By Theresa Grant (originally published March 11, 1988)
Editor’s Note: If you are asking yourself what is a Winter Texan? – this edition is for you. As we were going through our back issues, we found this lovely piece from our first season of the Winter Texan Times. We thought what better way to tell what a Winter Texan is than to let 11-year-old Theresa tell you from her point of view. Before I turn it over to Theresa, if I am not the first, let me be the next to invite you to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) to discover this hidden gem for yourself.
We know what our Winter Texans love about the RGV. They love the climate, the people, the fun, the activities, and so much more. This issue will tell you a lot more about why Winter Texans visit the RGV - why they come for one visit, and then keep on coming back year after year.
Theresa Grant is the 11-year-old granddaughter of Murray and Melva Mathieu who were residents of Snow to Sun. She, with her family, visited the Mathieus in December of 1987. She chose Winter Texans as a theme for her essay. The teacher graded her paper an A plus, excellent paper.
In our country some people like winter. Many others don’t; and a lot of them are senior citizens. Some senior citizens go south for the winter, like the birds. I have reported on Winter Texans.
Why go to Texas? Well, the old people who go there hate cold and snow and since they are retired, they are able to do so. They want to escape the harsh winters of the north and Texas is a cheaper place than other places like Florida and Hawaii.
How do they get there? They fly or drive. A lot of them get there in RVs or trailers. Where do they stay? In recreation parks mostly; although some have mobile homes or condos. The amount of time they stay ranges from one month to six.
What do they do there? Here’s something the Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce said: “Half-year Texans have much to offer our community; they are involved by becoming volunteers in community activities.” They also join clubs, go to social activities, go dancing, and compete in all kinds of tournaments. They also fish, swim, shop in Mexico, and see the sights. A lot of places offer discounts to Winter Texans.
What is the most wonderful thing about south Texas? Its variety and warm weather. The beaches on the gulf and the number of things to do are all a part. A big reason seniors like it is because a lot of their friends return every year, too. They are the same age and share the same interests.
I got most of this information from my grandparents. We were in Texas to visit them in their winter home. Maybe I should describe the place they stay.
It is an RV park called Snow to Sun in Weslaco. There is always something to do there. There is a swimming pool and a hot tub. There is a place to play shuffleboard, pool, and cards; and there is a big hall for dances and exercise classes, bingo, and more.
I think Winter Texans have a good life; because in most RV parks the people watch out for each other and become good friends.