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20240214 Mission Bell Jam 1 webI visited the Mission Bell jam on January 18 and was impressed that this event started with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer. I was welcomed by the Master of Ceremonies, Rusty Rierson, who also plays the guitar and cajon drum as part of the stage band. In addition to Rusty, the stage band is composed of Pete Gibson, bass guitar; Kevin Hagbom, rhythm guitar; Terry Pendlay, pedal steel guitar; Ken Griffith, lead guitar; Irene Giffith, keyboard; and Bill Knight, lead guitar.

In addition to the seven stage band members, who each performed, there were 27 jammers from Canada and the US who performed with either their vocal renditions or with vocals plus their accompanying musical instrument. Jammers were Delbert Allen, guitar; Bob Anderson, guitar; Rick and Karen Anderson, guitars; Erven Bertrand, guitar; Sharon and Randy Calendar, accordion/banjo; Keith Churchill, keyboard; Russell Comar; Jane and Mel Curry; Jim Fultz; Charles Josephes, guitar; Jesse Land, dulcimer; Judy Minden; Charlie Nelson; Ron Norbie; Joy Norris; Ronnie and LaJuanda Ressel; Al and Donna Schulz, guitar; Susie Q Schutz; Banjo Bill Swartz, guitar; Ray Trudeau, guitar; Mike Wuendlek; and Dick Wynne, guitar.

This article features Terry Pendlay from Illinois, who at the age of 15 was motivated by his mother and uncle to pursue music. Terry taught himself to play the pedal steel guitar and chose country music because of his love of country music from the Grand Ole Opry. Terry started performing in public once he reached retirement age. He has performed in Illinois with the Opry shows, with Miss Dunaway, and at nursing homes. Here in the RGV, he is on stage at Chimney Park, Mission Bell, Split Rail, and The Grove in San Juan.

20240214 Mission Bell Jam 2 webMission Bell is honored to have Rusty Rierson as a volunteer MC. He has performed throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and parts of Europe. He has won numerous awards and talent contests because of his smooth voice and guitar including the Valley Star Awards Male Vocalist of the Year. He has made numerous TV and radio appearances as well as producing numerous albums.

Mission Bell Resort and its sister resort, Trade Winds Resort, are known for providing the resorts King and Queen representatives who would ride in the resort’s floats for the local community parades. In the 1980s, volunteers at the resort paid for and laid down a large floating wood floor in the ballroom for dances and events – the largest of its kind in this area. These resorts are managed by Janice Crouch and the activity directors are Brenda and Andy Baldwin, who arrange for the numerous volunteers who manage this weekly Thursday country-gospel jam held January through March from 4 to 6 p.m. The country jam at Trade Winds is held Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m.

20240214 Mission Bell Jam 3. webgifMission Bell is located at 1711 US-Bus 83, in Mission. Trade Winds is right next door at 1005 N. Stewart Rd.