Monday, December 04, 2023
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Goldwing Express returns to Valley

20230118 Goldwing DSCF1221 webBy Kathy Olivarez

For the first time since covid hit the Valley, the very popular group, Goldwing Express has returned to perform. The group consists of Irishman, Bobby Baldridge, who was referred to in the show as Pop, or, “white man,” and two of his three Indian sons, Steven and Paul, who towered over him. Shawn, a former favorite with crowds, was unable to come.

Read more: Goldwing Express returns to Valley

Winter Texan Times: Looking back 35 years

20230111 Computer 390419912 Editorial Use Only webMy how the world has changed

How many of you remember using a computer for the first time?

In our looking back to our previous issues, and our first season of the Winter Texan Times, we see when our writer Virginia Sunderman first used a computer to write an article for submission. It was printed in the January 15, 1988, issue of the Winter Texan Times.

She writes, “This is my first attempt at using a computer to write an article. I am using a computer at the Speer Memorial Library in Mission. The use of the computer is just one of the many advantages the library has to offer the public.”

Read more: Winter Texan Times: Looking back 35 years

SPI Market Days next week

South Padre Island Market Days returns to the Island next week. The event will be held at the South Padre Island Convention Center January 20 through 22. They will also have an event in February from the 24th through the 26th.

Both events will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The event is open to the public. There is an entrance fee of $1.

Read more: SPI Market Days next week

January 11, 2022 - From the Cheap Seats

20230111 Winter Texan Bowling HMiller IMG 7089 webWinter Texans clash in local alleys

Stan Hawkins has bowled for 18 years. Wearing his “Flintstones” bright orange team uniform, designed by teammate Rich Michelena, the “Bowling Stones” and “Pin Pals” were two of several teams who hit the lane at Flamingo Bowl in McAllen for league play.

The lanes were dotted on this day with several neon-colored jerseys from different Winter Texan Parks. Hawkins is a Bentsen Grove resident.

Read more: January 11, 2022 - From the Cheap Seats

January 11, 2022 - On the Road with Jo

Take a look at what’s in the RGV

20230111 GPZ Baby Giraffe 2 webAnd how are you doing on those New Year's Resolutions? Not so good? Maybe we need to take another look at why we make those resolutions in the first place. Could it be that it is just a long-time tradition? Is it just expected? But why? What is the tradition and when did that tradition start?

Most of us have no idea as to how, why, or when the tradition began. Actually, the tradition started over 4,000 years ago when the belief was that if you did not make promises to the gods to do better that you would be punished and would have bad luck.

It is said that about 45% of our population still make New Year's resolutions. The flip side is that only about 8% of those who make resolutions will actually keep those same resolutions. So how are you doing so far?

I hope that somewhere among all those resolutions were some who resolved to travel again and to travel more in 2023. You don't even have to travel very far to really enjoy yourself and learn more about our surroundings.

From the telephone calls that we are receiving, it appears that more and more people are ready to travel. And that is great as travel broadens your mind and helps you to understand the history and cultures of other people and countries as well as to understand and appreciate what’s around you.

Read more: January 11, 2022 - On the Road with Jo

January 11, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

This past week has been a blur of activity it seems. We have had one thing after another going on and it’s not stopping any time soon. Like I said last week – we are entering our busy period.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Rio Grande Bible Institute and learn about what they do. It was a very interesting visit. I met some great people, great Winter Texans, that all volunteer their services and share their talents to keep the place going. They are currently working on their main fundraiser – a story I am working on for next week. Watch for that article and see how you can help them help those that come to their facility for schooling.

They are so very thankful for the Winter Texans, and other volunteers, that put in so much time at the institute. It’s amazing how much work everyone does and the things they achieve when they come together for the same purpose. If you have a chance, call them or visit to see how you can volunteer.

For the next month we have something just about every day that needs to be attended or covered in some fashion. It’s a blast for us as we get out there and visit with y’all though. These are the times we look forward to all season long.

This is the period where we really get out there, enjoy some entertainment, meet new people, make new friends, and get a little taste of the fun you have while in the Valley.

With it becoming busier and having more Winter Texans in the Valley during these next two months, we have made some additions to our paper. Last week we introduced our ‘Jammin’ in the RGV’ column. This week we have ‘On The Lighter Side’, a humorist column. Cheap Seats is back as well. We will also be having Wintertainer™ stories starting soon too.

We hope you enjoy these additions as we plan to carry them if you like them. We would love to hear your feedback.

There are so many events coming up – Winter Fest, SPI Kite Festival, RGV Woodcarver events, Valley Star Awards, and so much more. Watch our calendars, stories, website and social media for these and more.

If you have anything you would like to share with us, an event coming up, a 50th wedding anniversary, 100th birthday, or someone interesting we should know, email us at

We love hearing from you!

January 4, 2022 - Rina's Ramblings

Well … It’s a new year, and we hope that means better things. We always strive to do better than we did the day before. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but I try to make sure I am doing better than I did last year. I try to improve on things or make it a point to finish tasks that I have put to the wayside for some time. Just ask my husband, I am notorious for starting things, but never finishing them.

Whether it be cross stitch projects, craft projects, writing for myself, family history…. You name it. There are several things I have left unfinished. I aim to have at least one thing finished by the end of this year – hopefully two. If I could get my two cross stitch projects finished, I can start another one….

So, what do you do for the new year? Do you try to set some new goals? Did you eat your black-eyed peas, collards and ham? Do you aim to try something new?


We hope you have had a great year thus far, or a great beginning of the season. Now is when the season really starts getting busy. Wintertainers™ start to really entertain and you will see full calendars of entertainment you might want to see. Our calendars are going to get fuller as the month goes by. Mid-January to Mid-March are our busiest months. We’re practically non-stop.

We hope you are having fun out there and are enjoying going to dances and seeing the entertainment the parks have to offer. We sure enjoy going out there with you. Try to get out there when you can. These entertainers come to have fun with you and give you some top-notch entertainment.

We’ll soon have our ballot out for the Valley Star Awards we will hold in February. Be sure to watch for that and vote for your favorites.

Until then, if you have any news you want to share, send it to

If you are celebrating a milestone anniversary, let us know. If there is someone with a story to tell in your park and it is worth knowing, let us know. We want to hear your news. We want to share your news.

Jammin’ at the Peppermint Palace

20230111 Peppermint Palace Audience PhotoThe Peppermint Palace, also known officially as El Valle Del Sol, is a senior park community located in Mission at 2500 East Business Highway 83. This park has a delicious name along with the delightful country music played with the assistance of a stage band and jammers on Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon whenever the Winter Texans are in the RGV.

El Valle Del Sol has a large and spacious hall which is perfect for musical performances and dancing. The stage is roomy and easily accommodates the stage musicians and their equipment. The sound quality is excellent thanks to the expertise of Dean Sides, sound engineer.

Each music jam has a host who organizes and coordinates the activities for each jam. The country jam’s host is Jim Thompson who is also on stage and an excellent entertainer.

The stage band members who accompany the jammers and perform their own selections change occasionally. At the mid December 2022 jam that I attended, the stage band was Isaac Martinez - drummer, Jim Thompson - rhythm guitar, Iris Wiese - vocalist (from Minnesota), Dennis Wiese - Bass guitar and vocalist (from Minnesota), Ted Keim - self-made Cajon Drum Box and vocalist (from Illinois), Chris Koch - lead guitar and vocalist (from Indiana), Irene Griffith - keyboard and vocalist (Illinois), and Ken Griffith - lead guitar and vocalist (Illinois). Also worth mentioning is Bill Knight - lead guitar, who wasn’t present for this jam.

Read more: Jammin’ at the Peppermint Palace

Fun at a Seniors Baseball Game

20230111 Malcolm CAllister One Man on 2nd Base webIt was just after lunch,
the senior’s game had begun.
Across the valley,
seniors play it for fun.
There were chairs in the outfield,
and a chair on each base.
For the seniors to sit on,
just in case.
Four teams were selected,
no stacking, just fun.
Because this is a game,
where we don’t have to run.

Let’s Play Ball

It was the top of the 7th with two men on base. Mike was up. He talked to his bean bags and performed a dance. He swung. “Strike one,” called the Umpire. The pressure was on.

Mike swung again, “a Home Run.” Suddenly there was pandemonium, everyone standing and talking. I thought, “This is not like cricket.”

Through the chaos, Mike could be seen stealthily touching the chair on each base. It was a sacred moment as he maneuvered through the crowd.

There was hand slapping and the smile of victory to be enjoyed.

20230111 Malcolm Callister Debbie levitates a Bean bag is in the air webThen two women from his team grabbed Mike as he reached third base. They carried him home.

Life of a Winter Texan

“Dad,” my son asked on the phone that evening. “How do you mean you played in a baseball game with a bean bag? A man your age should not be running around a baseball diamond.”

Kids! I tried to explain, "Seniors in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) know how to have fun after age 55. To start with, they don't call these campgrounds anymore; now, they are called RV Resorts, 50% of the trailers here don’t have wheels, they are mini-homes, and everyone has a golf cart, not for golf, but just to reach the next activity on time.”
These RV Resorts are like holiday summer camps for teenagers, with three significant differences:

1) You must be 55 or older,
2) Saturday night dances are unsupervised.
3) Alcohol is approved of.

Teams Play for Fun

You could see the joy on their faces. These teams play for fun, encouraging and abusing each other is part of the game.

Then there was the weekly BYOB street party celebrating the end of every game - “The 10th innings.” Before the party starts, an organizational priority must be resolved, who will host next week’s 10th innings, then It's Party Time.

Over 100,000 people return to the RGV every winter. The locals call us Winter Texans, and it’s the group activities such as seniors' baseball that help bring them back.

Meet Malcolm Callister, Winter Texan Times, new humorist. We know laughter and humor can be found around every corner – and he wants to share your stories. If you have any funny events or anecdotes to share email him at

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