It’s Lena and Rose’s first year in charge, but both had previously served as volunteers in the kitchen. Not surprisingly, both love to cook, although they came to their new positions in different ways.
THE ROAD TO THE RESORT
Rose grew up in Elmo, Missouri in a family of nine kids. That, she told us, “was where I first learned to cook in quantity.” It was skill she later put to work as a church volunteer, and eventually as a volunteer at The Resort.
As for how she came to live at the park, Rose recalled for us how she’d been RVing with her husband and gave us a bit of their family history: “Wayne and I met in a bar. I took him to a Christmas dance – it was for the coal company where I worked. My boss offered him a job. We married a year later.” The couple ended up moving to Flagstaff, then Albuquerque, then Durango. “Once the kids were grown,” Rose recalled, “I said to Wayne that I was sick of snow.” So the couple started exploring living options, venturing out in their RV. “We came across The Resort,” Rose explained, “and came back for five years. When Wayne died, I bought a place.”
As for Lena’s path to the Resort kitchen, she has the ultimate qualification: Lena and her husband, Ron, owned a restaurant. When Ron visited with us in the kitchen (that’s him with Lena in the photo below and you may recognize him as one of the gate hosts), he described their Chuck Wagon Café as “a small truck stop in Claremont, Minnesota – we had the café but also gas and diesel.”
The Heises owned the place for seven years, although it came later in their working lives. Ron explained: “We were in Indiana and wanted to come to Minnesota and we bought it on a whim. It was for sale and we thought, ‘Why not?’” Lena smiled when recalling those times, saying, “It was the CB days and we’d get truckers from the highway who’d call in their orders on CBs.”