ALAMO — If one were weaving a tapestry of life for the Winter Texan couple this week, it would be full of twists and turns, brilliant colors with some dark shades thrown in making an eye-popping piece of art.
To begin with, Skip and Ginger Deamer, Alamo Palms MH and RV Resort, met each other when they were younger than one year old. That’s right, while they were in diapers! Since their parents were good friends a crib was their first rendevous.
It wasn’t long before Ginger moved along with her family — two brothers and four sisters — to Pennsylvania where she grew up on a farm.
“We had a wonderful childhood. We were very poor but we didn’t know it. We had a lot of fun,” said Ginger. “We didn’t have television until I was 15 years old so we didn’t know what television was. We used to listen to the radio and my favorite was Lux Theatre.”
She loved working with all the farm animals and holds a love for animals still. Early school years meant a one or two room school house.
“When I was in the 8th grade there were five of us seven kids in the same room, all doing different class work,” she said. “We had the same recess time, lunch time. That way we could take care of each other too.”
Ginger had fun in high school running the concession stand at the basketball and baseball games her last two years until she graduated with her class of 27 people.
All the while she was growing up Ginger remembers her mother talking of Smyrna, Delaware so Ginger had an ambition when she was young. She would grow up, move back to Smyrna, get married and have children. And that’s exactly what she did.
Moving back to Smyrna she married, had four children — two boys and two girls. There were a few years in there when they moved away but it wasn’t too long and they were back in Smyrna and that was just fine with Ginger.
“It was a very small town — around 2,500 people. You knew everybody back then,” she said. “Now it’s up to 10,000 plus and you don’t know anybody.”
When the marriage ended, Ginger was single for 10 years while working and raising her kids. She then married a wonderful man who had a stroke and passed away after nine years of marriage, leaving her alone again so she thought she’d have her dad move in with her.
She had seen or heard about Skip over the years — even almost eloped on a spur of the moment but came to her senses before she did such a spur of the moment action. They went their own ways but after she lost her husband she remembered he was a pilot.
Skip grew up in Smyrna, the oldest among his brother and two sisters. Enjoying working with his father who sharecropped until the early ‘50s, he worked for a neighbor on their farm after his family had moved to town and his dad began working for a grain dealer.
“You’re outside - in the field, riding around on a tractor, messing with the cattle,” said Skip. “Yes, I enjoyed the farm.”
In school he played the baritone horn joining the junior high band then the high school band, county band, state band and then played with a local fire company band. It wasn’t music, though, that his dreams were made of.
“I always wanted to fly an airplane, even when I was old enough to know what airplanes were. I had that ‘I want to fly’ idea. One of my friends was going to be a paratrooper because he wasn’t going to fly with me,” he said, laughing.
Joining the Delaware National Guard and Air Guard didn’t bring him any closer to his dream. Taking a year off after the service, when he joined the world again trucks became part of his life and over the years he would drive them and dispatch them, traveling through 48 states.
Finally, during his 20 year tenure working with Playtex, his dream came true.
“I went out to the airport and talked to the instructor whom I’d known most of my life,” Skip said.
By 1974 he received his pilot’s license. He has flown south to Venezuela and north to Alaska and oodles of places in between. Skip keeps his license current today, his dream living on.
After a few marriages and one terrific daughter, Skip received a call one day from a very long term friend. You know - the one in the diapers.
Yes, it was Ginger.
Wanting her father to come live with her, the widow Ginger called the single Skip to see if he would fly her father to Smyrna from Pennsylvania.
“Have you ever been in a small plane?” he asked.
“No,” she replied.
“Maybe we’d better go somewhere — a short trip — and see how you react,” said Skip.
Ginger loved it! Perhaps that was the start, the connection that sparked the romance. Soon after that he called and the courtship began. Before it was all over — they were married, 22 years now.
Ginger joined with Skip in his love of flying and they have flown all over, even taken commercial planes every once in a while to investigate someplace new, especially when flying to Europe. They had a routine when Skip was flying. Every four hours they stopped for fuel, food and bathrooms. Unless, of course, something broke their stride.
“We were coming back from Massachusetts one night and she noticed I was starting to flip off switches,” said Skip.
“What are you doing?” asked Ginger.
“Our alternator just quit and I have to save my battery so we can turn on our lights,” he said, knowing it would be one o’clock in the morning when they got home. They were over Rhode Island about that time and still had another hour and a half to go.
“What happens if somebody up here is having the same problem?” asked Ginger as they were going across New York City.
“It would be one hell of an accident,” Skip said to her, hoping to never see that occur.
“My neck was sore by the time we got home because I kept looking all around,” Ginger said, laughing as she recalled the moment.
For 31 years she worked as a Unit Clerk for a state run nursing home, making the patient’s appointments and transcribing doctors orders.
“I loved every minute of it because I like people,” she said.
Don’t get the idea their life was all about travel and work. There were animals too, especially one unique pot belly pig named Murph, named after one of Skip’s bosses.
“Murph was a house pet for several years until he got too big,” said Skip, as he fondly recalled his beloved pet. “Pot belly pigs are smarter than dogs. He was MY animal, MY pig! He was so funny. He did not like bare feet and he did not like to see me in shorts. He would let me know right away that I was not dressed right.”
While he was still a house pet they would keep him in a cage on the back porch with blankets to keep him warm.
“He’d roll himself up in his blankets and he’d have a devil of a time getting out,” said Skip.
“During the summer he would sneak into our garden, steal cucumbers and high tail it back to his pen,” Ginger said, laughing.
Ginger’s daughter had given Murph to Skip as a Christmas gift which was nice when he was a cute little pig. But pigs grow and Murph was over 300 pounds full grown.
“He kept himself clean. Until his latter years when he was sick, he kept his house clean. He never messed in his house. Never!” said Skip, emphatically.
After seeing the roads from the sky, they decided to see where they went so they discovered RVing and followed the roads by land. When Skip retired three years ago after 15 years as a purchasing agent for a construction company, their friend who manages Alamo Palms, called and asked them if they would like to be work campers. It fit their style perfectly as Skip was not quite ready to stop yet and Ginger was ready for any adventure.
They love their life and their park family. “Alamo Palms is the best park,” said Ginger. “Everybody is just so friendly.”
They still have places to go they haven’t seen and family to visit - including all 34 great grandchildren! One thing is for sure — life is never dull in the Deamer RV.