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Electronic Newsletter August 2000

New Edition. Welcome to the first issue of our e-newsletter. If you're reading this, you have either stayed with us before, or you requested to be added to our e-mailing list. We hope this keeps you up-to-date on all that's happening at Black Oak Resort and on Bull Shoals Lake, as well as happenings in the area that you might be interested in. Each installment will have about four articles, and we will try to produce this at least quarterly, and perhaps monthly when things are really busy here. We hope you enjoy it!

New Addition. Circumstances came together to get us a dog that we sorely needed after the loss of our beloved Herbie and Grant over the last two years. We were ready for another dog, but in deference to our ancient Siberian, Kala (going on 16), we thought we should wait until she was gone too. Things didn't work out that way. We still have Kala, but we now have a new love.

Her name is Abigail (Abby), and she is a miniature Labrador Retriever. She's black, with a white spot on her chest, and is almost 8 months old now. We got her because she was dumped or lost, and no one wanted or claimed her. She actually landed on our neighbor's (Jack and Betty Weith's), doorstep first. They were feeding her and trying to locate the owner, to no avail. They were going to take a trip and didn't know what to do with her, so Betty volunteered to feed her while they were away, making it perfectly clear that we didn't want another dog. The first day we fed her, Betty said to Michael, "we should take this dog." Michael was adamant that we would not. The second day, Michael said to Betty, "this is a good dog." The third day, Michael said "we should take this dog." So that's what we did.

Abby loves children, especially Tony Gallina, from Rockford, Illinois, who was the first of many of our guests' children that Abby fell for. She also loves our grand-nephew, Michael Gelsomino, from Norridge, Illinois, who just completed his annual two-week stay with us. Michael is a true animal lover, and Abby misses him very much. Abby has only one negative trait (oh, make that two!). She is stubborn, and likes her way, and she chews everything (electric wires, pens, plastic bowls, shoes). We've pretty much got her to chew on only what we hand her now, but she's still chewing.

Betty is taking her on her morning runs, and Abby can now run over 4 miles with Betty. Abby is a great swimmer and retriever, and would probably make an excellent hunting dog, except as animal lovers, we don't hunt. She is very good with Kala, and having another dog has actually helped Kala to be a little more active and alert. She loves our cat Jitterbug the best, actually playing with him.

Our advice to anyone who has lost a beloved dog: In no way diminishing your love for your first dog, you need to get another dog. You will always love the dog you lost, but grief turned inward is depression. Another animal to love is the only way, at least it was for us.

Fishing so far.... Despite the continued low lake levels this year, fishing has been smashing this year, especially the smallmouth and walleye.

We broke our own resort record for the largest walleye ever caught by a guest at Black Oak Resort. It was caught on May 30, downrigger fishing at 41 feet. It was caught by J R Nesbit, from Trevor Wisconsin. He caught it on a blue and silver Pro-King Spoon, and it weighed 11 pounds, 10 ounces, even beating out Michael's biggest walleye (11 lb. 4 oz). This was not the only big walleye caught. We've been catching them in the 5 pound range all summer long, using the downrigger method and trolling deep-running crank baits, basically morning and evenings.

We also had a 4 pound 8 ounce hybrid striper, caught by Jayme Zeman, also downrigging, on a blue and chrome Pro-King at 58 feet on August 3.

In the summer months, when fishing is normally the toughest, downrigger fishing has provided much enjoyment and plenty of good fishing during this time of year. Michael was out this week with a guest, and they picked up 10 whites and missed at the net another 5 pound walleye. We also can pick up trout, and an occasional smallmouth or largemouth at these depths.

Although we have had low lake levels this year, we have had no problems catching fish. They are just more concentrated. The stable lake levels this summer will ensure an excellent spawn of bass, especially smallmouth, for future years.

Welcome back Zeman family. After a two year absence from Black Oak Resort, we welcomed back one of our favorite families, the Zeman family: Bill and Melinda and daughters Jayme and Heather, from Roanoke, Illinois. Their usual family vacation at Black Oak was interrupted, as their girls grew up. Both of the girls returned with Bill and Melinda, along with their boyfriends this trip. We enjoyed catching up on their lives, and are thrilled seeing them back. We look forward to their return next year.

Taste-Tested Recipes from the Zeman Family

Melinda Zeman gets the nod for two great recipes this year. The first one is for a great tasting Italian Beef that's so easy and so good (much better than almost any beef stand, except for maybe Portillo's in Chicago). You'll have to wait until the next e-newsletter for a great baked French Toast recipe that Melinda served.

Italian Beef

1 (3 to 4 pound) beef roast (Melinda recommends the arm or shoulder-these shred the best)
1 can beer
1 pkg. Dried Italian Seasoning, such as Good Seasons

Place roast in crockpot. Sprinkle dressing on top of meat; pour beer over. Cook on low approx. 7 hours or until meat easily shreds. Serve on hard rolls with green peppers if desired.

New Products. Two new products we got to try, thanks to our guests. If you haven't tried them you should.

Sour Cream in a squeezable bottle. We had this when we were invited to dinner with Rod and Renee Poynter of Palos Hills, Illinois, another couple of our favorite return guests. (Can it be because they feed us, we wonder?) This is just sour cream, but the concept is great for sour cream, because this is the way we all use the product. How much easier to just squeeze some out of a bottle over your baked potato, or on your tostada or taco, instead of messing with on a spoon to spread it over your food. This is just a great idea, one that someone should have thought of a lot sooner.

Poppers Stuffed Jalapenos with Cream Cheese. You've all had these at restaurants. Well, these are restaurant quality! Thanks to whoever left these for us, we can't remember who it was. You can do them in the oven or deep-fry them. I baked them in the oven, and they were perfect!

Restaurants Re-visited. After not going to Dino's for over a year, we thought we'd revisit this restaurant east of Mountain Home on Hwy 62. Of course these are just our impressions, but perhaps it will help you in selecting a good place to eat when you visit. We won't review any restaurant that we don't recommend, but we'll try to let you know in advance what to expect.

The best thing about this restaurant is the salad, which is served with only one dressing: Italian (no other choices, and that's going to be fine, because the salad and dressing are superb, the best we've tried in the area). Also, the food quality is excellent, as well as the presentation of the food. We had to wait a short while for our table, but the hostess was very pleasant and seated us in what to us is a wasted area, which could be additional restaurant seating. The restaurant is very popular, and we recommend that you call for reservations. It is only open for dinner. What a shame! The only downside we found was there is no good crusty Italian bread served with olive oil and parmesan (although each meal is accompanied by a good garlic bread), and the portions are for a small appetite. So, give it a try on your next visit.

Upcoming Events

  • The Annual Bull Shoals Lake Cleanup on September 9. We always participate in this event, because this is our lake, and maybe our customers contributed to some of the litter we find on the shoreline (although we seriously doubt it). It's a very worthwhile feeling to do something good. Michael has helped spearhead this event for the Oakland area of Bull Shoals Lake for the past several years, and it's sponsored by our fire department, of which he is fire chief. We take our pontoon out and scan a section of shoreline for any debris. Our lake is usually amazingly clean, but we always have a good time, and the weather at that time of year is usually perfect (80s and sunshine and low humidity), and we all get some much-needed exercise. There is a cookout afterwards, nothing fancy, but lots of good food and prizes, usually for everybody. All the local businesses contribute the prizes and we get good participation. So, if you're going to be down this time of year, please join in!
  • Baxter County Fair, September 13-16. Although the fair officially starts on September 13 with the parade, some events take place on September 9; one being the Baxter County Fair Pageant. I guess they no longer refer to them as "beauty" pageants any more. If you've never attended a beauty pageant, this is your chance to see one. The talent is usually amazing, and they put on a great show.
  • Bull Shoals Fifth Annual Chili Cookoff, Bull Shoals Arts Council Art Show, and Yards and Yards of Yard Sales, all set for September 16. All three events run on the same day and are designed to give you lots of things to do. The Chili Cookoff is in its fifth year, and we have one of our own teams, Ed and Linda Pecora, representing the Oakland/Promise Land Fire Department entered in the cookoff, after winning the preliminary competition here in Oakland. There should be lots of good things to eat, lots of booths selling their wares, and some talented artists on display. Make your plans to attend.

A Special Thank You: We couldn't forget to thank Sisters Gen Freund and Mary Stafford for their thoughtfulness in sending us a rain gauge (very big in these parts), as well as a big box of videos for our video collection. A very special thanks to you both for your thoughtfulness. We finally got some rain so we could actually use the rain gauge! The videos are being enjoyed by our guests, and as soon as things slow down a bit, we plan to start watching them, starting with "Life is Beautiful."


Black Oak Resort Blog

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


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