June 2020 Newsletter

The latest in our series…

The People of the Park:

A Visit with Harley Rosenberg & Donna Price

By Dale Dauten

There’s a romantic notion from one of the novels of Paulo Coehlo where a character tells another, “The entire universe conspired to help me find you.” In that spirit, it’s always intriguing to hear how fate brings two people together, and today let us consider the story of Resort residents Harley Rosenberg and Donna Price.

(PHOTOS: If you look closely, you’ll see that Harley is wearing a shirt from Camp Confidence, a camp for challenged youth where he’s volunteered for many years. Donna is holding her great grandson, Maverick.)

Both Donna and Harley grew up on farms in the upper Midwest, found careers there and raised families there, but never met until later in life, when both of them made their way to the desert.

Harley came to visit his brother in Mesa, asking him come along to tour RV parks where Harley could spend winters. He recalled of that search, “We looked at half a dozen places and The Resort was so friendly and so nice, we picked it.” That was decades ago, back in 1990, when, Harley recalled, “U.S. 60 ended at Power Road and the nearest grocery store was nearly a mile away.”

Then, just a few years back, Donna found her way to the Valley. But it wasn’t sun that drew her to the desert, it was sorrow. Her youngest daughter had passed away after a battle with cancer, and as Donna said, “I just needed to get away.” She moved into another park in Mesa, but eventually the universe did its conspiring and she met the woman then heading The Resort’s Post Office. That ended up in Donna being offered a job, and in her meeting one particular postal customer: Harley.

We asked Harley if there was a romantic story in their meeting and he just chuckled and said, “I asked her out for a cup of coffee.”

That cup of coffee was six years ago and, even though Donna has since given up her post at the Post Office, they’ve been together ever since, enjoying winters together at The Resort. When we asked Donna their favorite things to do at The Resort, she told us, “Harley loves to play pool – you’ll often find him down at The Resort’s pool room — and I love the events. This past season my favorite was the street dance at the end of March. It was outdoors, down by Studio 55, and I don’t think there’s a person in the park who missed it.”

So that’s how the two of them got together. Let us back up and fill in some of their stories prior to meeting at The Resort.


grew up on a farm near Ceylon, Minnesota. After high school, Harley enlisted in the Marines. It turned out just fine — he ended up serving in peace time (falling between the Korean and Vietnam Wars) and got an enviable posting: two years in Hawaii. After completing his service, Harley began a career in law enforcement, starting in Sleepy Eye, Minn.

(I couldn’t resist looking into the name Sleepy Eye. Turns out, it was for a Chief Sleepy Eye, the leader of the Sisseton Dakota tribe in the 1820s. A couple of photos from the Sleepy Eye Chamber of Commerce give you an idea of the town today.)

After four years, Harley took a job in Fairmont, Minn. (pictured below) where he spent the rest of law enforcement career.

describes herself as “a farm girl from South Dakota,” She was raised in Flandreau, a city that now has over 2000 residents, and is near the eastern edge of the state, near the Minnesota state line. (In fact, when Donna and Harley head back to his cabin in Minnesota for the summer, they’re just 90 miles from Donna’s old home of Flandreau.)

For many years Donna had a business of her own, a store that offered interior decorating, along with selling carpets and window treatments. Eventually she grew tired of the daily grind of retail, and make a shift in her career, going to work at a heart hospital in Sioux Falls.


Long before they found one another at The Resort, Donna and Harley raised families in the upper Midwest. Donna had five children and Harley three, and between them they have 15 grandkids and 18 great grandkids. They have a lot of visiting to do when they go back for the summers.

We close with a photo pair of photos Donna sent us from Fox Lake in Minnesota, where they summer at Harley’s cabin. (One photo is the lake at sunset while the other features one of three Martin houses to help with mosquito control, and you can see that the house is just steps from the lake.)


We hope to profile other residents in our upcoming issues. If you’d like to volunteer to be the subject of an article, or have someone you’d like to suggest, please let me know.

Or, If you have photos you’ll like to share in upcoming newsletters, please send them.

Dale Dauten


Email: ddauten@gmail.com

Text: 480-297-6244

Opening Up

We’re pleased to note that the pool has reopened. In fact, other than some new signs popping up around the park with cautions (like social distancing and limits on group size), things are starting to look normal (for summer).