November 2020 Newsletter

The latest in our series…

The People of the Park:

Darrel & Margie Baune

By Dale Dauten

I got Darrel and Margie Baune to reminisce about how they met and it evoked in me an instant nostalgia for the Midwest of the nineteen-fifties. See if it does for you, too. Here’s Margie describing meeting her future husband in the Minnesota farm town of Wabasso:

“We met at a wedding dance. Someone’s relative got married — it didn’t really matter whose relative. It’s a small town. There was a dance. You went. Darrel was there. I knew him but he didn’t know me. His sister had been in my class at school and my girlfriend had been his pen pal when he was over in Korea. So I knew who he was. We talked. We had a nice visit. And then he asked if he could take me home. I said I’d have to ask my dad. My parents were at the dance and I’d come with them. They were in the balcony where people sat to watch the dancers. So I went to my dad and he said, ‘Which one is he?’ And I said, ‘The tall, good-looking guy right down there.’ And he said, ‘I know the Baunes. Yeah, okay.’”

(Photo: Darrel and Margie on a trip to Cincinnati.)

And here’s the rest of that story (although before we go further I should point out that the surname Baune is pronounced “Bow-knee”)…

Darrel and Margie both grew up on farms in the same vicinity of Minnesota. They each went to a country school which Margie describes as, “Two rooms, one teacher and an outdoor biffy. We all drank water out of a water pail. All of us used the same dipper and nobody got sick.”

Later, they both went to St. Ann’s High School in Wabasso. And when Darrel graduated, he got drafted into the Army and sent to Korea. He took two bullets in his right arm and by the time his fellow soldiers got him to the hospital ship, gangrene had set in. The doctor offered a grim assessment: “You’ll never use that arm again.” Darrel, fortunately, refused to accept that prognosis, devoted himself to rehab and made a full recovery.

Once Darrel returned to the states he went to work for Honeywell, then business school and then a position as a sales rep, a job that took him back home where he attended that fateful wedding dance. After meeting Margie, Darrel sought a job that would keep him nearby, and he ended up going to work for an insurance agency in Wabasso. That job stuck, and he eventually bought out the agency and retired at age 80, having by then put in 60 years and stepped down as having held an insurance license longer than anyone in the county.

The Baunes have three sons, the oldest has had a long career with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, while the middle son is a service engineer for a company that makes components for computer chips, and the youngest lives nearby, in metro Phoenix, working in Finance for ASM.

Indeed, it was the last of the three sons who inspired Darrel and Margie to move to the Valley. The couple had friends who lived at The Resort and they visited one winter, back when the freeway ended at Power Road and the road ended at Southern. Margie’s recalled her reaction on that first visit was, “Holy Moses, why would anybody want to stay way out here?” But then it happened to her, the way it has happened to so many others: “We spent some time there and realized they were having the best time in the world.”

So they visited again, that time for a six week stay, and they ended up buying a park model – this will be there 28th season at The Resort. You might see them volunteering in the kitchen, or see them at the dances or bingo, or as Margie puts it, “Whatever sounds like fun.”

(Photo: At a Mardi Gras dance, pre-covid)

Let’s end with a couple of the philosophical questions I put to them.

When I asked them the best advice they ever gotten or given, Darrel jumped in to say, “Move to Arizona,” and then he gave their youngest son the credit for offering that advice.

And when I asked them to describe a “perfect day,” Margie didn’t hesitate:

“Waking up and being able to what you want to do ALL DAY LONG. And, when you’re in love, waking up TOGETHER.” Perfect.



The head of the park’s management company, George Igault, passed along this update on the park:

“I’m delighted to report that the in-house television channel is up and running. We’ll be able to use it for park information – for instance, if we needed to turn the water off for repairs we can put up a notice and updates – and the channel will be available for notices about events. Also, if you have info or photos for your club you’d like to share on The Resort channel, just let Activities know.

“And while the record heat this summer delayed us, the winter grass is up and we’re now putting in all the winter flowers. You’ll also notice that the artist who did the designs for the front gates has been back to do a refresh of his designs. I hope you’ll find the park in great shape for the new season.”