Saturday, December 04, 2021
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Jams are back in session

20211105 McAllen Mobile Jam HMiller 05 webMaybe the single greatest sign of a return to normalcy happened last week at McAllen Mobile Park for the first “Opry” jam of the Winter Texan season.

Yet, the biggest sign was that the word that has dominated conversations around the world wasn't even mentioned. In fact, nothing about the year that was put on hold was heard.

That will stay that way too, at least for this article, because on this date, Friday, Nov. 5, everything seemed as it should.

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Swinging, searching and talking: A perfect day on any golf course

2021 1015 GOLF Winter Texan Group HMiller 01 webIt didn’t take long for Larry Riesselman and I to strike up a conversation. After all, we were on a golf course and, as everyone knows, other than swinging, and looking for your ball, the time is spent telling tales and reminiscing about days gone by.

I happened to run into Larry, his wife Pat and Steve Glass on Palm View Golf Course in McAllen. Larry has been golfing since he was in his 20s and, well, since he’s a Winter Texan (who lives here 6.5 months a year now while back in Minnesota for 5.5 months), that means he’s done a lot of swinging (he has two holes-in-one!), a lot of looking for golf balls and a ton of conversing on the courses.

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R/C racing reminiscent of NASCAR

20210227 Alamo Rec RC Open House Henry IMG 3526 600px“No, no he didn’t slam you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you… he rubbed you. And rubbin’ son is racin’.” -- Robert Duvall as Harry Hoggie in the hit movie “Days of Thunder.”

Cars blazed down the front-stretch, at one point hitting three and four wide on the cement track similar to the NASCAR venue in Dover, Delaware. The biggest difference here, however, was that sometimes when the cars were three and four wide, they weren’t all going in the same direction.

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Olympics, chili, and cornbread

20210203 cheap 3326 600pxSport climbing, surfing, skateboarding, karate, baseball, and softball are all new sports for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics (baseball and softball making a return).

Maybe the International Olympics Committee should consider chili and cornbread cookoffs as well for future games. With McAllen Mobile Park giving a super-small sampling, if the results are anywhere near as tasty, it will surely be a hit and a long-standing event where winners will fiercely battle for the gold medal.

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Softball: Camaraderie and Fun

cheap 3255 600pxPatrick Neel heard all the motivation he needed as he rounded the bases.

“Run faster, run faster,” the frantic voice of his wife Darlene echoed from the stands.

“I'm running as fast as I can,” Neel laughed.

In the end, Neel went into the scorebook as hitting a grand slam. It was during the Winter Texans U.S. versus Canada game that signals the end of the Winter Texan softball season.

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Bicycling

20201209 cheap 600pxHelen Wright found a Schwinn bike back in Michigan for $20 and bought it, figuring she may want to ride after she arrived at Bentsen Palm RV Park in Mission.

She did not realize at the time how much she would be using it.

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Texas Trails Golf Bingo

tx trails golf bingo img 2382 2“Golfers” sat in their carts and patiently waited.

Wait, these aren’t golfers.

“B7,” a voice called out over a speaker. Those waiting went into action, looking down at their “scorecards,” which weren’t scorecards at all — just like they weren’t golfers.

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A leaner is worth two points – just not in Texas

20200311 cheap 01I remember my dad and my neighbor, Jim Brewer, used to go out back with some wooden stakes, drive one into the ground and then spend the next 15 minutes arguing over how far to place the other stake.

My dad was 6-foot-4 and Mr. Brewer, as I would call him, was probably 5-foot-9. They would mark off the stakes 13 strides apart. My dad, being tall and strong, would make sure his 13 strides were stretched out and Mr. Brewer, well, he didn't particularly care for that strategic move.

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La Floresta sports love and more love

20200304 la floresta 03Sporting events have been aplenty recently, especially at La Floresta Park in Mercedes. From love on Valentine’s Day to love for finding a cure, the Winter Texan park has been filled with kindness, caring and big hearts.

Valentine’s Day at La Floresta Park in Mercedes was filled with fun activities.

Love of golf was in the air, as was a bit of coolness, for the Valentine’s Day 9-Hole Scramble. Thirty-five couples participated, and the winners were:

1st Place: Pat Hymers, from Manitoba, Canada, and Casey Tippet from Sallisaw, OK;

2nd Place: Rodger Vanderville from Manistique, MI and Ginger Seurkamp from Whitney, TX; and

3rd Place: Karen Birtwhistle from Manitoba, Canada and Ken Webb from Frisco, TX.

Of course, there was a potluck that featured a wide assortment of delicious cuisine, including some Winter Texan favorites! All the ladies received a red rose!

In the evening, “country music and more,” was provided by Curt James, from Alamo. His third season in the valley, he was nominated for Male Vocalist in the Rio Grande Valley.

Valentine’s Day activities were coordinated by Don and Linda Adams, Blue Earth, MN; and Charlotte and Wayne Summerly, Manitoba, Canada; with assistance from Karlene Weiland, Mercedes, TX; Marlys St. Martin, St. Paul, MN; and Lorna and Dennis Brown, Laverne, MN.

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‘Bowling’ making a comeback?

20200219 WiiBowling IMG 0869It was probably 10 years ago that I stepped onto a bowling lane and had the greatest game of my life.

My team was in the semifinals of our league tournament and I was horrible, barely managing a 120 average for the season.

On this day, however, for one game, I came through. Out of nowhere everything lined up and fell, as they were supposed to. When we were done, I had rolled a 268 and we were moving onto the semifinals.

Reality is cruel, however, and it took me two games to surpass the 268 I had bowled in that one game. My passion for bowling was struck down for good.

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Bridge was intense at the Encore Games

20200212 Bridge IMG 0852The intensity was felt through the deafening silence as 19 teams competed to see who, after probably 5-6 hours of competition, would earn the rights to be named champion.

Nineteen teams of two men or two women from 10 Encore Parks took their seats across from their partners, their opponents taking the opposite chairs as the battle for Bridge dominance began Monday morning at Victoria Palms RV Park and Resort.

Bridge derived from the game “Whist” and dates back to as early at 15th century when a French author mentioned a game “La Triomphe” in one of his publications. These are the earliest known mentions of the game.

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