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Greetings and Happy New Year to All Our 1992 Customers

The New Year is underway, and as we reflect upon the past year, we’re thinking about all of our guests from last season, and hoping that 1992 was a good year for you and yours.


     New Purchases/Changes/Additions
     Look What You Can Look Forward To....
     Video Club News
     Comments on Our Guests
     From Our Guests - Mexican Lasagna
     Publicity Can’t Hurt...
     “Best” List of Local Restaurants
     1992 Results: Annual Black Oak Fishing Contest
     Tackle Talk
     Another Arkansas Lunker For The Record Books
     Don’t Miss Our Spring Opener
     A Better Route To Get Here
     Pick A Month
     How To Stop Worrying And Love Your Vacation

As for us, as we take stock of the year just passed and reflect on how things went and where we’re going, we realize we just got through one of the toughest years we’ve had! This was mainly due to our ambitious undertaking of building our duplex, going out on a limb financially, and getting construction finish just minutes before our first reservations walked in the doors to occupy the cabins. Somehow we survived, but it was definitely stressful! (Michael is still reeling!)

So, we look forward to next season with no major construction projects for 1993. But first, we want to let you know how things progressed in 1992!

First, that duplex, which we are most proud of, was finished in April. It turned out better than we anticipated, and is very popular with families and groups. It consists of two 2-bedroom cabins back-to-back, with a connecting door between. Some new features added are: Double swing-away brass wall lamps over both king-size beds, massive native-stone fireplaces going all the way up the cathedral ceilings in the living rooms, radiant heat lamps in the bathroom, and in-line heaters in the whirlpool tubs. We also used a cranberry color carpeting throughout, which look luxurious! Also, there is a roof overhang with a covered front porch. These features are in addition to all the standard features you are used to in our deluxe cabins: 25-inch color TVs with remote, central heat and air, full kitchens including microwaves, separate living rooms with two queen-size sleeper sofas, skylights, whirlpool tubs, separate showers, and wood decks spanning the entire back length of the cabins. Each time we add a new cabin, we seem to improve on the design.

New Purchases/Changes/Additions:
     New V-17 Bass Tracker.
     New 15 HP Mercury motor.
     Levolor mini-blinds in all 1-bedroom cabins.
     New cranberry colored carpeting in cabin #5.
           (one-bedroom cabin)
     New Enviro-Shade canopy installed by the pool
          (which provides a breezy shaded spot for those who
           really don’t care to fry by the pool). It’s becoming a
           popular gathering place!
     Four additional Tropitone pool chaises and another table.
     New high-powered telescope for stargazing.

As in every year, we had our maintenance projects: pool electricity rewired, fence repaired, dock road resurfaced, plus other things that aren’t always obvious, but have to get done!

We also acquired some cats, thanks to our customers coaxing them out of the woods. We’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t own a resort and not have at least a few strays arrive! Of course we still have all our dogs. Unfortunately, Herbie is the only one that likes cats!

We’re now gearing up for the 1993 season, and looking forward to another busy year. We’ll be in Chicago for the Chicagoland Sport Show at O’Hare Expo Center January 29 thru February 7 in Booth 822. Those of you in the area, stop by and see us. We hope to see you all again in 1993.

New for 1993! Look What You Can Look Forward To....

This year we’re looking forward to a comparably restful season, with no major construction project for the first time in six seasons. We do have many plans though.

Our next major goal is still our lodge. In 1993 we’ll finalize our plans for the lodge and improve our financial standing with our bankers, paving the way for another trip to see our loan officer. If all goes as planned, we should be ready to start construction in 1994. We will be interested in your input on what you’d like. We already are planning for:

     Pool table
     Big-screen TV
     Dining area overlooking the lake (possibly a restaurant)
     Deck with barbeque pit
     Weight room
     Soda fountain
     Laundry facilities
     Outdoor kennel
     Observatory for our telescope
          (The lodge will also include our living quarters.)

We do have a few projects for 1993:
     Recarpeting two of our deluxe cabins (#6 and #7)
     Replacing the double beds in all 1-bedroom cabins
           with new queen-size beds
     Reupholstering our pontoon boat seats
     Purchasing another V-17 Bass Tracker
     Replacing our V-16 Bass Tracker
     Replacing our larger outboard motors with
          new 15 HP motors

For those of you who like to try new things on vacation, consider taking an introductory scuba diving course in our pool. Or, you may opt for the 4-day open water course which qualifies you as a certified scuba diver. For more information, contact Jim Jensen, PADI Instructor, at (870) 431-8855.

Video Club News

Last year, we started a video club, which immediately became very popular. We are living in an entertainment age, and we can’t escape it. We even had two honeymooning couples who did nothing (almost!) except watch flicks. We have expanded our library now and have over 100 of the very best movies ever made. We even had two movie critics from Florida who enjoyed our selection immensely. For a very reasonable cost of $20 a week, we will open up our library of films for your viewing for your viewing and throw in the VCR. You’ll not be disappointed with our selection!

Comments on Our Guests

Our guests, as usual, deserve some space in this newsletter. Each year we meet some special people and welcome back old friends from years past.

As usual, we lose some of our best customers each year because they move here! This year Jim and Marlene Ryan bought property here in Oakland. They aren’t quite ready to move here yet, but soon they will be our neighbors.

Sometimes we get a group of people at our resort who don’t all know each other, but hit it off so well that it is magical. This happened with the group that came down the last week of June. The ringleaders of this group are Rodney and Renee Poynter and Jasper Tavolacci and Susan Steinhofer. Nothing stands in the way of these people having a good time. Now add two new customers to this group: Pete and Marian Baratta. Pete owned a restaurant in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and he and the entire group got together and had a cookout that was the best we’ve ever been to. Every single customer came to this cookout, which was a first! Pete did the ribs (18 slabs of baby back ribs). They were absolutely wonderful! Pete started them in the oven, and finished them on the grill for about the last 15 or 20 minutes. Of course, the sauce was a conglomeration of everybody’s bottled sauces combined with some of Pete’s secret spicer-uppers. We kept the menu simple. We had KFC’s coleslaw (the best!), watermelon, corn on the cob, garlic bread, and baked beans and salad. We set up our new telescope and looked up at stars, had a little too much to drink (all in all, a memorable event). During the week, all the guys went downrigger fishing together in Rodney’s huge boat (one of the largest we’ve had), and just got along famously. We can’t wait till next year!

There were other memorable times too numerous to mention, but we remember the campfires behind our cabin, the cookouts we had there at night, great dinners we were invited to, and some memorable trips out on the lake with our guests on our pontoon. Also, conversations at poolside with the most interesting people from all walks of life, and long walks on Ozark Isle. Our life might be very dull indeed, except for these great people. Thank you all. We hope you enjoyed your stays with us as much as we did.

From Our Guests

John and Connie North, of Park Ridge, Illinois served this great Mexican Casserole at one of our gatherings this past year.

Mexican Lasagna
     1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (approx.)
     1 medium onion, finely chopped
     1 green pepper, finely chopped (optional)
     1 can cream of mushroom soup
     1 can cream of chicken soup
     1 can enchilada sauce (mild or spicy)
     1 small can green chili peppers
     1 pkg. large flour tortillas
     1 16-oz. pkg. grated cheddar cheese

Brown beef; drain. Add onion, green pepper, chili peppers, soups and sauce. Simmer 30 minutes. In 13x9 baking pan, layer tortillas and ground beef mixture, starting with tortillas and ending with beef mixture (approx. 3 layers). Bake 45 minutes uncovered at 325°. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, return to oven and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before serving (otherwise it will be sloppy). Serve with sour cream on the side. Connie recommends using spicy enchilada sauce!

Publicity Can’t Hurt...

Arkansas was the beneficiary of a great deal of publicity last year with Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and ultimate win! We were astonished that potential presidents would take such nasty swipes at our state. We were embarrassed by the lengths these men would go to win an election. While our state is not perfect, we do have some things of which we are very proud, one of which is its great undeveloped natural beauty and unpolluted waters. We have good roads, good people, and we are one of the best places to retire in the country due to our tax structure and low costs.

The Mountain Home area can boast being listed “#1 for Great Lifestyle at Low Cost” in the publication “The Retirement Letter.” Our area has consistently ranked near the top choices as “best places” to retire, and continues to climb. We recently received a ranking of the “#1 Place to Live for Personal Safety,” based on having the lowest violent crime and property crime rates, in the publication “Retirement Places Rated-1990” by David Savageau and published by Prentice Hall Press.

We also benefited from all the hoopla over Branson’s phenomenal expansion as “The Next Nashville.” Many of our guests took a day trip to Branson and were pleased with what they found! The entertainment is first-rate, with something to suit everybody’s taste, and the prices were less than expected in most cases. About the only complaint we heard was the traffic. Your best bet is to park your car as soon as you get there and go the rest of the way on foot or by shuttle. So, if you want to spend your week far away from the crowds, but still be close enough to spend a fun-filled day at Branson, then Black Oak is the place to be. We maintain the latest information about the shows and the numbers to call. We can get you there the easiest route, or if you don’t want to drive, there is a tour bus in Mountain Home that takes trips to Branson.

One more publicity piece that we are justifiably proud of is an article about our area in the “Fort Worth Star Telegram” June 7, 1992, which mentioned Black Oak as one of the finest resorts on Bull Shoals Lake.

“Best” List of Local Restaurants

Best Fried Chicken:
      Durbon’s Restaurant, Promise Land

Best Appetizer:
      Potato Skins, 178 Club, Bull Shoals

Best View:
      Gaston’s overlooking the White River

Best Steaks:
      Top Kat Lounge, State Line in Missouri

Best Soup:
      Cream of Broccoli, Durbon’s Restaurant, Promise Land

Best Buffet:
      Bowen’s or
      Bamboo Garden (Friday & Saturday Night)

Best Seafood:
      178 Club, Bull Shoals

Best Hamburger:
      The Back Forty, Mountain Home or
      The Top Kat

Best Atmosphere:
      Chelsea’s, Mountain Home

Best Oriental:
      Bamboo Garden, Mountain Home

Best Place with a Gimmick:
     The Front Page, Mountain Home.
     Entrée plus two vegetables start you off,
     then while you eat, servers come around
     with free “extras” like hot rolls, ham and
     beans, fried okra, and more!

My ALLTIME favorite Pigout Place:
      STILL the 178 Club

Best “Organic”: The Vegetable Garden

Newest Restaurants in Area:
      Casa De Montanas (Mexican)
      Reel ‘Em In Catfish

1992 Results: Annual Black Oak Fishing Contest

What’d I tell you? The fish caught were bigger this year! We had some of the biggest fish we’ve seen since starting business in 1985. We caught the biggest Largemouth, Walleye, White Bass (tied with last year), Crappie, Catfish, Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout ever recorded in our contest from 1985 onward! We did have a larger white bass, but it was never officially entered (4 lb. 6 oz caught 2 years ago by Glen Householder of Illinois). With three back-to-back years of good spawns, the fishing should be dynamite in 1993! Also, we seemed to catch more largemouth than in previous years, and most had to be turned back because they were under the new 15-inch limit. So next year we’ll really be getting the keepers.

Another point of interest is that all of the fish except one were caught by our repeat customers. So, if you came down and didn’t do sensational the first time, remember that experience counts on a lake, so don’t go lake-hopping when the best lake is right here! Of course it should go without saying that you should NEVER resort-hop!

Also, we’re still seeing the popularity of catch and release. Notice that two of our winners released trophy fish. Art Comer inadvertently became our third catch and release winner on his 16-pound catfish, when, after weighing it, it broke the line and swam away. Maybe Art will nab it again in ’93.

We tried to provide you with lots of information about fishing Bull Shoals in our contest statistics. When available, we provided information about weather conditions. Notice that a high pressure system produces good fishing. Also overcast conditions. Notice that with downrigger fishing, the depths vary considerably, so go ahead and experiment. Notice we had another uncannily lucky angler in Jerry Logan, who fished for almost two weeks before finding that perfect combination of depth and weather and time to catch two contest winners, both on the same day on downriggers at 43 feet! He persevered and deserves to win! It’s more than just luck!

Illinois was again the leader with the most contest winners. And congratulations to our nephew Scott MacKay for finally getting a winning fish. Scott has worked this resort every summer since we opened, and fished every chance he got. We’re please you won, Scott! And thanks to Linda Vogel, we kept the women in the limelight again!

We had winners in every month from March through September, so time of year isn’t as crucial as you’d think.

All contest winners will receive a 10% cabin discount on their next stay with us, plus a Black Oak cap or T-Shirt, and also a wall plaque recognizing their achievement. Winners’ names will also be on our Black Oak Annual 1992 Fishing Contest Plaque at the resort. Congratulations to you all!

Largemouth Bass
8 lb. 8 oz.
Steve Bickes
Decatur, IL
April 6
Blue Metal Flake Grub
Smallmouth Bass
3 lb. 13 oz.
Mike Purifoy
Marion, AR
September 10
Jig & Pig
Purple & Green
Kentucky Bass
4 pounds
Linda Vogel
Algonquin, IL
March 25
Pumpkin Grub
“Catch and Release”
10 lb. 8 oz.
Bob Dessent
Schaumburg, IL
July 22
Blue & Silver Little Cleo
Downrigger 95 feet
7:15 A.M. Overcast
15 oz.
Joe Mehaffey
Morris, IL
May 26
Baby “N”
“Catch & Release”
Channel Catfish
16 pounds
Art Comer
Independence, MO
August 28
Jug Fishing
2 lb. 7 oz
Ed Tokes
Hiawassee, GA
May 3
German Brown Trout
5 lb. 8 oz.
Scott MacKay
Bloomingdale, IL.
April 7
Rainbow Trout
6 lb. 8 oz.
Jerry Logan
Naperville, IL
June 3
Pro King Spoon
Downrigger 43 feet
Cloudy/Windy/High Pressure
White Bass
4 pounds
Jerry Logan
Naperville, IL
June 3
Pro King Spoon
Downrigger 43 feet
Cloudy/Windy/High Pressure

Tackle Talk
Discover Walleye

We have some good news about walleye fishing. For years I’ve been nagging Michael to go out and learn how to catch walleye. He’s a bass fisherman, and never really spent time trying to figure out how to catch these great, big, good-tasting fish. Well, besides having excellent luck catching them with his downrigger technique, he’s learned another very simple trolling technique that is producing nice walleye in the 4 and 5 pound range. He uses live nightcrawlers and catches them even in the summer during the daytime when fishing is usually slow. So, when you come down, ask Michael to show you what to do.

Another Arkansas Lunker For The Record Books

A new world record was set for brown trout on May 9, when Howard “Rip” Collins of Heber Springs landed a 40 pound, 4 ounce brown trout fishing the Little Red River in Arkansas. The previous world record brown trout, 38 pounds, 9 ounces, was also caught in Arkansas on the North Fork River in 1988.

Speaking of records, we are waiting for the record walleye for Arkansas to fall one of these years. Arkansas Game & Fish Biologists predict the record could be broken out of Bull Shoals Lake, based on the samplings they have taken. The Arkansas record now stands at 22 pounds, 11 ounces.

Don’t Miss Our Spring Opener

Each year in the spring, the Oakland Area sponsors a tournament for our customers. It’s a 100% payback tournament and is only open to registered guests of the resorts. This keeps the tournament fair by excluding the top local fishermen. The date this year is Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14. Call us and we’ll send you an entry form with all the details.

A Better Route To Get Here

Hardly a week goes by without one of our guests staggering in and complaining about the trouble they had getting here. You should remember that we are in the Ozark Mountains, and we haven’t yet straightened out all the roads. You should check with us before you leave on the best routes to take. Do Not Trust Your Motor Club, or, worse yet, Those Computer Mapping Programs (they are the worst offenders).

From the North: Sooner or later you should wind up on I-44. Get off I-44 at Route 5 (Lebanon, Missouri) heading south. From there you are approximately 110 miles from our door. Stay on Route 5 into Arkansas. Take Route 202 west about 8 miles to Black Oak. Warning: If you look at a map and see a better route, you should call and talk to us first. There are a couple of other ways that will work, but there are some others that will get you into trouble with twists and turns, lack of passing opportunities, and slower speeds.

From the South: Routes 65 and 62 are good routes to take, depending on what direction you are coming from. Here’s the route we’d take from Little Rock. I-40 west to Conway (Route 65). Route 65 north to Route 235 a bit past St. Joe). Route 235 northeast to Route 14. Route 14 north approximately 3 blocks to Route 62. Route 62 east to Gassville (Route 126). Route 126 north to Midway (Route 5). Route 5 north to Oakland (Route 202). Route 202 west 8 miles.

Pick A Month

Anytime is a good time to visit Arkansas. But if you want to pick a month with something special for you, check out these!

January - Eagle Watching
February and March - Walleye
March thru May - Crappie
April - Springtime Flowering Trees
     (Dogwood, Redbud, Plum)
April thru June - Trout
May and June - Downrigger Fishing or Motor Trolling
May and June - Largemouth
June - White Bass
July and August - Night Fishing
August - Stargazing (Perseus Meteor Shower)
September thru December - Craft Shows
October - Fall Colors
November and December - Spotting (not shooting)
      Wild Turkey
August and December - Sunsets

How To Stop Worrying And Love Your Vacation

When you take your vacation, you sometimes really need the rest and relaxation more than anything else, especially in this age of two-income families. So, just with you in mind, we are now offering maid service. The service is optional at a nominal charge, but it could greatly enhance your vacation. Not having to worry about housekeeping for a week should be very desirable to many of you! Kristi, who many of you already know, will be at your service to clean your cabin for you every day, every other day, or once mid-week, at a reasonable cost of $6 per cleaning. For a weeks stay, your cost would be only $36, or only $18 if you choose to have the service every other day. There’s something most relaxing about coming back to a sparkling clean cabin after a long day out on the lake or other pleasure pursuits. It’s also really a convenience if two families are sharing a cabin and want the convenience of a clean bathroom every day. For the $6 charge, Kristi will clean your bathroom, change your towels, make beds, vacuum, and do whatever else you request that she can get finished in 45 minutes. Of course, if you want more done, she will be happy to work longer for an adjusted charge.

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Black Oak Resort • P.O. Box 100 • Oakland, Arkansas 72661 • Phone: (870) 431-8363


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