Tribute to Bruce, Cindy, Ron and the Nesika Beach RV Park

What follows after this introduction is a tribute I wrote and read at a memorial event held recently in a fire hall in Ophir, Oregon. It was a long drive down to the Southern Oregon Coast to read my tribute, but it was necessary to honor three people and a special place that proved instrumental in saving my life seven years ago. I sometimes marvel at how my various stints living in a disheveled RV park populated by mostly Trump supporters infused my writing and made me a self-appointed expert on RV living and an advocate for how RVs/trailers/fifth wheels could be the special secret weapon in combating the homeless crisis if anyone in charge of addressing would bother to check into this affordable solution. (See the appendix in my book The Old Crow Book Club for more details.)

It’s such an obvious answer.

I want mention something else about Bruce, the RV park owner, that I did not expand upon in the tribute: Bruce had a soft heart for the downtrodden and their derelict RVs that most RV parks would not admit because of their dilapidated condition. Over the two decades he owned the park, he must have kept a couple hundred people, mostly elderly and on nothing but Social Security, from becoming homeless. I saw some of this with my own eyes. He was a businessman for sure, but not a greedy, uncaring one. He helped these people survive and make a home for themselves.

It is my dream to buy Bruce’s park and continue his work, perhaps turn it into a cooperative like some RV parks have done. Imagine that, socialism saving indigent elderly Trumpers from homelessness!

But the time isn’t right for this sort of endeavor—yet.

Rest in peace Bruce, Cindy and Ron. I will never forget you.


In the summer of 2016 I discovered the Nesika Beach RV Park in the midst of a personal crisis. I’d never stayed in a RV park before, but the groovy hand-painted sign caught my eye when I drove by and compelled me to visit the place.

I stepped inside the office and it was like going back in time. I met Bruce and he welcomed me to the park. He walked me over to the camping area. It was perfect. I paid cash and thus began my relationship to the park.

That night I made a fire and felt calm gathering around me. I read The Godfather by flashlight. The crazy quails darted everywhere. In the morning, I picked blackberries and hit Nesika Beach.

During that initial visit, I met Cindy and Ron. I met Lorenzo, Terry, Jerry and George 1 and George 2. The park hooked me.

Later, Bruce rented me a 1978 Minnie Winnie RV. Its previous owner had died and Bruce had seen him through hospice and then inherited the rig.

He told me this sort of thing had occurred many times and that he felt guilty taking over the rigs, but no relatives ever showed up to claim them. I said he should never feel guilty about inheriting the RVs. He had performed a crucial moral service to the previous owners and eased their passing into another existence. Besides, he had repurposed the rigs and people were still using them for housing.

I lived in the Winnebago for almost four years and got my life together and prospered. I never wanted to leave but my elderly father’s care left me no choice.

Cindy ran a tight ship and the restrooms were always spotless. She really loved that riding lawnmower! Once I tipped her a gift certificate at Christmas and she almost fell over with surprise. I had many a fine talk with her and Ron every morning after my return from the beach. They always wanted to hear about my adventures there.

Oh, what a cast of characters I encountered in the park! I’m still writing about them and set one of my Christmas tales, about a troubled nurse who saved herself from drug abuse by discovering the park and experiencing its subtle magic. It was based on a true story. And I am still cooking with the weird Paprikas one of the deceased residents left behind. What will I do when they’re gone?

Thank you Bruce for all you did for me and creating the loose, quiet and laid back vibe that floated through the park. It’s what so many of us crave in life.

One day I hope to return to the park to live. I hope it never changes, but I know it will. Just not too much. So many people need it the way it is.

(If interested in reading the Christmas tale set in the park, go to Amazon Books online and search for Oregon Coast Christmas Tales. The story is called “RV Park Christmas.”)