Kinny Haddox always dreamed of living on the lake. Those who know Haddox he wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised he’s found a way literally to cash in on his dream.
For over a year now, Haddox has maintained a website about living the dream. A great deal of the appropriately named site lakedarbonnelife.com is about life on the 15,000-acre lake, much of it focuses on life in the outdoors in general.
“A year ago, I didn’t know what a ‘blogger’ was. Now I are one,” Haddox stated earlier this week.
In 2012, Haddox retired from a career as a media relations specialist with International Paper. After spending most of his IP career in Bastrop, Haddox was transferred to its mill in Texarkana and finally to corporate headquarters in Memphis.
Several years ago, Haddox and his wife DiAnne purchased a lot at D’Arbonne and began planning their retirement home, complete with fishing pier and boathouse.
“People have always said that living on the lake is like waking up on vacation every day,” Haddox wrote in his first blog entry – published Sept. 13, 2012. “That is true. And it’s a good vacation, too!”
As temperatures dipped well below freezing earlier this week, Haddox was dealing with one of the hazards of living the dream.
“When the temperature gets below 30 degrees for a period of time, we have to drain all the water out of the lines boathouse,” Haddox said. “My hands are about frozen. But we wouldn’t change places with anyone. We love it out here.”
The die was cast for Haddox life in the outdoors when he caught his first fish at age four. He grew up in Bastrop, fishing on Bussey Brake. Just prior to his retirement with IP, Haddox played a vital role in the company’s donation of nearly 10,000 acres of property to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, including Bussey Brake.
When the state and company made the official announcement of the donation, LDWF Secretary Robert Barham acknowledged Haddox’s role in the negotiations.
“We probably wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for Kinny Haddox staying on all parties involved,” Barham said.
In the last 12 months, Haddox’s blog has over 60,000 views. You’d expect locals to like it, but it’s also been viewed from … “countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where there are a lot of soldiers from this area stationed,” Haddox stated. “I hope to continue to grow the site next year.”
Having spent most of his life in and around Bastrop, Haddox invites his friends and neighbors to visit the site.
“I'd love to let more folks in Bastrop & Morehouse know about the site. I think they would enjoy it too, especially those who like fishing and hunting.”