Monday, December 04, 2023
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Veterans celebrate with free golf

20191113 VeteransGolf 1Jim Bartelt was out golfing for the first time in five years.

The Minnesota resident and Navy veteran, now a Winter Texan for 13 years, couldn’t golf because of a surgery, “and falling down the stairs didn’t help,” he said.

He was one of more than 100 veterans who enjoyed a free day on Shary Municipal Golf Course as part of the City of Mission’s Veterans Weekend celebration.

“The first thing I want to do is thank God for letting us be able to serve these veterans who have served our country,” Mission Mayor Armando O’Cana said. “This veteran’s weekend is going to become an annual thing. The feed back and reaction to these events have been wonderful.”

The City of Mission, Ready Tee, the Red, White and Blue Foundation and Lone Star National Bank were major sponsors and not only provided the veterans with the free tournament, but also fed them on the course with tacos, ribs, grilled pineapple and more at hole No. 10, sponsored by the O’Cana family.

The Mayor said that while he was not a veteran, his dad served during World War II and his brothers both had tours of duty in Vietnam. He added that he was a golfer however who played military-style golf. “I hit my ball left, then right, then left...” he joked.

The city turned a Veterans Day into a full weekend celebration with events including a solemn flag ceremony where they placed a flag at every tombstone in the Mission Veterans Cemetery, opened the Veterans Park to the public, had what they expected to be a small parade turn into an event with 70 entries, a car show and other events at 5x5 Brewery, and a one-stop shop with more than 20 agencies in attendance that serve veterans to provide information and services.

“We also had a Vaquero cook off, and a chili cook off with different groups representing different branches,” the mayor said. “A group of cooks from the Marines won that event.

“Our veterans have already given the time for us to be able to be free and to run a city government in a peaceful setting,” O’Cana said. “Now we are committed to making this an annual event that’s bigger and better.”

Door prizes were given to each of the 108 veterans who participated.

“This is a great day,” said Bartelt, who resides at W&I a Resort in Mission, a park he said his in-laws started. “My doctor said I could give it a try, so I am doing it. This is a great event and was a terrific weekend. I love it.”


Museums, Museums, Museums

WEB On The Road HeaderMuseums abound in South Texas. If you or your child or grandchild are interested in history, then you have come to the right place. Museums and history can be so much fun! There are so many museums from Edinburg all the way down to Port Isabel and South Padre Island. Museum after museum after museum could entertain you on any of your week end exploratory drives. Let's start with Edinburg and the MOSTH museum ..... MOSTH standing for Museum of South Texas History.

Exhibits take you back to pre-historic times in our area with a mammoth to greet you as you arrive. This museum depicts the history and culture of our area into the 1900's. You can even see the saddle that belonged to Pancho Villa. The museum utilizes the old Hidalgo County Jail, beautifully situated on Closner Street in the very center of Edinburg. Part of the old jail is still intact, and although it brought shivers to my spine, my grandson thought it was really cool. The first time I visited this museum, I was very impressed with the bi-lingual explanations on all of the displays. Since our history and culture definitely tie to that of Mexico, it seemed only fitting to me that people from either country or either culture should be able to read about our history. The museum is closed on Mondays, but other days of the week, convenient hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a. m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call (956) 383-6911 to verify times and any entry fees.

On the other end of the scale would be a second museum - The Motorcycle Museum - with an awesome collection of vintage bikes. Although it is quite small, the cycles displayed are all in very good condition and would no doubt appeal to those who like motors and engines and like to admire the evolution of the Harleys and Indians that are on display. This museum is located at 4403 Richardson Rd. in Edinburg and is open.

All the way from Edinburg to South Padre Island, almost every town has at least one museum. Perhaps one of the most interesting to the young, and to the more energetic, would be the Light House in Port Isabel. This Light House is the only one remaining on the Texas Coast that you can actually enter and climb some 80 winding steps to the top. There, you will have a magnificent view of Port Isabel, South Padre Island and the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You can even see across the channel to Space X on Boca Chica Boulevard! The light house was constructed in 1852 to guide ships through Santiago Pass. I sometimes wonder if perhaps the light house was built not just to guide the ships, but perhaps as a deterrent to Jean La Fitte, the famous pirate who often visited South Padre Island.

Old timers say that Lafitte tied lanterns to donkeys’ legs and had them walking up and down the island. Ships offshore, seeing the blinking lights, would think that must be a village and would run their ships
aground as they tried to make shore only to be looted by the pirates waiting to take their bounty. Just maybe the locals were tired of Lafitte's shenanigans and wanted the pirates to move north and east towards Galveston and New Orleans. Who knows? But if you are taking young ones, or someone with an imagination, they will like the donkey story.

And while talking about Jean Lafitte, why not visit his well in Laguna Vista? Never did I believe that you could really find fresh water if you dug down deep enough - especially if you dug on the leeward side of an island. Then one Saturday afternoon, a lady friend and I were out exploring for a possible shelling tour to Puerto Mezquita, Mexico. As we looked across the bay to the barrier island, we saw several men gathered around what appeared to be a big hole dug into the sand. Buckets of water were being hauled up and poured into 55-gallon drums. Even after filling the drums, the men kept waiting around the well.

Finally, we realized that they must be waiting for us to leave so that they could enjoy their weekly Saturday bath. So much for wells in salty terrains. Maybe Jean Lafitte also enjoyed a weekly freshwater bath at his well!

MHS ENCORE Theatre presents The Wizard of Oz

20191106 Wizard Of Oz Poster 1 MHSThe Mission High School (MHS) ENCORE Theatre is proud to present one of the most famous stories of all time, The Wizard of Oz. Cast and crew have been busy creating what they hope will become an MHS theatrical triumph. The production features Noevelyn Garza, Edwin Velazquez, Jacob Barrera, Juan Segovia, and Ivan Gonzalez.

Showtime is 7 p.m. on November 14, 16, and 21. A special matinee performance is scheduled for 2 p.m. on November 17.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. All tickets are general admission and can be purchased at the door prior to the show. The MHS campus is located at 1802 Cleo Dawson, Mission.

DHS present the Wizard of Oz

Join Donna High School students somewhere over the rainbow for their season opener, The Wizard of Oz. The 2019-2020 Donna Drama Theatre Company season opens on November 13 at the Simon Sauceda Performing Arts Auditorium.

The Students, under the direction of Angel O. Leal and Juan Arriaga, bring to life this classic tale of brains, heart and courage. Senior actors Molly Hunt, Anabel Hernandez, Alena Coronado and Francisco Ortiz lead the way for their final season by taking the audience on a journey they will never forget.

You won’t want to miss out on this fantastic journey running November 13-17. Shows will start at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. The Sunday show will start at 1 p.m., with doors opening at 12 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults.

For any additional information, call the fine arts office at (956) 464-0377.

Charity benefiting children in Progreso asking for help

Many Winter Texans take time to donate to local charities while they are here in the Rio Grande Valley. There are many organizations, school, churches, and other places and organizations, that you spend your time with while in the Valley. As we approach the holiday season, our hearts are drawn to those less fortunate – especially children in the community and those across the border. Without the generosity of others, these children, and families, would have a very sad and bleak Christmas.

Winter Texans have a reputation for their generous hearts and are known to plan food and clothing drives, make quilts, and gather donations for the many needy families and children in the Valley and Mexico. If your park or resort is planning anything for Thanksgiving or Christmas, such as food or toy drives, or any other activities to help brighten the holidays for the less fortunate, send us an email at or call (956) 580-7800. We would love to hear from you and share your story with others.

With the holidays just around the corner, some of those places are already asking for help. This organization is just one that is already seeking help from their community.

As most know from being located so close to the border of Mexico, many children go without proper food, shelter and essential medical care every day due to a variety of factors. This need is magnified when so many children are denied even the blessings of the Christmas season.

Amigos de Los Ninos de Mexico (friends of the children of Mexico) was organized in 1990 to address this need through gifts of friendship, love, food and presents to the children.

There are many ways you can help. You can help by becoming an Amigo member by attending a meeting and buying a one-time $5 badge; donate or gather some of the needed items; or have fun with the children when they are presented their goodies.

Some big ways to help include going across the border in a caravan of vehicles on December 23rd to bring the gifts collected and get them set up for Christmas day or to sign up to help with various committees who will be distributing the goodies to the children.

General meetings will be held at the Donna First Methodist Church, 228 S. Main St. at 1:30 p.m. Dates for meetings are November 12 and 26, and December 10. December 23 is when the group will be crossing the border with the gifts and December 25 is the Christmas party at the school. A follow-up meeting will be held in January to elect new officers and board members.

For more information, call Barbara at (956) 244-3485.

Again, if your park or resort is doing anything special for those in need, please let us know. Also let us know of any special holiday activities at your park. We look forward to featuring your activities and the ways you help the communities you live in while you enjoy your stay in the Valley.

LJISD present Three School/One Voice

Magallon PhotographyLa Joya ISD is pleased to present Three Schools/One Voice, a Mariachi & Folklórico extravaganza that showcases the musical and dance talents of La Joya HS, Juarez-Lincoln HS, and Palmview HS, and all on one stage. The performance will feature each school group individually, with a finale that brings all three groups together for an “All-Star” performance.

Read more: LJISD present Three School/One Voice

Aviation museum relocates

The Rio Grande Valley Aviation and Transportation Museum is ready for the public. Located within the Port Isabel Cameron County Airport, it is on Veterans Drive, two miles north of FM 510, and off of Buena Vista Blvd.

World War Two exhibits include many artifacts donated by local families. Among the more notable is an Amateur Radio Operator’s logbook, Morse Code keying device, and earphone set. Amateur Radio Operator, John Paul Jones from Brownsville, was the first person in the Rio Grande Valley to learn about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which precipitated the United States entry into World War Two. His logbook notates the time he was in communication with a fellow radio operator from Hawaii and during the attack. His logbook also notates the time the Federal Communications Commission instructed amateur radio operators to clear the air waves for a national emergency, December 7, 1941, “A Day that Will Live in Infamy”.

Tentative hours of operation are Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guided tours for groups of five or more are welcome by appointment anytime by calling David Christopher at 970-397-4604. Tentative hours of operation beginning today, November 6, are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Weather permitting and crew availability one of the Museum’s planes will be flown during the tour. Plane rides are available for a $250 donation. We are a 501c3, not for profit organization. If you would like more information about the CAF please call Tom Santos at 956-579-2611 or email

Honoring our Veterans this weekend

20171109 Veterans War MemorialAs we celebrate Veterans Day this weekend, we here at the Winter Texan Times, want to give a big Thank You to all who have served in the United States armed forces. Thank you for your dedication, patriotism and the sacrifices you have made to defend America and preserve the freedoms we all enjoy today, and every day. You deserve our respect and honor.

In honor of Veterans Day, many cities and organizations are honoring Veterans in their communities. These events are open to the public.

The VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) is scheduled to host the Pre-Veterans Day Hotdog BBQ on Thursday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the McAllen VA Outpatient Clinic, 901 East Hackberry Ave.

Lyford CISD will pay tribute to the Nation’s Veterans at their 31st Annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, November 8 at 9:30 a.m. The event will be held at the Bulldog Stadium, 8204 Simon Gomez Rd. The ceremony will honor local heroes and their families from across the Rio Grande Valley and Texas.

The City of Mission will hold a Flag Laying Ceremony at 4 p.m. on Monday, November 8, at the RGV State Veterans Cemetery, 2520 Inspiration Rd. Call (956) 583-7227 for more information. The city, in conjunction with 5X5 Brewing and Texas Citrus Fiesta, will have events throughout the weekend honoring Veterans including a parade, chili cook-off, a golf tournament, and entertainment. More details are in the full story in this week’s edition or you can go online to

The VCB will also host a Veterans Day Celebration on Friday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Harlingen VA Outpatient Clinic, 2106 Treasure Hills Blvd. The event will feature food, a raffle, car show and benefits fair.

On Saturday, November 9, join the City of South Padre Island, the Southernmost point on the Purple Heart Trail, for a weekend filled with family-friendly events to honor and celebrate our Veterans. The day’s events begin with a SPI Beach 13.1 Relay and 5K at Isla Blanca Park. A Veterans Day City program will be held at the SPI Convention Center starting at 11 a.m. along with a Food Truck Festival at 12 p.m. There will be a La Mafia Concert at the Cameron County Amphiteater (Isla Blanca Park) at 4 p.m.

The American Legion Family Post 172, Mercedes ISD and the City of Mercedes are sponsoring an Annual Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 9 at 10 a.m. The parade will begin at the corner of 6th St. and Texas and end at the Mercedes Livestock Show Grounds.

A Veteran’s Day Parade will be held Saturday, November 9, in the City of Edinburg. The parade will begin at Richard R. Flores Stadium, 1800 S. Stadium Dr., and run through Closner & Kuhn St. Set up begins at 8 am, parade begins at 10 a.m. For more information, contact (956) 383-6246.

The Third Annual Military Ball will be held Sunday, November 10, at Isla Grand Beach Resort, 500 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. The event will feature a dinner, dance and door prizes. Marines will perform the traditional cak cutting ceremony. Tickets can be purchased by going to their website at

The City of San Benito is having a Veteran’s Day community-wide march downtown San Benito beginning at 8:45 a.m. on Monday, November 11. The event will end with a ceremony at 9 a.m. at the San Benito Veterans War Memorial, 2115 North Oscar Williams Road.

A Veteran’s Day Ceremony will be held Monday, November 11, in Alamo at the Veteran’s Memorial Park, 311 N. Alamo Rd. The event will begin at 9 a.m.20171109 Veterans War Memorial2

Veterans Day will be celebrated on Monday, November 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the Veterans War Memorial of Texas, 29th St. and Col. Plummer Dr. The event will start with the beautiful voices of the McAllen High School band and choir. First Sgt. Christina Wilson will be speaking to guests from Afghanistan. The band and choir will perform the beautiful hymn The Battle of the Republic. This beautiful and inspiring song will be followed by the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Regiment, (USA) and its members. The medal will be presented to Myriam Morales Klusmann, for her brother Jose who was killed in Korea. Master Sergeant Daniel Jaime, Purple Heart recipient, will also be recognized with this medal. Keynote speaker will be U.S. Congressman Vincente Gonzalez, District 15. While you are at the Memorial, visit the 15 new walls which will be the children’s Plaza of History stories. They will be engraved in granite. These stories will be authored by school children and form the basis for the new “Children’s Library of American History Stories.” For further information please call Col. Frank Plummer at (956) 631-2511 or Jan Hartzog at (956) 585-1312.

The McAllen Wind Ensemble will open their season Tuesday, November 12, with a veteran’s tribute titled “America,” at 7:30 p.m. at the McAllen Performing Arts Center. All veterans, current service members, and first responders are invited to be guests of the McAllen Wind Ensemble with free admission to the concert. Special guests will include the Sweet Adelines. The performing arts center is located at 801 Convention, C St. Go to for more information and to purchase tickets.

Mission to host first ever Veterans Day Parade

parade flyerEach year, thousands of people unite to commemorate Veterans Day, a holiday that honors all those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it is largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. This year, the City of Mission is honoring local military heroes with its weekend-long Mission Veterans Festival, “Our Mission is Service,” beginning Friday, November 8, with a flag-laying ceremony at the RGV State Veterans Ceremony, 2520 Inspiration Rd, in Mission.

“Veterans Day is not just a chance to enjoy an extra day off from work or school. We want to make sure our community recognizes its true purpose,” Mayor Dr. Armando O’Caña said. “We must acknowledge the men and women who have served in our armed forces and we’re hoping that some World War II and Korean War veterans join us. We need our citizens to come out and wear their red, white and blue, bring the family and honor our heroes with this exciting new event.”

On Saturday, November 9, the full-day celebration kicks off with the Saluting Our Veterans Cook-Off from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the CEED Building, Bryan Rd. and Bus. 83. There will be live music, food vendors and more. A fair with vendors will also take place at the City of Mission Parks and Recreation building next door to the CEED Building, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The day will continue with the Mission Veterans Day Parade at 3 p.m. The procession will begin at Leo Peña Placita Park, runs east on Business-83 to Bryan Road and end at the CEED building.

The festive parade will showcase floats, RGV veterans, military vehicles, festooned golf carts and local marching bands. A military flyover is also scheduled for the parade. The procession is expected to wrap up by 5 p.m.

Community members can then take part in the Mission Veterans Day Festival from 5 p.m. until midnight outside the CEED building in conjunction with the 5x5 Brewing Company. There will be plenty of family-friendly entertainment including live local music performances. Taste-tempting delights will be available for purchase from several food trucks and food vendors. Military vehicles are being sought for display at the festival. In addition, veterans’ organizations will be on hand to promote military services and government resources available to veterans.

“We will also be having a chili cook-off at 5x5 on Sunday between five veteran teams to include the army, marine corps, navy, air force and the coast guard,” Sean Downey, Brand Manager of the 5x5 Brewing Company said. “The winner will be decided by the people’s choice so it should be a good showdown.”

The Chili Cook-Off will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 10 at 5x5 Brewing. The cook-off will be between five veteran teams competing for bragging right on the best chili in the US military. Teams competing will be from the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

A Cars and Stripes Car Show will also take place on Sunday from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Setup will start at 12 p.m. Rewards will be given at 6 p.m. for best overall, best Veteran entry, best car, best truck and best motorcycle. Sunday events will benefit Sand Devils MC and American Legion.

The celebration recognizing military men and women will continue Monday, November 11 at 8 a.m. with a golf tournament at Shary Municipal Golf Course. The tournament be free for all veterans. Ready Tee Golf has teamed up with the City of Mission for the first-of-its-kind Veterans Day Golf Tournament. The “Fairway to Freedom” is a 3-man Florida scramble. It will be a fun filled day with food, beverages, door prizes and comrades.

“We want this weekend to lead into Veterans Day and for our men and women in uniform, past, present, and future, to know that we cannot thank them enough,” Mayor O’Caña said.

Full information can be found online at

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