Greetings And Happy New Year To All Of
Our 1995 Customers
As another year flies by, we'd like to take this opportunity
to share with our guests all the memorable moments - the ups and downs
- of our year here at Black Oak. We do this every year to fix in our
minds just what we accomplished, where we are going, and to remind
ourselves what a large part our guests always play in the satisfaction
we feel in what we do.
Improvements During The Year
Congratulations, and Thanks
New For 1996...Black
While You're Staying
A Better Route To Get Here
List of Area Restaurants
From Our Guests - Chocolate
Annual Black Oak
This completes our 11th year here at Black Oak Resort.
Some of our guests have been with us since that first year in 1985.
Each year we've tried to make our resort even better for you and your
families. This year was no different in that respect, but to our disappointment,
we didn't get as far along with plans for the lodge as we'd have liked.
More on that later. But first, here's our year as it happened.
We started off the year with car troubles while up in
Chicago for the Sports Show. We had to delay our departure four days
while waiting for our car to be fixed (blown head gasket). This was
not good when we needed to hang out by the phone after the show, the
time when most people are calling for reservations.
We made it home OK, but then the engine light started
going on. Betty took it to the Ford dealer, who found that there was
little or no oil pressure. Since the car is a 1983, they told us that
we should basically drive the thing until it blows up.
Well, that didn't sit right with us, plus they wanted
too much money to replace the engine. So, Michael found a mechanic
at Gainesville, Missouri, who would install a rebuilt engine for around
$1,300. The mechanic had a good reputation, but a long waiting list,
so we got the car back in April.
Come to find out, the problem with our car was that
the last person to work on the engine back in Chicago had left a shop
rag in the engine, which was blocking the oil pressure. Not a precipitous
start for the year. At this point we were out over $2,000 on the car.
But it runs! We have decided that we need to get a newer car, maybe
in 1996. Remember, this is our newest vehicle!
Betty was also very sick from something she picked up
in Chicago, finally threw in the towel and saw a doctor. After two
weeks on antibiotics, she was doing fine. Betty had never taken antibiotics
before, so she must have been really sick.
We had our work cut out for us this year. It proved
to be one of our harder years due mainly to water problems. First,
our holding tank sprang a leak, so we had to replace it. Because our
guests are without water while the repair operations are underway,
this can be very stressful for all!
The next water emergency was on July 3, during the heat
of summer and a fast moving summer storm. We heard a lightning strike,
there was just a sprinkling of rain, and the next thing we knew, our
guests were inquiring about the low water pressure. Believe it or
not, lightning had struck our well pump and had fried it!
So, we were into the Fourth of July holiday with no
water and a fat chance of finding a supply store open or a well man
to work on a holiday. But, then, Bud came through for us. He had repaired
our pump a few years back, and came quickly to our assistance. Talk
about luck! Bud came home to lunch and got our message from his wife.
He picked up a pump and came on out. Within hours, we had water.
Since the pump was still under warranty, we were out
only a service call. We made sure Bud was given a BIG BONUS for saving
On a personal level, this was also a year of loss. Michael's
mother passed away November 9 at the age of 85. She had been in a
Catholic nursing home for about a year when she died. We made the
trip to Chicago for her funeral. We are grateful to Kristi for making
it possible for us to both be able to go.
As for our three dogs: our Siberian, Kala, will be 11,
and we expect to have her many years since the vet says this breed
is long-lived; our dear Golden Lab, Herbie, just turned 10, and has
the energy of a puppy, maybe due to his long daily walks on Ozark
Isle with Betty; our junkyard dog, Grant, is 9, and although overweight,
is still in excellent health.
Our cats number 11. Two of the females are spayed, and
the rest need to be. Please send donations!
Michael is still Oakland's Fire Chief, and Betty is
finishing up her term on the Mountain Home Area Chamber of Commerce
Our plans for the lodge move slowly ahead. We want to
make great strides this winter, because once the tourist season starts,
we can't spare any more time to plan. The bank loan looks encouraging
although we won't get final approval until the job is bid. We have
selected our architect. Construction may be underway when we see you
next, but the job won't be finished until late '96 or early '97. Experience
has taught us that we must do a thorough job up front on a project
of this size. So, please be patient. We know the wait will be worthwhile.
We'd like to thank all our guests for another successful
year, and for all the wonderful memories of good times we had. We
look forward to seeing you all in '96. We will again be at the Chicagoland
Sport Show at O'Hare Expo Center January 26 through February 4 (Booth
822). We hope to see you there.
some improvements during the year:
a Mag-17 bass boat, which has a 60 hp motor and a 4 hp kicker motor
for trolling, plus a paper graph, trolling motor, live well, and
tape player. (This is a very nice fishing boat!)
clock radios in all cabins.
bedroom nightstands in all deluxe cabins.
two new queen sleeper sofas in Cabin 6. (Our nonsmoking, no pet
a deck onto Cabin 3. (All cabins have decks now, except for Cabin
Added two storage lockers
on the dock. Added New No-Smoking, No Pets Cabins -Since designating
one "No Smoking" and one "No Smoking - No Pets"
cabin, we have had no problem filling them. Depending upon demand,
we may add more in the future, but we'll leave it the same for '96.
Congratulations, and Thanks
One of our "regulars" here at Black Oak now
qualifies for inclusion in our Celebrity Hall-of-Fame. He's Bill Zeman
of Roanoke, Illinois. As coach of the Roanoke-Benson Rockets baseball
team, he took his team all the way to the State Championships. They
became Illinois Class A High School State Champions for 1995. They
were also distinguished by being the first undefeated team to win
this honor with a 30-0 record. Bill was inducted into the Illinois
Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in February, and had the distinction
of being the youngest inductee. Bill has also been named 1995's "Coach
of the Year" by the Illinois High School Coaches Association.
We're proud of you, Bill. Congratulations!
Also, our reigning celebrity, Rodney Poynter, deserves
special mention again. He was instrumental in our community getting
its newest fire truck. Michael had heard about this truck for sale
near Lemont, Illinois. He called upon Rodney to do the legwork for
him since it would have required a trip up there otherwise. You can't
buy a used truck sight unseen! Rodney not only took the time right
before his vacation to make a trip out to Lemont to talk to the department
and see the truck - he also test drove it, and brought his brother-in-law
along to videotape it for us. Then he brought the tape with him for
his vacation with us in September. Rodney said the truck was a steal,
and he was right. Everybody loves the truck, Rodney, and you're now
an honorary Oakland/Promise Land volunteer firefighter. Thanks again!
Thanks are also in order for the very talented and artistic
Renee Bozek. When Betty asked her to make us a poster for our fishing
contest, little did we know what a beautiful poster we'd get. She
did a great design, even incorporating our logo with its actual colors,
and adding one of the best jumping bass I've seen. The sign is all
laminated and reusable each year, just with a change of the removable
cards for the year, and the details of each fish category. We've received
many compliments on it. Thanks so much for all the time this must
have taken, Renee!
Congratulations also to the very first guest we ever
had. Karen Vogel has been coming here ever since we opened, and this
past November she married her longtime love, David Yenzer. They honeymooned
with us over the Thanksgiving holidays. We're very happy for them.
Betty still has a few other couples she's working on to get them to
the altar, but this is her first success. Congratulations and much
happiness to you two!
New For 1996...Black
We made a major purchase in 1995;
we bought Hi-View Motel, which is about a half-mile west of us
on 202. You may be asking
"why?". For three reasons:
One, we get lots of calls for short stays which we usually
don't take here at the resort. This way we have a place for those
who want only two or three day stays with us.
Two, many of our guests would like for other friends
or family to be down at the same time they are here, and we're usually
booked pretty solid throughout the busiest tourist months. This way,
there is a place for these people to stay that lives up to our standards.
Three, during the peak tourist months, there is a definite
shortage of quality accommodations in our area.
In other words, it was the perfect add-on to our resort
business. We do not plan to market it as a resort, but as an inn (Black
Oak Inn, to be exact), totally separate from our resort. The rooms
are like a motel, but with kitchenettes and full baths. Each room
has two double beds. One has an extra room with two twin beds. The
rates will be reasonable. We expect that this purchase will not have
any impact on our plans for a lodge, since we expect it will basically
pay for itself. The financing was quite creative, with us not having
to put hardly anything down.
While You're Staying
Although most of our guests are perfectly content to
spend as much time as they can right here at the resort, I always
recommend some extra activities that are particularly memorable and
enjoyable. While you are staying with us, I recommend that you try
at least one of these:
A trip along the White River on the White River Railway.
This is our newest tourist attraction, and has been given a thumbs-up
by many of our guests. The trips are round trip from Flippin to Calico
Rock and back, following the course of the White River. They have
just added a dining car, which is being catered by the 178 Club, one
of the area's finest restaurants.
Try a massage. Arrangements can be made for groups of
two or more to have a massage therapist come to our resort and do
your massage right here. What a lovely way to pamper yourself while
A float trip along the White River. Whether you fish
is up to you, but the scenery is breathtaking, the water is cool and
crystal clear, the shore lunches are scrumptious, the fishing is always
lively, and most days you'll get your limit of trout. These trout
are the best tasting you'll ever experience. It is possible to combine
the White River float one way and the White River Railway trip the
other way. Or, you can take a very long float of up to 80 miles if
you choose not to fish. We can recommend the best guides for a guaranteed
great experience! We'll be happy to make reservations for you. These
trips cost about $185 for two for an all-day float, but we guarantee,
it's worth every penny.
A Better Route
To Get Here
For those of you coming from Illinois to get here, we
have found what we think is a better way to get around St. Louis than
on I-55. Take the south end bypass around St. Louis instead of the
270 Bypass. Take I-55 to 255. Take 255 South to 270 Bypass. Take 270
to I-44 West. This is not as congested and is shorter than the 270
Bypass and takes less time. It's only five miles longer than going
straight through the city.
List of Area Restaurants
Best Appetizer Potato Skins, 178 Club, Bull Shoals
Best View Gaston's, overlooking the White River
Best Steaks The Top Kat, State Line in Missouri
Best Buffet The Front Porch, Yellville
Bamboo Garden, Mountain Home
Best Seafood 178 Club, Bull Shoals
Fred's Fish House, Mountain Home
Best Hamburger The Back Forty, Mountain Home
Top Kat, State Line in Missouri
Best Night Atmosphere Chelsea's, Mountain Home
Best Day Atmosphere Kathy's Tea Room, Mountain Home
Best Oriental Bamboo Garden, Mountain Home
Best Value European House, Mountain Home
Newest Restaurants Winham's Country Buffet, Mountain Home
Dining Car on the White River Railway
Newest Fast Food Burger King, Mountain Home
Best Salad Chelsea's, Mountain Home
Best Prime Rib 178 Club, Bull Shoals (Saturdays)
Best Fast Food McDonald's, (also no smoking) Mountain Home
From Our Guests
Our cookouts give us a chance to try out everybody's
star recipes. This year again produced lots of winners. The one that
we had the most requests for was from a Texan, Gloria Sears. It's
an easy dessert with the authentic taste of chocolate eclairs. Don't
let the ingredients fool you. It tastes exactly like the real thing.
A real winner!
Chocolate Eclair Dessert
by Gloria Sears
2 3-oz. pkgs. vanilla pudding
uses French Vanilla)
8 oz. Cool-Whip
1 can milk chocolate frosting
Layer bottom of 13" x 9" pan
with graham crackers. Mix pudding according to directions on package;
stir in Cool-Whip with the pudding. Pour over graham crackers.
Frost enough graham crackers to cover the pudding mixture. Refrigerate
for at least 4 hours. (Better if left overnight.)
We offer several types of discounts for our guests.
Repeat Customer Discount. We offer a 10% cabin
discount to returning guests on subsequent stays with us. This discount
applies to any confirmed reservation WITH DEPOSIT RECEIVED BY JANUARY
20. Reservation must be for three or more days. This discount is our
way of showing our appreciation to you for the greatest compliment
we can receive: Someone who likes what we have to offer and comes
back over and over.
Referral Discount. We also offer a referral discount
to our REPEAT customers. Whenever we receive a reservation of three
or more days from a new customer who was referred to us by you, 10%
of that new customer's cabin stay will be discounted off your next
stay. Word-of-mouth recommendations are the best free advertising
we can get, and we want to pass the savings on to you.
Our off-season begins November 1 and continues through
March 15. Come see us after the crowd has left and treat yourself
to the most peaceful vacation ever.
Weather is mild here year 'round, and you can still
enjoy the outdoors minus most of the tourists.
We offer 25% off our regular rates at this time on stays
of 3 days or more. No other discounts apply.
We also offer 10% AARP discounts during October.
Annual Black Oak Fishing Contest
This year, the most exciting fishing
event was probably the White Bass that Mike Huddleston caught in
June. Our whites keep getting bigger and bigger, with records falling
all the time. The last four years the winning white was in the
four pound range. This year, the biggest white ever caught here
at Black Oak was 5 pounds 1 ounce, which is close to the state
record of 5 pounds 4 ounces. When we weighed it on our scale it
weighed more than the state record, so we immediately called Game & Fish.
They told us we should bring it in to their office for an official
weight. Mike and Marcia Huddleston did everything in their power
to keep it alive so it would not lose ounces. But, after so much
time was lost, it officially weighed only 5 pounds 1 ounce. But
we know it was really a state record. Congratulations, Mike! By
the way, the biggest whites statistically are caught in June.
The fish were bigger this year in four categories (Largemouth,
Kentucky, White, and Walleye). The crappie weren't as big as last
year, but we had a great bumper crop of crappie during April. Looking
back, the biggest crappie were caught in April in six of the past
nine years. So if it's crappie you really are after, I'd suggest an
April fishing trip.
Again, seven of the category winners were from our home
state of Illinois. They win big every year. Our only winning woman
also qualifies in the children's category. Ten-year-old Emily Dessent
landed the largest Walleye, beating out her dad, Bob, who has won
before. Also, 11-year-old Eric Immke did what his dad, Bill, is still
trying to do. He won for biggest rainbow. Another previous winner,
Todd Eckert, won this time in two categories. Jasper Tavolacci won
this year, but last year his wife Susan won with a much bigger brown
trout. A hollow victory, eh Jasper?
Category winners were caught in every month from March
through July, and again in October.
Notice also that downrigging is a great way to get your
kids interested in fishing. I'll bet that Eric Immke and Emily Dessent
will be more than willing to go fishing next year.
All contest winners will receive an additional 10% cabin
discount on their next stay with us, plus a Black Oak cap or T-shirt.
Winners names will also be immortalized on a plaque at Black Oak Resort.
6 lb. 3 oz.
October 6, 2 a.m.
3 lb. 14 oz.
3 lb. 10 oz.
March 21, 3 p.m.
Berkeley Power Grub
Partly sunny, warm
7 lb. 4 oz.
July 12, 7:30 a.m.
Pink & Silver Northport Nailer
Downrigger, 65 feet
1 lb. 14 oz.
Smoke & Silver Grub
Elk Grove Village, IL
3 lb. 7 oz.
July 19, 7 a.m.
Purple & Chrome Pro King,
Downrigger, 65 ft.
5 lb. 1 oz.
20" Long, 16" Girth
June 21, 8 a.m.
Clear, Calm, Hot
|Channel Catfish (Blue)
12 lb. 12 oz.
As we welcome you
back in 1996, look forward to something new at Black Oak!
Number one on our agenda is putting
all our time and energy in getting the lodge built. We're still
planning on putting in a dining room, private club, entertainment
theater, fireplace, workout facility, pool table, laundry facility,
gift shop, reservation desk, and, most importantly, "living
We also hope to have a kenneling facility and an observatory.
New also in 1996:
A new larger motor (60 hp) for our 28-foot pontoon.
Two 25" TVs with remote for
Cabins 6 and 7. New heat pump/air conditioner for Cabin 5.
On our wish list is a newer car, a new computer, and
a fax machine.
We're also considering new small satellite dishes in
each deluxe cabin.
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