From the naming of the winners of the eight categories of awards, to the selection of great Wintertainers™ who performed in the show, the Valley Star Awards held Wednesday, February 15, was a great success. Chris Marshall, a local musician who performs by himself and with well-known group The Bottomline Band, acted as emcee for the event held at Mission Bell-Tradewinds RV Resort.
Entertainers who had not been here for several years are making their way back to the Valley. And Winter Texans are returning to the entertainment venues in big numbers. The result was a group of happy Winter Texans enjoying some great Wintertainers™ this season.
Read more: Valley Star Awards: Another great show
It's a small, small world! Just last week I received an e-mail directing me to an article presented by the British Broadcasting Company. The Rio Grande Valley and the story of Rio Rico made the news all the way across the world. At first, I just could not believe it.
The article was all about Rio Rico, a Valley town that was once in the United States but is now in Mexico. How would you like to go to sleep one night living in the United States and wake up to find that you are now in Mexico? Well, that is exactly what happened to the citizens of Rio Rico for you see it is said that the winding and curving Rio Grande River cut a new and straighter channel leaving Rio Rico in Mexico.
This occurred back in July 2006 and all these years when guiding I have used this as an example of how strong the force of water can be. That episode was easy for me to accept for in Mexico, the Rio Grande is named the Rio Bravo del Norte or the Brave River of the North. And certainly, water can be a powerful force destroying bridges, sweeping cars off of highways that are flooding, and carrying entire houses away in their swirling currents.
Read more: Uncovering the real story
A great experience is in store for you each Friday (January-March) orchestrated by Mary and Rick Guignon, activity directors for Casa Del Sol senior community in Donna. These weekly jams attract 30-40 talented musicians who take turns providing entertainment to the large audience of listeners. In addition, these jammers appreciate the stage band who uses their expansive musical talents to support each jammer.
Each jammer is introduced by the talented MC Darwin Beckman who starts each jam with the Pledge of Allegiance and ends the jam with God Bless America. The sound system for this large ballroom is fine-tuned by the sound engineers Jack Dufour and Ligue Wisdom.
At the January 13th jam, the jammers that played that night were Al Cully, Bob Chafton, Bunnie, Bettie, Cindy Dixon, Rodney Crouse, Ed Black, Jerry Davis, Sharon Eikleberry, Richard Daniels, Bill Davis, Sandy Grady, Charles Hrnicek, Jane Heinen, Wes Jansson, Mike Lane, Judy O’Hair, Conra Marsh, Bob Powell, Sheri Pieﬀer, Gary Rene, Ronnie, Larry Sisk, Jim Stiles, Renie T, Betty Thomas, Wayne Teeple, Pam Willie, and Tom Zeker. Also appearing were guest stars Naomi Bristow and Dave Perryman.
Read more: Extraordinary musical talent and congeniality at Casa Del Sol jams
The music started, the Square Dance had begun at an RV park hall in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Ron, the dance caller, directed the steps of the dancers; "Bow to your partner and your corner too; circle left.” My corner lady, a stranger to me, crashed into me.
Ron called out, "No, Suzanna, your other left."
The Road Works. It was raining, we were forced off the highway because I was in the wrong lane due to road works. Learning to drive in England has its problems in North America. I then took a Texas “U” turn, not the planned left turn, ending up back on the highway going the wrong way.
“One more try,” I said to Linda as I turned off the highway and headed south. We arrived at the dance hall only ten minutes late.
Square Dances are Social Events, a time to meet friends and strangers. But they weren’t all strangers?
The young lady, Susanna, who had crashed into me, was vaguely familiar. I knew her, but from where? Who was she? Why did I know her? Was Linda watching? My memory is getting worse.
Read more: A Stranger on the Dance Floor
Submitted by: Ruth Filz
Who would have thought that selling a rhubarb pie for $55 dollars in 2015, would lead to selling an apple pie for $250 and raising $2,580 for charities in 2023!
In 2015, Phyllis Tillotson asked Vonnie Jones if she would bake a rhubarb pie to sell at Palm Gardens RV Park’s annual park auction. It was the first time a pie was sold at the auction. There was a bidding war for the pie between Phyllis and Roger Jacobs. Roger ultimately got the pie with a $55 bid. As events were planned for the following year, it was decided to add a Pie Auction to our calendar and donate the money to local charities.
Read more: Palm Gardens raises money by auctioning pies