Photos from last year’s Christmas Parade, New Year’s Eve Dance and Halloween Party….
The Fall activities calendar for this year is filling up and we hope you’ll join in. Some highlights from Susan Fox, Activities Director at The Resort…
Halloween Party – Reign N Country Band, Saturday. October 31
Veteran’s Day Ceremony – Wednesday, November 11
Dance – Roadrunners Band, Friday, November 13
Dinner Show – TBD, Monday, November 16
Dance – Needham Twins, Friday, November 20
Park Wide Patio Sale – Saturday, December 5
Dance – Chauffeurs Band, Friday, December 11
Dinner Show – Mesa City Band, Wednesday, December 16
Dance – Julie Lee and the White Rose Band, Friday, December 18
New Year’s Eve Dinner/Dance – Come Back Buddy Band, Thursday, December 31, 7pm-12:30am
A Farm Girl Discovers
LIFE AT THE PARK
Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist
Editor of The Silveridge SUN & The Resort LIFE
“When you grow up on a dairy farm, cows don’t take a day off.
So you work everyday. My dad always said,
‘No one can outwork you.’”
Pat Summit (legendary women’s basketball coach)
Where do you go to find a good old-fashioned work ethic? It doesn’t grow on trees, but maybe it does grow on farms… or at least it used to.
A ‘farm’ today means 100,000 chickens in a space
the size of a Motel 6 shower stall.
|Rhonda Ciacco, teaching her granddaughter about life at the park
What got me thinking about farming and work ethics was talking with Rhonda Ciacco, the General Manager of both The Resort and Silveridge. She credits her South Dakota farm upbringing with instilling in her a whatever-it-takes attitude. Here’s one of her farm memories:
“My family raised beef cattle, milk cows, wheat, and corn. I was the oldest of five and my dad started me early, helping him out. I used to drive the pickup while he pitched out hay to the cattle. I was too young and too short to reach the gas pedal, so I’d have to scrunch down under the steering wheel and push it with my hand. My dad would yell and I’d press the gas. One morning I pushed too hard—the truck lurched forward and he went flying off the back end of the truck. He broke both wrists. But he was back out the next morning and so was I.”
Rhonda moved from South Dakota to southern Colorado and that’s where she fell in love with Frank Ciacco. That was 39 years ago this month. He eventually went to work for one of the old phone companies, US West, while she became what she jokingly calls a Domestic Engineer. When the kids were raised, she went to work for her brother’s trucking company. Then Frank took early retirement, although the day after he “retired,” he took a job with another firm, setting up back-up power for phone companies facilities all over the Southwest.
That’s when Rhonda traded in the stationary life for the road. They bought a 43-foot fifth wheel, which she pulled behind a pickup truck, while Frank drove the company truck he was required to use. They rented out their house and spent eight years on the road, driving separately across Arizona, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico, but always headed back to one another.
Did she mind the lonely highways? She says,
“The only time I can remember resenting it was one Valentine’s Day. We were meeting at a truck stop for dinner. I had to park the fifth-wheel out with the semis and Frank got to park right by the door. Other than that one night, I learned to love the road.”
But one day her husband said to her, “I’m ready to retire again. This time I’m done and I’m going to follow you.” She said, “Then we’re going to Phoenix.” Or, as it turned out, Mesa. After all those years in South Dakota and Colorado, she was ready for life in the desert.
She wasn’t ready to retire, and having spent all those years pulling the fifth wheel, it seemed natural to call a nearby RV park and see if they were hiring. That call was to The Resort and they told her the only opening was Gate Guard. She took the job.
- When she went to start as Gate Guard, it turned out they needed her to help refinish the ballroom floor.
- Then they needed her in Maintenance, working to keep up the grounds, a natural fit for a former farm girl (and you might still spot her out planting flowers).
- Before long she was Head of Maintenance.
- Then Assistant Office Manager.
- Office Manager.
- Now, General Manager for both parks, The Resort and Silveridge.
|Rhonda with her husband Frank in their early days of working at the park
I asked Rhonda what she made of all those promotions. She replied modestly, saying, “I always treat the parks as if they were my own. And the people, too—these are my people. Just now I saw a new resident go by and I went out and said, ‘I’ve got to have a hug.’”
As for her philosophy of managing the parks, Rhonda says,
“We’re here to help people have a good time. I am always trying to get people out to all the activities. Occasionally I run into someone who woke up looking to be angry at someone and I just say, ‘Come play bingo tonight and sit by me.’ You can’t go to our activities and stay in a bad mood. The positive energy of these parks is contagious.”
I asked Rhonda if she ever misses her old life, back on the farm. She laughed and said, “We used to milk cows and separate the cream and then make butter with a hand-crank churn. These days, if I see those things for sale in antique shops, I want to just run the other way.”
“Who wants to be on a farm in the snow
when you can be in the park in the sun?”
The Park Motto Contest
In the last edition of The Resort Times, we offered a few suggestions for the park’s new motto. Then we asked for your suggestions, and announced that the choice would be left up to you – we’re going to have a vote by residents.
THE VOTE WILL BE LATER, WHEN MORE FOLKS ARE AT THE PARK.
But, for now, here are some suggestions. (For now, we’re leaving off the names of those who entered them, so it won’t influence the eventual voting.)
We welcome more.
Small Park with a Big Heart
The Park Where Every Day is a Saturday
Another Day in Paradise.
Where Playing in the Park Takes on a Whole New Meaning!
The Friendliest Park in the Valley
My Little Piece Of Paradise
Drop your suggestions at the office or email them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Dale with your suggestions
YES, we have a new WRITERS’ GROUP!
Starting soon, I will be leading a group of residents experimenting with writing up their memories, or writing stories, essays and/or newsletter articles.
So far we have nine people signed up and we welcome more. Several of the folks in the new group have stated that they haven’t written anything since their high school or college days. No problem. We all have stories and my goal is just to help them get out and down on paper.
We’ll have fun and produce some stories/essays/articles for the residents of the park, and perhaps something your relatives will cherish.
Members so far…
- Judy Ames
- Lois Oberg
- Judy Samuelson
- Shirley Elliott
- Myrna Harrison
- Sharon Van Lieu
- Alice Plale
- Charlene Culver
- Andie Flanagan
Let me know if you want to join in – send me an email at email@example.com or tell the folks at the office to let me know you’re interested.
Join the Writers group
The Resort Tennis Club
Thanks for checking out The Resort Tennis Club. We hope you take the time to explore, and check out all the benefits of visiting The Resort and participating in not only the Tennis Club activities, but in the vast array of things to do off the courts as well. Our park, located in the City of Mesa, is about 30 minutes from Phoenix International Airport and 15 minutes from PhoenixMesa Gateway airport.
Our park offers four, hardsurface (two lighted) courts, where we have DropIn Tennis, Social Play, Player Development Programs, Ball Machines, Invitational and Club Tournaments, Club Mixers, and “Fun Days.”
The Resort Tennis club has a membership of over 120 members, and provides players with the opportunity to participate at all skill levels, from “how do I hold a racket” to advanced, and our annual dues are a whopping $20. The club provides professional coaching at all levels as well as loaner rackets to get you started.
Our goal, here at The Resort Tennis Club, is to provide an environment that fosters fun for all our members. While some people play tennis just for exercise and the social aspect of the game, others prefer to add a bit of competition and strive to hone their skills and advance their level of play. Our tennis club participates in the 55+ East Valley Seniors Tennis League, the largest senior tennis league (3500+ players) in the country. This league offers play from the beginner level through to the advanced 4.0+ levels, and everything in between. There are sixteen other Mesa area resorts that participate in this league, and weekly matches begin in early November and run through the first week in March.
Our Club is run entirely by volunteers who are the backbone of our success. We do everything from maintain our equipment, clean our courts, manage tournaments, score-keep, captain teams, and administer our clubs’ activities through our Executive Committee.
On behalf of our club, and our Executive Committee, I would like to invite you to check us out. If you are looking for a warm spot in the sun and some great tennis activities, we hope you will join us at The Resort on your next trip south.
If you want more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to get back to you.