Winter Texan Times

MARCH 15, 2023 20 WINTER TEXAN TIMES 2407 E. Griffin Pkwy. – Mission, TX GENERAL DENTISTRY EXCEPTIONAL CARE SINCE 1982 Now Accepting Allwell from Superior Healthplan New Patient Exams only $159 • Includes all necessary x-rays • Oral Cancer Screening • Intra-oral Photos • Comprehensive Exam • Periodontal Screening No Dental Insurance? NO PROBLEM! 956-581-2773 For dental care you can trust and have confidence in Come See Us At Sharyland Dental Care ried around, chants of “U-S-A” and “Canada” throughout the games, food and games within games for the annual event. At the center of it all was Martens. “It’s good to be back, to be here,” Martens said, adding that he was feeling just fine. “It’s a beautiful day to play.” Canada won the matchup in both divisions, 9-5 and 17-10 but everyone won on a day where they played two under nearly perfect weather conditions. Canada pulled away from a 4-4 with five straight runs in the “B” Division game while exploding for nine runs in the top of the seventh inning while trailing 10-8 in the “A” Division Teams wore new jerseys, all bearing “Ed Martens” along the front. Martens, considered the godfather, founder and guru of Winter Texan softball, has stepped back from too much involvement and missed last year’s event due to health issues. He was back, however, looking terrific and talking about his new love for biking. Maybe the fans even had more fun than the players, most wearing both Canada and U.S. flags in their caps or somewhere on their bodies. Ralph and Charlene Thompson, of Lake Park Minnesota, dressed up for the occasion – especially Ralph with his USA hat, American flag tie and the stars and stripes shorts. He also had a Winter Texan T-shirt with both US and Canada flags on it. “I get carried away,” Ralph said. “My wife hasn’t gotten all those sharp edges of mine flattened out.” The couple live in Wintergreen Estates and Ralph hasn’t played for about four years, since he separated his shoulder pretending to be Derek Jeter in the hole at short. “My wife said I thought I was 18 at the time when I dove for the ball,” said Ralph, who played some small college baseball before participating in all different types of softball leagues. “I’m planning to be back next year though.” Ralph said he is simply amazed by the work Martens did, primarily on his own for 30 years, starting the league and sustaining it. “He just did a fantastic job of running the league,” Ralph said. “I admire that man immensely. I love the camaraderie, fellowship and getting together.” The senior softball league is always looking for more players. If you’re interested, call McAllen Parks and Recreation at (956) 6813315. Spring is in the air! Or at least that is so in the Rio Grande Valley. But not so in parts of the United States. Some places are still feeling the chill of winter with morning temperatures of around 35 degrees while temperatures for those of us in South Texas are enjoying 70 degrees - just perfect for an early morning stroll. We can’t rely on the ground hog to predict Spring for they just don’t exist in this part of the United States. We often depend on another method to predict when Spring is in the air. It is generally in mid to late February when the ordinary dead looking mesquite tree begins to show signs of life. Almost overnight beautiful emerald green lacy looking foliage adorns this tree. Then we can be sure that Spring is just around the corner. Mother Nature is giving us a triedand-true signal - Spring is in the air. Although other native trees grow sturdy and straight every mesquite seems to take a different form according to the effects of the weather. Strong winds may have toppled the tree to the ground but if even the smallest of root is left, the tree will continue to grow but in a mostly horizontal position. Or maybe the wind did not topple the tree, it just caused one branch to grow horizontally just a few feet off the ground. If that tree is in a yard where grass must be mowed, the yard man will consider it a real nuisance. Regardless of what happens whether it is a drought, a hurricane or lightning, the mesquite is a hardy tree and will spring back. The mesquite is a survivor. Native Americans found good uses for this tree - especially for medicinal purposes. It is said that a poultice made from pounded mesquite leaves The hardy mesquite tree that have been mixed with urine and bound around the head will cure a headache. Don’t think many people today would try that solution. They also brewed tea from the bark which they say cured venereal diseases. Even today some of our local mothers will brew tea to bathe their children’s eyes when they have pinkeye. They say this soothes the itching and irritation. Herbal cures have been used for ages. Books have been written regarding remedies found in native plants. Penicillin is produced from the mold that grows on bread. The prickly pear cactus is said to help control diabetes. What did our parents and grandparents do before we had modern medicine? They turned to natural remedies. Their life expectancy wasn’t as long as it is today. But like the mesquite, they were survivors. They made do. They sprang back. They had their very own unique personalities. Just like the mesquite, they had character. SOFTBALL From pg. 1 Photo by Henry Miller