2006 Newsletter Produced By Black Oak Resort
P.O. Box 100 - Oakland, AR 72661 - (870) 431-8363
www.blackoakresort.com - e-mail: vacation@blackoakresort.com

Greetings To All Of Our 2005 Guests

Table Of Contents:

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Dear Friends,

Welcome to Black Oak Resort!As another year passes, we hope you all had a happy, healthy, prosperous 2005, and we wish you the best in 2006.

Our year seemed to fly by. We think it’s partly because we seem to stay busy, and we have a theory that time definitely speeds up as you get older.

Our plans to retire are gaining steam, so look for all the details in “Our Plans” section.

Please read on and find out all that’s happened this past year. Also, what’s in store for next year.

Thank you all again for a very good 2005. As always, we look forward to seeing you again in 2006.
Signature - Mike and Betty Scrima

Our Year In Review

Off To College

Our own Sarah Nelson, who has worked for us ever since she was 14, graduated from Mountain Home High this year. She is so bright, she is now off to Arkansas Technical University, as a music major, with a full scholarship. We’ve talked about how well Sarah was doing in the high school band (first chair clarinet). We predict big things for Sarah. Happily for us, Sarah will be back at Black Oak for the summer.

Black Oak Inn Sold

We have been looking to sell Black Oak Inn for several years. We considered this as our first phase towards retirement. We’re very happy to report that we’ve sold this business to our own guests of many years: Doug and Heidi Potts. They have been coming to Black Oak Resort for many years, and had already purchased a great piece of property in Oakland where they plan to build their future home in a few years.

They are extensively remodeling the rooms with all new interiors: new carpeting and tile, new bathrooms and kitchens, and more. We have agreed to manage the place for at least two years. Doug and Heidi welcome you to come and take a look. We look forward to working with them and wish them much success.

Dogs

Sam and Abby
The Black Blob is Abby

We still have Abby and Sam. Abby, our miniature lab, is six years old now. Abby contracted a very serious illness this past year. It’s a tick-borne disease, ehrlichiosis. It causes symptoms similar to lyme disease. It causes lethargy and loss of appetite, and can cause joint inflammation, anemia, and organ failure. In most cases, if caught in time, the dog can be treated with antibiotics and fully recover. Or it can become chronic or cause death.

Betty and Mike with AbigailIn Abby’s case it was caught in time, and she’s pretty much back to normal. Betty didn’t even realize that Abby was sick. Betty just thought she was getting older and slowing down. Abby was still taking her walks and swimming. Well, when Betty brought Abby in for her annual check-up, part of that check-up is a blood test to check for tick-borne infections. Doctor told Betty, Abby was testing positive for ehrlichiosis as well as lyme. Since Abby had received a vaccine against lyme, Doc said this was a false positive, but he immediately prescribed a course of antibiotics for the ehrlichiosis.

Betty felt terribly guilty, blaming herself (rightly) for Abby getting sick. Betty is averse to overmedicating, so was not treating for ticks at all, just for fleas, thinking that Abby was safe because she had been vaccinated against Lyme disease. The course of antibiotics was for three weeks. But Betty did some research on the Internet, and found much difference of opinion on treatment. Some recommended treatment for as long as three months, and some recommended an ongoing therapeutic dosing to prevent re-infection. So Betty asked Doc for more antibiotics after the first course of treatment. The doc did give additional antibiotics, but then said no more without a repeat blood test. This was after six weeks of treatment. Well, Betty was right, because it was still showing up in Abby’s blood. So doc not only gave Abby another six weeks of antibiotics, but increased her dosage. After this, Abby was retested, and there was no longer any sign of the disease.

The dogs and cats get along well
Little-Little, Sam, and Abby

Abby has slowly regained her vitality, and is almost back to her old self. Betty asked Doc if the Frontline Plus treatment would completely eliminate the chance of re-infection. He recommended that Abby additionally wear a Preventic tick collar since she runs in the woods almost daily, and has greater exposure.

Abby did put on some weight, since she was getting all her pills encased in cheese. But she’s getting back to her old girlish figure now that she’s exercising more. We are so grateful for her full recovery, and will be more careful with her care in the future.

Sam, our beautiful Chow-lab mix, is at least 11 now, and is still going strong. He is actually more perky than a year ago, and can still climb up into Betty’s van unaided. We are extremely lucky that he’s had no health problems.

Sam
Sam, the Couch Potato

Cats

Jitterbug
Jitterbug

First off, for all of you who constantly ask, yes we still have Jitterbug, our most outgoing cat who has visited or at least tried to visit each and every one of our guests. He did have a few close calls: He wound up in several of our guests boats as they were leaving, and had to be routed out. Trust us, he can cram himself through the slightest opening to get into a boat to sleep, and has already taken two trips out - one as far as St. Louis. So, Betty watches like a hawk on checkout days for Jitterbug’s whereabouts.

New Kitten
Gorgeous

All of our cats are still with us: Gorgeous, our youngest (and smartest), who always sleeps with us, curled up behind Betty’s knees. Also, Little-Little, who is Jitterbug’s only friend, and one of Betty’s favorites. She is terribly overweight, but alas, cannot be put on a diet because there’s always food around when you have twelve cats to feed.

We also have Cutie-Pie, our oldest cat, who likes to stand with both front feet in the dog’s water bowl to take a drink. Then there’s Handsome, Igor, and Fluff-Fluff to complete our list of inside cats. Pinky, Scaredy-Cat, White-Foot, Newman and Studly are our outside cats. Newman and Studly are our only “intact” males, and they manage to keep all other foraging cats away, which thankfully keeps our cat population from rising.

Betty's News

Book Club

Betty is still attending her book discussion group, which started in July 2003, and is still going strong with all original members. There’s six charter members, all still with the group. Besides Betty there are four women and one man. Ages run from mid-fifties to mid-seventies. They come from all over the country: Florida, California, Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois. They each bring their own unique perspective to the group discussions. None of the group considers themselves old, and the discussions are lively and stimulating. We share a common love of books, and we all enjoy the lively discussions that ensue over each book. Even though our ages and backgrounds are diverse, we come together eager to share our thoughts, opinions, and stories. Of course our discussions wind up covering politics, religion, sex, etc., with lots of laughter thrown in. It’s positively addicting, and Betty hopes it continues for a long time.

Here’s what we read, or attempted to read in 2005:

The Source, James Michener. Fiction. A novel which presents the history of the Jewish faith from its origins to present times. This a long book (1078 pages), and comes highly recommended by those who were able to finish reading it. 4 stars.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. Fiction. A classic about bigotry and racism as told from a child’s perspective. This was universally loved by the group and receives our highest rating. 5 stars.

Public Enemies, Bryan Burrough. Non-Fiction. First-rate story-telling, covering the crime wave that swept the country during the great depression of the thirties, with all the legendary outlaws that sprang up during that time in our country’s history: John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, and the Barker Gang. Intertwined in their stories is the story of the beginnings of the FBI, and the rise to power of J. Edgar Hoover for almost half a century. 4 stars.

The Plot Against America, Philip Roth. Fiction. A “what if” look at what might have happened if Charles Lindbergh had run for president against FDR and defeated him. Lindbergh is portrayed as an anti-semite and Hitler loyalist, who changes the course of history, as told through the eyes of a young seven-year-old Jewish boy. Mixes fact with fiction, bringing to life many colorful historical figures along the way. 4 stars.

Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer. Non-Fiction. A fascinating look at the Mormon faith and its history, with a “hook,” recounting the tragic story of the murder of a Mormon wife and her infant daughter. A shocking eye-opener, blending a chilling crime story with a hard look at the Mormons. 5 stars.

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith. Fiction. Written by a man in a woman’s voice. This is the first in a series of books about a woman in Botswana who sets up business to make a living doing what she is best at. Sweet, charming, we all loved the little tales she weaves. 4 stars.

Founding Mothers, Cokie Roberts. Non-Fiction. A look at the women behind the great men during the founding of our nation. These wives and mothers deserve their due for their part in history and are often overlooked. What some of them had to endure will amaze you. Our hats off to the ladies! 4 stars.

Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden. Fiction. Reads like a memoir, but is actually written by a man in a woman’s voice. We all loved this book, which takes you behind the scenes of the life of a geisha as told by Chiyo, who becomes the famous geisha Sayuri. 4 stars.

Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Peter Hoeg. Fiction. Another book written by a man in a woman’s voice. For a mystery, this book is beautifully written, with lyrical prose that will touch your heart. Set in Greenland and Copenhagen, with lots of artful descriptions of snow and ice. Smilla, in heart-wrenchingly beautiful prose, tells of her relationship with and love for a young boy who dies mysteriously, and the ensuing journey she embarks on to find out what happened to him. 5 stars.

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides. Fiction. Another book written by a man in a woman’s voice-er, sort of. The story of a Greek family, and the central character Callie, who becomes Cal. Set in Greece, then ultimately in Detroit, tells the story of Callie, who was born a hermaphrodite, but doesn’t find out until she’s well into her teens. Interesting stuff, the author does an outstanding job of expressing the sexual feelings of a teenager, regardless of gender. 4 stars.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Fiction. We are currently in the process of working through this difficult, but hopefully worthy work of great story-telling.

So to sum up:

Four books about bigotry, racism, religious persecution: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Plot Against America, Middlesex, Under the Banner of Heaven.

Books set in:

  • Detroit, Greece (Middlesex)
  • Japan (Memoirs of a Geisha)
  • New York (The Plot Against America)
  • Utah (Under the Banner of Heaven)
  • Alabama (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Africa (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency)
  • Greenland, Copenhagen (Smilla’s Sense of Snow)

Books told through the eyes of a child:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Plot Against America
  • Middlesex

Books written by a man, but told in a woman’s voice:

  • No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Smilla’s Sense of Snow
  • Middlesex

Books of history:

  • Founding Mothers
  • Public Enemies
  • Under the Banner of Heaven

Books about religion:

  • Under the Banner of Heaven
  • The Source

Honestly, there wasn’t a bad book in the bunch. A book club expands your reading to other areas where you might not have ever gone. It makes you aware, makes you think, and teaches.

Betty The Coed

Betty started taking computer courses at Arkansas State University (Mountain Home). Betty finally learned to use a mouse, so wouldn’t you know it, she gets a laptop with no mouse!

She’s completed courses on Microsoft Windows, Internet and Email, Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and Front Page. The courses were just covering the basics, and she will have to try them on her own. Betty is especially interested in the Internet and Access. Word was easy to use. Excel is good, but Access can do much more. The next course she’s scheduled to take is Digital Photography. After that, she’ll have to wait till fall.

What We’re Watching, Listening To

TV
First of all, with the addition of our 50” HDTV, (see “Our Home” section) we have probably upped our TV time a bit. The best investment!

As far as comedy, we don’t like most of them, but two we do like a lot are:

HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” This show features Larry David, who was the inspiration (creator, producer, and writer) for Seinfeld. (Besides Seinfeld himself). This is an R-rated version of Seinfeld. Hilarious.

Two-and-half Men. CBS. Snappy dialogue. All three main characters are great. The kid is a natural.

Three of the best new Dramas are:

HBO’s ”Deadwood.” The greatest (after The Soprano’s, of course). This caught us by surprise. The language is unbelievably bad, but if you can get past it, you are in for one of the best “Dramedies.” Our favorite characters are…all of them!

FOX’s “House.” We love Hugh Laurie (Dr. House). And a great ensemble cast also. This obnoxious, lovable doctor will grow on you.

“CBS’s Criminal Minds." Another criminal profiler drama, but with a terrific cast and taut, creepy drama.

Michael’s favorite afternoon feasts: Still “Judge Judy” and "Dr. Phil.”

Betty’s favorite guilty pleasures: “Denise Austin” (workout routines), which has just recently disappeared from Lifetime. Also “The Biggest Loser” and “American Idol.” Both are addictive, so if you haven’t started watching, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Movies
We haven’t seen all the movies up for awards this year, but here’s some we recommend seeing:

In Good Company, March of the Penguins, War of the Worlds, Wedding Crashers, The Island, Bad News Bears, The 40-Year Old Virgin, Red Eye, In Her Shoes, King Kong, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Family Stone.

A History of Violence (we're going to have to install some stairs!), and Walk the Line were the standouts we saw this year. It seems lots of the movies we liked this year were comedies. We don’t usually care for action movies, but we made exceptions for War of the Worlds, The Island, and King Kong. We liked them all.

Music
We have rediscovered Tori Amos, most recently “Beekeeper.” Wonderful!
Also, John Mayer. Betty recently purchased the new Neil Diamond “Twelve Songs.”

Michael's News

Fire Department
Michael was just re-elected Fire Chief for four more years. Looks like he’ll continue with the fire department as long as he’s able.

Golf
Michael still loves the game and had a computerized assessment of his swing while we were in Chicago. He also got a new driver - G5 Ping. Looks like better scores ahead?

Golf Courses

Michael has been golfing at all three of our 18-hole golf courses: Big Creek Golf & Country Club, Twin Lakes Golf Course and Rivercliff. Both Big Creek and Twin Lakes are in Mountain Home, while Rivercliff is on the White River in Bull Shoals. We are arranging special pricing for our guests. Check with us before you go golfing, but by all means bring your clubs, or better yet, go golfing with Michael, since he is going once a week now anyway. Big Creek received Golf Digest’s highest accolade - awarded 5 stars-for “Golf at its very best”-in 2004.

Big Creek Golf & Country Club
Big Creek Golf & Country Club was built over nearly 200 acres of rolling terrain featuring four lakes and Big Creek itself.
 
Twin Lakes Golf Course
Twin Lakes Golf Course (TLGC) is a beautiful 18 hole - par 70 golf course with rolling tree-lined fairways and bentgrass greens.
 

Rivercliff Golf Course offers golf in the shadow of Bull Shoals Dam
Rivercliff is on the White
River in Bull Shoals.

Twin Lakes Golf Course offers 18 holes in Mountain Home
Twin Lakes Golf Course offers
18-hole golfing in Mountain Home.

Vacation
We skipped a real vacation (again). Instead we went to Chicago to visit relatives. But we really need an actual vacation, at least Betty thinks so.

Betty did get in a trip to visit the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock with friends Mark and Karen Lamb. Despite what people say (that it looks like a trailer), the building is beautiful. Lots of interesting exhibits, and some good history on his presidency. Though it seemed to Betty that it was a bit biased, glossing over things like Whitewater and the philandering. Still, it’s worth going to see.

Go White Sox – Go Bears!!!
As former Chicagoans, we were proud of how well our Chicago teams did this year. The White Sox finally won the World Series, and the Bears had a great year, going to the playoffs, and having coach Lovie Smith named coach of the year, and Brian Ehrlacher named defensive player of the year. As sports fans (Michael, football; Betty baseball), this was an exciting year.

Health
Our good health continues. Michael got his first full physical in years (now that he’s eligible for Medicare), and is in fine shape, except for his cholesterol and triglycerides, which Lipitor is controlling.

Betty is also doing well, with the exception of her Rheumatoid Arthritis, especially her wrists. She got her first ever cortisone shot in her wrist, and it seems to be a little better. The swelling has subsided, and even the other wrist seems better than before. (Placebo effect, maybe?) She still needs to lose weight, but has stopped going to Weight Watchers for now.

Betty did have major dental work done this year (instead of a new car). She had some 30-year old crown and bridge work redone, and another bridge, root canal and crown. Dr. Gould, her dentist, is the best. Michael lost another tooth. It just dropped out. Betty has the good gums, Michael the good teeth. (except they keep falling out). Look for Michael to have work done this year!

Both of us got flu shots this year. Betty hasn’t had a cold in two years, Michael gets sick (really sick) with colds two or more times each year. Betty attributes her good immune system to her exercise habits and to drinking Pom Wonderful juice every day. (See New Products section ).

In Memory
We are saddened to report we lost our brother-in-law Dick La Gongle this year. Dick was the reason we began coming to Bull Shoals Lake many years ago. Betty worked with Dick’s wife Lorraine back in the 60s. Betty would ask Lorraine where she was going to go on her vacation. When Lorraine told her Arkansas, Betty would laugh, saying “who goes to Arkansas on vacation”? Little did Betty know, but in several years she would be married to Lorraine’s brother, and she got to see for herself what Arkansas was all about, and loved it.

Dick loved Arkansas, especially Bull Shoals Lake, and never missed a year coming down to visit and squeeze in as much fishing as possible. He always talked of moving here. He was a spectacular billiard player, and was well known in Chicago circles, winning many tournaments. He was a terrific salesman, loved music and his family. He was also a wonderful cook. We had many great times together. We miss him.

Betty lost her cousin Ann Martin this July to cancer. Betty hadn’t had any contact with Ann for over 40 years, and had just started writing to her about six months before. She had written Ann, bringing her up to date on her life, and Ann had written a very nice detailed letter back. Betty told Ann that she would come to visit her in Florida on her next trip. Unfortunately, Ann died before that could happen. Betty knew that Ann was ill, but she hoped she would get the chance to visit her. She was so sorry to hear of her death. Ann was a beautiful, smart woman, loved by many. Betty regrets that she waited so long to make contact with her. In life, there’s no time like now to let people know you love them.

2005 Fishing Contest Results

Don Wolf
Don Wolf

Ron Rice
Ron Rice

Teri Carrender
Teri Carrender

Crappie
1.8 lbs.
Don Wolf
Salina, OK

May 23, 10 a.m.
Sunny, Calm, Cool
Live Minnow

Largemouth Bass
5.3 lbs.
Ron Rice
Ste. Genevieve, MO

May 10, 6 a.m.
Calm, 60, Dawn
Watermelon Red Baby Brush Hog
Carolina Rig
Casting

Catfish (Flathead)
6.2 lbs.
Teri Carrender
Overland Park, KS.

June 14, Noon
Crappie Side
Casting

Walleye
5.7 lbs
Todd Eckert
Buffalo Grove, IL

May 11, 7 p.m.
Clear, Calm
35 ft. down in 150 ft. of water
Lucky Craft Crank Bait
Trolling
 

White Bass
3.4 lbs.
Roger Cool
Town

May 7, 9 a.m.
Clear, Calm
30 ft. down in 140 ft of water
Lucky Craft Crank Bait
Trolling

Kentucky Bass
2.3 lbs.
Todd Eckert
Buffalo Grove, IL

May 7, 8:30 a.m.
Clear, Calm
25 ft down in 60 ft of water
Berkley Frenzy Crank Bait - Gold
Trolling

Bluegill
1.1 lbs.
Kaye Philipps
Davis Junction, IL

May 13, Sunset
Warm, Calm, Overcast
Small Red Hook and Live Minnow

Smallmouth Bass
3.8 lbs.
Mike Purifoy
Marion, AR

Aug 21
Night-fishing
Green Pumpkin w/Purple Flake
Tube Jig

Notes on Contest
Todd Eckert wins in two categories this year for Walleye and Kentucky. His fishing buddy, Roger Cool (yes, that’s his real name) also came up with a winner for his nice White.

We had two women winners: Kaye Philipps and Teri Carrender. You go, girl(s)!

Illinois produced the most winners again.

And May was our hottest month again with six category winners. It also appears that mornings beat any other time of day to get out there and catch fish. That old adage “The early bird gets the worm” is correct.

Congratulations to our winners. You’ll receive a 10% discount off your cabin next year.

Fishing Notes
Perch are showing up in greater numbers in our lake. Michael caught four himself. Looks like someone’s private stocking program is working.
 

Tom Beck
Tom Beck with the
biggest fish he ever caught, a 7lb Walleye

Jason Beyers
Jason Beyers with
Perch he caught

Jason Beyers
Fish caught by Reid Wilson and his daughter Kelsey spear fishing on our lake

Roberta Weinmeier and Desiree Reinhert
Roberta Weinmeier and Desiree Reinhert with a stringer of Crappie caught in late May
Scott and his fiance Rebecca Thompson
Our nephew Scott and his fiance Rebecca Thompson, Scott's son Josh and friend with a stringer of Crappie while visiting us in June
 

Fishing Contest Rules
Fish must be weighed on official scale by Mike.

Fish must be 1 pound or more.

Spear-Fishing Category: Can be any species that can legally be caught by spear-fishing. Only one winner in this category, regardless of species.

Mike’s Crappie Fishing Tutorial

Mike and Jim holding a nice catch of crappie
Michael and his buddy Jim Jensen took Jim’s friend Dave Barnes from Rogers, Minnesota crappie fishing and caught this nice stringer.

Michael’s crappie fishing has continued to improve. He has now conquered summer and fall crappie fishing. He uses the Fishing Hot Spots maps to locate submerged brush piles. In July and August he uses crappie jigs tipped with a piece of night-crawler. Any other time of year, he uses live minnows combined with crappie jigs, or crappie jigs tipped with a crappie plastic tube. In summer and fall the fishing is deeper, anywhere from 20 to 30 feet deep.

Another Perch Showing
Mike holding perch
Michael took our nephew Scott McKay and his girlfriend Rebecca Thompson fishing over the Christmas holiday, and they caught a perch. That’s the second perch we’ve brought up to now in the past couple of years. Looks like they may be reproducing, cause this one was pretty small. Michael would have released it back, but it was done for when he brought it to the surface, so that’s one less perch now.

Restaurants

New Restaurants

Buzzard Roost Inn
4271 Buzzard Roost Road (Hwy 178)
2-1/2 miles east of 62/412 Bypass
Phone: 492-5187
Open Wednesday thru Saturday 4 - 9 p.m.
Open Sunday Breakfast 8 - 11 a.m.
Alcohol
Smoking

We found a great little place to eat. A little far afield, but worth the drive. Sue and Dennis Dymek are the owners, who cheerily welcome you to their little restaurant. They have a varied menu, with Iowa Black Angus steaks, buffalo burgers, and more.

But what we really love is their weekly specials and their special gourmet dinners, usually with wine pairings. Their weekly specials are either ethnic or comfort dinners. For instance, this week it’s stuffed peppers. They really know how to cook.

The other thing they do really special is every four to six weeks they serve a special gourmet dinner, usually with a wine pairing. For instance, their upcoming Valentine’s Day dinner will include Veal/Pork Terrine (Appetizer), Onion Soup, Hearts of Romaine Salad, Prime Rib, Twice-Baked Potato, Broccoli with Hollandaise, and Persian Lover’s Cake. Gourmet Dinners usually average $25 per person. Wine pairings not included.

Their smoking policy is: If guests smoke, would they please ask their neighbor if it bothers them. If it does, they are asked if they would mind smoking outside. (Sounds civilized!) They are planning on having a smoking room for this year.

We’ve been going here awhile, and are never disappointed. Give it a try.

"Best" List of Area Restaurants

PLEASE CHECK WITH US BEFORE YOU GO OUT TO ANY OF THESE RESTAURANTS. Find out in advance if we still stand behind these recommendations, and be sure to find out the days and times the restaurants are open, and whether or not reservations are recommended. Also, find out if they serve liquor and if a membership is required. Things could be mighty different than what you're used to.

Best Appetizer: 178 Club (Potato Skins), Bull Shoals

Best Atmosphere: Big Creek, Mountain Home, (No Smoking)

Best Bar-B-Que: Al-B’s, Lakeview
Phone: 431-4020
Hours: M-Th 11 to 8, F-Sa 11 to 9, Closed Sunday
Beer and Wine
Smoking

Best Breakfast: Th’Barn Café, Oakland
Linda’s (On the square), Mountain Home
Phone: 425-1013
Hours: M-F 7 to 2, Sa 7-11 a.m., Closed Sunday
No Alcohol

Best Buffet: The Front Porch (Daily), Yellville

Best Entertainment: Hopper's Dinner Club, Mountain Home (no smoking, music, food and drinks)

Best Hamburger: The Back Forty, Mountain Home, Kathy's Sports Bar (new), Mountain Home

Best Italian: Dino's, Mountain Home

Best Lunch: Sodie’s, Flippin

Best Chicken: White Water Grill (Fried), Mountain Home; Sodie's (Chicken Tenders), Flippin; Wendy’s (Spicy Chicken Sandwich), Mountain Home; Chili’s (Grilled Chicken), Mountain Home

Best Oriental: Blossom Cafe, Mountain Home - all fresh ingredients and not overcooked! Vegetarian dishes plus Oriental and American beer and wine. (No Smoking)

Best Prime Rib: 178 Club (Saturdays), Bull Shoals

Best Ribs: Hopper's Dinner Club, Mountain Home; Full Bar (No Smoking)

Best Salad: White Water Grill, Mountain Home

Best Seafood: 178 Club, Bull Shoals
Fred's Fish House, Mountain Home (catfish)

Best Steaks: Buzzard Roost Inn, Mountain Home;
Hopper's Dinner Club, Mountain Home

Best Value: Chili’s, Mountain Home; Th’Barn Café, Oakland

Best View: Gastons, overlooking the White River, Lakeview

New For 2006

We are re-carpeting Cabins 3, 5, 8 and 9 this year. They need it. We also will be replacing flooring in the bathrooms in 3, 5, and 9.

We also will re-paint the pool this year.

No Smoking Cabins
We’re converting one more cabin to a no-smoking cabin. That will be Cabin 5. If you already have this cabin reserved and are a smoker, you will be receiving a phone call to see if you want a smoking cabin. If you do, we will put you in Cabin 1, 2, 3, or 4, depending on availability. If we cannot accommodate you, we will ask that you not smoke in the cabin. If you do, since you already had the cabin reserved, we cannot insist that you not smoke. However, you’ll have to switch to a smoking cabin the following year.

Improvements In 2005

New 135 HP Motor For G3
Michael didn’t feel that his G3 bass boat had enough oomph, so he got a 135 HP Mercury. He has also equipped the G3 with a Lowrance 332C Color LCD with GPS locator. He’s only using the G3 for his guided fishing trips, not for rental.

New Stoves
All our deluxe cabins except Cabin 4 got brand new self-cleaning ovens this year.

Refrigerator For Cabin 6
The refrigerator from Cabin 6 bit the dust, and now has a brand new one.

Our Home
We bought some much needed furniture for our home this year. We furnished our second bedroom with a king bed and a dresser. We also splurged with some of our take from the sale of Black Oak Inn: We bought a 50” High Definition TV and HD Receiver and Satellite system for our Living Room. Hey, life is short, and we enjoy watching TV. Anyway we rationalized that we really couldn’t do without it. We must admit, we aren’t a bit sorry, either! The clarity and color is amazing. We also like how easy it is to pause something when the phone rings and also to record our favorite shows for future watching at our own convenience.

Betty got a laptop for Christmas so she can work on her stuff anywhere. She doesn’t have much stuff yet, but now with the digital photography class and all her newfound computer skills, it will be put to good use.

Our Plans For Retirement

We continue to work on plans for our future retirement. Michael turns 66 and Betty 64 (can you believe it). At this stage we are looking forward to beginning a new chapter in our lives.

It’s funny how your plans change over time. Last year we talked about selling off our cabins individually. After mulling it over thoroughly, we’ve decided against it. The process would take years, and we would still be saddled with the responsibility of managing the whole property anyway. This won’t allow us to have the freedom we want to do other things.

So that leaves putting the resort up for sale. We have dearly loved the life change that we made when we decided to become resort operators 21 years ago. It’s been a great ride, and we never regretted it. It gave us the opportunity to make our living doing exactly what we wanted to do, making many great friends along the way, and living close to nature in clean air, where we can still see the constellations in the sky, and not having to deal with the crowds and traffic and stresses of more urban areas. But its only a matter of time before our bodies (or minds) start to give out. Therefore, we realize that we must prepare for the inevitable.

So, friends, we now plan on retiring in 2007, or soon thereafter, when Betty reaches the age where she will be eligible for Medicare and Social Security. We won’t advertise that the place is for sale just yet because several of you have expressed interest in buying the resort as a whole, and it would be in both of our interests to not bring in a third party (and the costs involved) if it turns out not to be necessary. So if you ever considered becoming the owner of your own resort, get with us, and we’ll talk.

New Fun Things To Do On Vacation

Some of the happenings we enjoyed this past year might be something you’d want to enjoy during your stay. So you might want to time your vacation for maximum enjoyment. There are an abundance of happenings in this town, many surrounding our university, and many sponsored and supported by local business. So take your pick.

County Fairs
These fun-filled events occur in August and September each year - Baxter and Marion counties. Parades, Food, Entertainment, Beauty Contest, Amusement Rides, Judging competitions, etc. Probably some of you have never attended one of these. Come and see what they are all about.

Red-White-and-Blue Festival
June Weekend before the big Fourth of July Weekend. A fireworks display rivaling those in the big city. Held on the beautiful grounds of ASU. Music, Food, Fire Department water competition, Civil War Artillery demonstration, Art Show, 5K Run, Car Show.

Mountain Home Marathon and Half-Marathon
Both USATF certified courses, and Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier. November. A charitable endeavor, titled Mountain Home Marathon for Kenya, to raise funds to benefit children of Kenya left orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. This race had wonderful support all along the course. There were around 100 runners. Also had a 5K. Dinner is provided for the finishers. Betty was a spectator, but might walk the half-marathon next year. Highly recommended for any runner/walker.
www.mountainhomemarathon.com.

Mountain Home High School Band
Come out and see the marching band at any home football game or at the County Fair or Christmas parades, or see the concert band at Dunbar Auditorium.

Twin Lakes Playhouse
At $10 a seat, and tons of talent, our playhouse produces five plays a year, each running for three consecutive weekends. Seating for about 100, not a bad seat in the house. So, check them out. We enthusiastically support them. www.twinlakesplayhouse.org

Ozark Choral Society
Seasonal concerts, including a Springtime and Christmas presentation, featuring its 80-member chorus. Celebrated its 21st anniversary. Classical, broadway, spiritual. Free.

And So Much More. There’s usually a jam session in one or another surrounding towns each night that’s worth the price of admission – free. We have an abundance of talent in this area, as you’ll see. Bull Shoals has a Community Choir that gives several performances each year at the Bull Shoals Theater of the Arts. Mozark Regional Orchestra (Missouri and Arkansas) gives several free concerts a year at Dunbar Auditorium. Festivals such as Hootin’ & Hollerin’ in September, Turkey Trot in October, to name a few. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Tournaments, art fairs, auctions, sporting events, and many more festivals. So, whenever you come, there’s sure to be something happening.

Visitor's Center at Bull Shoals Dam
Construction is underway for a $6-million 16,000-square-foot Gaston Visitor Information and Education Center at Bull Shoals/White River State Park, scheduled to open this spring. The center will be located by Bull Shoals Dam, providing sweeping, spectacular views of Bull Shoals Lake and Dam, and the White River.

The center will highlight the area’s numerous attractions, and interpret its history and culture. It will share the story of the fisheries of the White River system, and tell of the purpose of the White River projects in the areas of recreation, flood-control and hydroelectric power generation. It will serve as a traditional tourist information center as well as an education center for students and adults of all ages to come and encounter volumes of information about the Ozarks.

Clinton Library
The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center and Park officially opened November 18, 2004 in Little Rock. Designed by New York architect James Polshek, it is a 150,000 square-foot glass and steel creation. For a $7 admission, you can see the black marble floors, an exact replica of the Oval Office, a Great Hall reception room and a 20,000 square-foot museum section with thematic alcoves, to a multi-media timeline and interactive flat-screen displays. The bridge-shaped Center sits on 28 acres cantilevered over the banks of the Arkansas River, and has been hailed as an architectural triumph.

The museum restaurant, Café 42, for 42nd president, is a sparsely decorated chrome-lined dining area with four-star cuisine, including an $18.95 brunch.

So, whether you loved or hated President Clinton, consider taking a day trip to see a magnificent structure, reflect on history, and take in the sights for awhile.

New Fred Berry Conservation Education Center at Crooked Creek
On June 17 the Fred Berry Conservation Education Center was dedicated. The property lies in a peninsula, with access across an improved Kelley’s Slab just west of Yellville. It has 2.75 miles of creek frontage that is returning to its natural state. There is a 2,400 sq. ft. education center and a spacious pavilion adjacent to Crooked Creek. The property has been converted to a watchable wildlife area with trails and observation points. More trails are planned. Crooked Creek flows through Harrison and Yellville before joining the White River between Cotter and Buffalo City. To reach the Center, travel eight-tenths of a mile west on Hwy 62 from its intersection with Hwy 14 at Yellville. Turn on Marion County Road 4002 and continue a mile to Kelley’s Slab. The Education Center and Pavilion are across the low-water bridge and through a gate. Trail use is allowed sunrise to sunset daily. No pets allowed.

Lowe's and Walgreens
Look for the new Lowe’s and Walgreens which are opening this year. Lowe’s is next to Home Depot nearby the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Walgreens is at the corner of College and Business 62.

New Sun Valley Movie Theater
Six new theaters with stadium seating and Dolby surround sound. Mountain Home. Seating is perfect for lovers, as the arm rest can be raised. Senior Discounts. 425-3900.

The Zone
Miniature Golf, Arcade, Go-Carts, Batting Cage. Located on Hwy 62 West, Mountain Home. Seasonal. Call for hours. 425-4653

Gun Clubs
You could go with Michael to two gun clubs for sporting clay and skeet shooting, so bring your guns! Both clubs have one loaner gun to use if you don't have your own.

Rainbow Trout and Game Ranch
Located in Rockbridge, Missouri. Sporting Clays, Skeet, Hunting quail, pheasant and chukar with guide and dogs. 417-679-3619.

Twin Lakes Gun Club
Skeet, trap and sporting clays. Mountain Home. 481-5599

Big Creek
Big Creek received Golf Digest's highest accolade - awarded 5 stars for "Golf at its very best" in 2004.

New Products

Pom Wonderful
Betty swears by this juice that is 100% juice made from the whole pomegranate, skin and all. It makes everyone’s list as one of the top super-foods. Since Betty started drinking this a couple of years ago, she has not been sick with any colds or flu. She drinks 4 oz. a day (it’s quite expensive).

Land O Lakes Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil
This is a better substitute for butter than just about anything except pure olive oil. Cuts down on saturated fat (from 7 to 4.5 grams per serving). Cuts cholesterol by a third. A better choice than butter, but still has plenty of buttery taste.

Dragon’s Teeth Dog Biscuits
Submitted by Shirley Best

Try a new treat for your canine furry friend. Solid Gold brand of the healthiest dog foods has a new winner with our three doggies. Molly and Buster (Pekingese) and Ruger (Rottweiler) love Dragon’s Teeth.

Dragon’s Teeth are small treats shaped like a, yup, you guessed it, a dragon’s tooth. They are made to help reduce tartar and maintain healthy gums and teeth. Solid Gold has included them in their line of functional foods. How about these ingredients: (People should eat such healthy treats) oatmeal, spelt, krill, canola oil, flax meal, dry spinach, olive leaf extract, green tea, chlorophyll, avocado, peppermint.

If you love your doggies, feed them healthy treats. Check out Solid Gold on their Web site www.solidgoldhealth.com.

P.S. They make great stuff for kitties, too.

Black Oak Resort Policies

Changes to our rates: Our updated rates are published on our Web site. Please note the changes.

Reservation Policy

E-Mail Address
Our e-mail address is: vacation@blackoakresort.com.

Our Web Site

Our Web site is updated often, so if you haven't checked it out lately, you might want to take a look at it.

It has every fishing contest result going back to 1991, and shows the biggest fish ever caught at Black Oak in each category. It also has all the recipes published in past years' newsletters, as well as the complete newsletter from every year. So it's loaded with information.

It has a section on subscribing to our e-newsletter. It also has a section for inquiring about available dates for reservations.

Also, please visit our Favorite Links page, where you'll find restaurants and things to do in our area, as well as informative Web sites such as the Arkansas Web site. You may also set up a reciprocal link with our Web site.

We also encourage you to send us your photos for inclusion in our e-newsletters. Please provide caption information in detail!

Black Oak Resort
P.O. Box 100
Oakland, Arkansas 72661
(870) 431-8363
E-mail: vacation@blackoakresort.com

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02/14/2008 blor358 BJM