Saturday, August 08, 2020
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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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Old Guys Rule

20200205 Tennis Old Guys RuleBob Repp took his glasses off and made his way toward the tennis court.

“Hey,” yelled out Jerry Butcher. “You forgot your glasses.”

“What,” the 92-year-old Repp responded. “I don’t need those things.”

Repp, Butcher and Bob Tenyak are the three elders in a group of tennis players that meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to play tennis for 90 minutes. They’ve been doing that at Aladdin Villas for at least 20 years and in a recent email that provided a photo of the group, the subject was: Old Guys Rule.

“I have a hard time sometimes keeping up with them,” said Butcher, the baby in the group who just turned 84. Meanwhile the more “experienced” Tenyak is 87 and Repp is 92. “We play 70-year-old and sometimes 60-year-olds and we definitely keep up with them, if not trounce them occasionally.”

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I almost had a Harper

20200129 FtCS IMG 0824I almost had a Harper.

The news kinda surprised me when I first heard it.

What’s a Harper? And how did I not get it?

I was at the indoor shooting range at Alamo Rec Veh Park in Alamo checking to see how good – or bad – my shooting skills were.

“He got a 10,” Jim Davis said, almost surprisingly. “He almost got a Harper.”

A Harper is named after a shooter at the 10-meter air rifle range (with the same guns and distance used for the Olympics) who could shoot out the middle of the tiny target and leave nothing but the white ring around the shot out target. My third shot caught just a piece of the white line or else I would’ve had my first Harper.

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Bam … Kapow … Whack

20200122 Pickleball IMG 0765As I peered through my camera lens, I saw the angle that the attack came from. A pickleball player at the net wanted to go cross court with a smash. She went cross court and she smashed it.

Unfortunately for her and her teammate, I was standing out of play as the ball crashed into me, serious injury just a moment's notice away...ok, so I'm being a bit dramatic.

They lost the point.

“Yes, I was aiming for you,” said my plotting attacker. “You were targeted.”

Everyone laughed as the eight players taking up residence on the two air-conditioned pickleball courts at Bentsen Grove RV Park continued on with their games. Another 10 or so people waited their turns at what Larry Vermeersch said is the only indoor air-conditioned pickleball court in the Valley.

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Softball, camaraderie and hot dogs

20200115 From the Cheap Seats 1Claude Laplante stood on the pitcher’s mound and looked toward home plate.

Walking up for his at-bat was a tall, lanky lefty. Laplante was familiar with his dangerous foe — he found an opening between first and second in his last bat, ripping a shot that rolled all the way to the outfield fence.

20200115 IMG 0641 softball

You’re up again already?” Laplante joked before delivering him the pitch – this time tossing some chin music directly at him.

Of course, this was Winter Texan softball and not the Major Leagues, so the batter caught the ball, fans and players alike laughed and joked about the “brushback” pitch and the game continued.

But on the very next pitch: Boom!

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