Thursday, December 27, 2012

An evening with the Koesters

Allen and Sharon Koester, Christmas 2012 in Rockport, Texas

 Here is the back story on this event.  Back in the early 1970's we became friends with the Koester family.  Allen worked for the Soil Conservation District.  He, his wife Mary, and their two daughters, JoAnn and Julie, lived in Walden but spent many weekends with us at the ranch and the cabin. They pitched in and helped with the ranch work such as branding and moving cattle.  Al loved hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and photographing wildflowers--still does for that matter.  We all camped out together and Bob hunted with Al and Mary.
Allen and his family helped with branding for several years.  Allen is on the right working the gate in the chute.
 Al taught our kids how to fish and we used to take long hikes with all the kids into some good beaver ponds up on the Forest.  We also had some very memorable backpacking trips together, which is another story for my blog.

The Koesters and Manvilles taking a break while back packing to Lake Roxyanne in the 1970's

Allen was transferred to Glenwood Springs after 3.5 years in North Park but, as he put it, they "commuted" to North Park on weekends and they stayed with us and we continued our friendship and adventures.  We also spent time with them at Glenwood.
Al was transferred again but this time it was to Palmer, Alaska.  We stayed in touch with them but only saw the whole family once when they came up for Danny's wedding.  They had moved back to Oregon by then and Mary was sick with breast cancer.  She died shortly after that and we mourned their loss.
Mary and I and our kids up at Aqua Fria Resevoir in the 1970's
Life moved on and Allen kept us posted with his Christmas letter and he visited us now and again as he was passing through on the way to or from Iowa where they were originally from.  He married a lovely lady, Sharon, and they came up to see us a couple times.  We hadn't seen the girls in 20 some years!
Allen, Sharon and JoAnn's husband, Larry, Christmastime Barbeque 2012 at the Drifter's Resort in Rockport, TX.
Coming back to the present, last winter we got our annual Christmas letter from Al and he talked about his fishing adventures in Southern Texas.  Bob and I were visiting Micah at the time in San Antonio.  I got out a map and discovered they were only a few hours away so we decided to visit them.  We really liked the area around there and the weather.  We decided we would spend our next winter (now) in Rockport so our friendship circle is complete.
Julie, JoAnn, Anya, and Larry at at our BBQ.
This Christmas season Julie and JoAnn and her family are visiting their Dad and Sharon.  It just so happens that they are staying in a cabin here at The Drifter's Resort right across the road from ours! We all got together for a barbecue one evening and it was great fun to reminisce and play a silly game.

Bob, Julie, Anya and Larry get caught up.
JoAnn and I enjoy a nice visit.

 Allen surprised us with a very special Christmas gift with his annual letter.  He had made a flash drive filled with over 400 pictures he had taken while spending time in North Park back in the 1970's!  I will be posting pictures here and on Facebook!  Stay tuned for more of our back packing adventures.

Julie, Anya (Jo and Larry's daughter), and Larry


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