If you’d like to join in, the group continues till March 9th, that’s the day Tom will lead the group to see the wild horses and have a wiener roast along the way. If you have questions, Tom is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOM WILKINSON, A BRIEF PROFILE: “Go and do it and think about it later.” (We always like to learn a bit about the folks who volunteer their time at The Resort)
Tom is a Canadian who grew up on a farm. He went on to explain that his father had come from Ireland and in addition to owning a farm, he was “a breaker,” meaning that he broke horses. As Tom explained it, “It wasn’t like today; back then, you put on a saddle and rode.” He added, “It as pretty Western.”
Later, after leaving home and starting a career, including working as an auctioneer, and after getting married and settling down, something about those old times called to his sense of priorities. He’d spent his early career in mining towns and didn’t like everything he saw there. “I didn’t want my kids raised around drugs and people with too much time and money.” So he bought a family farm in Saskatchewan and raised livestock and the crops to feed them. (It seems to have worked out for raising his two kids: Both now live in Calgary; his daughter is a teacher who just completed a Master’s degree in order to be a school counselor, and his son owns a thriving tech company that is expanding to Florida.)
As for Tom, he eventually got into a bureaucratic dispute with the Sheep Board and he decided to get out of the livestock business, selling 500 head of sheep and cattle. About the same time, he saw an ad in a farm journal from a Canadian who had a place in a Mesa RV park for sale; Tom bought it, sight unseen. Later, he sold the farm itself and that’s when he bought an RV. Both of these struck us as good examples of what Tom told us is his guiding principle: “Go and do it and think about it later.”
That guiding principle fits nicely with his response to our favorite question, the one about the best advice he’s ever gotten. Tom said, “My parents liked to say, ‘If you’re going to do it, do it. Don’t sit there and whine about it.’”
So Tom went and did Arizona, traveling to that sight-unseen unit he’d bought. With it came the realization that he liked the desert. So he kept coming back. Eventually, he met another resident of that park, Jan Guennigsmann. While they liked where they were living, Tom described it as “not having a lot of community activities.” Then the two discovered The Resort: “Jan and I both play pickleball and we ended up playing at a lot of different parks and one time Jan mentioned that the folks at The Resort were the ones having the most fun. And so we looked for a place and moved in last December.”
(Photo below: Jan and Tom on – what else? – a hike.)