Boy, has it been a busy month – with the last two weeks seeming to go non-stop here at the Winter Texan Times office. Our readers have been visiting the office quite a bit this month – bringing their news in, dropping off reunion and meeting notices, picking up papers, placing classified ads and picking up prizes they have won by subscribing to our email edition.
In all of this, my husband, Dan, and I have been trying to get out more and visit the parks, getting to know the people that we serve. We have been invited to a few events, have had booths at others, and some we have just decided to drop in on and see what was going on. Our writers are out there quite often getting the newest story or learning more about a sport – check out our new column From the Cheap Seats where one of our writers has been able to get out and learn about sports in the parks.
We decided we needed to get out and have some fun. Although we are a little shy from being able to have a residence in one of the Valley’s parks (I just celebrated a birthday – so getting a little closer), we sure are enjoying getting out there and sharing some time, some laughs and maybe eventually get some dancing in at the parks. We have been invited to participate in jams and learn how to square dance. I think we might test those waters sometime in the future.
One of the first events we got to enjoy this month was Maude’s Rock N Roll Jam at Casa Del Valle. It was a blast and we recognized most of the songs that the jammers were performing.
She had a very talented house band and then additional singers, or instrument players signed up to perform. With the likes of ‘Ride Sally Ride,’ ‘That’ll Be the Day,’ ‘Love Potion #9,’ ‘Leroy Brown,’ ‘Dream Lover,’ and the likes being sung, the audience stayed active with singing along, clapping or dancing.
We have been able to visit two RC tracks this past week as well. Ranchero Village had the unveiling and official ribbon cutting of their new cement RC track. Participants were able to test their cars out on it and have a tasty lunch.
I had never seen these things in action. Residents really got into the sport. One lady was full of energy as she raced her car around the track as fast as it would go.
We were told about some of the startup costs by New Sun Racing and are very tempted to get into the sport too. I told my husband it would probably be the only way I get my dream car – a 1965 Mustang. So we shall see what the future holds there.
Last week we went to a showdown at Bit-O-Heaven. There were at least 55 cars participating and representatives from seven parks. Some of the parks represented were Pine to Palm, Victoria Palms, Alamo Palms and Palm Shadows. Bit-O-Heaven had a nice dirt track.
Costs of these cars ranged from $600 to $2,000. Now that can be an expensive sport. I heard the key is try not to wreck the vehicle. These cars could go upwards of 50 miles per hour on this dirt track.
Lisa Campbell, the park manager, was competing well against what is mainly a man’s sport. But there were several other ladies competing, observing or supporting their partners. Some of the ladies were just seeing what type of competition was out there, not wanting to damage their own vehicles just yet.
Most of the cars were trucks, or the typical hot rod type of vehicle, but one that stood out, and won first in one of the heats, was a 1937 Ford driven by Scott Van der Pool. He had some nice lap times, including a 10.8 second lap.
While there my husband and I were able to chat with Esther Lewis and Harold Crabtree – a couple who lost their first partners about three years ago and found each other not too long ago. They had a great story to share about how they lived a street away from each other, participated in wood working classes together, but never met until Harold decided to tell the park pastor there needed to be a grieving group in the park.
He laughed when he said, here it was that he had this big idea, and the pastor went ahead and set it up – and I missed the first meeting.
We also talked to Kathy and Phil DePino. Phil was racing in the event and did pretty good.
The two couples had their own vehicles, but Phil was the only one to race that day. They were ribbing on each other on who was more experienced or who had the better car.
These are just a few places we went to – I will tell you about some more next week.
And my going to and fro is not over yet. Today, I will be out in Brownsville. The city is having a groundbreaking for the Battlefield Trail Extension. The event will include a tour of the Battlefield, so I am pretty excited about that. I love learning about Texas history and the place the Valley had in it.
After that, if I have time, I might just stop in at the Beach Park at Isla Blanca for Winter Fest.
Don’t forget, if you have any news to share, or places you think we should be, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.