December Newsletter 2018

Tickets, Please

Deb Jackson and The Activities Department

By Dale Dauten

Most everyone in The Resort can relate to the thought that overtook Deb Jackson as she watched snow falling: “I’ve had enough winters. No more.” In Deb’s case, that thought came to her watching a snowstorm in Fargo one May afternoon, four years back. Yeah, May.

So before the next winter came around she accepted an invitation from Bob Olson to visit The Resort. That’s when she discovered the joys of winter in the desert. “I loved being outside. I couldn’t get enough of riding around in a golf cart in January.” At the same time, she was falling for one particular spot in the desert: “I was so impressed with The Resort — the facilities were great, and everything was so clean and organized. And I loved all the programs, especially the dances.” So Deb made winters with Bob at The Resort a regular occurrence. And this winter she’s not just another resident enjoying a sunny day on a golf cart; she’s the new Activities Assistant.


More on her job in a minute, but first let’s back up and fill in Deb’s life before The Resort. She was born in North Dakota but grew up in Sidney, Montana where her father worked in the oil fields and her mother in healthcare. Not being familiar with Sidney, I looked it up. It’s a one zip code town, with 6300 people. (I also learned that it’s big enough for a Christmas Parade of Lights. But if you’re thinking of attending, you should know that the website has a large announcement that amounts to this: For safety reasons, no longer will Santa or anyone else be allowed to throw candy to the crowd. Sigh. Even in a town of 6300 you have your bureaucrats.)

After school, Deb worked in healthcare and sales, and along the way had two kids, Jared and Mariah, and moved her family to Fargo. Of the jobs she had there, the one that she feels most strongly about is her time with Hospice of the Red River Valley, remarking, “It really wasn’t a job; it was a calling. Such work is an honor.”

She’s been in Fargo for the past 18 years, and her kids still live there, as does one of her passions: “Bison football.” That’s the North Dakota State Bisons, who, she pointed out, “have won six of the last seven National Titles in Division 1.” 


Deb Jackson at the Activities Desk

It was earlier this year that the new Activities Director, Ann Christensen, approached Deb about joining her team as Activities Assistant, and Deb was quick to accept. I first met her in early October, her second week on the job, and I asked what she was working on. “Tickets,” she replied. “Tickets, tickets, tickets.” That because they were in the middle of designing and printing the tickets for the whole season.

When we talked more recently, she was working on the volunteer lists for all the events of the season and invited residents to stop by and sign up. “You can be as busy as you want to be in our community,” Deb said. “I love that the residents have so much to choose from.” She adds that one of the pleasure of the job has been sharing events with the folks from our sister park, Silveridge: “This is another chance to meet new people, and isn’t that what it’s about?”


When she isn’t working, Deb writes poetry and is an amateur photographer. We talked her into sharing a few photos with us. We close with those…





If you’d like to see the printed version of The Resorter, with its special events listings and Activities updates, click below…



We just got a full progress report from Chris Castro of GDS and are pleased to pass along the good news that the last big hurdle to completing the project has been passed. It turns out that all the natural disasters around the country caused a backlog in materials and repair parts. As Chris put it, “a standard 90-day order has turned into a 180-day order.” He adds, “It has caused us to juggle around quite a bit upgrading and stabilizing as we can. We had a plan of action that outlined a strong completion date, continuing setbacks caused us to deviate from that plan. We just received a huge shipment of parts in for the outside plant. We had an expected arrival in early September and we finally received the shipment last Tuesday. It is currently being inventoried and we are making plans to best get these parts installed without causing major disruptions for the residents.”

Included in the shipment is Auto Gain Control. Chris explained its significance: “This system automatically adjusts the signal in the park based off the current temperatures. This is a huge upgrade as we can see 40+ temperature swings in the desert from night to day. This cuts back maintenance costs as well as frees us up from having technicians multiple times a year go through and rebalance the system due to seasonal temperature changes as our summer residents definitely saw.”

Chris also wanted to pass along a message from the installers at both parks:

“Please don’t purchase parts at RadioShack, Lowes, Home Depot or Best Buy. Do not re-use the cabling and splitters that you have coiled up in boxes and saved for years. We are still seeing a lot of RG-59 wire installed or connectors that are being bought and improperly installed. These not only impede your services but can cause noise to back feed into the system that affects all your neighbors as well.”

Chris added this explanation: “When we talk about noise, it’s pretty simple — everything in the cable is a radio wave. Everyone can tune into a radio station in their home or car. Well, when bad cabling is installed or bad connectors are installed they allow those radio waves to bleed into the cable system and overpower the conversations that are happening to deliver your internet and tv service. Also gold looks awesome and mentally holds value but in the cable world, gold has the value of paying to have someone come and rip it all out.”  

We also got this further detail from Chris on the work at The Resort:

“With the new parts here we will begin scheduling outside plant techs to begin making changes and installing the final parts. As of now, we will not be taking the entire system down and installing all these newer parts. We are too far into the season now to do that. We will instead focus on installing the major components affected and changing out other parts through the season as needed in order to minimize disruption.

“The Resort has had new and additional amplifiers installed throughout the park. We have also completed installation of additional power supplies in order to support these components. Bad cabling has been repaired and or replaced, and conduits were installed over the summer, as needed. The pedestals and wiring will all be cleaned up as we move through and an area is deemed 100%.”