Saturday, October 21, 2017
Text Size

20161117 Kelly-LyonsMISSION—At 6-foot-4, and maybe a little more, with wide shoulders and 14EEE shoes, 87-year-old Kelly Lyons can still be a daunting figure, even if a slight foot pain causes him a little grief when he tries to stand up.

His genuine smile, a seemingly never-dulling sparkle in his eyes and quick-witted barbs tell only a little of the story of a man who has seen much war but is at great peace. He approaches the mic, says a few words to bring out some chuckles, and begins a rendition of “Why Me Lord,” written by Kris Kristofferson and recorded by all the great, classic names – Cash, Willie, Haggard, Gaither, Elvis. Lyons wants to share the same peace he has.

“Why me Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I've known,” sang Lyons, “Tell me Lord what did I ever do to be worthy of you or the kindness you've shown.”

Sunday was the first Gospel Jam of the Winter Texan season at BlueBonnet RV Park in Mission and featured Lyons and Teresa “Blues to the Bone” Burley. Despite threatening skies and a little cooler evening than normal at this time of year, dozens came out to enjoy the music, food and camaraderie.

“This is a good night,” said Kathie Osborn, BlueBonnet park manager. “They come out here almost every week and they have a good following.”

Lyons has been playing guitar since 1950, when while in the U.S. Navy he was at a USO (United Services Organization) show and came across a fiddle player he enjoyed watching and listening to. The two became friends almost immediately.

“He told me I needed to learn how to play guitar and he would teach me,” said Lyons, originally from Corpus Christi. “In six months we had a band and would play at dances and events in front of 2,000 people.”

Lyons was a gunner's mate in the Navy and served in the Korean War. During his time in the military he developed an ulcer and because of that he said, he couldn't – and wouldn't – drink alcohol. It was also during that time that he met Maxine, his future bride.

“I was playing in the band and would see her dancing – with some other guy,” he said, still with a little good-natured fire in his voice. “She knew my family, but didn't know me.” They married and remained together for 61 years until Maxine passed away earlier this year on her birthday.

“She was born at 10 a.m.,” Lyons said, “and passed at 9:15 on her birthday.”

The group performed many of the traditional Gospel classics including “Why Me Lord,” “He Touched Me,” “I'll Fly Away” and “Beneath Still Waters.” Burley also sang a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Burley, who has traveled the world as an entertainer, played the keyboards for her “Amazing Grace” performance, but spent most of the time playing the Dobro. Even though she's been battling some allergies, a couple minor injuries and what she's thinking is arthritis in her hands, it doesn't seem like she's slowed down a bit.

“No matter what, I'll always have my Dobro,” she said.

The group will continue to perform on Sundays. Chuck Mathis, who plays guitar in the group, headlines the Country Jams every Thursday starting Nov. 17. Lyons also performs in the group.

The park will hold its first craft show/garage sale on Saturday, Nov. 19. Other upcoming events include John Sager's Musical Variety Show on Jan. 7, the Wilson Family String Country Band on Jan. 21 and Wade Benson Landry's Swingin Cajun Style Show on Jan. 23.

Top News

  • RGV Winter Texan visitors on the rise

    20171019 AlamoPalms mgr RockyRamirez n Ida 3756Local resorts report increased reservations again this year

    Alamo Palms Mobile Park Manager Rocky Ramirez and resident Ila Wisdom, a Fort Worth native, stand on her front porch next to a bottle tree. Wisdom is planning an early returning Winter Texan get together on Friday in her yard at the park. Ramirez, like many managers… Read More +

  • Texas Butterfly Festival takes flight Nov. 4-7 in Mission

    20171019 RGVVG Butterflies Queen on Scarlet MilkweedButterfly watching is a huge hobby for people around the world.

    Butterfly enthusiasts from 23 states and four countries flocked to last year’s Texas Butterfly Festival at the National Butterfly Center in Mission. This year's event, the 22nd annual, will be held from… Read More +

  • Pow Wow next week preserves Indian heritage

    20171019 Robert Soto Fancy Dancer 2012The 47th annual Dak' EE Si Pow Wow takes place from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28 at Lark Community Center in McAllen. The event is free and open to the public.

    The Pow Wow, just three… Read More +

  • RGV Birding Festival brings excitement

    20171019 LeastGrebe at Estero Llano Grande Bill Supulski

    The Least Grebe is one of the species that participants in this year’s RGV Birding Festival may expect to see. Photo taken by Bill Supulski at Estero Llano Grande.

    When… Read More +

  • Welcome Back, Winter Texans

    FromthepublisherWelcome back, folks.

    It seems like it’s been forever since you were here with us enjoying the great weather and abundance of fun activities in the Rio Grande Valley. While it’s been a busy summer, we are always eager for a new Winter Texan season to begin.

    Welcome… Read More +

  • When do we set our clocks back? Daylight Saving Time ends Nov. 5

    20171007 daylight savings endsIn Texas and throughout most of the United States, we have been operating under Daylight Saving Time since March. But Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 5, so don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour – “fall back” – and get in an extra hour of sleep before… Read More +

  • Judges present case for $150 million county courthouse

    20170928 Hidalgo CourthouseHidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia spent the noon hour Sept. 28 detailing to about 80 persons attending a Citizens League luncheon why the time is now for a new $150 million county courthouse, among them the antiquated system of transporting jail detainees to their court appearances down the same hallways used by the public and courthouse staff. Progress Times photo by… Read More +

  • Palmhurst begins construction of Shary Chapel Municipal Park

    20171005 Palmhurst Centenial Shary Mansion dy 038The city of Palmhurst has begun development of the long-waited Shary Chapel Municipal Park, which the city fathers have envisioned as a scenic centerpiece for the small, close-knit community.

    Mayor Ramiro Rodriguez and City Planner Lupe Garcia outlined plans for the park… Read More +

  • Lions Club works with schools to prevent potential vision loss

    20171007 lions club eye photo

    Adabelle DeLuna, 4, who attends pre-kindergarten classes at Bryan Elementary School, has her eyes checked by Tim Milam as fellow Mission Lions Club member Ron D’Andrea looks on Sept. 15. Progress Times photo by Joe Hinton

    Imagine a machine that can cut the time of a task that once took two days down to… Read More +

  • Area residents pitch in to help Hurricane Harvey victims

    20170828 HUrricane ReliefAll across the Valley in nearly every community the picture was the same, stacks of bottled water and dry goods accumulating on pallets for transport north to hurricane victims.

    Mission resident Stephanie E. Casas was among the many area residents who were dropping off items Monday at one of two donation sites set up by the City of Mission… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Login