Monday, May 29, 2023
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20220309 Claytons open house 02More than 300 people came to mark Clayton Homes of Donna 30th anniversary on a breezy Saturday.

Most of them were Winter Texans wanting to check out the latest in mobile home styling, like Harold Barstow and friend Shirley Michael from Bentsen Grove Resort in Palmview. The couple, both of whom come from Wisconsin communities, were surprised when they won a prize in a drawing right after they arrived.

20220309 Claytons open house 03Barstow said he discovered the “Valley” after coming to McAllen eight years ago to go caravanning into Mexico. He recalled that the group was met by bandits after crossing at Reynosa, which he said surprised the wagon master. However, they spent 42 days traipsing over much of Mexico. Michael said, she has gotten used to the warm weather (in winter). She likes the “garbage can warning,” on TV when breezy conditions are coming.

They plan to head out for Maryland in a couple of weeks to see a grandchild, before ending up back in Wisconsin.

Two visitors from Tropic Star RV & MH Resort in Pharr, Lynn Meikle, from Cherokee, Iowa, and Bonnie Jo Marth, of Mason City, Iowa, came to see the new models.

“I like to see what’s new,” said Marth, who has her own place at the park. “You never know when you might want to stay here full time and might like a new home.”

20220309 Claytons open house 01Meikle added, “The corndogs are pretty good as well,” which was offered free along with pop to all visitors.

After seven years at Tropic Star RV & MH Resort, Marth said it’s the weather, things to do, especially dancing, and the Branson (Missouri) entertainment that attracts her.

Meikle, who came to the “Valley in 2005,” said he likes “jams, including bluegrass music.” He mentioned he and Marth were making a day of it, having started at a couple of park yard sales in the morning, the open house in the afternoon and maybe karaoke to end the day.

General Manager Doug Fowler said, the number of visitors wasn’t quite as high as in previous years, but it was still a good turnout. The open house was a bit later than usual, which might have had some impact on the numbers. Sprinkled in amongst the Winter Texans were some local residents who are also an important part of Clayton Homes clientele, Fowler noted.

Fowler mentioned that during his 30 years at Clayton Homes, they have been regular advertisers in the Winter Texan Times, which he indicated is an important source to reach those readers.