Sunday, October 21, 2018
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20180301 Rio Valley Estates Roaring 20s 001Senior citizens wintering in South Texas along with some now living in the Rio Grande Valley year-round, staged an event on Feb. 22 to celebrate “The Roaring 20s.” Held at Rio Valley Estates in Weslaco, over 200 fun-loving residents came to the party.

Some folks remembered hearing about stills and speak easy bars, so party chairs Kathy and David Cochran and their crazy committee tried to recreate that adventurous time.

To get in through the Speak Easy door riddled with bullet holes, you had to know a secret password. There was a guard of sorts at the door who checked for firearms and we heard he might even be into frisking some of the shady ladies who tried to enter. The guard did say the sign that read “Watch out for pickpockets and loose women” had to have the words “loose women” X’d out.

Ever popular Fred Goldsbery played for listening and dancing. Thanks to a great kitchen committee, a meal of salad, ham, potatoes and dessert was served before the fun began. The stage backdrop portrayed a brick background with some jazz musicians featured. Residents brought along their own favorite beverages, such as giggle water, moonshine, the bee’s knees, soda pop or beer.

There were contests for best decorated table. Men and women at Rio Valley Estates always seem to go along with whatever the theme is for any party. This one being no exception, there were well-dressed men who could have been gangsters in those days, and beautifully attired ladies “Puttin’ on the Ritz” in their flapper of Gatsby dresses. Pick pockets roamed throughout. A cigarette-cigar gal walked through the crowd selling her wares – candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars!

20180301 Rio Valley Estates Roaring 20s 002Though none were actually old enough to have lived in the 1920s, many had parents who told of adventures from that era. One lady remembered her mother telling her that her own father was a bootlegger who said, “You had to have a bootlegger ID card in my small town, or you’d try to sell to another bootlegger, there were so many around.”

Some of the party’s events may not have really been from the 20s, but they were loads of fun. As Kathy said, “If it was illegal, we did it!” A Rodent Run for the Roses: drew the most attention. The committee had constructed a lighted mouse race track so six live mice could race at a time. Mouse dollars (some claimed they were counterfeit) were used, but that didn’t discourage the gamblers from really getting into the swing of things. They held six races with mice having names such as Mickey, (of course!) Cat Food, Zippy, Squeaky, Oh Here We Go and Leg Cramps. The winner of each race was then placed on a roulette wheel to determine a winner.

It's a challenge each season to come up with something new to entertain and surprise the residents at Rio Valley Estates, but you can bet this nutty committee is already working on an event for 2019!

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