Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

by Keith

Christmas at the park was always a great time for us! (Well, except for that one time when, as Terry says, Pat took her "Christmas trip" on the way to the Christmas Eve service.)

The food was great, of course, but the friends with whom we dined were far more important. What wonderful and enjoyable folks! Even though many of the diners have moved on, Pat and I still pleasantly remember them and the good times together.

Pat & Keith Williams
Christmas Day, 2013

I'm pleased to report that we are in fine health. (That means "fine health" for folks our age, of course!)

Pat has made two little stuffed knit animals already this winter. I've spent my time working on websites and trying to grow our AMSOIL business. (Trying successfully, I might add!) 

Music is very "available" here in Mission and we take advantage of it: Friday afternoon we often go to a polka jam and in the evening our park has a country jam. We love music!

To all, we wish a very Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you again, whenever and wherever that may be.


Monday, December 23, 2013

RIP Bandit

by Dianne

Our Bandit
Just want to let all of our friends from the park, who know our “boys”, especially those who no longer come back to the park, that we had to have our Bandit put down on 12/16/13.  He had been ailing for awhile before we left home and we were hoping that the meds the vet prescribed would help alleviate his pain so he could continue to enjoy life. That was not the case and so we had to make that ever-so-difficult decision that pet owners face at some point in their lives and that was to do what was best for our Bandit. He was a big brother to Buddy and even taught him how to point like a bird dog. He was a great dog and wonderful companion to Rick, Buddy and me.  We miss him very much but know that he is resting peacefully now and that gives us comfort.

A Joint Effort

by Dianne

This is a common site in the park as more and more winter Texans return for their reprieve from the harsh winter weather they’ve left behind. If not the day they pull in, assuming they get in early enough, then at least by the very next day their RV unit and vehicle will be washed from top to bottom and end to end. Such was the case for Jim and Pat Whitten who arrived on the 19th.

Jim washing his RV with a smile. Glad to be here.
This is not a written law in any camping book or park rules, it is just something men “must” do as soon as they can manage. The road grime and salt residue is just not a pretty site and probably not good for the finish on their traveling residence. And, besides that, they just don’t like it.

Pat making those windows sparkle.
The wives do their part by unpacking dishes, pots/pans, and precious breakables and rearranging the RV’s inside into livable space again. They also put that added sparkle here and there as demonstrate by Pat.

Yes, getting your home away from home back to looking spiffy is indeed a joint effort.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Update on Lucille Carlson

by Dianne

Just a quick update on Lucille. As many of you know, Lucille fell earlier this evening when she was getting off her bike up at the Club House. The large goose egg on the back of her head suggested she be seen by medical professionals. Therefore, Rick and his dad took her to Aransas Pass ER (Urgent Care was closed).

I just received this call from Rick at 10 pm.  They did a CT scan and found there was no fracture and are sending her home.  This is good news.  Hopefully, she will be back up at the Club House tomorrow to play MahJong with the rest of the players.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Website for Wilderness Oaks RV Resort

by Keith

Less than one week after the transfer of ownership, there's a new website for the park! You can view it at . (The former address,, will also get you there, but I suspect that redirection is temporary.)

If you're suggesting that friends view the site, tell them to go to "" as that one is the official one and is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

The new site is professionally done and shows off the park well.

This site, the unofficial blog site, will remain at, at least for now. That address is redirected to the "real" site, which is a blogspot site at I tried to change that to reflect the new name. The blog disappeared and I didn't want that and assume that you do not want it, either. Therefore, the real URL for this site will remain as it has been since the beginning.

Speaking of the beginning, I'm not sure of the date but the statistics show that there have been over 800 posts by Dianne or me, sometimes with help from other guests.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pat's First Project Completed

by Keith

Even though Pat isn't there to enjoy crafts with the talented fingers at Wilderness Oaks, she is still at it on her own.

She just finished the first project of this Winter: a knit kangaroo and her joey. He's a cute little fellow.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The End of an Era

by Keith

Rockport 35 RV Park Is No More!

Yesterday was the last day for Rockport 35 RV Park. The park was sold to Michael Schmidt. The deal was closed yesterday.

Allison and Tony owned the park for over a decade, including each of the seven winters Pat and I spent there. The passing era was filled with great social events, wonderful food, and the friendship of dozens of wonderful people whom we still consider friends.

There was a "hard core" cadre of guests who returned year after year. We grew into that group and appreciated being accepted. Others came and went, which is usual for RVers. (That's one reason we are RVers, isn't it!) Some of the "regulars" dropped out as the years passed due to health, age, desire for new adventures, desire to avoid unpleasantness, or even being asked to leave. And, sadly, some passed away.

Of course the physical park still exists, as do the people who have or do spend time there. Because of this, this blog can still serve the purpose of helping keep us connected.

But what do I call it? For the time being, I won't change the info in the header: " from Rockport 35 RV Park." That's what it was when we were there and probably what all our friends from those days recognize it as. And its location in cyberspace,, will not change. At least not for now.

However, this is looking to the past. I prefer to look to the future. I'd like to come up with a new park blog today, referencing the new name, Wilderness Oaks, in some appropriate way. (It won't happen today, but it would be nice if it could.) That would give the new owner and manager a definite break from the past era and the fresh start they deserve. How I actually deal with this will require a bit of thought. (Your suggestions are welcome!)

Pat and I wish the new team success and joy in this new adventure. We know the "regulars" who are there and know that they will do everything they can to make you feel welcome to the park and to feel "at home" in no time.


Monday, December 2, 2013

A Great Shopping Experience

by Keith

Fair Warning:
This post is a bit of a commercial, but if you act on its suggestion it just might make your life easier!

What could be easier than doing your Christmas shopping while just sitting at your computer and selecting from thousands and thousands of items? There's no need to drive to the mall or store, find a parking place, then brave the crowds —only to find the color or size or product you wanted is not in stock.

Solve that by shopping at Just click their ad over to the right and you'll be on the way!

Advantages of shopping at

  • HUGE selection of products (they're not just books these days!)
  • Speedy delivery and it's often free
  • Prices are often lower than store prices
  • Delivered right to your door or mailbox
One example: A month ago, Amazon offered gift cards with free next-day delivery. Pat and I ordered a few for Christmas presents. (We give Christmas presents, not Holiday presents!) Sure enough, the next afternoon they were delivered to our front door!

I know many of our Rockport 35 RV Park friends already shop at And many people shop there frequently, sort of like a weekly trip to Wal*Mart. My goal: convert them to going to the website by clicking on an amazon ad on this website.

If they do that, and make a purchase, I'll enjoy a small commission!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Biggest News In Years!

Rockport 35 RV Park has been sold!

This note just in from Julee:

Today at the Thanksgiving dinner at the Club House, Allison and Tony announced that the park has been sold to a gentleman from Germany.  Otto Schmidt.  They close on Dec. 4th. 

They are trying to move out ASAP. He owns one other park west of Rockport. He is sending 2 couples in that he works with to manage the park.  She says, he says, everything will stay the same at this time, no changes.  That will be refreshing. Details are very sketchy.  I believe, he takes over in Jan but again, not sure....details rather vague.  Just wanted to get the news out.
Cheers,  Julee



by Keith & Pat

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Fish Called Cliff Back

by Keith and helpers,

We all know people who like to fish. There have been many in the Park.

We also know a few people who live to fish! There have been several of these in the park and we know who they are! Some have figured pulling a trailer down to Rockport just wasn't the thing to do at their age or condition. "Colorado Bob" comes to mind. But he was back to fish anyway, sans RV.

Clifford Calhoun,
Fisher Extraordinary
And then there's Cliff. Cliff was a major contributor to the stash of fish accumulated for the great fish fries we had annually. Often, he was up, out, filled out, and back before many of us were even up. Or so it seemed.

Cliff, too, decided pulling the fiver down was just not the thing to do. He survived a short while, but we understand that the fish were missing him and called him back.

We're happy to report, based on a tip from a somewhat reliable source, that Cliff is back in the area doing what Cliff likes to do: catch fish!

I'm sure he'll enjoy fishing and the friendship of his ol' fishin' buddies.

Enjoy, Cliff!!!!


Richard Passed Away at 94

by Keith

Richard Gregory, 1919-2013
Richard Gregory, former resident of 5th Street, passed away November 4 in Kahoka, MO, his home.

I was told that "Richard Gregory" had died—but I didn't know a "Richard Gregory." To be honest, there are many Rockport 35 RV Park guests whose last names I do not know. With Linda's help, I finally figured it out: It was "Richard," the tall fellow up on 5th with the great sense of humor.

Four-and-a-half years ago, we celebrated Richard's 90th birthday. It was a great gathering and Richard enjoyed it, as he did most happenings, large or small. These pictures were taken at that event.

Some friends thought my trusty camera was part of me, like a hand or a leg. But having a semi-organized file of pictures available sure has come in handy when trying to remember people or events at the park. As in this case. How many would know or remember "Richard Gregory?"

But everyone remembers the cheerful fellow in these pictures, right?

Richard and Mary at his 90th Birthday Party
February 25, 2009

Here is his obituary:

Thanks to Terry and Linda Calhoun for this news tip!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Then and Now

by Keith

I've published a picture of the beautiful tree visible from my office window on these pages before.

Here's this year's version.


Then (6 days ago)


Now (today)

Monday, November 4, 2013

M U S I C A L E R T ! ! ! !

by Keith

Our friends at Rockport 35 RV Park know that Pat and I love music! They also know that we promoted two venues each year: the Rockport-Fulton High School Patriotic Concert and the Cathedral Concert Series at the Corpus Christi Cathedral.

Each year, there was one concert at the Cathedral which especially appealed to us. This year, there are three which we would enjoy greatly. You might, too—that's why I'm publishing this!

Here's the website for the series:

The three concerts we'd enjoy are:

  • The Priests on November 24
  • The Canadian Brass on February 16
  • The Wiffenpoofs of Yale on March 17
Your mileage may vary, of course, so check out the other concerts. The main site has descriptions of all concerts

If you care for music at all, you just might find something in this year's series which excites you! 

* * * * * * 

The local Patriotic Concert will be January 27 at 7PM. If you love your country, like HS band music, or like HS choral music this is a not-to-be-missed concert.

The students and staff do a wonderful job of making you feel good about our country and today's students. 

Just remember, you saw it right here on the Rockport 35 RV Park blog first!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy to be Home

by Dianne

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Bev did return home on Thursday as they were hoping.  I spoke with her today and she sounds very perky and very happy to be home.  Her hemoglobin is up to 10 and are waiting for some tests results.

Also, she's been enjoying the phone calls from family and Texas friends wishing her a speedy recovery and catching up on the latest.

She also said Marv is such a wonderful care giver, while in the hospital and now at home. We have no doubt about that. Happy to hear you are feeling so much better, Bev.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bev Doing Better

by Dianne

Called our friends, Bev and Marv, to make arrangements for a day visit with them this week. Unfortunately that visit will have to wait a bit. Marv informed us that Bev was admitted to the hospital (St. Mary's in Grand Rapids) on Sunday, October 27. She was taken to surgery on Monday for a bleeding ulcer. He thought she'd be released on Tuesday, but her hemoglobin was down to 7 and therefore was given a unit of blood. She's feeling better today and is up and walking; however, the doctors told Marv that her hemoglobin is not where they would like it to be and are keeping her one more day. They are both hopeful she will be able to go home tomorrow (Thursday).

Here is their address if you would like to send them a card - Marv and Bev Nagelkerke, 4460 Moncton, Wyoming, MI 49509.

Marv, Bev, and Penny taken in 2011 at the home.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Great Wedding Speech

by Keith

Julee sent me a link to this video. Here's what she had to say about it, "One of the best emails I have ever received!! Truly!"

I think everyone who views it will find this prelude to a wedding ceremony interesting to say the least!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Reasons to Shop at

by Keith

If you'd like to browse, just click on any Amazon ad on this page and you'll be taken there. If you buy something, I'll receive a small advertising fee.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Visiting Helen in Iowa

by Keith

Friday, we were headed to Pat's sister's home in Omaha. We chose to go on US-30 instead of I-80. That took us to within 1 mile of Shady Oaks Campground near Marshalltown, Iowa. It would have been unthinkable to zoom right on past without stopping to see Helen.

So we did the right thing. We stopped.

She wasn't there; she had gone to town. Bummer.

But the campground owner had a solution: she gave us a tour of The Big Tree House while her daughter chased Helen down via cellphone.

Her report: "She's on the way home!"

Helen and Pat under the oak trees!
By the time we were done with the tour—given by the 92-year-old, spry, owner/manager—Helen had returned to her travelling trailer!

We were lucky, as she was planning to leave for Texas the very next morning!

She looked great, so the Iowa summer must have treated her well! And she was in a delightful small campground which was completely shaded by gorgeous oak trees.

We were only a little over an hour into our 5-hour trip and already the trip was a success!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sad News

by Dianne

Willy and Betty Wiese were long time residents of Rockport 35 RV Park and lived in a park model on the south-west end (I hope I have my directions correct) of 5th street next door to Chet and Peggy Southerland. For the past couple of years Willy and Betty have not been at the park. They moved back to Granbury, TX to be closer to family since Willy was having health issues.

Betty and Willy Wiese

Sadly, Willy (William) passed away on October 3rd. I spoke with Betty and she told me he was suffering from pneumonia and kidney issues and it was hard for her to say goodbye.

I copied the following from the local newspaper -- William R. Wiese Sr., 81, of Granbury, passed away Thursday, October 3, 2013. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday October 6, at Heartfield-Ritter Funeral Home. Services are set for 1 p.m. Monday October 7, at the funeral home with interment at String Prairie Cemetery near Calvert. Published in The Bryan-College Station Eagle on October 5, 2013.

Here is Betty's address if anyone wishes to send her a card - 1301 N. Meadows Lane, Apt. 22, Granbury TX 76048.

* * * * * * *
by Keith

Willy and Betty were such a part of Rockport 35 RV Park that I thought I'd help folks remember this lovely couple with a few more pictures.

Willy Wiese,  March 17, 2007

Willy & Betty, 2010 Valentine's Day party

Willy and his buddy, Dick.  December 2009
When they moved away due to Willy's declining health, we missed them! We missed their company and Betty's delicious cakes!


What's Pat Doing?

Let's see, is this correct?
You know Pat; she likes to do crafty things.

She paints each Monday and Thursday mornings with long-time friends.

Recently, she's been knitting booties. I thought I'd show you a cute pair of ladybug booties!

Lest there be any misunderstanding, most of the booties will go to a project at her church.
These Ladybugs will keep
some tiny feet warm!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Guess Who Came To Lunch!

by Keith

This gentleman is enjoying not laboring on Labor Day!
I would almost guarantee that you have never seen this person in this position! In fact, the other time I saw him just sit down was noteworthy. But this!!!!!

He is somewhat incognito in this picture, but do you know who he is?

Tune in later for the rest of the story!


There are two unusual aspects of this picture:
  1. He is sans beard, the first time we've ever seen him that way, and
  2. He's definitely "kicked back!" For him to be seen in such a position is super-rare indeed!
Yes, it's Terry Calhoun!

We were pleased that Terry and Linda chose to spend their Labor Day driving the 80 miles or so from Bettendorf to Cedar Rapids for a visit.

It was the only way Terry could not work on this day; we were glad to help him not work!

We got updated on many of our friends from Rockport 35 RV Park, so that was enjoyable. Unfortunately, it seems some are not as spry as we remembered them. And of course they could say the same about us—and probably have!

Pat served a simple but good lunch after a visit, then we gave them a tour of Cedar Rapids. The main theme here these days is all the new buildings recently opened, some of them prompted by the flood of five years ago: Federal Court House, Library, Fire Station, huge new medical center, and the relocated National Czech and Slovak Museum with addition. There has been a real building boom going on here. And we've not visited any of them yet. The library is high on the list!

Terry, Linda, Pat
If you're reading this blog, these folks should need no introduction!

Keith, Terry, Linda
Speaking of the blog (this one!) Linda said that she enjoys it and checks it almost daily. I'm aware that several do and I appreciate that. I know that other 35 RVers would be interested in what you are up to, so feel free to comment or send me an email.

Would you like to be next for lunch and a tour of Cedar Rapids? We'd love to have you!


Guess Who's Coming To Lunch!

by Keith

If I told you now, there's be no suspense.

So i won't!

But some friends whom you know will be here and we're thrilled!

The answer will be revealed later today.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Encouraging Words

by Don Wright > Keith

In the article about Larry, below, I mentioned my long-time (since 1964!) friend, Don. I received a nice note from his wife, Ardis, and now the note below directly from Don.

I'm posting it here in the hopes that it will encourage Larry and Sherry and, really, any others with health challenges. Don was diagnosed with multiple myeloma ten years ago and is still going strong —so strong that he's looking forward to his next marathon! (Sort of reminds one of Forrest Gump, doesn't it!)

Hi Keith,

What a sweet article!  Thank you for the generous words.

At this moment, about 8:35, we are at Mayo Clinic waiting for an 8:45 doctor appointment.  We come here every 28 days and I "give blood" at 6:00 am.  The most important results are already in, accessible on our laptops, and the news is good again.  The myeloma is still stable, which is our "normal."  Makes me want to run a marathon!  Our next one is in Half Moon Bay, CA, toward the end of September.

The doctor will be pleased too.

Best to you both,


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Unwelcome Diagnosis for Larry

by Larry > Allison > Keith

Early in August, Larry Lammers was diagnosed with mutiple myeloma, a malignant condition of the bone marrow. He is undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Sherry and Larry Lammers
At the belt sander races,
St. Patrick's Day, 2012
Larry and Sherry have been enjoying their park model on Fifth Street during the Minnesota winters and their lakeside spot back home in Minnesota during the summer since Larry's retirement a few years ago.

They no doubt discovered Rockport 35 RV Park through Larry's sister, Karen Foslien. Karen and Bob were long-time winter residents at the park until cancer ended her life a few years ago. Bob continues wintering at the park.

A former co-worker, neighbor, and good friend of mine, Don Wright, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma ten years ago. Don's a smart guy and tackled the disease with intelligence and vigor. Currently, he's the "poster boy" for an experimental treatment. More significantly, possibly, is the fact that he recently completed running at least one marathon in each of the 50 states!

Don lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. He has a blog in which he describes some of the things he's doing to, hopefully, minimize the progression of the disease. So far, everything he, his family, and the medical community are doing has helped him "make every day a masterpiece."

His suggestions for nutrition are not only for those with multiple myeloma but for everyone who eats, says Don. If you'd like to read what he has to say, check out this blog of his:
Some parts might be more technical than you care for, but that's because Don has the "handicap" of being an engineer!

His blog also has lots of other links from which one can learn more of the disease. And a couple of links from CNN while Don was interviewed at races!

We know that Rockport 35 RV Park has lots of wonderful people who will remember Larry and his family in their prayers. May I suggest that you also include Don and his family.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

R.I.P. Sonia Enman

by David > Keith

Sonia Enman
Taken February, 2011
Sonia passed away yesterday afternoon. Her long battle with her cancer is finally over.

Her passing was very peaceful. My daughter Kris and I were with her, holding her hand at the end. She had been under home hospice care since May but she was having a bad time of it this past Wednesday so we moved her to Christopher House Hospice.

She took a turn for the worse on Thursday evening and was unresponsive on Friday and Saturday. I asked for a priest and about 20 minutes after he administered the last rites she was gone. It was like she was waiting for permission to leave on her journey.

Per Sonia's wishes, there will be no funeral or services. If our friends are of a mind, they can make a donation to Hospice Austin. Their website is

Taken February, 2009

Pat and I fondly remember Sonia (and David!)

We always enjoyed the discussions upon chance meetings in the street or in their trailer. I also remember the fun I had playing poker with Sonia and Dave. Sonia wasn't very vocal, but that doesn't mean that she didn't know what she was doing at the card table!

I believe it was early in 2012 that we learned that she had cancer, with little hope for long life due to the advanced state, even when it was first discovered. What a blow to our community and, especially, to the Enman family.

And now she has passed from our midst. Our sympathy to David and their family.

David's address is:
1515 Arusha St.

Round Rock, TX  78664

I'm posting this now, shortly after I received it, so it's available for you to read. I'll post a link to an obituary when I find one. Please check back. Keith

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Alison Declared Disease FREE!

by Allison > Keith

Here is the first paragraph from a letter we received from Allison the other day. I'm posting it here because it is indeed good news and some readers of this site might not have received the letter.

"First, let me say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who prayed for my healing from stage IV Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I was a sick puppy. After catastrophic chemo, two respiratory crises, a stem cell transplant and one cardiac arrest, God has restored me to FULL health. Doctors say I'm disease FREE! Last week, the doctor told me, "Medicine didn't bring you through this." I know—and you know—God did!"

Sunday, August 4, 2013

John Martin's Horrifying Tale

by John > Joe > Keith

John Martin
Taken December, 2009
John has been Rockport 35RV Park's resident Artist in Wood for several years now. His motorhome and studio is right inside the gate. If you've stopped by to visit him while he's working, you know that he has a gentle voice and is a great conversationalist.

What you probably don't know is that we all came very close to already having had our last conversation with John! Yes, it's that scary. But, so far at least, it has a good ending.

I'm not sure of the date, but this saga began some days ago, possibly a week or so ago now. John didn't feel well, so crawled back in bed. (That's always a good idea when one doesn't feel well, isn't it?)

He fell asleep. When he woke up, it was dark out. He got up.

He fell, and we now know broke at least four bones in his foot. You're probably aware that John already has problems walking and getting around, due to leg problems.

He couldn't get up! He tried everything. He tried pulling himself up by the oven-door handle. It broke. He was still on the floor.

And laid there for something like four or five days, drifting in and out of sleep or consciousness.

John was receiving therapy and of course missed some sessions. A thoughtful therapy provider couldn't contact him so called the Park office. Allison contacted the ambulance, 911, ---someone--- and they quickly learned that John's motorhome was locked. Reluctantly, they broke a window, opened the door, and found John, still lying on the floor. Alive!

He was taken to the hospital in Port Aransas where he learned the extent of his injuries and is recovering. He'd recovered enough to call Joe late in the week and relate this story. Shortly, he'll be moved to Corpus Christi, where he'll receive some weeks of treatment for a bone infection in his leg.

If you'd care to help John pass the hours, his phone number is 402 560-4949. I bet he'd be glad to hear that you are glad that there was a care giver who cared enough to track him down and Allison who came to his rescue.

John's a great artist and a great person. Get well soon, John!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Short Summary of Our "Trip of a Lifetime"

by Keith

Pat and I left Cedar Rapids July 24 and returned about midnight on the 31st on a "half a cruise" to Alaska. (We flew up, cruised back.) It'll take some time to get pictures selected and modified and to write interesting stories about each. Therefore, just to get something on here and to let you know we're back, I'll post some facts.

Re-entering the US from Canada, near Skagway, Alaska

  1. Airport with the most customer-friendly wi-fi: Cedar Rapids (FREE and no "I AGREE")
  2. Airport with the most un-customer-friendly wi-fi: Chicago's O'Hare (Not free and hoops to jump through.)
  3. Missed the most: music! (I didn't have any loaded on my tablet and there wasn't a music channel on the ship; surprising.)
  4. Missed the least: going to the gym! (I try to go three times each week. The easiest thing in the world would be to not go! But don't they have a gym on the ship? Of course they do! But I was on vacation and I was not going to ruin it by going to the gym!)
  5. Most interesting: the glaciers, I think. It was all new to us so nothing stood out way above everything else.
  6. Biggest surprise: learning about the Klondike gold rush in the late 1800s.  I did not know that the seekers had to walk 47 miles to get to the river. And they had to carry 2000 pounds of supplies while doing it. Thousands of horses lost their lives during the trek. I'm sure lots of people did, too.
  7. Also interesting: seeing and learning about the Alyeska pipeline and panning for gold at Dredge #8.
  8. Worst day: without doubt, the last day, after we arrived at the airport in Vancouver. Ever felt like you were cattle? We did, at the airport in Vancouver. The line was about two hours long.
  9. Most disgusting: seeing our two little cans of salmon thrown in the waste basket because they contained 184 grams instead of only 100 grams! (I could have put them in our checked (25$!) suitcase and there would have been no problem. But of course I don't think like the government or a terrorist so didn't even think of it.
  10. Interesting facts: Apparently, in the US only people under 65 are permitted to make shoe bombs, as people older are not required to remove their shoes. In Canada, terrorists can be any age.
  11. Pat's most significant souvenir: a really bad cold.
  12. Keith's worst souvenir: a really bad cold, which I shared with Pat.
It had been over 14 years since I flew on an airliner. If it is another 14 years before I do it again, it will be just fine with me. TSA rules and airline charges have sucked every bit of fun out of travelling on the airlines.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Trying Day

I received the following from Pat with her permission to post on the Blog.

by Pat Whitten via Dianne

We had a very trying day the 19th of July also. I had surgery at Loyola that morning. Our son came home the night before to be with his Dad and thankfully everything went smoothly.

This is something I've known would have to happen for many years and had been preparing for since shortly after we got home this spring. Some have heard me talk about my Schwanoma. Well it is now gone!!!! I surprised everyone and came home Monday afternoon. It was a cardiovascular type surgery so it will take some time to get back in the routine. Jim is doing his best, and I am trying not to be impatient.

A big thank you to all who have kept me in their thoughts and prayers. We are still planning on coming back this winter.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Denali in the Morning

We Were Lucky

by Dianne

Last Friday, July 19th around 2:30 pm, we had a severe storm hit our area. Rain was so heavy couldn't see the neighbors house across the street and the winds were so strong it took down a large branch from our tree out front and our power line. Just me and boys were home. Rick was golfing up in AuGres and my son was in Mt. Pleasant with the grandsons baseball tournaments. No power means the sump pump does not work.

OK, Step 1, called Consumers Power and reported power outage and downed line. Step 2, found the generator in the barn, loaded it on the hand cart, got it to the house, couldn't get the cap off to see how much gas was in it, and even if it did, realized I had no clue on how to start it. Step 3 - called husband. He reminded me of the secondary pump he installed a few years ago that is water driven. Switched over to that pump - IT WORKED! We were without power until Saturday night around 9:30. Kept all the necessities running (fridge, freezers, A/C and television) with the generator.

The south end of Bay City was hit hard. Many trees down, homes damaged, siding and roofing blown off, lawn/patio furniture relocated. As I said we were lucky with one branch down - some of our neighbors no so much. And, as of yesterday some were still without power. As far as we know, there were no reports of anyone being hurt and we thank God for that blessing.

If anyone wants to share their summer/family happenings just send your pics (if available) and your message to Keith at or to me at We'll get it on the Blog for you - quick like a bunny. Thanks, take care, and be safe.


Monday, July 22, 2013


Type this into the address line to see the first article of our trip to Alaska:


Monday, July 15, 2013

New Friends / New Friendships

by Dianne

Last week we got a call from Dick and Elaine Leu, from Iowa. They were on their way thru Michigan to visit some of Dick's old stomping grounds and to explore the northern part of the State including Mackinaw Island and the Upper Peninsula. We first met Dick and Elaine this past season when they came to Rockport 35 RV Park for their first stay. We always invite friends to stop and visit if they have the time whenever they may be passing thru our area, and we are thrilled when anyone takes us up on the offer.

Their timing was great. Every 3 years the tall ships come to Bay City and Rick, Elaine and Dick got to see them come into the mouth of the river from the bay, in full sail. I, however, was up river from them at a previously scheduled luncheon date with friends. Missed it. The ships present quite the picture when under full sail, so I'm told--maybe next time.

The guys got a fishing trip in too, even though the waters on the Bay were a little choppy that day. OK, maybe a tad bit more than choppy since one rolling wave knocked Dick out of his seat. In spite of that they did catch 3 keeper walleye. Guess what was cooked on the grill for dinner that night? Mmm, mmm good.

It was a quick 2 days, but time enough to get to know each other better and to have a great time. We have found that there are a lot of nice people who come to the park from Iowa. Dick and Elaine have been added to our growing list of Iowa friends and we look forward to seeing them again this winter.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Bob Swanson Passed Away

by Keith

Bob Swanson
Christmas Day, 2011
Bob Swanson passed away Thursday, June 27. Bob and Kathy have been active residents of Rockport 35 RV Park for several years.

Their spot near the clubhouse and swimming pool were convenient for Bob, who suffered from lung cancer. He could get to activities with a minimum of exertion. Their location also meant that everyone going to or from activities passed their home, giving a chance for a simple "Hi, Bob!" or a much longer visit.

I remember the strong support Bob gave Kathy regarding her trip to the Philippines (I believe I remembered the location correctly) to learn of her father's activities during WWII. They gave a program on her trip at the clubhouse one evening.

Bob Swanson and Jeanetta Jannsen
Pancake Race, February 21, 2012

Monday, June 24, 2013

Update from Ron and Connie

by Connie, via Keith 

Hello to all of our wonderful Rockport 35 friends!  Wanted to let you know where we are and what we've been doing. We left Rockport on April 2nd and headed to Branson to meet up with Carol and Jerry Bieglow. Then found out that my cousin from Iowa was going to be there at the same time and so we enjoyed time with them at Silver Dollar City. We headed on to Kansas City, Kansas and spent a month visiting with family and friends.

Also I got a couple of painting lessons from my daughter, Pam and jumped into acrylic painting with both feet. Attached are a couple of pictures I've painted from the photographs I've taken. I've got six paintings already. I just love it!  Guess I can't say anything about Ron and his carving.

From there we headed to Livingston, Montana to visit with our friends who we worked for at the Livingston/Paradise Valley KOA.  It is still the most beautiful part of the country for me. Paradise Valley lives up to its name. Also, while we were there, Ron decided he'd like to try bark carving. They had wonderful cottonwood bark at the campground, and Terry said that we were welcome to all we wanted. So we partially stripped a dead cottonwood tree. Now the back of the Jeep is full of cottonwood bark. So guys, he has plenty to share when we get back to Rockport. I've attached the two bark carvings he's done, already giving the first one away to our wonderful campground owner friends. (Well, that's the least he could do after collecting the cottonwood. )  While in Montana, we had to get two new tires for the motorhome and have the front end aligned.  It had a bad vibration that continued to get worse.

 Then on to Oregon. After crossing the Cascade Mountains, we had a blowout on the front left tire on the Jeep while we were towing. The good Lord was looking over us: we made it through the mountains before it happened, we weren't driving the Jeep at the time, we were in town and not driving highway speeds, a man in back of us saw it happen and had us pull over, and then a truck full of young men stopped immediately and changed the tire for us. God is so Great!!

We went to Tillamook for a week to visit the wonderful cheese factory. (We won't need cheese for awhile.) Also other interesting places there. Then we drove down to Bandon on Hwy 101. . We will be here for probably 3 months.  (It hasn't hit 70 yet.)  But it is beautiful and it's good to be back here. Ron's been carving and I've been painting and doing my Swedish weaving.  We found a carving group for Ron and some painting classes for me, so think we'll be busy while we're were here.  We're looking forward to visiting the beach and Old Town Bandon, smoking some more tuna and seeing all of you again in Rockport. Take care, we miss all of you!
Blessings to ya'll!
Ron and Connie  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Princess Kate Flips Pancakes

by Keith

Apparently word of the Great 35RV Pancake Race got to England, as this morning on Good Morning America I saw Princess Kate in a pancake race!

She had just christened  the ship Royal Princess. Then they filled a bit more time by showing clips of her most important outings since she married Prince William. One or two seconds were devoted to her during a pancake race.

Pancake Race at Rockport 35 RV Park
February, 2012
Remember the great times we had at them? People lined the streets to view the process, ably announced by Tom,  blow by exciting blow!

Carole (red blouse) and Ron are among the spectators. Both passed away later last year.

Actually, this event was introduced to the park by Pam, who is originally from England and now lives in Canada with her husband, Prince Geoff. It's therefore entirely possible that Princess Kate knew about Pancake Races even before she read the report of them on this blog.

Princess Pam, trying to win for her team.
Prince Ron, Concentrating!
We had lots of "Princesses and Princes" at Rockport 35 RV Park. Even those who don't enter the pancake races are royalty! To the right, Pam demonstrates proper form, learned during years of practice internationally. She's flipped in three countries, at least: England, Canada, and USA. Who to better learn from!

Here we see Prince Ron in deep concentration, trying to make certain the pancake ends up in the middle of the pan.

This story proves, if nothing else, that you can never tell when a picture will come in handy! That's why I took quite a few. It's good to look through them and remember the times we had with great people.

In fact, I'm going to put two more pictures here—just because I can!

Nurse Bev, the Princess Nurse
Enjoy remembering the great times!

Denins, Our Menace Prince!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Helen Making Her Way Northward

By Helen, via Keith


  • I received this well over a week ago.
  • I didn't post it right away.
  • I ---ah, er--- forgot about it. (Sorry, Helen.)
* * * * * 

Helen Fahlsing here.....started my trek north in my little trailer on Monday May 20.  Spending some time visiting with friends in central TX and will head on to Iowa June 10.  Have reservations at Shady Oaks Campground in Marshalltown IA -- same place as usual, kinda like 'going home!"   Just thought I'd let you know you have until then to get that Iowa weather straightened out! 
This being the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway (and Shady Oaks in right on the old Lincoln Highway) I'm looking forward to the caravan of vintage vehicles making the trip from Times Square in NYC, the starting point of HWY 30.   They just finished loading a freighter in Sweden with vintage cars from around Europe, to make the voyage across the "pond" to join the trip.  Just can't wait to see all of those amazing vehicles.
Hope all is well with you and your family.  Missed you last winter. 
Parked the 5th Wheel in Rockport TX
Forest River Surveyor - my summer home for Iowa!

* * * *

The weather was beautiful today, but I can not take credit for it. 

Helen mentioned the Lincoln Highway. That is US-30 and runs E-W across Iowa, roughly 25 miles north of I-80. It was the way across the country before Interstate highways.

I'm no familiar with the topography of her campground, but it is entirely possible that it might have been flooded. It is near the Iowa River, which was filled to overflowing in that area last week. In any event, it should be ready to welcome Helen when she arrives.

And, Yes, Pat and I are doing fine. And we certainly missed all our friends at Rockport 35 RV Park last winter!



Monday, May 27, 2013

Julee's Contribution

by Keith

We just returned from the Memorial Day program in my hometown, Lime Springs, Iowa. Waiting for me was an email from Julee with a link to the video below.

I thought it especially appropriate, so am posting it for your enjoyment and thought.

As far as I know, neither Julee nor I have any relationship to the speaker, but I wish I did. He sounds like a level-headed person who clearly appreciates what he—and we—have in this wonderful country.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Greetings from Marv and Bev

by Bev via Dianne

Greetings to all our friends at Rockport. We miss you all. We decided to give up our RVing as we are getting older and it gets harder ever year to pack and get ready. It was a hard decision to make, as we loved all the friendships we made and the great times we had. I miss all my Mah jongg players but I started a group from my church, and we play every Friday. Marv has plenty of projects that keeps him busy. We also have been able to spend some quality time with our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. The winter wasn't so bad as we only had 80 inches of snow. Marv has been working in the garden and the flowers are looking great. If any of you guys ever get to Wyoming you are always welcome. Hope you all have a great summer. We love you all. Marv and Bev.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Back in Michigan

by Dianne

Since I just received another inquiry about Dick and Lucille, thought I'd post this quick note to let everyone know they are back in Michigan safe and sound -- arrived May 4th.

He's been out on his tractor mowing their one acre yard, weather permitting, and tinkering in his shed doing guy things. He celebrated his 78th birthday on the 10th and we are so amazed with the progress he has made in the last month. He is doing great and we are so very thankful.

Y'all have a safe summer.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Passing of Sharron Francis

by Dianne

I first met Sharron and CJ in 2011. They were in a 5th wheel on the SE side of 2nd Street. You could find Sharron at the Club House just about every evening playing cards while her husband CJ was out fishing on the Copono pier. I'm not sure if that was their first year at the park, but I do know it was the first year we met. They did not come down in 2012 because of health issues. For those of you who knew them, thought you'd like to know. I copied this from the online obituary. Our prayers are with CJ and family.

Sharron D. Francis

BORN: July 1, 1943
DIED: May 9, 2013
LOCATION: Kingman, Indiana

Sharron D. (Hutchcraft) Francis, age 69, of Kingman passed away on Thursday, May 09, 2013 at 1:03pm at Regional Hospital in Terre Haute. Sharron was born in Gibson City, IL on July 1, 1943 to the late Omar and Mary (Pearson) Hutchcraft. She graduated from Gibson High School in 1961 and married Charles Francis on October 5, 1974 in Gibson City, IL.
Sharron was a hairdresser and an area supervisor for Casey's. She belonged to the Red Hat Society and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. She enjoyed playing cards, Bunko, watching hummingbirds, liked lighthouses and loved her family and many friends.
She is survived by her husband, Charles Francis of Kingman; three sons, Tracy (Cindy) Mott of Elliott, IL, Mike Francis of Texas, and Chuck (Millie) Francis of Gibson City, IL; 11 grandchildren, Ashley, Robin, Jake, Aly, Kaytlin, Cody, Bethany, Shelby, Maddie, Cherilyn, and C.C; and 5 great-grandchildren, Zach, C.J, Kaydence, Haven, and Rhilynn.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Beverly.
Friends may call at Sanders Funeral Care, 203 S 1st Street in Kingman, Monday, May 13, 2013 from 12 noon until service time at 2:00pm with Coy Overpeck officiating. Burial will follow at Kingman Fraternal Cemetery. Sanders Funeral Care entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sonia Enman

by Dianne via Dave Enman

Just received the following email from Dave Enman asking me to post this to the Blog.

Sorry I haven't touched base with all of you folks. Things have not been going well for Sonia. Her first post-chemo ct scan was fine. In February or March she started to complain about stomach pains and another ct scan was ordered. This one showed 3 tumors, the largest being 3 inches wide and was impinging on her small bowel. After much consultation and multiple hospital visits, it was determined that nothing could be done. As a consequence she has been placed on palliative care. Of course doctors never commit to "how longs!"

Sonia Enman
Taken Feb 18, 2011
Last Wednesday she got a stomach port installed to relieve nausea and vomiting. I guess it removes excess pressure in the stomach and also will allow for drainage. Her diet will be restricted to clear liquids and soft foods. Doctors have told us many versions of what her diet can be. We'll figure it out.

We have arranged for hospice care and will work to make her remaining days, weeks, or hopefully months as comfortable as possible.

We are hoping that the port and bag will allow her to get around and maybe get some visits to the park.

The important thing is that the Sonia is in good spirits and is ambulatory.

Keep her in your prayers,


With their permission, here is their contact info:

Dave and Sonia Enman

1515 Arusha St
Round Rock, TX 78664-8505

Home phone:  (512) 252-2785

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Betty West Hospitalized

Dean West > Donna Gish > Connie Perkins > Keith Williams

Hi Keith! 

Just got a call from my aunt (Donna Gish) who just got a call from Dean West who reported that Betty had a stroke this morning.  

Betty West
February 13, 2010
She had carotid artery surgery yesterday (95% blocked)  and came through the surgery fine. She was in recovery when she had the stroke.  

She is paralyzed on the right side. They have done additional surgery and they believe that she will be ok. She's awake and aware of what has happened. 

 Dean wanted the Rockport 35 community to know and to ask for prayers.
If you will, please post this on the blog. Thanks!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Message from the Rothmeyers

Just received this email from Connie.

Connie & Gary Rothmeyer
Actors in "A Christmas Carole"
December 18, 2010
Would you please put on the blog that we will not be returning to Rockport next year. We have sold our motor home and our home in Indianola and will be moving to a 55-plus community in Grand Island. We have been discussing doing this for a while and when we saw our big yard glaring us in the face, we decided to start looking around. I had gotten to where it was not fun taking care of the motor home anymore either. We are going to miss everyone and we cherish the friendships we have made. We hope that our paths will cross again one day.

Dear friends,
I'm sure I speak for everyone at the park when I say that we will miss you and Gary very much -- you are good people. There will come a time when each of us will make this same decision, for various reasons. We've enjoyed the times we shared and wish you both the best. We'll just have to add Grand Island as a stopping point to our future travels. Take care and God bless.

Dianne and Rick