Maurice Parent’s father died while he was in school and his mother worked to provide for the family.
While his friends were being paid allowances, Maurice wasn’t. Well, that’s not totally true. More often than not, Maurice won some of his friends’ allowances, beating them on one of 15 or 16 pool tables, actually snooker tables, set in the basement of a game hall.
“I let them win sometimes,” Maurice joked prior to the McAllen Parks and Recreation 43rd annual Golden Age Olympics men’s 8-ball competition at Fast Eddies in McAllen. “I didn’t get an allowance so I would take theirs.”
Maurice started coming to the Valley in 2006 and resides at Citrus Valley RV Park in McAllen. When he was in high school “earning” his allowance, they played snooker, a game similar to billiards but played with 22 balls, including a cue ball, 15 red balls and six other balls, called the "colours."
Read more: Winter Texans enjoy some competitive 8-ball
Winter Texans clash in local alleys
Stan Hawkins has bowled for 18 years. Wearing his “Flintstones” bright orange team uniform, designed by teammate Rich Michelena, the “Bowling Stones” and “Pin Pals” were two of several teams who hit the lane at Flamingo Bowl in McAllen for league play.
The lanes were dotted on this day with several neon-colored jerseys from different Winter Texan Parks. Hawkins is a Bentsen Grove resident.
Read more: January 11, 2022 - From the Cheap Seats
Shufflers are shufflin’ again
It wasn’t very long ago that shuffleboard was shuffling itself in the wrong direction, not just in the Valley, but around the country.
Not only were fewer Winter Texans taking part in the long-loved sport, but COVID-19 added to its rapid slow-down.
But shufflers are shuffling again, and new shufflers are coming in at a rate not seen in many years.
Read more: January 4, 2023 - From the Cheap Seats
Kent Taylor is a quiet man.
His charro beans, however, speak volumes. Not the way, though, you might be thinking.
Made from a recipe simply titled “Janet Lee’s Charro Beans,” their smell wafts through the air every Tuesday at Sleep Valley RV Park for Taco Tuesday, a tradition at the park since close to a decade ago.
Read more: Taco Tuesday – A Sleepy Valley Tradition
A 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.
Read more: Square Dancing: A symphony for the floor
Dawn 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.”
Read more: Pickleball fun at Casa Del Valle
SAN 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.
Read more: San Benito lights up
Maybe 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.
Read more: Jams are back in session
It 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.
Read more: Swinging, searching and talking: A perfect day on any golf course
“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.
Read more: R/C racing reminiscent of NASCAR