Winter Texan Times

Serving Winter Texans FromMission To South Padre Island Since 1987 Vol. 35, No. 22 © 2022 Wednesday, March 16, 2022 Winter Texan TIMES Parks Calendar p 15 •WintertainersTM p 15 • Taste of the Valley p 21 •Medical Services p 28 • Events Calendar p 30 • Reunions &Meetings p 31 • Business Guide p 32 • Classifieds p 32 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 granddaughSee WINTER TEXANS pg. 19 What is a Winter Texan? The weather keeps bringing them back ThebeautifulsubtropicalweatherofSouthTexasand the Rio Grande Valley is definitelyoneof thebiggest attractions forWinterTexans.There could be as much as a 100-degreedifferencebetweenSouth TexasandplaceslikeNorthern Minnesota or South Dakota. The Rio Grande Valley is definitely a joy to live in, especiallyiftheotheroptionincludes snow, iceandall things frozen. TheaveragehighbetweenDecemberandFebruaryrunsfrom See WEATHER pg. 26 Activity directors create fun-packed schedules The Rio Grande Valley’s Winter Texan scene isn’t the quiet, gem in the rough secret that it once was. For the winter visitors, that’s a good thing – especially when it comes to entertainment. Winter Texans are known for having fun. The Valley provides tons of it too. More and more Wintertainers™ are coming to the Valley to entertain Winter Texans. The growth can be attributed to enSee FUN pg. 23 Noah (3 years) and Grace (6 months) Young dressed up as their favorite friends, a couple of Winter Texans, when they couldn’t get out and visit them at Mission Bell Resort for Halloween in 2020. Photo courtesy of Sara and Caleb Young Winter Texan Times file photo by Doug Young TAKE HOME EDITION

MARCH 16, 2022 2 WINTER TEXAN TIMES Winter Texans more active than ever See ACTIVE pg. 28 Champion Lakes Golf Course (formerly Palm View) is booked almost daily with Winter Texans, later into the afternoon than in past years. Pickleball courts are being built at Starbucks-like pace across the Valley – both indoors and outdoors to keep up with demand. Disc golf, biking and kayaking are also among the activities growing in popularity as COVID-19 loosens its stranglehold and Winter Texans look for more ways to stay healthy and have some active recreational – and even competitive – hobbies. Golf Carlos Espinosa, director of golf for the City of McAllen and Champion Lakes, said if the COVID-19 pandemic had one positive result; it was that it brought health to the forefront of many people’s lives. Home gyms were bought at a meteoric rate as people refused to leave the confines of their homes. However, when they did search out some outdoor air and health-conscious activities, golf was the first one to return. And Winter Texans came back to the courses in droves. “What really stood out this year is that for the past 12-15 years, Champion Lakes would get Winter Texans during the week but the crowd would die off around 12:30 or 1 p.m.,” Espinosa said. “This year it goes all the way to 4 or 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. There’s no doubt there are more people playing golf. “The fact is that in today’s world, the caution about being healthy is attracting people to the game. It’s great exercise every day, it’s not a contact sport, you’re not limited at any age, and you can go play whenever.” Espinosa said a lot of times that the health benefits of golf can be overlooked. That changed during the pandemic. “People play for that reason now because they’re staying healthy,” he said. “I’m gonna say a majority of people play for that reason more than for the game itself.” Pickleball Pickleball is a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. According to USA Pickleball, the sport has more than 4.2 million players and grew by a meteoric 39.3% during the past two years and 60% of the core players, those who play eight or more times a year, are 55 and older. The Economist named the activity the fastest-growing sport in the United States in 2020 and 2021. But you don’t need to read that, just go to one of the many courts that are popping up across the Valley faster than nail salons – in Winter Texan parks and public parks or recreation centers, and it’s obvious as there are signup sheets ready at most of these locations with players waiting to be “next.” C sa Del Valle in Alamo holds a weekly Pickleball Mixer that’s open to the public from 9 a.m. until noon every Thursday. With six outdoor courts there can be as many as 24 pickleballers playing at any one time. The games move fast enough for those waiting to get onto a court quickly and the mixer often runs long due to the overwhelming popularity and growth. Some parks have indoor air-conditioned courts as well. Most parks also have set times for open play and for the various skill levels from beginners to advanced-skilled players. Disc Golf While golf is enjoying a resurgence and pickleball is the hottest active trend – in the Valley and around the country - disc golf is pushing its way through as the next big thing. The Professional Disc Golf Association reported that the sport took 41 years to get to the first 100,000 members. From 2019 to 2021 the sport doubled in growth and hit the 200,000 mark. Despite being around for a while the sport is still considered in its infancy. However, it is also one of the activities, like golf, that grew during the pandemic and for similar reasons. reports there are six Valley courses – two in McAllen, and one each in San Juan, Weslaco, Harlingen and Brownsville. But there is more There are so many more things to do for fun at the parks – shuffleboard and cycling are still very popular, as well as woodworking, dances, socials and dinners, movie nights, and arts and crafts. Some of the resorts even offer lapidary shops, many have quilting, sewing and

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MARCH 16, 2022 4 WINTER TEXAN TIMES You can find nature and more at Valley birding and nature centers By Herb Moering Bird watchers have many opportunities to follow their hobby, including the World Birding Center (WBC) network of nine different sites set along a 120-mile historic trail in the Rio Grande Valley. It is a $20 million development based on a partnership between the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Rio Grande Valley communities. The nine sites vary dramatically in landscape, but all serve as home at times for more than 500 species of birds. This area serves as two major migratory corridors with many of the birds found at Bentsen RGV Park in Mission, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Estro Llano Grande in Weslaco, Harlingen Arroyo Colorado, Quinta Mazatlán in McAllen, Resaca de la Palma in Brownsville, Roma Bluffs, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center and the unique Old Hidalgo Pumphouse. Old Hidalgo Pumphouse Going to the Old City of Hidalgo Pumphouse is a little like having the winning trifecta ticket at the track. Not only does one visit the first of the nine WBC sites, but there’s the intriguing story surr o u n d i n g the Pump h o u s e ’ s importance to agriculture, plus a glimpse back to when model railroading was of interest to many kids. There’s also a 4.5-mile round trip biking and walking trail. Bikers are likely to not only see Kiskadees, Kingfishers, cardinals, hummingbirds, and pelicans, but also an occasional Border Patrol and National Guard member. Winter Texans Steve and Sharon Warren walked the grounds, who had come from Palm Shadows RV Park in Donna, where the South Dakota couple have been staying since 2017. Her husband said Sharon’s birding now includes a list of 464 different species she has seen. The latest they saw was the rare Bat Falcon, seen for the first in the U.S. at the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge recently. Visitors have a choice of touring the WBC grounds and Pumphouse Museum on their own or can make a reservation for a trolley ride on any weekday, according to Melissa Sanchez, pumphouse director, with capacity for 40 people. The phone number is (956) 843-8686. The latest tour was for residents of San Juan Gardens Park. Because of the large number who came, visitors were split with half going on the trolley ride and the other half given a tour of the museum., which was later reversed. Depending upon the weather, the trolley tour can include going to the river and seeing the station that was built a half-mile away in the early ‘80s with 10 electric pumps. The old steam powered pumphouse, abandoned in 1983, was put into operation at the start of the 20th Century, making this a “Magic Valley” by turning Hidalgo County into a year-round agricultural powerhouse. The hurricane of 1933 shifted the Rio Grande River a halfmile away from the pumphouse, requiring the digging of a canal to the river. Initially there were just two pumps installed in 1909 in the old pumphouse with others added over the years to send water to farm fields and cities via irrigation canals. Total pumping capacity reached 408,000 gallons a minute, fast enough to fill an Olympic-size pool in 20 seconds. All of the pumps are there for viewing. A bonus is a look at the RGV Rails Club’s model train layout that is spread over a large area of a Pumphouse lower floor, not far from the large pumps. If you come any Wednesday between 10 a.m. and noon, one will find Red Knepfler at the controls of the trains or working on maintenance. The head of the Rio Grande Valley Rails Club is inviting any model railroader to bring their HO scale trains and run them around the extensive layout, which has been at the museum for some 20 years. Knepfler, who is a year-round resident of Mission West Resort, can be reached at (313) 532-8549. The trainman said he has about 150 cars of rolling stock of his own, which include many tobacco and whiskey labeled cars as well as corporate general commodity cars. See NATURE pg. 20 Nutria at Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Frank Aguirre Bat Falcon. Photo by Nestor Hernandez Birdwatching at Frontera Audubon Model Train display at Hidalgo Pumphouse


MARCH 16, 2022 6 WINTER TEXAN TIMES See RC RACING pg. 22 by Barb Zanetti In the Rio Grande Valley, Winter Texan racers can drive to over 30 RC tracks within an hour, prompting them to label southwest Texas: “The RC Capital of the U.S.” “There’s no place that I know of in the country that has a bigger concentration of RC tracks,” ARVP race director Mike Fleming said. “If you really want to race, you can easily race at least four or five times a week during the season. It’s good, friendly competition with fellow Winter Texans.” There’s a substantial bit of racing in the Valley. “I don’t think anyone, anywhere in the country races any more laps than we Winter Texans do … That means more races and more laps,” Fleming said. “This allows you to get a lot of experience and a good chance to develop your skill set.” In the Valley, RC racetrack building and the addition of radio-controlled activities haven’t slowed. “Now almost every time I pass an RV park, I see an RC racetrack that wasn’t there before,” ARVP racer Mike Benoit, said. “They’re popping up everywhere.” However, racetracks in the Valley were at one time limited to the Harlingen area. History of Valley racing The first known publicly run RC track in southwest Texas was an offroad gas 1/8th scale track that was built in Harlingen over 40 years ago, according to Jerry Lewis, a longtime pro racer. He now runs the radio-control racing program at RGV RC Raceway in Harlingen. T h e very first RC track might have been the one Lewis built. “ H o l y Cow! I’ve been in racing for 50 some y e a r s , ” Lewis said, reflecting on his racing past. “I believe I built the first off-road track in my front yard. We ran it for four or five years until my wife made me close it because it was taking too much time away from our family.” T h e 2 0 0 5 RC OffR o a d Nat ionals, held at the Ha r l i n - g e n ’ s F a i r Park fac i l i t y , d r e w over 200 c o m - pet i tors from as far away as China and the Philippines. He said that racing in the Harlingen area was thriving then. For seven or eight years off-road racing was featured during the city park’s Rio Fest in the 1990’s. “That grass racing event was like Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Chili Bowl,” he said. “They came from Houston, from all over to race.” The city gave the racers a patch of grass for their course at this festival-like event. “We took lawn mowers out there and cut the grass all the way down to the roots and then we raked up the grass,” he said, describing what went into preparing for the annual race. “We actually cut out a track in the middle of the grass,” he said, “Then we put some pipe down, and we ran our electric cars on grass.” He said people loved racing on that unique surface. “You take your car and put it on grass,” he said, “and they’re popping wheelies and everything else because there’s so much traction.” The only issue was the car’s batt e r y l i f e , w h i c h L e w - is described “as only l as t ing f o u r m i n - utes ... if you w e r e l u c k y because w e didn’t have lipos back then.” Because the races were so short, no one could afford to make a mistake, he said. “The t-shirts we made up read: We did it in the grass for four minutes,” he said. “They were really popular.” Lewis sees the sheer number of tracks in the Valley as an indicator that there is a resurgence of racing here. He’s hoping that there’s the possibility that all RGV racers can get together at one big event. First RV park to build RC track The first off-road track at a Winter Texan park in the Valley was built at Penitas RV park over 16 years ago by Jack Westcott and a group of racers in Penitas. At one time he said they had 10 to 20 Winter Texan parks racing there. “We’re the only park that uses handicap racing,” he said. “I figure out the averages every week. We drop off one week. Then we add the last three weeks that they race and that’s their handicap.” Numbers around the track indicate where the racers start. That way, he said, the beginning racer has a chance to win. “It takes me six hours every week just to figure out handicaps,” Westcott said. “But it gives everybody a chance to win, just like bowling is handicapped.” An octogenarian, he said the track will keep running as long as he can walk up and down the steps [to the drivers stand]. He likes the fact that so many new racetracks have been built in the Valley. He wishes that were true Growth of RC racing in RGV parks has been FAST AND FURIOUS


MARCH 16, 2022 8 WINTER TEXAN TIMES Gene Watson Concert With $10 Admission Thursday, March 17 Sponsored by: FREE RIO GRANDE VALLEY LIVESTOCK SHOW & RODEO MARCH 10-20 IT’S time! RODEO $5Admission Senior Citizen Discount Day Wednesday, March 16 Sponsored by: You’ll receive a warm welcome in Texas Time and again,Winter Texans listfriendlinessasbigareasontolive here.Notonlydoesthatincludetheir neighborsintheparkorotherparks, but also the people in the communitywho arehappy tohaveWinter Texans because they appreciate the econ o m i c and other benefits they bring to the Valley. A l a n J o h n - ston remembers coming to the Rio Grande Valley fromMinnesotaover30yearsago. One of the first things Johnston saw were signs that said, “Welcome Back Winter Texans.” After the couple’s unimpressive experiences in Arizona and Florida the previous two seasons, the warm welcome in South Texas was just what they needed. The friendly people here made them feel right at home. “We went to Florida first and the people on the East Coast, they were too much, and the ones on the West Coast said, ‘When are you going to go back to Minnesota.’” Johnston said while the couple enjoyed a local event last year. “Then the next year, we went to Phoenix, and we couldn’t get a place to park our motorhome unless we were going to stay for a month. That snobbishness didn’t appeal to us.” As new Winter Texans get situated in their park, they are already making new friends. Those open arms and friendly, caring faces are a big reason that Winter Texans stay, and share word of how much they enjoy their new – or returning – winter home. LarryBoggs,aWinterTexanwho hailsfromBranson,MOsaid,“They welcomeyouwithopenarms from the momentyou get here. We have made so m a n y f r i end s h e r e . We have m o r e f r i end s h e r e than we do back home.” “We’ve been to Florida,” said DarleneNeel,ofTinleyPark,IL,as sheandherhusbandspentawinter atChimneyParkinMission.When they were looking for a place to move,theycheckedoutbothFloridaandArizona–andthedecision to come to South Texas was an easyone.“It’snotanywherenearas friendly [as Texas].” Johnston said the friendliness isn’t limited to the folks in the parks, but it is just a part of the local culture in the community as well. He said it feels very much like that Midwestern hospitality that he’s used to. “We love it because it’s not a (typical) tourist area; it’s a place that we feel very comfortable, and people have the Midwest values. God bless the Valley! We just love it here!” There are “Welcome Home” fiestas as winter guests begin to arrive in the Fall. Most RGV communities host “Winter Texan Appreciation” events at the end of the winter season as well. Business owners and government officials will talk about relationships that were built, commonly calling the winter Progreso Winter Tourist Appreciation Day, 2018. Photo by Herb Moering See WELCOME pg. 28


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Besides the warm weather, they come because it’s fun! But i it safe? With all the news about immigrants and border walls, some folks up north have wondered if it is safe to come down to South Texas for the winter. “It’sverysafe,”saidMissionPoliceChiefRobertDominguez,inrespondingtothequestionofsecurity in themid-RioGrandeValley.He notedthatMissionhasexperienced adecreaseincrimeforseveralyears. And that’s in a city that has always been regarded as safe. Dominguez, who said the decrease in crime mirrors what has happened in other Valley communities, attributes the safer environment to a “united effort” between local, county, state and federal enforcement efforts. The chief said the majority of illegal immigrants are apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Rio Grande River. Most of those crossing into the country from Mexico willingly surrender to the Border Patrol knowing what the process is that follows. The City of McAllen is continually noted as one of the top safest cities in the United States and Texas. Brownsville and Edinburg are often at the top of the list as well. Winter Texans often go to Mexico, feeling quite safe when in Nuevo Progreso. This small border town is frequently visited by Winter Texans who go there for cheap prescriptions, low-cost dentistry and to enjoy the food and beverages offered at the local Mexican restaurants. Progreso hosts a big Tourist Appreciation Day celebration on March 21 of each year. Susan Thomas, the Bit-OHeaven RV & MH Park activity director, said she has always felt safe with border crossings. There haven’t been any problems in their park. “It’s safer here than in Milwaukee (Wisconsin) where I grew up,” said Fred Kosanke, who starting wintering in the Valley in 2006. He says many border crossers with long future court dates go up north to find work. Gordon Koch, from Cedar Falls, IA, has been coming here for 18 years. “I go to Progreso and it’s as safe here as any place in the country,” he said. Steve Chyril, from Ontario, pointed out that Llano Grande Park, like many other parks, have their own park security, making it safer for residents. Progreso Winter Tourist Appreciation Day, 2018. Photo by Herb Moering

11 WINTER TEXAN TIMES MARCH 16, 2022 We Love Our Winter Texans! Thank You For Making Us Your Home Away FromHome! • Nightly, 7 Day Plus Rates Available • Fully Equipped Kitchens • Free Wi-Fi • Outdoor Pool • Small Pet Welcome (with fee) • Guest Laundry Service Walking Distance to the La PlazaMall and fine dining. For Reservations 956-668-7829 700 Savannah Ave. McAllen, TX Extend your stay...not your budget! $327.67 Queen Bed $375.97 (2) Full Beds Lock In Your Rates For Next Winter! PLEASE MENTION AD FOR SPECIAL! SPECIAL! 7 Day Plus Get more for your dollar in the Valley As a younger generation move to the Valley, it seems they are more frugal when it comes to where they go. They want to have a great time, but they don’t want to spend the money they’ve saved and earned to go just toward living expenses. They want to live it up – from dances and shows to trips to South Padre Island and Nuevo Progreso, Mexico and, of course all the free events that take place on a daily occurrence at the RV resorts. Progreso is as much a Winter Texan hotspot as any place on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. Arts, crafts, medicine as well as deliciously prepared adult beverages (which some may consider medicine) and a world of exquisite fajitas, enchiladas and other Mexican fare call out to visitors from the north on a regular basis. Some will drive across and park on the one main street that is crammed with shops, restaurants and pharmacies on both sides of the road. Others will take the short walk across the Progreso International Bridge and enjoy the small tourist destination that way. The annual “Best Places to Live” index regularly has cities such as Harlingen, McAllen and Mission in their top 100 in the nation, and top 15 in Texas. The median cost of homes is usually the greatest contributor to that, and other, indexes but other categories that rank high include cost of groceries, health care, utilities and housing in general. This year’s new report by Porch looking at cost-of-living differences at the state and metro levels throughout the United States has the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area as the fifth most affordable place to live in their midsize U.S. metro category. This is partly based on how far a dollar can go in the area compared to other metro areas in the U.S. “As a Winter Texan, we enjoy the weather, cost of living, fresh fruit, veggies. There’s great medical care and in 10 hours by plane we can be back in Alaska,” said one Winter Texan – and Arizona is closer to them. While the cost of living is very economical for the area, the Winter Texan parks offer a whole other type of economies. Entertainers from Nashville, Vegas and Branson, MO will enjoy the low cost of living while putting on shows here during the winter months; some entertainers – affectionately known as “Wintertainers” - will perform at 40, 50 or more RV and mobile home parks/resorts. The usual charge per person is only $7 or $8. For a two-hour show, sometimes with 250 or more in attendance, it’s a win-win for everyone. Even the lunch speSee CHEAP pg. 28 Winter Texans shopping at Don Wes Flea Market

MARCH 16, 2022 12 WINTER TEXAN TIMES Autumn Acres: Close knit community with plenty to do It was just a little bit after 9:30 a.m. when Karen Howie, property manager of Autumn Acres in Brownsville, answered the phone. It took no time at all to realize some type of event was being held as people in the background talking and laughing made it, at times, difficult to hear the conversation. But this wasn’t a special occ a s i o n , Howie said. This was a regular, daily occurrence at the small, but immaculately clean and tidy, Winter Texan Park. It seems hard to tell what a special occasion is at this park, since occasions seem to happen all the time, and they all seem special. “We do this every day, Monday through Friday,” Howie said. “Sometimes they’ll stay two hours just socializing. “Then we do it again at 2 p.m. those days as well.” That, in itself, tells a big part of the story of Autumn Acres. It’s a small park – with about 140 slots and approximately 35 permanent Winter Texans – but filled with big hearts. A Cheers-like 55-and-older gated adult community where everyone knows your name, and everyone is like family. “This is a very active community that loves to socialize,” Howie said. “We have so many activities on our calendar that if you’re not doing something, it’s because you’ve decided to not do anything. Ormaybeyou’rerecoveringfrom all thatyou’vedoneandjustneeda mini-break to catch your breath. Howie listed event after event, from shuffleboard to a pet pa-

13 WINTER TEXAN TIMES MARCH 16, 2022 Autumn Acres Mobile Home and RV Resort A 55+ Gated Community A Pet Friendly Environment Whether you are looking for quick access to the beach, the Rio Grande River, Mexico or a variety of other attractions, it is all just a short drive from home at Autumn Acres. Autumn Acres is located 24 miles from South Padre Island and 20 miles from Boca Chica Beach. Birders enjoy the close proximity - just a few miles - to the bird sanctuary. While here you can also take in centuries of history of by-gone times, and all the cultures that have settled and shaped this unique region. The history in and around Brownsville is rich and diverse with plenty of historic locations to be discovered Situated just a few miles from the border of Matamoros and only an hour from Progresso, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the Mexican culture while enjoying authentic, flavorful cuisine, and shopping handmade wares. You don’t have to leave the resort to enjoy your stay at Autumn Acres. Here, the fun is endless. Our activities schedule is always full of parties, games, and outings. Golf, bingo, cards, shuffleboard, dances, races, scavenger hunts, and festivals are just a few of the many things you’ll find happening at Autumn Acres. 5034BocaChicaBlvd, Brownsville, TX78521 • 956-546-4979 • Where you are living the dream with retirement life at its best. Full of Endless Fun, Surrounded by Great Attractions Surrounded by Great Attractions • Boca Chica Beach where the Rio Grande River empties into the Gulf of Mexico • Tourist friendly South Padre Island • Boat Launch • Surf and Deep Sea Fishing • Historical Sites • Golf Courses • Shopping Centers • Resturants • Medical Services All just a short drive away. Amenities We Offer • Gated Community • Managers live on site • 30 and 50 Amps • Water, sewer, trash • Bath house and restrooms • Laundry facilities • Black top roads (new) • On sight mail service • Lots of beautiful palms • Fruit trees to pick from • Heated pool and hot tub • Shuffleboard • Club house • Full activities schedule SALUTING TOP PARKS rade to remote control car races to a very special Veterans Day annual ceremony. She detailed the cleanliness of the park, described the fruit trees including avocados, oranges, and other fruits. But the park is more than just a location with an over-productive activities calendar, Howie explained. It’s a place filled with neighborly – almost familial – care and concern for others. “It’s a very close-knit community,” said Howie, who has lived at the park with her husband Chet for five years and is originally from near St. Louis. “That’s one thing I can say for sure, that people are here for each other.” Howie went on to tell the story of a resident who had major surgery. Residents (aka family) took care of their neighbor, bringing meals, taking him to and from doctor’s appointments and making sure his recovery was seamless. Just a group of friends taking care of their own. “That’s what we do,” Howie said. “Everyone here is so friendly.” And maybe one day, you’ll see Karen or her husband Chet entertaining the folks. After all, they moved to the Valley from Branson, Missouri. “My husband thinks he’s an entertainer,” Howie joked. “But he’s not.” With all the events, activities and socializing going on in the park, there may not be a time slot available for him anyways. But one never knows.

MARCH 16, 2022 14 WINTER TEXAN TIMES Canada steps up to the plate in annual USA vs Canada game A friendly game of softball doesn’t mean there’s no pride or competitive spirits milling about. That was the case last week as Canada defeated the U.S. 9-3 in the annual Winter Texan Softball Can-Am game at Westside Park in McAllen. The annual event, which usually has two games, a B Division and an A Division, was cut short following the B Division game due to a non-stop light rain that officials said made the field too wet and dangerous to play on. Canada went into the game having won just seven of the 18 games played between the two. “That’s probably what got their juices flowing,” said Mike Brower, one of four committee members who organize the event. “I thought the U.S. didn’t quite live up to their potential with the roster we had picked. Canada played much better. I guess they came to play when they heard they were down 11-7 on the cup and they stepped up.” The U.S. took a 2-0 lead after the first inning and Canada cut it in half after two innings. Then, in the fourth, Canada bats came alive and they scored the maximum allowed five runs for a 6-2 advantage. They never were threatened after that during the five-inning game. A fairly large crowd gathered, braving the elements and cheering for one team (or both) while wearing their parkas, hats, and hiding safely under their large umbrellas. Many of the fans also carried Canadian or US flags – or both – and others wore their country’s colors. Coffee, hot chocolate, a variety of sodas and hot dogs, doughnuts or other snacks also seemed to provide relief – and keep tradition alive. After all, a game at the ballpark isn’t officially a game without hotdogs (and Cracker Jacks, which were provided free from the City of McAllen... now that’s a successful day at the park). “It was a really good crowd for the bad weather. We were surprised,” Brower said. “We’ve had bigger crowds on nicer days, but we were pleasantly surprised. Front row left right: Ron Baud, Fred Esqueda, Marshall Baltzer (manager), Arturo Santana, Frank Albier. Back row left to right: Mark Hoeppner, Paul Villas, Mike Doyle, Reggie Beaupre, Mike Myc, Dave Simpkins, Tom Soucek, Tim Pickar. Front row left to right: Dave Webb, Jose Romo. Middle row left to right: Georgia Kineman, Sam Ferguson (standing), Tom Witkowski, Dave Tarver, Mike Skayman. Back row left to right: Mike Mock, Rosy Frank, Lee Templeton, Patrick Neel, Bob Hanson, Tom Pickar, Ricky Winters. See SOFTBALL pg. 25

15 WINTER TEXAN TIMES MARCH 16, 2022 CALENDAR PARKS For more information, photos and tour schedules visit Wintertainers TM at tainers Winter TM • 214 E. Chimney Rd • Mission, TX Sundays 1:30-5:30pm Live Music Mar. 27 Steven May & The Southern Knights Tues • 11am-8pm Wed • 11am-8pm Thurs • 11am-8pm Fri • 11am-8pm Sat • 11am-8pm Sun • 11am-8pm Open (956) 581-1033 Riverside In-MissionTx Mar. 20 Renaissance Rockers RIVERSIDE DREAMER River Tours Call (956) 581-4477 Reservations Suggested 1 Hour River Tours (Down River to Dam) Seniors $12 Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat 2 Hour River Tours (Up River Only) Seniors $22 Tues Thurs Additional Boat Rides Added As NeededNo Outside Beverages/Food (Cash Only - Tax Included) Famous Come Try Our TEXAS Size Pork Tenderloin Enclosed Windows & Heating Live Music Year Round 2:00pm 2:00pm • • • • • • • 1:00pm 1:00pm 1:00pm 1:00pm 1:00pm ThroughOurDoors&HeartsPass Someof theFinestPeople - OurCustomers,Our Friends, Our Family. “ThankYouForAGreat Season!” -Johnny & Jennifer Hart 1048 N. Alamo Rd. • Alamo, TX 78516 • Office: 956-783-5008 DANCES Texas Wheels • 7 - 9 pm • $7 • BYOB Saturdays March 19 & 26 Singles Mixer • 6-7pm PICKLEBALL MIXER Thurs. Mar. 17, 24 & 31 9 am - 12 pm • $2 Thank You For Coming. See You Next Season. COMING IN APRIL Texas Wheels • 7 - 10 pm • $7 • BYOB Fridays April 1, 8, 22 & 29 Singles Mixer • 6-7pm 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, March 16 Breakfast - Bentsen Grove Resort, Palmview, 7:30am, Biscuits & gravy single $2pp, biscuits & gravy double $3pp. Bluegrass Jam - Bentsen Palm RV Park, Mission, 9-11am, 50/50, coffee, homemade goodies. New jammers welcome. Lunch - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 11am-2:30pm, Cafe Grande. Menu available @ Cafe Grande, meal price varies. Weekly Jam - Sunshine RV Resort, Harlingen, 12:30-3pm, 1900 Grace Ave, food $. Open Jam - Bit-O-Heaven RV Park, Donna, 1-3pm, BYOB, come sing, play or just listen. All welcome. Big Band Jam - Valley View Estates, Mission, 2-4pm, Musicians by invitation only. Music Jam - Heritage Square, Mission, 5:30pm, Hosted by Don McGhghy. Food available 4 to 5:15 pm. 300 S. Bryan Rd. For info: 563340-6493. Singles Mixer - Casa del Valle Resort Park, Alamo, 6-7pm, BYOB. Jam - Circle T RV Park, Mission, 6pm, Cookies and coffee at intermission. Pre-Rounds - Alamo Palms MH & RV Park, 6:30-7pm, In Tampico Hall. Bring snacks to share. Hearing enhancement available. Subject to change without notice. Entertainment - Bentsen Grove Resort, Palmview, 7pm, Kai Show, $8pp. Encore Show - Sunshine RV Resort, Harlingen, 7-9:30pm, California Forever. In the Friendship Hall. Advance tickets are required and may be purchased in the Sunshine RV Park Activity Office. Reserved seating, $14pp, $15pp, $18pp. Entertainment - McAllen Mobile Park, 7-9pm, Nu-Blu, $8pp. Wearing of the Green - Farewell Dance - Alamo Palms MH & RV Park, 7-9pm, With Ron Betzelberger. In Tampico Hall. Bring snacks to share. Hearing enhancement available. Subject to change without notice. Dance - Casa del Valle Resort Park, Alamo, 7-10pm, Texas Wheels, $7pp. BYOB. Dance - Tip O’ Texas RV Resort, Pharr, 7-10pm, $7pp. Thursday, March 17 Craft Fair - Aladdin Villas, Mission, 8am-Noon. Pickleball Mixer - Casa del Valle Resort Park, Alamo, 9am-Noon, $2pp. All You Can Eat Pancakes - The Grove Subdivision, San Juan, 9-11:30am, Pancakes, eggs, sauSee PARKS pg. 16

MARCH 16, 2022 16 WINTER TEXAN TIMES For more information, photos and tour schedules visit Wintertainers TM at tainers Winter TM DANCES • 7 - 10PM MEAL EVENTS ENTERTAINMENT • 7 - 9PM 1415 Aladdin Villas W • Mission, TX 78572 (956) 581-1288 CRAFT/GARAGE SALE Hamburgers • 4 - 6pm • $7 Mar 22 Mar 17 • Craft Sale • 8am - 12pm Mar 19 • Rick McEwen 6-9pm • $8 Mar 25 • Diego & Edith • $8 Mar 14 • Rusty Rierson Gospel Show 1-3pm • $8 Wishing Everyone Safe Travels & See You Next Fall! 806 S Veterans Blvd Pharr, TX 78577 King James 1611 Bible Traditional Hymns Church Services Sunday • 10:50am & 6:00pm Wednesday • 7:00pm Thursday (Spanish) • 6:30pm Sunday School • 9:45am Pastor Erik L. Gomez, D.P.Th (956) 510-8447 ENTERTAINMENT • 7PM ROCK & ROLL JAM All EVENTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Paula McSpadden, Activity Director 956-585-0703 DANCES EVERY FRIDAY 7-10PM SINGLES ARE WELCOME Mar 18 • Curt James • $8 Mar 25 • The Fabulous Cruisers • $10 Every Thursday • 12:30pm - 2:30pm HOMEMADE CAKE DONUTS Mar 23 • Order Ahead (956) 585-0703 Plain, Chocolate, Or Blueberry With Choice Of Vanilla Or Cinnamon Glaze $1 Each, $1.50 for 2, $4 for 6, $7 for 12 Monday Night Meals • 4:30pm - 6pm Thursday Lunches - Burgers & More • 11am - 12:30pm Friday Fish & More • 11am - 12:30pm PAY AT DOOR UNLESS NOTED Mar 16 • Kai Show • $8 1645 S Bentsen Palm Drive Palmview • 956-585-0703 MEALS Karaoke Tuesdays • 7-10pm Outdoor Entertainment Tuesdays • 3pm The Howlers Thursdays • 3pm Driftin’ Cowboys Fridays • 3pm Randy Webb Saturdays • 3pm Jealous Heart Band Indoor Entertainment Saturdays • 8-10:30pm Leo Layoz 815 N Francisco Mission, TX • (956) 598-5563 M-Sa: 10am-12am S: 12pm-12am COME JOIN US! Plenty of Dance Space Foot’s Ice House Birthdays•Reunions•Special Events Backyard Party Space Available sage, and endless coffee. Bring you own table service. Country Jam - El Valle Del Sol, Mission, 10am-Noon, Coffee & cookies. Pass the hat. Lunch - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 11am-2:30pm, Cafe Grande. Menu available @ Cafe Grande, meal price varies. Thursday Lunch - Bentsen Grove Resort, Palmview, 11am-12:30pm, 1/4 lb burger & fries $7pp, 1/2 burger & fries $9pp, pulled pork sandwich $9pp. Lunch & Jam - Siesta Retirement Village Park, Weslaco, 11:30am3pm, Lunch served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jam from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. All are welcome. For more information call 956-532-4649. Rock & Roll Jam - Bentsen Grove Resort, Palmview, 12:30-2:30pm. Country Jam - Mission Bell Resort, Mission, 1-3pm, Lunch available 11:30 am - 1 pm. Mission Bell Ballroom. All You Can Eat Fish Fry - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 4:30-6:30pm, Hynes Event Center, $12pp. Concert - Paradise Park, McAllen, 6-9pm, Jayne Jukebox Junkie. Big Band Jam - La Hacienda Estates, Alamo, 6:30-8:30pm, Come and enjoy great music, best in the valley! Dance, sing along, or just listen. Pop, ice cream, coffee, and homemade cookies are available. Karaoke - Paradise Resort Estates, Pharr, 6:30-8:30pm, Doors open 6:00 pm. Snack bar open. Singers should arrive early so songs may be downloaded to computer. St. Patrick’s Dance - Tropic Winds MH & RV Resort, Harlingen, 7-10pm, Pelican West, $8pp advance, $10pp at the door. Prayer and Praise - Bibleville Conference Grounds, Alamo, 7pm. Dance - Palm Shadows RV/MH Park, Donna, 7pm, Southern Vibes, $8pp. 200 N Val Verde Rd, 956-4610808. St Patrick’s Day Dance - Ranchero Village, Weslaco, 7-10pm, Steven May & the Southern Knights, $7.50pp. Get your green on at our St Patrick’s Day Dance. Costumes optional, leprechauns welcome. Popcorn and soda available for purchase. Masks optional. Dance - Mission Bell Resort, Mission, 7pm, Texas Wheels, $7pp. Concert - Country Sunshine, Weslaco, 7pm, California Forever. Advance tickets $13pp, $14pp, $16pp. At the door $17pp. Sold at Country Sunshine RV Resort 9 am - 3:30 pm. Dance - McAllen Mobile Park, 7-10pm. Dance - Dixieland MH Park, Harlingen, 7-10pm, $5pp. St. Patrick’s Day Dance - Victoria Palms Resort, Donna, 7-10pm, Rovers, $8pp. Friday, March 18 Breakfast Buffet - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 7:30-10:30am, Cafe Grande, $8pp. Lunch - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 11am-2:30pm, Cafe Grande. Menu available @ Cafe Grande, meal price varies. Friday Lunch - Casa del Sol, Donna, 11:30am-12:30pm. Country “OPRY” Jam - McAllen Mobile Park, 1-3pm, Country and gospel like Nashville USED to do with some occasional old-time Rock-N-Roll. Hosted by Elaine Nelson, National Country Music Hall of Famer. Play a tune, sing a song, tap your feet, sing along...remember when...bring a smile and bring a friend! Y’all come!!! Everyone is welcome! Variety Jam - Bentsen Palm RV Park, Mission, 1-3pm, Homemade PARKS From pg. 15

17 WINTER TEXAN TIMES MARCH 16, 2022 YOURHOME AWAY FROMHOME! 2500 East Bus Hwy 83 Mission, TX 78572 2022-23 NewReservations Ask About Our Discount Rates!! Spend your winter here! We promise lots of sunny and fun days, close access to the Gulf of Mexico and South Padre Island for fishing or sun bathing. Medical facilities, dining, shopping, outdoor activities are all close by. Our friendly residents make you feel like family at our parks! Mobile Home, Park Model & RV Sites Available Year Round! Stop by for a Visit • Reservations Are Open! El Valle Del Sol TONS OF AMMENITIES: •Heated Swimming Pool & Spa •Game Room & Pool Tables •Woodworking & Rock Shop •Ceramics Studio •Shuffleboard •Laundry & Shower Facilities ACTIVITIES & MORE: •Complete Dance & Exercise Program •Tons of Organized Activities & Tours •Bingo & Weekly Potlucks •Library & Crafts •Pet Friendly! •Home of the Famous “Peppermint Palace” Dance Hall (956) 585-5704 goodies and beverage provided, 50/50, great music. Country Jam - Split Rail RV Park, Mission, 1-3pm, Come enjoy great music with friendly Winter Texans. There will be singing and dancing. Or you’re welcome to just listen. Regardless, a good time will be had by all. We’ve made homemade cookies! Don’t miss it. Bluegrass Acoustic Jam - Trail’s End RV Park, Weslaco, 1-3pm, Invitation only. Audience welcome. Contact Ray Martin at 618-4994813. 2201 S. Texas Blvd. Friday Night Fish Fry - Mission West RV Park, 4:30-5:30pm, Full order (3 pieces) with french fries, coleslaw, tea/coffee for $9pp. We also have half orders (2 pieces) for $7pp and extra fish for $2 each. Happy Hour - Llano Grande Lake Park Resort and Country Club, Mercedes, 5pm, Carlos Canas, pass the hat. Hynes Event Center, bar available. Fish Fry - Sunshine RV Resort, Harlingen, 5:30-6:30pm, Advance tickets $11pp, at the door $12pp. Country Jam - Hidden Valley Ranch RV & MH Park, Mission, 5:30pm. Country Jam - Tradewinds RV Resort, Mission, 6pm, Homemade snacks at break. All are welcome. 1005 N. Stewart Rd. Entertainment - 1015 RV Park, Weslaco, 6:30-8:30pm, Dixon Company Band, $7pp. Dance - Bit-O-Heaven RV Park, Donna, 7-10pm, St Patrick’s Dance with The Agency - rock. $10pp. BYOB and snacks. Dance - Bentsen Grove Resort, Palmview, 7-10pm, Curt James, $8pp. Dance - Texas Trails RV Resort, Pharr, 7-10pm, Bottomline Band, $6pp. Mask recommended but not required. Entertainment - Lakewood RV Resort, Harlingen, 7-9pm, California Forever, $16pp. Doors open at 6:00 pm, tickets on sale now. Call 956-423-1170 to reserve your seat. Big Band/Classic Country Jam - Palm Shadows RV/MH Park, Donna, 7-9pm, Musicians by invitation only. Lounge open 3-9 pm serving pizza, hot dogs, chili dogs, and chili corn dogs. Dance - Dream Valley Ranch, Mission, 7-9pm, The Howlers, $7pp. BYOB, country classic. Dance - Siesta Retirement Village Park, Weslaco, 7-10pm, Rick McEwen, $8pp.Wearin’ “O” the Green! Prizes for Best Irish Lad and Lassy costumes, and Irish Songster. Soft drinks and popcorn available. For info, call 505-913-7542 or 956-3735442. Dance - Victoria Palms Resort, Donna, 7pm, The Fabulous Cruisers, $10pp. Entertainment - Mission Bell Resort, Mission, 7pm, Mountain Highway, $8pp. Saturday, March 19 Garage Sale - Val’s Kountry Corral, Mission, 7-11am, Rec Hall. Donuts, muffins, and hot coffee for sale. Breakfast - Paradise Park, McAllen, 7:30-8:45am. Craft Sale - Sunshine RV Resort, Harlingen, 8am-Noon, Items for sale by many talented crafters. Craft & Patio Sale - Hidden Valley Ranch RV & MH Park, Mission, 8am-Noon, 7600 Long Dr. Refreshments and lunch will be available. Interested vendors can call 918-7420177. Craft Show - Tradewinds RV Resort, Mission, 8am-Noon, Coffee, donuts & lunch served. Indoor Garage Sale - Long Island Village, Port Isabel, 8am-Noon, Quilt show, bake sale, golf items & etc. 33772 South Garcia. Country Jam - Green Gate Grove, Palmview, 12:30pm, Lunch at 11:00 am. Country Jam - La Hacienda Estates, Alamo, 1-3:30pm. Big Band/Rock & Roll Jam - Texas Trails RV Resort, Pharr, 2-4pm. Jam - Val Verde RV Park, Donna, 6-8pm. Dance - Aladdin Villas, Mission, 6-9pm, Rick McEwen, $8pp. Single Mixer - Casa del Valle Resort Park, Alamo, 6-7pm, BYOB. Bingo - Pharr South Park, Pharr, 6:30-9:30pm, Card sales from 6:307pm, bingo 7-9pm. Snacks and refreshments available for purchase. No outside food or beverages. Come early for dinner, served 4:45-6pm. Dance - Trophy Gardens, Alamo, 7pm, SweetWater, $7pp. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Saturday Dance - Sunshine RV See PARKS pg. 18