WInter Texan Times

Winter Texan TIMES Serving Winter Texans FromMission To South Padre Island Since 1987 Vol. 35, No. 1 © 2021 Wednesday, October 20, 2021 A Big Welcome Back 25th Butterfly Festival next weekend INDEX “On the road with Jo” p 12 Parks Calendar p 11 WintertainersTM p 11 Taste of the Valley p 13 Events Calendar p 15 Business Guide p 17 Classifieds p 18 Rina’s Ramblings Dubbed as the “butterfly capital of the world” by USA Today, the National Butterfly Center in Mission will host their 25th Butterfly Festival with a community day on Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors are invited to comes see for themselves why the City of Mission is a hotspot for butterflies. Did you know nearly 150 species of North American butterflies can be seen only in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of Texas, or by traveling to Mexico? In fact, more than 300 species of butterflies may be found in the LRGV, and more than See BUTTERFLY pg. 2 See WELCOME pg. 3 See RAMBLINGS pg. 14 See WOODCARVERS pg. 9 RGV Woodcarvers meetings have begun The Rio Grande Valley Woodcarvers have begun their 20212022 season. The woodcarvers are meeting again this year at the Nomad Shrine Club, 1044 W. Nolana Blvd., in Pharr. Join the group from 8 a.m. until noon every Thursday through March of 2022. Gather with old friends, and new, to carve, visit and share ideas. Please use the north end of the A big welcome back to all our Winter Texan visitors. We are excited for this upcoming year and are happy that you have chosen to spend some of your time in the great Rio Grande Valley. Our regular visitors and converted Texans all know why South Texas is a favorite among Winter Texans. In fact, Texas had 17 cities make the top 100, including McAllen, Mission, and Harlingen, in a recent survey (StorageCafe) of favorite ‘Snowbird’ destinations. We hope that some of our new visitors will see why the Valley has been a hidden gem among winter visitors. Also included in that survey, were the top 100 most affordable cities for I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were telling you, our winter visitors, to travel safely and see ya next year. I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable summer. And it was a great summer as far as weather goes. We had a very mild one in the Valley with a few thunderstorms here and there, some flooding streets. But, overall, it was a good summer to get out and enjoy nature and visit the sites. Great Purple Butterfly, photo by Mariana Wright WELCOME BACK! We’re Glad You’re Here!

OCTOBER 20, 2021 2 WINTER TEXAN TIMES BUTTERFLY From pg. 1 200 species have been seen at the National Butterfly Center, including a number of rarities and U.S. records. Renowned for a volume and variety of wild, free-flying butterflies that cannot be found anywhere else in the country, deep south Texas is home to the country’s premier butterfly event, featuring field trips and educational activities for beginners to experts, private gardens and guided hot spot tours, the North American Butterfly Contest, and a free community day full of fun for everyone. The festival provides attendees with a remarkable and rewarding outdoor experience. Registrants will spend three days exploring renowned public lands and private properties with world-class trip leaders, where they might reasonably expect to see more than 60 species in a day. Two years ago, attendees from 24 states and three countries registered to experience one of the most biologically-diverse areas in North America, with the assistance of expert guides. Come see for yourself why the Rio Grande Valley has earned worldwide recognition for its outstanding butterfly and birding spots, inviting thousands of visitors each year to discover its remarkable assortment of preserves, refuges, nature parks, trails and more. Whether you are an accomplished naturalist or a beginner enthusiast, the Texas Butterfly Festival is the place to be. Here, many eyes make for exciting discoveries, including U.S. records, super rarities, subtropical strays, seldom-seen species, ‘life’ and chase butterflies that may only be found in the LRGV, where the river winds its way toward the Laguna Madre at the Gulf of Mexico. This unique region encompasses no fewer than 11 different types of habitat, from the tidal wetlands to riparian forest, brushland scrub to prairie savanna, and is home to more than 1,200 different species of plants, 500 species of birds, 200 vertebrate species, roughly 300 species of butterflies, and over 90 species of dragonflies. The community day will give attendees the opportunity to make their own banana brew, attend ‘Butterfly U’, enjoy arts and crafts and more. Vendors and exhibits will be set up in the visitor’s pavilion and in the gardens for all to enjoy. The center is located at 3333 Butterfly Park Drive. Organizers are excited to be able to gather again; to have the commitment of quality guides; and to enjoy the outdoors, safely, for the love of butterflies. The excursions are scheduled for October 30 through November 2, with registration packet pickup on October 30. For a full schedule of events, or to register, visit their website at https://www.texasbutterflyfestival. com/festival-events/schedule. Due to the increased risk of liability and increased cost of sanitation for this event that will bring people from all over the country together, the price per person for tours for the weekend will now be $575. There will be a discount incentive for those that are fully vaccinated. To provide a safer environment for tours, registrants will belong to cohorts that will stay together for all three days of excursions. All cohorts will go East, West and In-Between, so choose a cohort based upon the area you wish to see first, to accommodate your travel plans. Specific destinations will be determined based upon scouting reports a week or so prior to the festival. Guides will choose their cohort based upon their preferences and schedules. There will be no vans – all registrants must have their own ground transportation or negotiate carpooling with other registrants. Each year, the National Butterfly Center provides engaging environmental education programs to thousands of children in the LRGV. The proceeds from the festival support these high-quality, conservation programs and provide scholarships to very low-income students and schools. The free community day is just one more way in which the center is “Growing Connections” between people, plants, and the Winged Wonders that make our world so colorful. If you would like to be a sponsor or volunteer, call (956) 583-5400. Malachite Butterfly, photo by Mariana Wright Photo courtesy of the National Butterfly Center Ruddy Daggerwing, photo by Mariana Wright

3 WINTER TEXAN TIMES OCTOBER 20, 2021 Winter visitors. All but one of the top 10 was a Texas city. The Valley cities of Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, Edinburg and Mission were the top five, in that respective order. So, what brings you here? It’s not just to get out of the cold weather the northern states experience. Sure enough, when we talk to Winter Texans that visit the Valley, they will often tell you it’s the people. After that, it’s the activities and weather. The subtropical climate, abundance of things to do, and affordability bring Winter Texans to the Valley – year after year. Last year, we had some difficulties with things to do at the parks, but there are always sights to see in the Valley. The Valley abounds with history, nature trails, museums, and there is always the beach. You can find places to see in our visitors guide on our website where we included regional maps this year. This year, parks are ready with activities to entertain you. Nearly all the parks we have talked to will have activities throughout the year. Our Parks Calendar is evident that there will be dances, bingo games, dinners, church activities, and more for you to enjoy. Soon we will be showcasing our Wintertainers™ that will be making their trips to the Valley to entertain you with their music and shows. Everyone is ready for a fun filled year. Parks have been telling us their reservations this year are what their peak was last year, or nearly there. This is a good sign that y’all are coming and are ready for all the Valley has to offer. We look forward to getting out there with you and enjoying the activities, music, and weather as well. WELCOME From pg. 1 Historic Brownsville Museum Victoria Palms Softball Edinburg Scenic Wetlands Painted Bunting Shuffleboard SPI Sea Turtle Trail Ed Martens

OCTOBER 20, 2021 4 WINTER TEXAN TIMES Feathered friends returning By John Brush, Urban Ecologist, City of McAllen There is a special joy that comes with reunions. It is a mix of happiness at picking up where a friendship left off and a delight in seeing growth and change; nostalgia blended with the prospect of new memories to be made. People coming together again. Connections re-established. I think that reunion joy goes beyond just people, extending to include the plants and animals that share our spaces; the huisache flowers that welcome us to spring, the toads that trill after heavy rains, the birds that return to us each fall. That is why I consider bird migration to be more than just a chance to see dozens of colorful species. It is an opportunity to see old friends returning for winter and to become more connected to acquaintances only met in passing. Fall migration feels different than spring migration. In the spring, birds are in a rush to return to their breeding grounds. They need to find and claim a territory, find a mate, and build a nest all in a short span to capitalize on the spring’s burst of productivity. Because of that, spring migration feels condensed, with dozens of species passing through the Valley over the course of a month or so; temporally compact. In fall, migration feels more relaxed (though I am not one of the birds making a stressful, long-distance journey). As early as July we start enjoying familiar feathers returning south – Orchard Oriole, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Least Flycatcher in the same trees that our Green Jays are feeding the latest fledglings. More species trickle through in August, and then, as summer percolates into fall in September, there is a burst of flycatchers, hummingbirds, vireos, and warblers on their way to Mexico, Central America, and South America. But that is not all. October and November bring more of the migrants that are returning for a seasonal stay. Sandhill Cranes rattle over agricultural fields, joined by the honking of thousands of Snow Goose and Greater White-fronted Goose. Orange-crowned Warblers will oftentimes return to the exact same spot they have stayed before; a five-inch bird that can make a migration of thousands of miles, not only surviving the flight but showing off incredible navigation skills. Behind each arrival, a thrush here or a sandpiper there, there is the intricate and wonderful science of migration. Birds need to know when to leave their summer grounds, have to stock up on fat (their fuel) for the journey, and then navigate vast distances to their winter homes. I marvel at the biological spectacle of migration and scientific articles about the process. But perhaps more meaningful for me is the return of friends I have not seen in months. I hope you will go, meet them, and form friendships of your own. For information about programs at Quinta Mazatlán, call (956) 6813370 and follow Quinta Mazatlan on social media. Wilson’s Warbler American Kestrel

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The IMAS Guild, which organizes this popular locally sourced annual exhibit, has chosen “Christmas in the Rio Grande Valley” for this year’s theme. Our south Texas home is sure to inspire all sorts of cr ative ideas for decorating a “Valley” tree, from nature’s tropical bounty to regional endeavors such as ranching, citrus groves and other crops. Sport is big in the RGV so why not highlight your favorite teams. There’s also lots of art, hi to y, folkloric gro ps, music, traditional foods, Padre Island, birding centers, wild animals (including endangered species), Gladys Porter Zoo, fishing, wild weather, wind farms, and let’s not forget our boundary to the south, the Rio Grande. According to Guild Christmas Tree Forest Committee Chair Bertha Garcia, “This year’s exhibit will be limited to twenty-five trees,” so she recommends signing up early. Also new this ye r the age categories are limited t grades two through 12 and adult organizations. Deadline to enter is Saturday, November 13. Set-up dates are November 30 to Decembe 3. The tre s will be judged on Saturday, December 4 and the awards reception will be on Sunday, December 12. Entry forms are available online for download - For more information about the Christmas Tree Forest, please call Bertha Garcia at (956) 605-2155. Completed forms ma be emailed to or dropped off at the IMAS during operating hours.

OCTOBER 20, 2021 6 WINTER TEXAN TIMES TACLA006249C •Extended Service Plans Available •Worry-free Installation •No Hassle Satisfaction Guarantee •Free NO Obligation Quote •We Service All Models 956-255-8900 Proudly Serving the RGV for over 35 years! Breathe Easy with Colair Let the music play UTRGV Patron of the Arts is excited to welcome back visitors to their concert halls for in-person performances. The concerts will showcase UTRGV School of Music students, faculty, and guest performers, featuring a wide array of musical performances. From the powerful sound of a full orchestra to beautiful solo performances, there is a little bit of everything for music lovers everywhere. Upcoming performances include Bottesini’s 20th anniversary concert, Mariachi Aztlan, UTRGV Jazz Big Band, Fall Trumpet Musical Harvest, Jonathan Guist (clarinet), Octubafest, and so many more great performances and concerts. All Patron of the Arts performances will be free of charge through the end of the year, so grab your friends and take in a concert in Brownsville, Edinburg, or online. Open now through December 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment, and during all Edinburg Patron of the Arts events, will be “The Continual Journey – Articulations in Steel.” The exhibit explores the artist’s tireless fascination with the geometric forms. Brian Wedgworth is best known for his oxidized welded steel sculptures. The selected works, created within the last 27 years, celebrate Wedgworth’s studio process, which incorporates found and fabricated steel forms. Working with balance and repetition, he uses electrode welding to accentuate the seams. This process gives the work a scarred or stitched effect, much like the process of learning and growing from an experience. Wedgworth is one of the founding members of the McAllen Art Council and plays an active role in the Rio Grande Valley art community. He is a board member of the Texas Sculpture Group, one of three affiliates operating in cooperation with the International Sculpture Center. He maintains Titan Studio located in Harlingen. For more information, call the office of public art at (956) 665-2353. A full calendar of events can be found at For the safety of all attendees, performers, and staff at in-person performances, programs will be shared digitally, social distancing will be encouraged, and all are welcome to wear face masks. Native Plant Night at Quinta Mazatlán Quinta Mazatlán will celebrate Texas Native Plant Week on Thursday, October 21st, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Join us for an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and cultivate native plants with a Presentation by John Brush and Plant Sale by Mike Heep. In 2009 Texas Legislature officially designated the third week of October as Texas Native Plant Week in efforts to conserve and recognize the importance of native plants and their role in the environment. A native plant is one that has “developed over a period of time (hundreds or thousands of years) in a particular region or ecosystem.” Native plants have adapted to survive their environment and developed mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships with the local wildlife. Native plants have the potential to offer ecological services that benefit humans, animals, and even the landscape itself. Native plants attract a diversity of wildlife, support a healthy and more sustainable ecosystem, require less water, reduce strain on local water supply, add aesthetic beauty, and give character and a sense of place to a region. The more we know and understand our native plants the better we can help our environment. The nature that surrounds us tells a story of the land and its people from a long time ago. Each region has a special imprint in the form of the type of flowers, shrubs, and trees that can be found there. The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the nation with rare finds that can only be seen here. Come explore the beauty of South Texas and be part of the mission to help protect and conserve our native plants. Native Plant Night tickets, $3 per person, can be purchased online at Follow current COVID-19 Safety Guidelines while in park. For more information, contact Quinta Mazatlán at (956) 681-3370 and follow Quinta Mazatlán on social media. John Brush

7 WINTER TEXAN TIMES OCTOBER 20, 2021 ONTHEWEB Palm Harbor Homes 3200 Expwy. 83 Donna, TX 78537 CALL TODAY (800) 880-3412 • (956) 461-4800 • Dream Homes • Site Work • Easy Financing Options • Top $$ For Trades • Industry’s Best Service Plan We Provide We Have Your DreamHome! Check us out at or call 956-968-5760 for an appointment to tour the park and the available sites. We would love to hear from you. 802 S International Blvd, Weslaco, TX 78596 Looking for a change of scenery? New shuffle courts? Pickleball? Only 9 lots left. Act fast and you can be a part of our wonderful community. Move your approved Park Model and We’ll Pay Half Your Concrete and Give you your 1st Year Lease FREE On newly serviced and paved streets Pine to Palm Resort Park is a 55+, shareholder owned, pet free retirement community in Weslaco. Master Gardener Plant Sale this weekend Welcome back Winter Texans. The Deep South Texas Master Gardeners will be holding its fall plants sale on October 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event will take place at the educational garden located at 509 E. Earling Rd. in San Juan. There will be a large variety of landscaping and house plants, cactus, succulents, Texas superstars, and native plants for sale. There will also be fruit trees such as fig, pink and white guava, and of course, banana as well as some native trees. There will be decorative trees including Jacaranda, Flamboyant, Kapok and Moringa available. All of the plants have had loving care for over the last several months and will provide your home with some of the best landscaping plants here in the Valley. There will be informational booths to answer all your questions on composting, herbs, rainwater harvesting, and making your own rain barrels. Rain barrels will be available for sale with 30-gallon barrels starting at $30 and 55-gallon for $55. Those attending the event may purchase raffle tickets for $1 each and a chance to win a decorative rain barrel. Fiesta de Palmas announces Eco Rio McAllen’s Fiesta De Palmas, taking place on October 22-24, is proud to announce the largest environmental educational festival called Eco-Rio happening inside the McAllen Convention Center during the cultural festival. EcoRio is designed to help build student STEAM skills (Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math) and environmental leadership. Eco-Rio is open on Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Stay late for the Laser Spectacular and Firework Fiesta at 8 p.m. nightly and music, food, and tons of entertainment at Fiesta De Palmas. This weekend-long event will include live music from local and international acts, vibrant dance performances, a variety of international cuisine, and an eclectic array of cultural activities for guests to participate in. Attendees will be treated to an array of sights and sounds, courtesy of live music and dancers across the event layout. Guests are encouraged to navigate the different stages and booths to experience all the festival has to offer. Nature education takes many forms and Eco-Rio offers over 40 educational booths with opportunities to see live animal ambassadors up-close. A must see is the largest dinosaur traveling exhibit in the country with over 150 museum pieces from the earliest life on earth. Come early for Eco-Rio and stay late for many exciting Fiesta De Palmas activities. For more information, visit Fiesta De Palmas is free for youth 12 and under with a $5 admission fee for other guests on Friday, and a $10 admission fee on Saturday and Sunday.

OCTOBER 20, 2021 8 WINTER TEXAN TIMES 27146 McLelland Road., Harlingen, TX 78552 (956) 423-1446 Lower Valley / 956-664-1446 Upper Valley 1-800-999-1446 / Eagle Pass Gambling (2 Days) Nov. 2, 16; Dec. 7.............................................$165 San Antonio Christmas (3 Days) Dec. 12, 3 meals..........................................$399 New Orleans Extravaganza (6 Days) Nov. 20, 4 meals....................................$970 Big Bend Adventure (6 Days) Feb. 10, 7 meals.............................................$985 (Prices are per person, double occupancy) Copper Canyon ................................................................................................... $TBA Monarch Butterflies (6 Days) Feb. 4, 9 meals .................................................. $TBA Monterrey Tres ..................................................................................................... $TBA San Miguel de Allende (5 Days) ...................................................................... $TBA (Prices are per person, double occupancy) King Ranch Hand Breakfast (1 Day) Nov. 20, Incl. Breakfast........................$75pp King Ranch (1 Day) Dec. 27; Jan. 20; Feb. 3; Mar. 10, Incl. BBQ Lunch ...........$95pp Surf & Turf - A Link to the Past (1 Day) Feb. 25; Mar. 4, Incl. Lunch .......$79pp Farm Tour (1 Day) Feb. 17; Mar. 10, Incl. Lunch...................................................$75pp King Ranch Farm Tour (1Day) Feb. 24, Incl. Lunch + Feed Lot & 12 mile loop rd...$105pp U.S. TOURS ONE DAY BUS TOURS MEXICO BUS TOURS Go...With Jo! Tours & Travel Welcome Back Winter Texans! MOSTH hosts Día de los Muertos event Acting and screenwriting classes in Pharr Save the date for Saturday, Oct. 30, as the Museum of South Texas History (MOSTH) presents Día de los Muertos: Recuerdos y Ofrendas, an event that showcases regional music, dance, educational activities and heritage. This year marks the 19th annual Día de los Muertos event featuring a partnership with H-E-B and the community at large. Día de los Muertos: Recuerdos y Ofrendas celebrates traditions of religious and spiritual worship based on oral and written histories and memories. The event will be held from 4 to 10 p.m. The centerpiece of this event is the Community Altar Exhibit featured in the museum’s Courtyard Gallery. The exhibit displays community-built altars that share stories and memories and honor the lives of the dearly departed. The exhibit opens on Saturday, Oct. 23, and closes on Sunday, Nov. 7. Visit the museum’s website at for the latest details on this community-favorite event. For more information, contact Community Engagement Officer René Ballesteros at Empty Bowls event is October 26 The 15th Annual Empty Bowls Luncheon and Silent Auction will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on October 26, at Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg. This year’s Empty Bowls Luncheon and Silent Auction will benefit the Food Bank RGV’s 1,000,000-holiday meal campaign, which will ensure that RGV families have healthy and complete meals on the table this season. Food Bank RGV’s signature fundraising event features food from over 30 local restaurants, music, silent auctions, and raffles. Restaurants wishing to participate in and support Empty Bowls may still sign-up. Empty Bowls 2021 tickets are available for purchase at Bert Ogden Arena Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or anytime online at For more information, contact Philip Farias, Manager of Corporate Engagement & Special Events, at (956) 904-4513 or by email at For information about food bank programs or services visit The Pharr Community Theater, Co. will offer classes in acting and/ or in screenwriting for children, teens and adults. Each workshop will consist of eight one-hour classes starting November 1 through November 26. The cost is only $60 per student, class size limited to the first 10 to register per class. Screenwriting classes for adults will be held online through zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Class will be instructed by local Screenwriter Robert Longoria from November 1 through November 26. Learn how to write and format a movie script from your own ideas. Students will review selected scenes as they plot out their story, then apply lessons to build their own film scripts. Class Workshops include plot your story, build your theme, develop your scene, craft your character, write from your heart, and format your script. The Thanksgiving Day classes will be made up in early December. To register and secure your spot for any of these classes, please go online to PCT’s Eventbrite page at or, or for more information visit the PCT FB page or text (956) 655-9308.

9 WINTER TEXAN TIMES OCTOBER 20, 2021 SAVE 10% OFF Your Entire Purchase When You Bring In This Ad *Conditions apply, see store for details. Offer expires March 31, 2022. 2911 N. Cesar Chavez Rd. San Juan, TX 78589 956-787-2847 GREAT UPHOLSTERY RATES 956-266-1369 SATISFACTION GUARANTEED For Your Health & Ours We Are Following CDC Guidance Including Wearing Masks & Gloves $25 per room in your house or mobile home NIKKY’S CARPET CLEANING Professional Cleaning Services Winter Texan Special Any size RV or Park Model $75 $10 OFF Any Service $75 or More Edinburg celebrates Poetry Festival parking lot for parking. Also, please use the back door to enter the building. Participants will be setting up their own tables for the time being. Be sure to clean up your area before leaving at the end of the day. Mark Your Calendar The RGV Woodcarvers Show is also going to be back on January 13 and 14, 2022. There will be carvings of just about every carving category on display. Many displayers will have carvings and supplies available for sale. George Vaughn will be at the show with all of your carving tool needs. The Rally on the Rio is also back for 2022. There will be 18 of the best instructors from all over the United States coming to share their knowledge and skills. The rally will be held January 16 through 21, 2022. Classes in all types of woodcarving and pyrography will be available. Stop by the Nomad Shrine Club on Thursday mornings or check them out online at Information on the club, show, and Rally on the Rio are available on the website. You can also call Fred at (651) 485-0580. Both events are being held at the Nomad Shrine Club in Pharr. WOODCARVERS From pg. 1 The City of Edinburg and Craft Cultural are teaming up and excited to announce Edinburg’s first Spoken Word Poetry Festival, Untamed Tongues: Poets Sin Fronteras. This poetry festival celebrates the Mexican American culture on the South Texas bord e r l a n d s . The culture explores the past, present, and future through the art of storytelling. Join Edinburg for a night full of art and culture at the McIntyre Promenade Courtyard (415 W. University Dr.) on Friday, October 22, at 6 p.m. Celebrate life on the borderlands as an array of poets from different regions of the Valley perform their original for the first time. Come out for some tasty food, drinks, live music, vendors and even a lowrider display. Music will be curated by Rio Grande Valley artists DJ Flacucho, Fronterawave, and Genesis, with a special performance by San Antonio Hip Hop Emcee, MexStep. This event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available at City Hall. For more information, visit Bob Corriveau Photo courtesy of Craft Cultura Facebook

OCTOBER 20, 2021 10 WINTER TEXAN TIMES (956)566-1157 From the Cheap Seats Swinging, searching and talking A perfect day on any golf course 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. In fact, since it was an incredibly hazy and more humid day than usual, the first thing we talked about, of course, was the weather. Larry, who has spent his career pretty much in IT services, shared this funny story about when he was mentoring a man from Zimbabwe. “Well, I was asked to be a mentor for the University of Minnesota under this program where they have third-world scholarships and a mentor program,” he said. “He was the head of data centers in Zimbabwe, and he was coming here with his wife to further his education.” Larry and the man and his wife headed to a nice steak place after picking them up and the man noticed a bunch of lights fairly far out along the landscape. “He asked what they were, and I told him they were people who were ice fishing. He couldn’t believe it,” Larry said. “I told him I’d be happy to take them out there on the frozen lake and those people would be more than happy to tell him all about ice fishing. He replied, ‘Oh no, that’s just fine.’ “His wife wouldn’t take off her winter coat or stocking cap, even during dinner at this fine steak restaurant. It was that cold for them.” The trio are members at Palm View, but Larry said they also at times enjoy Tierra Santa in Weslaco and Los Lagos. Golf in the Valley is very different than Minnesota, kinda like comparing ice fishing with bay fishing… if those two things are even comparable. “There are some nice courses here and there’s more wind than in Minnesota” Larry said. “There’s not much elevation changes and back in Minnesota we have thick, tree-lined fairways. Sometimes you can’t even find your ball in the middle of the fairway with all the leaves that have fallen. “One time I was playing at the University of Minnesota course and I hit this blind tee shot and when we got around to the fairway, the leaves were covering the course. Then a gust of wind blew, the leaves all flew away and there were like eight balls there, but none of them were mine.” Larry, Pat and Steve are regular golfers who, while down here, live at Victoria Palms in Donna. Larry and Pat started coming to the Valley in 2008 and he said they enjoy golf, card games, dances and other activities. They also volunteer to help those within the park who may need computer help or repair, even offering some classes. “It just works out real well in the park,” Larry said. “It’s very satisfying too to be able to help others.”

11 WINTER TEXAN TIMES OCTOBER 20, 2021 Award Winning Tribute Artist & Comedian Mark Staggs will be coming to the RGV in 2022 with the Festus Live Comedy Show! He entertains audiences with the voice and antics of Festus Haggen from the TV western series “Gunsmoke”. He also impersonates western stars such as John Wayne, Walter Brennan, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood & even Katherine Hepburn! And other well known actors and characters like Forrest Gump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christopher Walken & Jack Nicholson just to name a few. Booking dates are still available. Give him a call. Email: Call: 520-250-2850 FESTUS LIVE COMEDY SHOW MARK STAGGS Friday Night Dances • 7 - 10pm Dec. 3 • Diego • $7 Dec. 10 • Regan James • $7 Dec. 17 • SmokinGun • $7 Dec. 31 • Bill Chrastil • TBD NewYear’s Eve Jan. 7 • High Country • $7 Entertainment • 7 - 9pm Dec. 7 • Lindley Creek • $10 Christmas Show Jan. 18 • Naomi Bristow • $7 Feb. 15 • Mario • $7 RV RESORT Ice and Set-ups available Please NO BILLS larger than a $20 Randy & Nancy Zuleger, Act. Dir. 938 S. Alamo Road, Alamo, TX 956-783-2605 ENTERTAINMENT • 7PM All EVENTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Paula McSpadden, Activity Director 956-585-0703 DANCES EVERY FRIDAY 7-10PM SINGLES ARE WELCOME Nov 5 • Dance Social & Games • FREE Nov 12 • Renaissance Rockers • $10 Nov 19 • Curt James (Glow Stick Dance) • $8 Nov 26 • Diego & Edith • $7 Dec 3 • Time Machine • $8 Dec 10 • Howlers (Day of the Dead) • $8 Dec 17 • The Agency • $10 Tickets On Sale: 11/29/21 Dec 24 • Christmas Eve (NO DANCE) Dec 31 • Hot Rodz (New Years Eve) • $25 Tickets On Sale: 12/3/21 Jan 1 • NO DANCE Jan 8 • Rewind (Rip Roarin’s 20’s) • $10 (Saturday Dance) • Tickets On Sale: 12/17/21 PAY AT DOOR UNLESS NOTED Dec 1 • Lindley Creek Christmas • $10 Jan 1 • Baker Family Show • $9 Jan 5 • Redneck Revival Show • $8 Jan 16 • Nu-Blu Show • 3-5pm • $10 Jan 19 • Rusty Rierson Show • $8 Jan 23 • Winter Texan Orchestra • Pass The Hat 1645 S Bentsen Palm Drive Palmview • 956-585-0703 For more information, photos and tour schedules visit Wintertainers TM at tainers Winter TM EDITOR’S NOTE: Items for the Parks Calendar must be open to the public activities in the parks only and must be submitted by park owners, managers or activity directors. Listings must come from the park and are to be submitted on the Winter Texan Times Parks Calendar Submission Form. Request this form from the Winter Texan Times office. Multiple activities may be submitted on the park’s letterhead, provided the same information is provided in the format of the Submission Form. We do not accept listings for reviews, workshops, lessons or dance classes. Submission deadline is Wednesday noon, one week prior to the publication date. Send to: Winter Texan Times, 1217 N. Conway Ave., Mission, Texas 78572 or email to or fax to 956-580-7898. Wednesday, October 20 Karaoke - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 5pm, Rec Hall. Thursday, October 21 Happy Hour - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 7-9pm, With Diego & Edith. Hynes Event Center, bar available, pass the hat. Friday, October 22 Dance - Texas Trails RV Resort, Pharr, 7-10pm, Regan James, $6pp. Mask recommended but not required. Saturday, October 23 Park Wide Yard Sale - 1015 RV Park, Weslaco, 8am-Noon, All tables will be located in front of the Rec Hall. Dance - Enchanted Valley Ranch, Mission, 7-9:30pm, Fender Benders, $8pp. 7300 Monroe St. Dance - Trophy Gardens, Alamo, 7pm, Bottom Line, $7pp. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Wednesday, October 27 Happy Hour - Southern Comfort Resort, Weslaco, 3-4:30pm, Curt James, pass the hat. Karaoke - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 5pm, Golf Course Grill. Friday, October 29 Dance - Enchanted Valley Ranch, Mission, 6-9pm, The Howlers, $8pp. 7300 Monroe St. Dance - Texas Trails RV Resort, Pharr, 7-10pm, Bottomline Band, $6pp. Mask recommended but not required. Happy Hour - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 7-9pm, With Ron Moshier. Hynes Event Center, bar available, pass the hat. Saturday, October 30 Halloween Dance - Southern Comfort Resort, Weslaco, 7-10pm, Diego, $5pp. Dance - Trophy Gardens, Alamo, 7pm, Smokin’ Gun, $7pp. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Sunday, October 31 Halloween Dance - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 7-10pm, With The Fabulous Cruisers, $10pp. Hynes Event Center. Out of park residents may purchase tickets Monday prior to the dance. Tuesday, November 2 Men’s Prayer and Bible Study - Bibleville Conference Grounds, Alamo, 8am. Women’s Bible Study and Prayer - Bibleville Conference Grounds, Alamo, 9:30am. Happy Hour - Bit-O-Heaven RV Park, Donna, 3:30-5pm, Diego & Edith. BYOB and Snacks; Pass the bucket for donations. CALENDAR PARKS

OCTOBER 20, 2021 12 WINTER TEXAN TIMES Call today to schedule a free consultation and let us show you how professionally designed marketing materials with clear and consistent messaging can elevate your brand. (956) 580-7800 1217 N Conway Ave, Mission, TX A Division of Nexus Publishing LLC You Only Get One Chance To Make A First Impression Make It Count With Promos & Prints On Your Side Memories and new experiences Welcome home! We have missed you. Let us hope and pray that the Canadian-US border will be open when our Canadian friends are ready to journey to Sunny South Texas. And has it ever been sunny this summer. Temperatures during the summer months never rose above the hundred mark most of the time staying in the low to mid ninety range. We have not had much rain but when it did rain it seemed to come all at the wrong time for our farmers - raining when it was time to harvest the grain and dumping just enough to interfere with cotton picking - even damaging the cotton bolls that were ready to be picked. The weather service reports our summer has been the coolest we have had in a long, long time. Even so, swimming pools were a welcome sight to those of us who were here all summer long. The beach also beckoned us to enjoy the warm Gulf waters. This past month of September seemed to be a time of remembering for the Rio Grande Valley. It was fifty years ago on September 3, 1971, that the Brownsville Gladys Porter Zoo opened to the public. To celebrate that happy occasion the Zoo offered, during the month of September, the same rates as were charged fifty years ago. We are blessed to have such a good zoo in South Texas. Make time to visit the zoo while you are here - especially if you have grandchildren who come to visit you. Not such happy occasions were also remembered...twenty years ago 9/11 shocked the world. Four days later and shortly after midnight, the Rio Grande Valley suffered a tragedy. An out-of-control barge rammed into the causeway that connects the mainland to South Padre Island. Before any warnings could be posted and traffic alerted, cars crossing the damaged causeway and, not realizing that a mid-section of the causeway was gone, plunged into the waters of the Laguna Madre. Eight lives were lost. At first many wondered if this too was a terrorist attack. That was not the case - the heavy load and miscalculation appear to have led to this major disaster. No doubt it is a challenge for the barge captains to navigate the ship channel especially so when our winds and water currents can be so strong and unpredictable. Before Thanksgiving of the same year, the causeway had been repaired with new safety measures installed to warn motorists of any problem. Business was back to usual. But for those months as we waited for repairs to be made, the only way to reach the island was by ferry boat. That was an adventure - you could even call it romantic if you were crossing at sunset. I am sure school children and teachers who lived on the island did not consider it romantic nor adventurous. Daily they had to ferry back and forth to attend school in Port Isabel. Those years are now in our Photo courtesy of Gladys Porter Zoo

13 WINTER TEXAN TIMES OCTOBER 20, 2021 © 2021 DFO, LLC. Printed in the U.S.A. At participating restaurants for a limited time only. Selection and prices may vary. While supplies last. © 2020 DFO, LLC. Printed in the U.S.A. At participating restaurants for a limited time only. Selection and prices may vary. While supplies last. 20% OFF ENTIRE GUEST CHECK One coupon, per table, per visit . Not valid on national holidays, with the 2468 Value Menu®, Super Slam™, AARP or any other coupons or promotional offers. This offer can be redeemed only once by the original recipient . Coupon has no cash value. No change returned. Taxes and gratuity not included. Alcoholic beverages not included. Selection and prices may vary. Photocopied and Internet printed or purchased coupons are not valid. No substitutions. Offer valid for dine in only. Not valid for online orders. Restrictions apply. © 2021 DFO, LLC. Offer ends 12.31.2021 *88880716* 88880716 FREE CONE OR DISH WITH PURCHASE OF ANY COMBO MEAL Not valid with any other offers. Limited to one single cone or dish per guest. Additional toppings and/or waffle cone available at an additional cost. Must present coupon to redeem. Dine-in-only. VALID AT PHARR, MCALLEN, HARLINGEN AND BROWNSVILLE, TX LOCATIONS ONLY. EXPIRES 04/30/2022 Wednesdays from 4-7pm 10.99 plus tax Buffet Includes Dessert (956) 782- 3200 Kingston Way 600 • Donna, TX Pasta Night Reboot Mission 409 N. Bryan RD. STE 104 • Mission, TX 78572 • 956-205-2940 Weslaco 1015 S. Inter. Blvd. • Weslaco, TX 78596 • 956-520-8783 WINTER TEXAN SPECIAL FREE FRIES 1/2 Basket With Park Badge Dining in the Valley Taste of the Valley features local restaurants in the area that are ready to serve you; restaurants are open for dining in and take out. Please support our advertisers and all our local businesses this year, and every year. Each issue we will feature a different restaurant we have visited and share our experience and some photos of some great food. Join us on our gastro-tour of the Valley as we hit different dining spots and tell you about all the great dining in the RGV. If you have a favorite dining spot that we have not visited yet, that you think needs to be featured here, call us at (956) 580-7800 or email us at EWBC announces fall hours memories and business is almost back to usual. So, let's now look forward. It is time to explore and travel as we make new memories. Coming up soon is the annual International Quilting Festival in Houston scheduled for October 20-27. Many of our Winter Texans are Master Quilters and contribute generously with beautiful, quilted lap throws to shut ins and veterans. Watch for the local quilt show on South Padre Island to be held in mid-February. Another wonderful experience could be a trip to the King Ranch to enjoy the Ranch Hand Breakfast. Mark November 20 on your calendar and be sure to attend. You can drive up on your own or you can go on an organized tour. Either way you are sure to enjoy the cowboy breakfast including that famous bread - pan de campocooked in a Dutch oven over hot coals. Be sure to watch the Texas cutting horse demonstration where King Ranch cowboys demonstrate how their horse will separate a selected animal from the herd for branding, medicating, or castrating. Once the rider indicates to the horse which animal is to be separa t ed , the horse takes over and does the work without any further direction from the cowboy. This is an educational, exciting, and fun day for young and old. Don't miss it! For your own protection and the protection of others, please be vaccinated and wear a mask. The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (EWBC) has changed to their fall operating hours. Their fall operating hours are Mondays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The park is located at 714 Raul Longoria Rd. For more information, visit their website at or call at (956) 3819922.

OCTOBER 20, 2021 14 WINTER TEXAN TIMES NOWAVAILABLE ONLINE 2021 Park Directory Winter Texan TIMES Serving Winter Texans FromMission To South Padre Island Since 1987 Published By: Park Directory RIO GRANDE VALLEY MOBILE HOME & RV 2021-2022 EDITION Winter Texan TIMES Serving Winter Texans FromMission To South Padre Island Since 1987 Published By: 2021-2022 Edition 2021 Rio Grande Valley Visitors Guide Hallowings Monarch migration celebration planned The fall season is a gorgeous time of year on South Padre Island. The weather is sweet and fall flowering nectar plants all over the island and in the gardens burst into full bloom after seasonal rains in perfect synch with the arrival of a kaleidoscope of migrating Monarch butterflies on route to wintering sites in central Mexico via the coastal flyway. Join us as we celebrate one of the wonders of nature through South Padre Island during the Hallowings Over SPI Monarch Migration Festival. Enjoy a family-fun filled day learning about the wonders of Monarch migration through butterfly gardening presentations, nature walks, nature crafts, live music, games and more. Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase native plants that can aid the Monarch migration in the Valley. This is a great way to experience this beautiful season on South Padre Island. Live music will be provided by Leslie Blasing, Mariachi Sol Azteca and Danica. There will be sandcastle building, face painting, local vendors and other entertainment and activities. The event will be held on Saturday, October 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary. We are looking forward to a great season this year. There is already plenty to do at the parks and Valley cities are ready to entertain as well. While many events were cancelled last year, it looks like everything is in full swing this year. So, it should be a fun filled year with plenty to do. Last year, I was able to highlight the bigger Valley cities, their history, and places to visit. This year, I hope to be able to introduce you to some smaller cities, but also to highlight activities and people in the parks. I look forward to getting back out there and spending some time with you. If you have a news item, person of interest, or something else you think I should know about, please send it to me at For all your park activities, make sure your activity directors are sending the information to RAMBLINGS From pg. 1