Sunday, September 25, 2022
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Square Dancing: A symphony for the floor

20220107 SquareDancing MissionBell HMiller 03 WEBA revival may be coming for those interested in square dancing.

Lessons and square dances are popping up at Winter Texan parks across the Valley. More importantly, both veterans and “newbies” are finding a keen interest in taking part.

A few couples attended recently at Mission Bell RV Park in Mission, where Robert Ferguson teaches a weekly class Friday afternoons.

Chuck Berry, not to be confused with the rock 'n roll Chuck Berry, and his wife Phyllis are part of the newbie group.

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Pickleball fun at Casa Del Valle

pickleball IMG 4841 webDawn Hardy is a self-described fierce competitor.

Watching her play confirms that unless you're watching the non-stop smile on her face when she's playing.

A former college athlete who has played volleyball, softball, and numerous other sports, it only took her a couple pickleball games back home in Topeka, Kansas to fire up those competitive engines.

“I love it,” said Hardy during the weekly pickleball mixer at Casa Del Valle in Alamo. “I especially love the friendships.”

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San Benito lights up

San Benito Christmas HMiller 01 webSAN BENITO – One year ago, children were studying from home, adults were working from home and a new hybrid way of life was taking shape as COVID-19 left an unbridled path of both fear and devastation around the world.

Even Santa stayed begrudgingly cuddled up in his North Pole home along with the Missus, the elves, and the reindeer, knowing full well that all rooftops and chimneys had become off limits, even if he wore a mask.

Last week, however, a much-needed spirit lifter and highly anticipated Christmas tree lighting in San Benito brought nearby and surrounding communities together to Heavin Park in droves. The annual event welcomed more than an estimated 1,000 people, many of whom were excited to return and take part in an activity that was just another step toward reaching normalcy, whatever their normal might be.

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Jams are back in session

20211105 McAllen Mobile Jam HMiller 05 webMaybe the single greatest sign of a return to normalcy happened last week at McAllen Mobile Park for the first “Opry” jam of the Winter Texan season.

Yet, the biggest sign was that the word that has dominated conversations around the world wasn't even mentioned. In fact, nothing about the year that was put on hold was heard.

That will stay that way too, at least for this article, because on this date, Friday, Nov. 5, everything seemed as it should.

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Swinging, searching and talking: A perfect day on any golf course

2021 1015 GOLF Winter Texan Group HMiller 01 webIt didn’t take long for Larry Riesselman and I to strike up a conversation. After all, we were on a golf course and, as everyone knows, other than swinging, and looking for your ball, the time is spent telling tales and reminiscing about days gone by.

I happened to run into Larry, his wife Pat and Steve Glass on Palm View Golf Course in McAllen. Larry has been golfing since he was in his 20s and, well, since he’s a Winter Texan (who lives here 6.5 months a year now while back in Minnesota for 5.5 months), that means he’s done a lot of swinging (he has two holes-in-one!), a lot of looking for golf balls and a ton of conversing on the courses.

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R/C racing reminiscent of NASCAR

20210227 Alamo Rec RC Open House Henry IMG 3526 600px“No, no he didn’t slam you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you… he rubbed you. And rubbin’ son is racin’.” -- Robert Duvall as Harry Hoggie in the hit movie “Days of Thunder.”

Cars blazed down the front-stretch, at one point hitting three and four wide on the cement track similar to the NASCAR venue in Dover, Delaware. The biggest difference here, however, was that sometimes when the cars were three and four wide, they weren’t all going in the same direction.

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Olympics, chili, and cornbread

20210203 cheap 3326 600pxSport climbing, surfing, skateboarding, karate, baseball, and softball are all new sports for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics (baseball and softball making a return).

Maybe the International Olympics Committee should consider chili and cornbread cookoffs as well for future games. With McAllen Mobile Park giving a super-small sampling, if the results are anywhere near as tasty, it will surely be a hit and a long-standing event where winners will fiercely battle for the gold medal.

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Softball: Camaraderie and Fun

cheap 3255 600pxPatrick Neel heard all the motivation he needed as he rounded the bases.

“Run faster, run faster,” the frantic voice of his wife Darlene echoed from the stands.

“I'm running as fast as I can,” Neel laughed.

In the end, Neel went into the scorebook as hitting a grand slam. It was during the Winter Texans U.S. versus Canada game that signals the end of the Winter Texan softball season.

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Bicycling

20201209 cheap 600pxHelen Wright found a Schwinn bike back in Michigan for $20 and bought it, figuring she may want to ride after she arrived at Bentsen Palm RV Park in Mission.

She did not realize at the time how much she would be using it.

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Texas Trails Golf Bingo

tx trails golf bingo img 2382 2“Golfers” sat in their carts and patiently waited.

Wait, these aren’t golfers.

“B7,” a voice called out over a speaker. Those waiting went into action, looking down at their “scorecards,” which weren’t scorecards at all — just like they weren’t golfers.

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A leaner is worth two points – just not in Texas

20200311 cheap 01I remember my dad and my neighbor, Jim Brewer, used to go out back with some wooden stakes, drive one into the ground and then spend the next 15 minutes arguing over how far to place the other stake.

My dad was 6-foot-4 and Mr. Brewer, as I would call him, was probably 5-foot-9. They would mark off the stakes 13 strides apart. My dad, being tall and strong, would make sure his 13 strides were stretched out and Mr. Brewer, well, he didn't particularly care for that strategic move.

Read more: A leaner is worth two points – just not in Texas

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