.

Few first-year guests attended these events, so you'll recognize most of the faces as friends from the past. But there are many of the latter which you won't see. Some have not yet arrived (Tom and Dianne, Marv and Bev, for example), others have left to be with friends or family for Christmas (Bob, Terry and Linda for two), and some will, unfortunately, not be coming (Rocky just advised that he and Carol will remain in Michigan.)

Saturday, December 24, 2011


by Keith

We arrived yesterday, in time to get set up by noon.

It's great to be greeted by friends we've made over the previous six winters we've spent here. And we've already made some new ones this year!

Pat and the apple fritter!
So, it's time to celebrate, for lots of reasons:

  • We've arrived safely.
  • We have friends!
  • It is Christmas Eve, the
    greatest reason for
    celebration ever!
Oh yes, one more reason: There was ONE apple fritter left at the Rockport Bakery! 

We're treating ourselves in celebration.

We'll probably do it again when Tom & Dianne and Marv & Bev arrive after Christmas. Surely their arrivals will be reason to celebrate as both have been delayed by health issues.


Thursday, December 22, 2011


by Dianne

A new word for your vocabulary -- I was compelled to share.

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society lest likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Headed Toward Rockport 35 RV Park Today

by Keith, from Dale

This note from Dale and Tootie yesterday:
"Tootie and I plan to leave home for Texas Monday 12-19-11.
We'll take our time. May be at Rockport 35 Friday or Sat.
Dale & Tootie Facile"

They were our neighbors last year, living immediately N of Mimi.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

See, I Really Am Working!

Some may think that we are here in Alabama just to enjoy the mid-70s temperature. But we really are working. Here's proof:

"Driving" the 7.5" gauge train

Aerial view of Wales West RV Park & Light Railway
The above picture shows where we are. It's near Silverhill, Alababma.

Welsh flag flying over Wales West
One guest is doing his patriotic duty and flying the flag of Wales. Guess who?

We'll leave here Tuesday and arrive at Rockport 35 RV Park Friday. At least that is Plan A. It'll be good to see you ---and enjoy those great Saturday morning breakfasts!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

All Roads Lead to Rockport 35 RV Park

by Keith, with help

"We are in Dallas, Still on our way to Rockport.  Hope its warmer in Rockport than it has been here in Dallas.  But Dallas is better than Minnesota.  We should be there about Dec 16th or about.  Looking forward to seeing all our friends from last year."

Honestly, I'm not sure who sent the above note! My guess is that it is from Dale and Tootie, our across-the-street neighbors (next to Mimi) last year.

That's probably a sign that I should start learning last names instead of just first names. The truth is, I'm thrilled if I can remember first names and don't want to have that ability go by the wayside by complicating the process by adding last names.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Readership Picking Up!

by Keith

When I checked the statistics for this site tonight, it was obvious that the number of visitors to the site has been on a steady increase for the last few weeks. I suspects that is because more and more people are either showing up at Rockport 35 RV Park or are getting ready to leave home for the park.

Or maybe they're just anxiously awaiting the passage of Christmas so they can leave soon after and want to get a small sample of what's going on, hoping it will satisfy their appetite at least a bit. (I suspect Tom and Dianne might be in this category!)

I'm thankful for each and every visitor to the site! I'm especially thankful that there are a good number of visitors even though the news which has been posted of late is little and not very frequent.

Part of my excuse the last couple of weeks is that our wi-fi service here in Alabama is far from ideal. They've not made the investment Allison and Tony made at Rockport 35 RV Park to provide a top-notch wi-fi system to the park.

The good news is that I increased it's reliability for my use greatly last night. A few tricks from an old radio guy made great improvements.

Of course those of you on-site can always email news to me. Better yet, I suspect Dianne is there now, or soon will be. She's a great reporter; put her to work!

With the help of you and Dianne, the viewership will continue to increase!

By the way, Pat and I will be there by Christmas!


Monday, Dec 12, update:

My suspicion has been confirmed to be incorrect!  Rick and Dianne haven't yet arrived, but are getting closer day by day. They enjoyed a few well-spent days in Granbury, visiting friends including Willie and Betty. They also plan to spend some time in San Antonio enroute to Rockport 35 RV Park.

The bottom line: neither of us are there yet, but the time of our arrival is drawing nigh! See you soon.



Visiting with Friends

by Dianne

Well we made it to Texas and our first stop was Granbury to visit with friends who used to reside at Rockport 35 RV Park - Willie and Betty Weiss. You may remember Betty as the park's resident Mahjong pro. Betty now lives in a 2 bedroom senior apartment complex here in Granbury. She had homemade brownies waiting for us when we arrived Friday night -- yummy. By the way, Betty is doing great.

Willie is staying at a long-term care facility. We met Betty there today and visited with Willie for awhile before we all went out for lunch. After our lunch we continued our visit back at Betty's reminiscing with her and Willie about great times from their past when they used to travel the country on their motorcycle and other great stories from their earlier retirement years.

Willie, too, is doing great. However, he did express a sadness about the fact that their lives have taken this unexpected turn, but he is accepting of it and they continue to share a happy, loving life. They send their well wishes to all their friends at Rockport 35 RV Park. We wish them the best and are so glad to have had the time to visit with them. Merry Christmas dear friends, our prayers are with you both.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where's the Warmth???

by Dianne

Just a quick note to let you all know that we left home at 9:30 this morning at 35 degrees. At 7:30 tonight we're in Terre Haute IN at a KOA and it's 31. I guess going south doesn't always equate to warmer weather. But just one degree would have made us feel so much better. Hopefully, tomorrow!!!

Note by Keith, Thursday morning:

Not here! It was 30* in Mobile this morning, and 33* on my thermometer.

The warmth is probably in Rockport! We'll find out soon!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Different View Of Santa

by Kirk Wood, via Keith

Kirk and Pam Wood have been friends of ours ever since we were all Workampers at a county park near Monterey, California. Their first gig as Workampers was at Fulton Mansion, a few years before we met them.

Kirk is active on some RV forums and has written articles for Escapees magazine. This article was posted on Facebook, so some might have already seen it. It's posted here with his permission.

Kirk grew up in rural Kansas, a few years after I grew up in rural Iowa. While I never had the same feeling toward Santa as he expresses, I can certainly understand it. And I can remember getting one major toy, plus some stocking stuffers for Christmas.

"Am I the only one here who does not really like the Santa Claus tradition?...  

What I remember from the days that I believed in this was that we were poor so I really depended upon Santa to bring me some nice thing like all of my friends got. Since my friends were all from families with reasonably good incomes, they got some wonderful things each year which I could only dream of. 

The year that I remember best, I started very early to work hard at being one of the nicest, best behaved, of all the children on his list! I think that I must have been about 6 years old at the time and while not perfect, I came pretty close for a small boy. Imagine my disappointment on Christmas morning, when I received my usual one small toy, new socks and a shirt. It was then that I concluded that for some reason Santa did not like me as well as he did all of my friends. That was the last year that I ever considered Christmas a good time of year. Fortunately it was not much later that I discovered the truth about Santa Claus and where presents actually came from, to my great relief. It was much easier to deal with being poor, than to think that Santa doesn't like me!

As far as I am concerned, Santa Claus as it is practiced in our country is a nasty tradition that by design makes the poor children feel even worse. Imagine how they must feel having to return to school and compare what gifts they got from Santa to those of their classmates! I could tell Santa what he should do with his list!

Christmas was, and should be a religious holiday which was given as much to the poor as to the wealthy. At my house, Santa Claus is not welcome!

Thanks for sharing, Kirk.