Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Our last Day as Gate Attendants

Finally we have reached our last day as COE gate attendants.

There is no way we can express in writing how EXCITED we are to be done with this gig.

We're so happy to be able to get back on the road.

We'll soon have something to post about.

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Local Bullies

We’ve made a lot of new friends and have dealt with our share of rude people. We’ve also encountered a couple of neighborhood bullies.

That’s right, adult neighborhood bullies. These people seem to think they own this park.

One of these local bullies regularly comes into the park and doesn’t abide by any of the rules. 

We inform and remind everyone coming into the park about the rules.

This particular guy is constantly telling us that he has called the lake manager because of the rules in the park. He has repeatedly told us he grew up on the lake and the rules don’t apply.

He got upset because I told his children they were not allowed to swim at the boat ramp. There are signs posted stating no swimming or wadding.

He said he called the lake manager about it.

The courtesy dock has signs posted stating for loading and unloading of boats.

He said that was the safest place for his kids to swim. WHAT?! Who would want their kids swimming around a busy boat ramp and courtesy dock?!  The neighborhood bully.

This guy has an annual pass. The annual pass is $30.00 and allows the owner to have access to the boat ramp and day use area at no additional charge for one year.

This guy and his family like to go into the camping area. There are signs posted stating the area is for registered campers.

But that doesn’t apply to him!!!!!

I think it’s just all kinds of awesome that he’s teaching his children that posted signs and rules don’t apply to them.

The other bully we deal with also thinks rules don’t apply to him or his family. He is also an annual pass holder.

His sons come into the park to kayak. The day use area closes at sunset. They don’t bother to get off the water until after dark. This bully is a former Army guy and he said these rules are ridiculous.

The road over the damn on this lake has been closed for years. There are double gates at both ends of the damn. There are several signs mounted on the gates stating Restricted Area, US Army Property, No Trespassing.

This bully has been told several times to stay off the damn while jogging or cycling. He’s been instructed to stay out of restricted areas.

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gate Arm Broke Again!

Since Dawn and I have been gate attendants at Lavonia Park we’ve had several issues with the electric gate arm. I've listed a few problems we've experienced.

In early May during an electrical storm while Dawn and I were on duty the gate arm stopped working and was stuck in the down position. We opened the metal gate on the exit side of the gate house to allow people to enter the park. I called the ranger and reported the broken gate. The rangers arrived approximately half hour later. One of the rangers stood out in the rain and worked on it. He was able to fix it for us. Thanks Mr. Ranger

Mid-day on a Saturday in June, Saturdays are busy here, the gate arm swung backwards and stopped working. We called maintenance and he arrived several hours later and repaired it.

In early July a camper checked in and as he pulled his 40 foot toy hauler through the entrance he pulled too far over to the left and the ladder on the side of his RV hit the gate arm. This damaged his RV ladder and loosened the gate arm pedestal base. Afterwards the gate continued to work but would bounce each time it was opened or closed. We noticed that each time it closed it would drop lower towards the ground. We reported it the following day. No one responded.

While the other gate attendant was on duty the gate arm again swung backwards and stopped. It hasn't been working since.

The maintenance man tried to repair it but was unsuccessful. He did tighten the bolts on the base of it so it wasn't rocking in the wind.

A repair company was called. They looked at it and said the circuit board was bad.

Now the butt of it sticks out and a few boats have almost caught that.

It is now late August and next weekend is Labor Day and our gate is still broken!!!

Most of the time people will stop at the window and pay the fee but we do have people that drive in without stopping because they don't want to pay.

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

RUDE People

Lavon, Texas
Weather Conditions; Sunny, 98 degrees

As gate attendants at Lavon Lake we work 4 days on and 4 days off. Our hours are 6:00 A.M to 10:00 P.M.

The gate house we spend our days in is 14 feet by 18 feet. A very small building!

There are parks on this lake that have even smaller gate houses.

We deal with a lot of different people on a daily basis. We have many different ethnicities visit the park.

I’m not a prejudice person. But I do have a problem with one class of people and find I’m having a harder time dealing with them. My patience is growing very thin!

These people are known as RUDE people. That’s right, RUDE people.

Here’s a fine example; last weekend this park was very busy with people coming in for the day. Many families coming in to use the Day Use Area. They were here to picnic, swim and play outdoors.

In between these people coming in to enjoy that area, we would have a camper checking-in.

The checking-in process doesn’t take but a few minutes when advance reservations are made.

There were several cars in line waiting to pay the fee and enter the park, a truck pulling a fifth wheel and a couple of cars behind that.

As each car pulled up to the window, we took their money and gave them a pass to enter the park. Because some of the park is off limits to visitors due to flooding, we must inform each visitor of those areas before allowing them to enter.

The process takes about thirty seconds per car. No Biggy!

The fifth wheel pulls up to the window and gives us his reservation paperwork. It only takes a minute to check him in. While checking him in, a woman from the car behind him, get out and walks up to the window and asked the man how long he would be.

The man looked at her and said, I don’t know I have reservations and I’m just trying to get checked in.

I told the woman it would be just a minute and if she would get back into her car we would be with her when we finished.

The camper, Dawn and I all had a look of disbelief on our faces. She had only been in line a few minutes.

We finished checking in the camper and the woman pulled forward to the window. She had her arm out her window with money in hand.

Dawn took her money, handed her the pass and began instructing her of the flood area information when the woman began driving forward and telling Dawn she has been coming to this park for years and was trying not to be rude and didn’t need to hear Dawn give her any information.

With that she drove off into the park.

This woman looked to be in her late forties, early fifties. She had several teenagers in the car with her.

People want to know why young people act so entitled. This is a prime example.

This park normally has 38 camp sites but with the flooding damage, only 11 are usable at the current time.

On weekends hordes of people pull up to the gate house and ask to drive through and look at the park.

On weekends and holidays we don’t allow people to drive through the park.

This afternoon a car pulls up to the gate house and the male driver said he was going to drive through the park and look around. We get that a lot. People tell us their going to drive through the park.

I explained to this man that we don’t allow people to drive through on holidays and weekends. I suggested he come back during the week for a free drive through.

He said he would pay the fee and drive around the park. I explained to him that if he paid the fee he would be limited to the area he could drive through.

He said he understood and would stay out of the posted camping areas.

I sold him the Day Use Pass and opened the gate.

Half an hour later the man is driving through the posted camping area like he owned the place!

People get very upset when we tell them to stay out of the camping areas. We explain that if they were camping here they wouldn’t want hordes of people driving by looking at them.

Besides the fact the roads are not able to accommodate that kind of traffic.

STUPID people are on my very last nerve!

Now I’m really ranting!

We have people drive up to the gate house and just stare at us. We ask how we can help and as they look at the pricing sign posted on the building, they ask how much is it.

Are you kidding me?! You are looking at the sign!

While the lake was flooded by 12 feet of water all the boat ramps and most of the parks were closed.

People would pull up to the gate house and ask when the parks and boat ramps were going to be open.

Our response was when the water recedes. Then the question was when is that going to happen.

Do people really think we can predict how long it will take for 12 foot of flood water to recede?

People would stop at the gate house with boats in tow. We would have to break the news to them that ALL the boat ramps on the lake were closed due to flooding.

They would then say, does that mean there aren’t any boat ramps open?

Why yes, All boat ramps are closed means there aren’t any open!!!!!!!!!

This was on a daily basis, many times a day.

The park has five different restrooms throughout the park.

But some people would rather wait and take a leak at the park entrance before they leave.

This picture was taken from inside the gate house. We see this all the time. Sometimes they just stop in the street to take a leak.

We’re amazed at how many people don’t know their left from their right.

We issue the Day Use Area passes and tell the visitor to turn to the left. Almost half of those people will turn to the right!

This park is equipped with tire spikes at the exit. You can exit but not enter.

The sign says warning, Do Not Back Up, Severe Tire Damage.

We watch people pull up to the exit, everyone gets out of the car and walk over the tire spikes. They will step on them and make sure they go down.

Everyone gets back in the car and they drive over the spikes to exit the park.

Parking in the Day Use Area is spars. But some people think they need to take several spaces!

This is just the sample of what these gate attendants deal on a regular days business.

Copyright Notice All text and photos found on is copyrighted and may not be published, rewritten, distributed or downloaded without permission of the owner of All Rights Reserved. ©cruzin2some 2010