CAMPING WITH FRIENDS — APRIL 2021
by Carol Duke
Arrivals began on Wednesday, the Dukes joined Sid & Lynda Garner and Norwood & Corinda King at Coffee Creek RV Resort in Santo, Texas. The Garners were headed to Gilbert’s Pecan Company for some tasty shopping. Tim had work to do on the rig, so Carol joined the Garners shopping and sampling the bountiful selections.
Thursday, more camping buddies came in, so the games began in full force.
Friday, April 9, 2021, was the long-anticipated Baker Hotel Tour that began at 2:00 p.m. BIG THANKS to Janie Linders who “knew someone”, who “knew someone” who could give us insider information and a remarkably interesting tour of the restoration process. The Baker Hotel was a once popular luxury destination that opened its doors in 1929, but since the 1970s the hotel has sat empty in ruin. Known locally as “The Grand Old Lady”, the structure still stands 14 stories tall. Though officially closed in 1972, the doors of the Hotel are set to open again thanks to a $68-million renovation project. The fully air-conditioned hotel opened two (2) weeks after the great stock market crash of 1929, but its 460 room, suites, and spas still attracted celebrities, musicians, and politicians from all over the world. The Baker’s opulent interiors and the “healing” mineral waters (likened to the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas) drew such notables as Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, Judy Garland, and even the infamous bandit duo Bonnie & Clyde stopped by. There will be a special memorial suite with the door from a resident who was proposed to, married, and lived in the Baker Hotel until its closure. A noted real estate developer in Southlake, Texas told the New York Times, “This is not a renovation of a building. This is a renovation of a town.” The renovation is proceeding for a reopening in stages beginning in 2022 with full operation to commence in 2024, barring any unforeseen delays. We had many friends and guests of friends join us: Lucille Bean, Wayne & Lou Brush, John & Jo Damron, Carol Duke, Norm & Carol Fitzgerald, Sid & Lynda Garner, Norwood & Corinda King, Rick & Jan King, Dolores Kolb, Vaughn and Janie Linders, Stephanie Mesquias, Mike & Sharon McCollough, Jerry & Joyce McReynolds, Shiryl Nelson, Marilyn Penton, Gay & Weldon Ritchie (natives of Mineral Wells), and Brett Reed. Many pictures were taken and shared on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Texas.Travelers
Early Saturday, April 10th, Wayne Brush took Lou to a hospital in Weatherford for a possible heart attack. We were notified by a knock on doors of our rigs by Janie Linders, who had been informed of the situation by Lucille Bean. A few already gathered at the Fitgerald’s rig prayed for a positive outcome. Next, we began informing others with us as well as the Lyles who were driving in. The consensus was those friends camping would meet to communicate updates, as available, on Lou. We had upcoming events in addition to sightseeing and good restaurants in the Santo, Mineral Wells, and Weatherford area to review. As prompted by Scott, Tim Duke led us in prayer again lifting up Lou as well as Wayne and others. Carol Fitzgerald led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Friends joining the discussions at the Star Hall in Coffee Creek were: Lucille Bean, Tim & Carol Duke, Norm & Carol Fitzgerald, Norwood & Corinda King, Rick & Jan King, Ty & Dolores Kolb, Vaughn & Janie Linders, Scott & Darla Lyles, Mike & Sharon McCollough, Bob & Shiryl Nelson, and Nola Schrum. We also had Dolores’ cousin, Carolyn Zimmer with her husband, Bill.
Some of the items discussed were:
- The resumption of formal camping under a national organization.
- The structure that would best accommodate a group of friends and their guests throughout the year.
- Would the organizational structure include a Board of Directors? What offices should be elected or appointed: President, Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, and what term limits? Outline of duties and responsibilities for President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, others: Wagon Master, News Letter, Sunshine, Historian, Activities Person or Committee?, Chaplain, Yearbook updates.
- How would the election process work? Nominating Committee, Nominees, Ballots, Installation were considerations. When should the process begin: May with committee, Nominees by July, October ballots–in person or mail?, November election, December installation for the next calendar year.
- The Tubs & Storage of equipment: Janie will be in charge of disposal.
- Rick King proposed the CPR class as recent events indicate the need. Although, if Nola is present she has a stethoscope and Blue Bag for such emergencies. Nola will assist Rick.
- Vaughn Linders suggested combining the Thanksgiving and Christmas camps this year as families would probably want to gather as COVID protocols are being relaxed as more are vaccinated.
- It was suggested having the closest Fire and Hospital numbers and locations to the camping site readily available just in case of emergencies.
On another note, we have several of our group with new as well as ongoing health issues:
- Lou Brush hospitalized with heart issues. At this writing she is home, resuming normal activities, and awaiting an appointment with her own specialist.
- Ty Kolb had a procedure to correct an issue with his heart on April 12, 2021. Update: He tolerated the procedure well and was released home. Ty and Dolores plan to camp with the group in Durant, Oklahoma.
- Carol Fitzgerald had a thyroid biopsy set for April 20, 2021. It was cancelled but is set for reschedule ASAP. Diagnostic mammogram is set for April 27, 2021.
- Norm Fitzgerald had a heart ablation on April 21, 2021. Update: Norm did stay overnite for observation, but is home, resting, and relaxing.
- Rick King has a stress test scheduled on April 26, 2021.
- Jim Beasley still enjoys the strawberry ice cream at his hospice care facility(Collier Place , 4650 Collier Park Street, Beaumont, Texas). He is receiving mail through is his sister: Jim Beasley, ℅ Nancy Powell, 3910 Inverness Drive, Beaumont, Texas.
We had cake & ice cream after our discussions to celebrate birthdays for Bob & Shiryl Nelson(both in April) in addition to a 51st Anniversary for Mike & Sharon McCollough on April 25.
Cotton Patch catered our evening meal of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, and rolls with Mike McCollough and Tim Duke making the pick up and delivery. (Ask them about the asphalt green beans)
Sunday, April 10, Janie Linders led with special music related to the devotion topic of Zaccheus. She added a wonderful memory of teaching children new Bible story songs in VBS. Tim Duke shared a new perspective on Zaccheus in the sycamore tree with Bible reading from the group as well as guest, Bill Zimmer.
Thanks to all for a great camp!!!!!
BEST WISHES & CONGRATULATIONS FOR MAY
2 Jim Beasley 4 Mike & Mickie Hardesty 53 yrs
4 Elaine Toleos 5 Jim & Darlene Beasley(would
7 AC Blair have been 3 yrs- 2018 to 2021)
14 Carol Fitzgerald
May 5 Cinco de Mayo (Wednesday)
May 6 National Day of Prayer ((Thursday)
May 9 Mother’s Day (Sunday)
May 13 Ascension Day (Thursday)
May 15 Armed Forces Day (Saturday)
May 23 Pentecost (Sunday)
SEE YOU AT THE KOA IN DURANT APRIL 28-MAY 2