I write about the place where I grew up – Havasu Palms – in two of my books, Havasu Palms, A Hostile Takeover, and Where the Road Ends, Havasu Palms Recipes and Remembrances.
In spite of how it all turned out, we have some incredible memories – not to mention countless humorous anecdotes. One story involves my father’s own brand of humor.
Havasu Palms was a mobile home park, marina and restaurant, located at the end of a 12 mile dirt road and situated along the shores of Lake Havasu. Those last eight miles of road into the park will probably never be paved, not only because of the expense, but because it runs through a wash and is subject to frequent flash flooding.
People were always amazed to find double-wide mobile homes had actually made it over the dirt road. For some people, their first drive into the park was traumatic, focusing not on the spectacular scenery, but the primitive and rough road.
When we moved to the park in 1968 there were about 28 full-time travel trailers and a campground. Most of the tenants didn’t live there full time – but their trailers stayed year round and Havasu Palms was a weekend getaway. When we left around the turn of the century, Havasu Palms had 131 mobile home sites, and no campground.
Onto my story…
One day when my father was working by the Havasu Palms store doing some surveying, one of the more nosey, busybody tenants asked him what he was doing.
“It’s a secret, you have to promise not to tell anyone,” my dad told him. The tenant, now even more curious, vowed to keep the secret.
“Okay, as long as you don’t tell anyone. They’re cutting a new road into the park, which will be paved.”
The tenant couldn’t wait to get back to his trailer. From the store you can look across the bay and see a portion of the trailer park. My father stood by the store and watched as this tenant made his way home, stopping at every occupied trailer along the way.
It wasn’t too long before another tenant hurried over to the store, excitedly asking Dad for details about the new road.
Keeping a straight face, Dad asked him what he was talking about, and never fessed up to the falsehood. Of course, that left the second tenant rather pissed off at the first one.
As would be expected, the spreader of the tale returned, upset at Dad and asking him why he had told him the story of a new road.
Once again keeping a straight face, Dad said, “I told you not to tell anyone.”