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Lots to learn on a King Ranch Tour

King Ranch On the Road IMG 6059 webGood day to y’all. Please accept my apologies if I have confused you with two different King Ranch Tours. They are similar, but they are different – let me explain. First of all, let’s talk about what is the same in both of the tours.

You will be met at your departure point by a Go … With Jo! Guide who will stay with you from the beginning to the end of the day when you are returned to your departure point. That guide will share a lot of history of the Rio Grande Valley and will ask you to help watch for the native wildlife. You might see Rio Grande Turkey, or the elusive Nilgai and possibly some White Tail Deer or a wild hog or a javelina as you travel along in your charter coach.

Once you arrive at the King Ranch, another well versed guide will board the bus – one who is especially schooled in the history of the life of the King Ranch founder, Richard King and his wife, Henrietta. This guide might have even grown up on the ranch. Travel over a twelve-mile loop road through the ranch as you learn all about its founding. A Texas style barbecue lunch is included on both tours.

Now the tours begin to differ a bit. On the King Ranch Tour, you will visit the Henrietta Memorial Museum located in an old icehouse which was very important to the vegetable farmers of the Rio Grande Valley. Still to this day, vegetable farmers ship their produce to northern points, but now the vegetables are generally shipped in modern refrigerated trucks. The first stop to ice down the vegetables was in Kingsville at what is now the museum. If you look carefully at the brick walls of the museum, you can see remnants of salt that was used in producing the ice.

Read more: Lots to learn on a King Ranch Tour

It’s been busy around here

20240207 Mike Leichner IMG 1500 webWhile we have been gearing up for the Valley Star Awards, we have also been busy trying to get out to some events. Last week I was able to attend a couple of events and had a great time visiting with you and enjoying your entertainment.

We first went to Pastor Pudge’s Gospel Music Extravaganza last Tuesday. The Winter Ranch rec hall was practically full of Winter Texans listening and singing along to some great gospel music. It was a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday evening, I went out to Fun and Sun to see Brett Marshall and his group perform. I had never heard them before and was pleasantly surprised. I loved the sound that was a mix of big band and jazz. He covered a lot of familiar tunes. Fun N Sun’s hall was full as well.

20240207 Breatt Marshall Band IMG 1600 webI also had the opportunity to eat out at Victoria Palms. I had their hamburger steak with mushrooms and gravy, some mashed potatoes, and sauteed veggies. It was nicely done and was the perfect thing for the beautiful day it was outside.

Read more: It’s been busy around here

Hidalgo Watercolor Society exhibit opens

UVAL Hidalgo WatercolorSociety 2022 Best of Show Sew What by Dennis Grover webHidalgo Watercolor Society presents "Water Works" with an opening reception Saturday, February 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Upper Valley Art League Gallery, 921 E. 12th St, Mission.

The annual HWS watercolor exhibit runs February 3 to February 24. Come vote for the People’s Choice award.

UVAL Gallery hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The UVAL Gallery is free and open to the public. (956) 591-0282.

UTRGV Ballet Folklorico set to kick off Alegria 2024

UTRGV Alegria Courtesy of UTRGV webBy Amanda A. Taylor-Uchoa, UTRGV

The UTRGV Ballet Folklorico is inviting the community to Alegría 2024 with shows starting in early February.

Led by Miguel Angel Peña Caballero, director of the UTRGV Ballet Folklórico, Alegría is an annual folklórico performance that brings life to Mexico’s art of folk dance. The fast-paced show has a cast of 40 dancers and 15 musicians dressed in colorful costumes, performing lively choreographies supported by theatrical lighting and music.

Read more: UTRGV Ballet Folklorico set to kick off Alegria 2024

Dave Williams to perform at PCT

PCT Pic1 Dave Williams webThe Pharr Community Theater Co. (PCT) is proud to continue presenting intimate concerts with local talent for entertainment and fundraising for the theater, which is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization since 2008. Since its inception, PCT has produced, non-stop, three to four main stage plays each year and basic acting workshops, with support from the City of Pharr. Recently the theater has incorporated music and comedy acts on their stage as another venue for local talent to perform.

Read more: Dave Williams to perform at PCT

GAO events coming up

Here’s what’s coming up during the next two weeks at the Golden Age Olympics:

On-site registration will not be accepted, and participants must register a week in advance prior to the event. In-person signups are held at the following sites:

Lark Community Center
2601 Lark Ave (956) 681-3340
Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Las Palmas Community Center
1921 N. 25th Street (956) 681-3350
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Palmview Community Center
3401 Jordan Road (956) 681-3360
Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Online registration can be found at Mcallenparks.net.
Or by mail to: McAllen Parks and Recreation; ATTN GAO 2023; P.O. Box 220, McAllen, TX 78505.

Wednesday, Jan. 31
Movie Show
10 a.m.
McAllen Public Library

Thursday, Feb. 1
Contract Bridge
10 a.m.
Las Palmas Community Center
Bean Bag Toss Men
10 a.m.
Palm View Community Center

Friday, Feb. 2
Shuffleboard Doubles
9 a.m.
Casa Del Sol RV resort
Bean Bag Toss Women
10 a.m.
Palm View Community Center

Saturday, Feb. 3
Bake Off
Dessert Dropoff 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Judging 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Pickup 2 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
Las Palmas Community Center
Bean Bag Toss Mixed
10 a.m.
Palm View Community Center

Monday Feb. 5
Shuffleboard Mixed Doubles
9 a.m.
Casa Del Sol RV Resort

Tuesday, Feb. 6
Bowling Team
1 p.m.
Flamingo Bowl

Wednesday, Feb. 7
10 a.m.
Palmview Community Center

Thursday, Feb. 8
Poker Men and Women
10 a.m.
Palmview Community Center
Duplicate Bridge
10 a.m.
Las Palmas Community Center

Friday, Feb. 9
Shuffleboard Mixed Doubles
9 a.m.
Casa Del Sol RV Resort
1 p.m.
Lark Community Center

Saturday, Feb. 10
10 a.m.
Lark Community Center

Monday, Feb. 12
Shuffleboard Mixed Doubles
9 a.m.
Casa Del Sol RV Park

Still shufflin’ at 102

20240131 Venus Miller shuffleboard webAs Venus Hall and I walked over to some bleachers away from the competitors to sit for this interview, the native “Okie” just climbed up to the top row as if he was 40 years old, younger than me, more stable on his feet and the only shuffling coming when he’s shuffle boarding either at Snow to Sun Park or during the current Golden Age Olympics with his wife Betty.

As we took our seats, I sat one row below while he easily took a spot on the top row, the first thing I asked him was if the rumors were true that he was 102 years old.

“January 13, 1922,” he quickly replied.

From the Army, to living and working on a ranch “for a whole big $4 per day” to turning a crappie pole into a shuffleboard stick, Hall was as fascinating to talk to as it was to watch his wife Bettie play shuffleboard – winning a state championship twice and an international title once.

“Man, she’s just won about everything,” Venus said. The couple met in Missouri and Betty needed to wait six years before she could retire. After that, some friends invited them to come check out life as Winter Texans. They came to visit and are now going on their 26th year at Snow to Sun.

Read more: Still shufflin’ at 102

Mexico, Butterflies, and King Ranch

Go With Jo Monarch webI missed seeing you at the Winter Expo. There was some misunderstanding as I generally am there in person. However, this year I decided that I would rather do a personal presentation in the parks or at the club meetings of retirees or those who are ready to travel. So, if you are interested in a personal presentation, just give me a call. A few days have already been reserved, but I am sure we can find an open date for you.

I will be guiding some of the tours which I am really looking forward to. One of my favorites is the three-day trip to Monterrey with one already requested for the end of February. Another favorite is the Monarch Butterfly. If you are driving in the Rio Grande Valley during the month of October, you will probably recall how those beautiful little creatures smashed into your radiator and made a terrible mess. I am not sure how many of the butterflies die in that manner, but others die from pesticides and from people stepping on them as they hike the trails in Mexico.

Read more: Mexico, Butterflies, and King Ranch

Jammin’ at Bentsen Palm RV Park

20240131 Bentsen Palm Jam webThe owners, Billy and Willeta Borden, have created an inspirational ambiance to motivate 55+ musicians to provide memorable artistic experiences to the listeners who attend the weekly country-gospel jams on Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m. at Bentsen Palm recreation hall.

Both the activity director, Karla Laackmann and the office manager, Victoria, assist in getting volunteers to ensure that each jam is functioning effectively. One of these volunteers is Ed Ervin who manages the jam and arranges for the members of the stage band that supports each musician. Ed is on stage with his guitar and is accompanied by Pete Gibson who plays dobro guitar/lead guitar and Michael Kilmer at bass guitar.

Besides the stage band, this jam was blessed to have the following 15 jammers perform their country favorites: Rick (guitar) and Karen (mandolin) Anderson, Kathy Baehr, Vickie Ervin, Mark Fecho (banjo), Judy Goolsey, John Mosqueda, Tony Ozark, Gene (guitar) and Mary Scott, Ron Stacy (guitar), Dixie and Frank (guitar) Rinchiuso, Ted Weishar (guitar) and Marvin Willis (trumpet).

Read more: Jammin’ at Bentsen Palm RV Park

January 31, 2024 - Rina's Ramblings

Valley Star Awards is creeping up fast and the votes are coming in. It’s exciting to see the Wintertainers™ sharing their names, calendars, and vote for me posts. We can tell these people that come to entertain you are loved and they love what they are doing.

This week we will start featuring the entertainers that will be performing at the show this year. We are excited to see everyone and know that we will have a great show for you. We are always thrilled to see it in action on the day of the show. We never know how it is truly going to be received until we are right there in the thick of it all.

Continue to vote and buy tickets if you haven’t already. It’s a great way to see six top entertainers in the Valley – all in one place.

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