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MOSTH to host FESTIBA presentations

Francisco Guajardo webThe Museum of South Texas History is scheduled to present during FESTIBA at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, March 1.

The first presentation titled “Family Stories of the Underground Railroad” starts at 10 a.m. in the museum’s River Highway galleries. Museum CEO Francisco Guajardo and archivist Melissa Peña will describe the story of the Underground Railroad as it moved through South Texas and into northeastern Mexico, as told by family stories along the border.

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Quinta Mazatlan hosts documentary screening

Quinta Mazatlán is honored to host a screening of “Abundance: The Farmlink Story” Thursday, February 29, followed by a Q&A with Farmlink team member Hailey Wesling. The short documentary tells the story of college students banding together to create The Farmlink Project and deliver 100 million pounds of food during the largest food crisis in a century. The goal of the film is to share the power of youth-driven innovation and illuminate how individuals can significantly reduce food waste and hunger.

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Jammin’ at Split Rail RV Park

20240228 Split Rail RV Jam 3 webAnother park with great country/gospel music, stage band and musician jammers. I visited Split Rail on Friday, January 26 when the jam was on from 1 to 3 p.m. I especially want to compliment the kitchen personnel who prepared the fantastic homemade desserts that are available for free for everyone halfway through the jam.

I met one of the family owners, Stephen Polanski whose parents Joseph (deceased 2005) and Maria Polanski purchased the land and converted the orange grove to a park in 1978. Maria and Stephen are active today in parks management with day-to-day management responsibilities by Gwen Lamley and Lori Nelson. The park continues as family owned with the third generation now involved in the park’s future. I could feel that the residents and management have a sense of family and community.

Joseph named the park appropriately knowing that its up-north visitors were familiar with split rail races. Joseph is also known in the Valley for insisting to the local governmental and chamber officials that its winter visitors not be called snowbirds but referred to as Winter Texans.

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Enjoy the weather, sports, and a tour

St Cyril and Methodius painted church Texas sanctuary interior webWhat beautiful weather we have been having lately. After those first few days of freezing weather, the last few days have been divine as far as temperature goes. But how ferocious the wind has been. Makes me wonder what this does to the golfers. Do you have to judge the wind velocity and how it will affect your drive? What a challenge!

As I look back over my high school and college days, I wonder why I never learned to play golf. I was active in almost every other sport that was available at the time. Softball was probably the sport I participated in the most, playing on the girl’s intramural softball team at my university. I loved all the sports – swimming, tag football, basketball, ping pong, and bowling. I even learned to play tennis at age 40. At one time, I shot quite a bit of pool.

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Jammin' at Mission Bell Resort

20240214 Mission Bell Jam 1 webI visited the Mission Bell jam on January 18 and was impressed that this event started with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer. I was welcomed by the Master of Ceremonies, Rusty Rierson, who also plays the guitar and cajon drum as part of the stage band. In addition to Rusty, the stage band is composed of Pete Gibson, bass guitar; Kevin Hagbom, rhythm guitar; Terry Pendlay, pedal steel guitar; Ken Griffith, lead guitar; Irene Giffith, keyboard; and Bill Knight, lead guitar.

In addition to the seven stage band members, who each performed, there were 27 jammers from Canada and the US who performed with either their vocal renditions or with vocals plus their accompanying musical instrument. Jammers were Delbert Allen, guitar; Bob Anderson, guitar; Rick and Karen Anderson, guitars; Erven Bertrand, guitar; Sharon and Randy Calendar, accordion/banjo; Keith Churchill, keyboard; Russell Comar; Jane and Mel Curry; Jim Fultz; Charles Josephes, guitar; Jesse Land, dulcimer; Judy Minden; Charlie Nelson; Ron Norbie; Joy Norris; Ronnie and LaJuanda Ressel; Al and Donna Schulz, guitar; Susie Q Schutz; Banjo Bill Swartz, guitar; Ray Trudeau, guitar; Mike Wuendlek; and Dick Wynne, guitar.

This article features Terry Pendlay from Illinois, who at the age of 15 was motivated by his mother and uncle to pursue music. Terry taught himself to play the pedal steel guitar and chose country music because of his love of country music from the Grand Ole Opry. Terry started performing in public once he reached retirement age. He has performed in Illinois with the Opry shows, with Miss Dunaway, and at nursing homes. Here in the RGV, he is on stage at Chimney Park, Mission Bell, Split Rail, and The Grove in San Juan.

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Festival of Tables brings Red Hatters together for fun

IMG 1682 PAGE ONE webBy Carina A. Brunson

The banquet hall at Victoria Palms was full of color last week during this year’s Festival of Tables event. Of course, the most prominent of colors were the festive red hats and beautiful purple attire that most of the ladies were wearing. There was only one exception – Me! I had on my pink hat and lavender shirt. Seeing as I have a year left before I reach 50, I am wearing pink as much as I can.

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So much fun to see you

It was so much fun to see some of you last week. I was able to attend and host a table at the Red Hatters Festival of Tables last week and had so much fun. I will admit, it made for a long day with the decorating, taking photos, and socializing, but it’s always fun to spend time with you, our readers.

We look forward to spending some more time with you in the next few weeks as well. We have the Valley Star Awards coming up and Mission Chamber’s Winter Texan Fiesta. Both wonderful events that we are so proud to be a part of.


On another note … Today is Valentine’s Day. What are you doing with your significant other, your friends, or in your park? We would love to see photos of your celebrations, dances, get-togethers. You can send items to news@wintertexantimes.com.

We don’t typically celebrate the day here at home, but we do take some time to spend some quality time with each other. If we have the chance to have a special dinner, we’ll take it, but we never make it a grand event. We just try to express our love to each other daily so neither one forgets.


We know the season is coming to an end soon… it seems to have gone by too fast and we don’t want to start saying goodbye yet.

I hope you have had a great time here in South Texas if you are already heading back to your other home. If not, we are thrilled you are staying a bit longer.

Let us know what you have enjoyed about your stay in the Valley. Is it your first time visiting the Valley? What sites did you visit this year for the first time? What sites did you visit that you are eager to go to again or share with others?

We would love to know. If you have photos, even better. Let us know what you have been up to while visiting this great diamond in the rough.

Until next week,
- Rina

Skills needed for successful shuffleboard

Shuffleboard 01 webThere’s a variety of skills needed to be successful at shuffleboard. Not all of them require great math skills and knowing angles – but that probably doesn’t hurt.
They need hand-eye coordination, to be able to communicate in double without communicating – sort of like a pitcher and catcher in baseball. A deft touch, with a willingness to be aggressive as well is good too.

Having played for years – better known as gaining experience – usually helps too.

That was the only box not checked by Tropic Star’s Ellie and Tom Chadwick as they captured the amateur mixed doubles title Monday during the City of McAllen’s Golden Age Olympics.

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