Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016

Today is the last chance this year for us to wish you a Happy New Year 2016 so that's what we're doing in this short article.

Happy New Year!

During he seven years we spent right there on Site 80, next to Gordon and Janet, we met many people and made some great friends. Truly, we miss them every day!

We have been saddened by the passing of several; Bob, Chet, Norman, and Karen come to mind.

Some have decided to stay closer to home, a decision many more of us will make as the years roll by. Marv and Bev are two of several in that category.

Since we left the park four years ago, the park has flourished—hopefully not because of our leaving! We're pleased that new guests are now enjoying many of the same people we came to love while eating and playing with them for seven years!

May all the parks guests, both former and current, enjoy a new year filled with good heath and enough happiness to make them thankful every day for their good fortune!

Happy New Year 2016!

Monday, December 7, 2015 Domain Set To Expire

Domain Names

A "domain name" is the name of a website and the "address" to which one goes when looking for a site. In the case of this website, the domain name is "".

The right to use a domain name must be purchased. The price varies, depending on whether it is a  .com, .us, .info, .edu, etc., domain. These days, the prices usually start at about $13/year and go up from there.

Domain Renewal will expire in a few weeks. It's price to renew is about $20/year.

The basic question is this: Shall I renew it?

There are other related quesions:

  • Does anyone wish to purchase it? (I have owned it from the beginning and will relinquish it if someone is interested in owning it.)

  • Does anyone really care if this site continues? (For the last month, it has had about 5 visitors each day, which is about half the number of visitors during the same period a year ago.)

  • Is anyone interested in contributing information to make it more current than it has been the last two or three years?

  • Other.

Reason for Its Existence

This website was created in 2007 or earlier. My goal was to have it be an on-line "daily newspaper" for the guests at Rockport 35 RV Park. You can see some of the early articles here:

At that time, Pat and I were guests on Site 80. I did most of the writing and served as the webmaster. I also hosted the site on server space I rented.

Later, Dianne Carlson took an active part and provided lots of articles and pictures. That helped improve interest and lessened the load for me. I appreciated her efforts, believe me!

Now, we spend the Winters in Mission, TX, —200 miles from the park of interest. That's a bit too far to be up-to-date on the local happenings. The breadth and timeliness of the content of the site has suffered because of this distance.

Action Requested

What do YOU think? Please either Comment on the site, or send me an email at, or phone me at 319 395-7405 (trailer) of 319 389-4011 (cellphone).

I must make a decision in less than 30 days, so if you have a comment or opinion please get it to me soon!

Wilderness Oaks Intelligence According to Facebook

I must hurry and write this, before my internet service becomes internet non-service. Again! Service here, provided by a local company as part of their cable TV offering, has been absolutely terrible. It was down essentially all weekend.

Today, people expect internet service to be as reliable as other utilities, such as electricity and water.

I'm about to take an active role in trying to make it better. Sound familiar?

Now to the according-to-facebook part!

I was able to gather a bit of intelligence last week, mainly by going to our clubhouse here in Mission and using my tablet.

What I learned was that several of our old friends were making their way from "wherever" to Wilderness Oaks! And several have completed their migration, to the joy of the travelers and those already enjoying the park community.

I specifically noticed that Don and Dorothy plus Dennis and Brenda were making the trip last week.

I also noted that not all made the trip trouble-free. The good news is that they did make it safely, although with a bit of inconvenience.

Pat and I, too, had a bit of "inconvenience," which could have been much, much, worse! While cruising (?) down I-35W in Ft. Worth, we came upon several miles of serious road construction. At one point, the right lane of two lanes of traffic was signed to close.

We were where should have been (left lane) and with close but acceptable space ahead of us. At the last moment, a car darted into that holy space.

Worse yet, at that exact moment, all the vehicles ahead of use braked to a near-stop! I slammed on the brakes and we did not hit her. Missed her car by about two feet, I estimate. We could smell the distinctive odor of hot brake linings for several minutes!

The lesson here: I had just had the trailer brakes adjusted before we left Cedar Rapids. I strongly suspect that is what saved us from an accident.

Other factors: anti-skid brake system on the F-350, expert driving skills, and divine providence —not necessarily in that order.

Make sure your brakes are up to snuff; you can never tell when you will need every bit of stopping power they can provide.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rockport Friends Visit

We had a very pleasant surprise Saturday, Nov. 21. Bob and Gelene Logsdon showed up for a visit!

We each left Iowa November 9. Bob and Gelene spend the Winter in Alamo, while Pat and I are in Mission, nearly 20 miles further west.

[caption id="attachment_816" align="alignnone" width="500"]Photo of Rockport Friends: Pat & Gelene Pat and Gelene having a good time![/caption]

We chatted about the good ol' times we had at the previous park until about noon. Then guess what we did? Yep, we went out to lunch! There's a BBQ place only a couple of miles from our park so we went there. A good time was had by all, that's for sure!

The Logsdons purchased a mobile home in "their" park late last year. Pat and I are renting the same lot in Mission for the fourth year. This is the 11th consecutive year for us to spend the Winter in Texas.

Importance of Rockport Friends

While we like this area, a common comment was, "We sure miss the people in Rockport!"

Our Rockport Friends are important to all of us! We miss you!


Friday, October 16, 2015

Dixie Gwin Graham: R.I.P.

Dixie was a Workamper at Rockport 35 RV Park for a few years, probably at least ten years ago. If I rember correctly, she was a gardener, giving Chet a hand with the flowers.

Here's notice of her passing, borrowed from facebook.

"hello im mary graham dixie and mike grahams daughter-inlaw just wanted everyone to that dixie went home to be with the lord today also with her husband mike who passed on sept.26th we are planning on having a memorial in the next week or so for them here is my # 830-822-0664 or billys 830-765-8807 if u would like info on date and time"



Friday, September 18, 2015

More Friends from the Park!

How lucky can we get! This is two weeks in a row that we've been able to dine with great friends from the park!

This week, Tom and Dianne drove over from their camping spot at Thompson, IL, a nice CoE park right on the Mississippi River. If you follow them on facebook, you'll have seen some of their kayaking excursions and also the grand old riverboat they visited Wednesday.

[caption id="attachment_810" align="alignleft" width="355"]Photo of friends from the park: Tom, Dianne, Pat, Keith Tom & Dianne Carl; Pat & Keith Williams[/caption]

I chose Emil's Hideaway as the spot for lunch. As you can imagine, we had a lengthy lunch!

It's so wonderful to spend time with friends from Winter's past! Thanks for coming, T & D!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chet Sutherland: R.I.P.

Chet Sutherland, 92, long-time gardener at the park, passed away early in September. His obituary is here:

Chet and his wife, Peggy, lived on Fifth Street until this past season, when they moved to care centers. Later, Chet moved to the same care center as Peggy.

[caption id="attachment_802" align="alignright" width="262"]Photo of Chet Sutherland. Chet Sutherland[/caption]

While he was still in good health, Chet was a regular at the morning coffee session at the clubhouse. He was also called upon at Sunday morning church service at the park, to sing a solo part of the popular hymn, "In the Garden."

These pictures were taken February 24, 2009.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Park Friends Meet in Iowa

We were thrilled when we learned that Fran and Sandy Bulawa were in the Omaha area celebrating Sandy's fiftieth HS class reunion and that they might venture evern futher east to visit other Park friends!

[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="455"]Photo of park friends Fran, Sandy, Vi, and Ron at Little Amana, Iowa. Friends from the park meet in Iowa![/caption]

It happened! They visited Ron and Vi Powell in Burlington, Iowa, then the four of them plus Pat and I met at Little Amana (I-80, Exit 225) for breakfast last Friday moring. Fran and Sandy were headed back to Wyoming, specifically to Laramie, to attend a football game the next day with three of their grandchildren who are students at U. of Wyoming.

As is the usual case when good friends from the Park get together, a good time was had by all!

All agree that there are/have been lots of wonderful people at Wilderness Oaks and its predecessor park!

Monday, September 7, 2015

R.I.P. Norman Sherman

[caption id="attachment_775" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo of Mary and Norman Sherman. Mary and Norman enjoying friends
at the club house.

During our seven winters at the park, Pat and I met many wonderful people from all over the country. Among them were Norman Sherman and his wife Mary, who hailed from Coldwater, Kansas

Norm and Mary were easy to make friends with, as each had a welcoming smile and a down-home attitude that anyone could feel comfortable with immediately.

Because I enjoyed Norman's friendship so much, I was saddened to learn a few weeks ago that he had passed away.

You've heard the term "Jack of all trades," right? Well, Norman probably told you of some of the things he did during his interesting life but you can get a more complete picture from Norman's obituary.

His love of flying and of owning a Piper Cub is mentioned. Norm told me that in one year, he flew that Cub over 500 hours! That's a lot of sitting but I agree with Norm, well worth it!

Norman had a provisioning plan: he'd arrive in Rockport with a small chest freezer in the back of his pickup, filled with Kansas beef. On the way home, he'd pass through Louisiana and fill it with shrimp!

Norman use to sit under the overhang of his trailer and read paperbacks, mostly Westerns, as I recall. But he always had an extra chair for guests and time for a good visit with anyone who happened to be passing by and was inclined to stop.

Rest in Peace, good friend Norman Sherman!

Back at Wilderness Oaks

[caption id="attachment_779" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo of sign welcoming us back at Wilderness Oaks Someone Remembered Us!![/caption]

On our way home to Cedar Rapids from Mission, we spent a night on our old spot (80) at Wilderness Oaks!

It was GREAT to visit with friends with whom we'd spent up to seven years at the previous park. They even rmembered us!

We chose our date wisely: it was the day of the park's weekly potluck dinner!

Photo of friends at dinner>



Photo of a piece of the coveted pie made by Joan!And, we were fortunate enough to get a piece of Joan's pie! She ceretainly has a reputation, doesn't she!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cross Strung Brings Superb Talent

by Keith

Cross Strung Brings Superb Talent to Rockport

Wednesday, February 25, 2015, Wilderness Oaks residents have the opportunity enjoy a great evening of music! Cross Strung brings superb talent to Rockport that day!  Cross Strung will be performing at Lagoons RV Resort at 7 PM.

Cross Strung isn't "just another family band"—although they are just that: a family band. Or, to look at it another way, Cross Strung is a goup of very talented musicians.

I'm not a New York Times music critic or anything close to it, but I do believe the musical knowledge and skill of Cross Strong is the greatest of any group working the Winter Texan circuit down here in the Rio Grand Valley.

And they are also great entertainers! They'll keep you interested for the entire evening!

Some performers are skilled but somehow haven't figured out how to turn their technical skills into entertainment. Not so with Cross Strung!

They'll probably do some blue grass, some gospel, some Celtic, and who knows what else. If you're a music lover, make plans now to attend their one show in Rockport!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wilderness Oaks a Long Way Down

by Keith Williams

Wilderness Oaks from Above

[caption id="attachment_760" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Photo of Wilderness Oaks. Wilderness Oaks from about 4,000 feet[/caption]

Wilderness Oaks from about 4,000 feet! How'd that happen? (No, I haven't been flying.)

Pat and I have friends in high places. Well, that's where they are on their day off. Jay and Mary Honeck own and manage Amelia's Landing motel in Port Aransas. They work hard and when they have a day off, they jump into their little red airplane (RV-8A) and head somewhere; anywhere!

Today they went to Palacios to fill the plane with gas ---at only $3.60/gallon, the lowest Jay has paid for avgas in years. (In the recent past, $6/gallon was not uncommon.)

Noticeable Differences

It looks like the new bridge is at least mostly constructed. Perhaps it is open to traffic.

It's also obvious that the park, Wilderness Oaks, is full, or nearly so. What a change from when we left three years ago! I presume that means even more friendly folks enjoying their stay there.