Friday, June 02, 2023
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Winter Texan Times: Looking back 35 years

20221116 Kansas Day HMiller 5599 webWinter Texans gather near and far

Looking through our past issues we find snippets that parks have sent in about their activities, what they did during the summer, and what they are doing now. Not much has changed since 1987. Many Winter Texans still feel the same way about the Valley, and about getting together with friends.

“We, Winter Texans are like a lot of snowflakes descending upon the sunny south,” said Jeanette Thornton of Snow to Sun in 1987. She went on to say, when we left northern Indiana before daybreak on November 20 it was snowing. When we arrived Sunday, November 22, the sun was warm and welcome.

Read more: Winter Texan Times: Looking back 35 years

Golf Course Favorites voting has begun

20221116 Ebony Hills CAB webThe weather is great for a round of golf. It pretty much is nearly all year in South Texas. Therefore, we come to you to ask you what your favorite golf course, amenities, golf hole and more are each year. Valley golf courses know the value of our Winter Texans and have continually made upgrades to keep you coming back.

This week, and the next two, you will find the first impressions, and more, of most of the golf courses the Valley has to offer you.

Be sure to fill that out and send it in, or fill out our online version at, by December 7. By submitting your favorites, you will be eligible to win free rounds of golf, dining, and more.

Drop-off sites open for Operation Christmas Child

20221116 Operation Christmas Samaritans Purse Courtesy 279 webAs the Thanksgiving season approaches, many families and children are giving thanks and giving back—to children in need around the world through Operation Christmas Child.

Shoebox gifts prepared by generous donors and filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies may be dropped off now during National Collection Week, November 14 - 21. More than 4,500 drop-off sites are now open. The Samaritan’s Purse project will collect its 200-millionth shoebox this year.

Read more: Drop-off sites open for Operation Christmas Child

Alamo celebrates Vets

20221116 Alamo Vets Day IMG MP webMilitary personnel were recognized for their service at the Alamo Veterans Day program Friday, who were joined by city commission members.

Food Bank RGV In Need of Donations

20221116 Food Bank vol webThe Food Bank RGV is in dire need of monetary donations to help feed people at risk of hunger this season.

Rising costs are responsible for many people turning to the food bank for emergency food assistance, many for the first time. Due to the increase in need, higher costs, and supply chain issues, the food bank is working harder than ever to meet the growing needs of the community.

Read more: Food Bank RGV In Need of Donations

Ancient landscapes in the RGV

20221116 Landscapes DSC 0336 webBy Herb Moering

Winter Texans like to explore when in the “Valley” and one aspect they might not have considered is the landscape. In fact, some ancient landscapes still exist in South Texas according to University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley geology Professor Juan Gonzalez.

He pointed out several unique features of the RGV lands during the recent South Texas Historical Association (STHA) symposium hosted by the City of Alamo Museum.

Read more: Ancient landscapes in the RGV

Native Plant Project announces guest speaker

Native Plant Project's guest speaker for the November 22nd meeting in Weslaco will be Anita Westervelt, a freelance photojournalist who has written a newspaper nature column for the McAllen Monitor for seven years.

Anita is the author of Anita's Blog, a look at the natural world of the Rio Grande Valley, for the past eight years. She has acquired over 6,600 volunteer hours as a South Texas Border Chapter Texas Master Naturalist. Anita holds a Fine Arts degree from the University of Maryland, European Division, and a Communication Degree from Pittsburg State University. She has been intrigued with plants since early childhood and, prior to retirement, photographed flora wherever she was deployed as a U.S. Navy Chief Journalist.

Read more: Native Plant Project announces guest speaker

Library holds internet basics class

By William Renner, Reference Librarian

Join Speer Memorial Library in Mission on Wednesday, November 16, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., or from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., for an Internet Basics class.

Have you ever wondered what the Internet is, or how exactly to use it?

The class will give you a demonstration of how to use and navigate the Internet. You’ll get hands-on computer practice on how to use an Internet search engine to find your way across the world of online resources.

Read more: Library holds internet basics class

Toys for Tots celebrates 75th year

20221109 photoshoot warehouse full of toys webThe Us. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is celebrating its 75th year of delivering hope to children in need across the Nation. U.S. Marines and volunteers will be conducting over 830 local toy collections and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands. This year, Toys for Tots will highlight their extraordinary Reserve Marines, past and present, as well as showcase the incredible effort from communities across the Nation that has enabled Toys for Tots to support over 281 million less fortunate children.

Read more: Toys for Tots celebrates 75th year

Winter Texan Times: Looking back 35 years

Valley cities welcome Winter Texans

20221109 Harlingen WT Fiesta webFor as long as I can remember, the City of Mission has been home to the most Winter Texan parks in the Rio Grande Valley. Although many cities have had new parks pop up, I think Mission is still number one in that category. There are several streets you can drive down and pass by more than one park, sometimes three or more along the way.

With the incoming of Winter Texans to the Valley, the cities saw what Winter Texans brought with them. Winter Texans have had a huge impact on the communities they live in, and those they visit while residing in the Valley. You not only make an economic impact, but you also help those in need, bring culture, share your talents and more. Because of this, many cities have recognized its Winter Texan community with events throughout the year.

Read more: Winter Texan Times: Looking back 35 years

Alamo opens WWII Exhibit

20221109 WWII Museum HMoering 01 webThe City of Alamo Museum will join much of America in observing Veteran’s Day on Friday with the opening of a World War II exhibit.

The materials on display come from the museum’s collection and include reprints of newspaper front pages with headlines about the most important aspects of the war in Europe and in the Pacific. Also, many war time postcards and recruiting posters are on display.

Read more: Alamo opens WWII Exhibit

Gunther, Havlat, Knauss, and Veterans Day

20221109 Wreaths Across America 2 webBy Joseph Reagan, Director of Military and Veterans Outreach for Wreaths Across America and Afghanistan Veteran

The 11th hour has become synonymous with Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, in recognition of the document signed at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month. In reality, the Armistice ending the war to end all wars was signed around 5 a.m. on November 11th. Over the course of the next six hours, nearly 3,000 men would lose their lives in the final hours of a war that had already claimed the lives of 20 million military personnel. The final death of WW1 came at 10:59 am one minute before the guns of war would fall silent.

Read more: Gunther, Havlat, Knauss, and Veterans Day

WBC parks host events

20221109 Common Pauraque Estero Llano Grande webThe World Birding Center (WBC) parks hold events throughout the year. Most of them have weekly repeating events with special events thrown in at least once a month. Estero Llano Grande and Bentsen State Park are two very active parks, along with Quinta Mazatlan and others.

There are nine parks in the system spread throughout the Rio Grande Valley, so you should be able to find one close to you to visit. Or make it a point to visit each one this year. They each have something different to offer.

Read more: WBC parks host events