Bill Chrastil, An Evening at Eastgate & The Birthday Girl

Bill Chrastil was our Friday nite entertainment at Eastgate.  Every Friday we have a group or person come in to sing and play for us.  Many are from Branson Mo.  They come down for the winter and work the Winter Texan circuit here in the Rio Grande Valley.

This year I was invited to the Show Case in Harlingen.  Each park pays for 4 ticket for their Activity Directors to attend and book their acts for the next season or two.  I wasn’t able to go with my park, as 2 other couples take care of this, but I have gotten to know the person from Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island, who attends.  Rick books for Dinner shows as well as hosting the Winterfest, which is an all day music fest which will be happening Wed.  Jan 25.  We’ll be attending it.  But Rick invited me to attend the Show Case as he had an extra ticket.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity.  We attended at another larger park, Park Place.  All the audience sat in the center.  On each side their were 2 rows of tables from front to back with all the entertainers sitting in their spot.  The stage included 3 different areas at different levels that the entertainers could perform on.  The idea was that as one was performing, others could be setting up to play as their turn came.

We were handed a paper with 36 different entertainers listed.   Each one had 8 minutes to perform.  They were timed with a stop watch.  Their was to be 2 minutes between each performer.  So total of 10 minutes between acts.  After each performance, the performer would go to the other hall.  Then an activity director who would be interested in booking them would go to the other hall and talk business, arranging the date and price and payment options.  It can be for the next year or even 2 years out depending on the popularity of the performer.  The contract can be signed at that time.  Well it was a very interesting day.  Many of the acts were good, some were not organized or ready.  Some weren’t even that talented.  Needless to say, by the end of the day, we were over the time by more than an hour.  I think that was to be expected by most everyone.  One of the performers stood out to me.  I had seen him during the day walking around and waiting his turn.  Finally Bill Chrastil got on stage.  I felt like he SHINNED in his 8 minutes.  He was organized, each song ran into another one, not wasting any time.  He knew his equipment.  A press of a finger and his next song was playing.  He had High Energy, worked the stage and had so much fun with his songsbill-chrastil-32.jpeg

I was excited as I knew he was coming to our park.   Bill Chrastil played at our park last Friday and he was so good.  He pulled into the park about an hour and half early.  His wife and little puppy was with him.  We arrived around a half hour early and got our seat.  He started with songs of Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, and other country songs.  Finally after break he moved on the Tom Jones, and my favorites, Elvis.20170120_204201.jpg

He was good.  He moved across the stage from one side to another.  His music blended from one song to another.  When he sang Elvis he put on a belt, and sunglasses.  20170120_204447.jpg

He did many of Elvis’s moves and worked the audience.  I found out later that he had scope knee surgery on Dec. 16.   Wow.   It sure didn’t stop him.  His wife said he was ready to start the more daring moves that he makes to look like Elvis…….  The splits ……Once he was warmed up in the second half he sang Tom Jones and Elvis, His voice was so Awesome.  The deep deep sound of Elvis and how he could hold it.  It was Great.  He also was a great guitar player.  He changed from 2 different guitars.  He played a guitar solo, Wipe Out from the Ventures, that was just amazing.  He is an accomplished musician playing the guitar, keyboard,  drums, bass guitar, and harmonica.  Finally the time came for the show to be over.

3960084.jpg

He was very gracious and took pictures with anyone who wanted it and chatted with them.

20170120_204459.jpg

My Friend Alice and Bill Chrastil

 Bill has been a full time musician and entertainment  since 1983.   He is a songwriter and producer as well as an accomplished instrumentalist.  He is from Lincoln Nebraska, as well as performing in Branson Mo.  He has won many awards in Branson including Best Gospel CD of the year,  Best Vocal impressionist of the years, Best Horizon Show of the year.  He’s also been inducted into the Nebraska and South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.

images.jpg

Last year here in the Valley he won the much sought after Male Vocalist of the Year at the Valley Star Awards.  He has been nominated again this year.  So if you ever get a chance to see his show……  DO IT….. He is a great singer and an Accomplished musician.

fb_img_1484850022374.jpg

Last week was the Birthday of our littlest Granddaughter Carly.  She is now 5.   Its hard to believe she is that old already.  When Tammy found out she was pregnant, she was just in her 2 year of nursing school for her BSN.  She couldn’t afford to take but several days off, so the doctors worked with her and induced Carly’s delivery. Tammy only lost a couple days of school and went back.  She was so devoted to obtaining her BSN.  The next few years were tough, but today she is a very successful nurse in Peoria.  Carly is now in preschool and loving it.fb_img_1484850165611.jpg

She can be such a princess when she wants to be…..HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARLY……

 

 

Advertisements

Our Riverside Dreamer Cruise in Mission

Last year we rode this boat with Larry and Cici. They offer an hour ride and a 2 hour ride.  I wanted to try this as a group activity but I was worried because it is almost an hour away.  We always have to car pool.  So I booked a cruise for afternoon from 1pm to 3pm.   Hoping to get 25 so we could still go, I hung up the sign up sheet…..Would you believe, I filled the boat for 45 people.  Put up another sign up sheet for standby.  Over 50 signed up the 2nd time.  Amazing.  Never believed they would be all that excited.  The cruise was $19.  They have a nice restaurant with seating indoors or patio areas outside amongst the tropical settings of plants and patio areas.  So last Tuesday we all met at the parking lot and made the drive to Mission to the Riverside Club on the Rio Grande River.  It was a beautiful day.  We all took our time and enjoyed ordering from the menu.  Some ate inside and others outside.20170110_114529.jpg

Many of us ordered their good ole Midwestern tenderloin.  It was only $8.99.  Not a bad price.  You can’t hardly find one done here so this was a real treat.  It was huge, the size of the plate.  Rich made a face on his.  …..Ketchup and Mayo face…..20170110_173038.jpg

Finally we were all done.  I paid for the tickets and handed out 45 boarding passes for our very own private cruise.  We all went outside and wandered the grounds and lined up.  The boat came in from its 1 hour cruise.  Everyone debarked and we all boarded.  20170110_172934.jpg

Usually the boat goes down river for the 1 hour cruise to the Anzalduas Dam and then back.   The 2 hour cruise goes up river as far as it can go before turning around.  Since this was our own  cruise we were given the option to go down to the dam and then up river as far as we could go.  So that is what we decided.  We hadn’t been to the dam before.  It was a nice ride.20170110_133055.jpg

We cruised up near the dam so we could see over.  On the other side the captain said occasionally the water gets shallow enough that one can walk over to the other side.

20170110_133115.jpg

The flood gates were huge.  You can see how far up the gates can go to keep the water from flowing down river and flooding the low lands.  Their was a lot of flooding and damage along the river back in 2010 when Hurricane Alex came inland.  Also note the American and Mexican flag flying overhead.  We turned around and went back past the Riverside Club up stream.  20170110_171633.jpg

We passed Chimney Park boat ramp.  You can see the police lookout up in the area.  These are all over on the boarder areas, even at shopping malls and busy areas in the city’s.  They have a great visual to watch for migrants or crime.  You can also see all the border patrol trucks parked.  20170110_171507.jpg

Right past the ramp is the actual Chimney Park Rv Resort and the Chimney of the original lift station that was started in 1907.  The brick was made by hand in the small town of Madero not to far away.  They chimney is 106 ft tall, and 6 ft in diameter.  The boilers were started in 1907, and the lift station started pumping water for irrigation.  The station was used for irrigation until 1952-53 droughts.  After that Falcon and Anzalduas Dams were constructed and the pump wasn’t needed anymore.  In the 1960’s it opened as a fishing area and eventually became the Chimney Park Resort.  20170110_173338.jpg

We passed one area on the Mexican side which was a resort.  They had sheep grazing on the grounds.  riverside-club-6

On down the river was beautiful home with an Infinity Pool out front.  Just Beautiful.  All this area right now is deserted as its off season.  I would love to see these areas in the summer.  On the Mexican side we passed several resorts.  Some were classy with boat docks and beautiful buildings with large ground areas.  One was damaged in  Hurricane Alex in 2010, and has never really been rebuilt.  On the American side it, other than Chimney Rock, it was mainly Sugar Cane fields.  Bentsen State Park also boarders on the Rio Grande as well as The Butterfly Gardens by Mission Tx.  .20170110_141832.jpg

We also seen the Border Patrol speed by…..and then another one….Along the river, we also seen the Border Conservation Police tied up on the American side.  Eventually after an absolutely beautiful day, we turned back.  The Captain told us many facts on his PA system as we rode.  Also mentioned that a wall would take 40 years to build partly because of land that would have to be take by imminent domain.  Its true. There is so many homes and business all over the banks of the Rio Grande River.  Also the sugar cane fields go all the way the the Rio……

So I guess Time Will Tell……What Will Trump Do…….

So back to the dock and we all headed home after a gorgeous day on the river.  While I was their I booked a 3rd trip.  We’ll see how this goes.  I’m collecting money right now for our next one on Feb 9th.  Already have 20 paid.  Will stop at 40 and start collecting for the 3rd trip on Feb 23.  Who would have ever thought.   I was only hoping for at least 25 so we could send out the boat…..

So tomorrow I have Segway in Bentsen State Park.  This will be an awesome ride.  I’ve never been their before.  Again this is a park event.  Wednesday nite, Us, Cici and Larry, Alice and Tom are all going to see the Oak Ridge Boys.  Now that will be a fun evening.  Busy days ahead.  Oh gees, that means we eat out AGAIN…..lol

45th Anniversary…….January 14, 1972

45 years ago tonite was a Friday nite.   It was the coldest nite of the year.  Brrrrr…I remember it was below zero.  Rich and I were married in the St. Johns Lutheran Church in Toluca Ill.  We had a simple ceremony with the reception after at the church hall.  All we had was cake nuts and mints.   lol.  Really cheap.  My mom hired a photographer and paid for the cake.  We paid for everything else which wasn’t much.  The entertainment was everyone watching us open our presents.  I remember they were all practical gifts.  Sheets, towels and washcloths, a Mirro Popcorn popper, lots of kitchen stuff.  My dress was made by a friend of ours.  It was a simple A-line dress made of polyester and we added some pearl trim to it.  It cost a whole $16.  Rich’s sport jacket was made at the Toluca Garment Factory where I worked.wedding2

After the wedding we drove in my 1969 Camero to Peoria.  We stayed at a hotel that nite that had underground parking.  Thank goodness we did, cause the car probably wouldn’t have started in the morning.  Who would have ever thought that 40 years later the hotel would be gone, and a parking lot to St. Francis Hospital built their.  Tammy would graduate their with her BSN and probably parked her car in that parking lot.  lol  The next morning we drove to Keithsburg Illinois on the Mississippi to Rich’s grandparents.  I had never met them before.  What a strange honeymoon.  We spent Saturday nite their and Sunday we had to jump the car to get it started because it was so cold.  We returned home to our apartment on Sunday in Oglesby.  I was suppose to go back to work at the Garment Factory on Monday, but I called in.  So that was the beginning.  lolwedding-3

Now to tell you a little bit that you may not know.  When I met Rich, he was living with a bunch of his friends in Chillicothe.  It was about the time the Vietnam War was ending.  Every nite, especially weekends, they would party in the trailer.  Black lights, Brightly painted orange walls, and 8 track tapes.   The music was loud, the lights would flash and kids would come and go.  As I hung around more, I realized that the guys were all divorced or separated and the girls that come had husbands that were over seas.   That is all but Rich……Well as I found out…..He was also married…..With a 2 year old daughter….Wow….He was working at Caterpillar in Peoria but had been calling off work telling lies.  Finally it caught up with him and he was fired.  I found out about his marriage, he found another job in Mendota at Motor Wheel.  He filled for divorce the next summer.  It took awhile, but around Thanksgiving he got the divorce in Peoria.  On the way home he stopped at a jewelry store in Chillicothe and bought my ring.  We were married by January.

wedding-4

Now I was so innocent, I never even thought what people would think.  About a month later finally I was asked the question they all were wondering…….

“WHEN WAS THE BABY DUE”

What on earth were they talking about.  lol.   Finally April 6 1978 the baby was born.   Fooled them.   Well here we are 45 years, 3 kids, and 5 grandkids later.  Its really something as you think back to all those years.  At first your life is eternal.  You see old people who retire.  They have grey or white hair, and they simply stay home and grow older and die.  Either in the hospital or nursing home.  That certainly isn’t an age you will ever achieve.  Youth lasts forever.   It never grows old.  The family begins, baby’s come, before you know it youth is gone.  The weight problem gets worse.  Things start sagging.  lol.   And here comes the grey.  Finally retirement is before you……WHERE DID THE YEARS GO……We have retired ….  yes…  but were not sitting at home…..Nor in the Nursing Home…..Life has changed so much in the last several years.

We are now doing what we want.   Following the ADVENTURES in Life. 

It Is Our Plans.  These are the Best Years. 

Retirement is Grand……It Can Be What Ever You Want It To Be…..

1969-copo-camaro

This is not my picture, but this is what my 1969 Camero looked like……If We Only Had it Today….

 

Happy New Year! Where Did Dec. Go

December is almost over, in fact it might be after I get this posted….lol…We’ve done so much in the park already.  The park is almost full.  Some have driven or flew home for the holidays, including Canadians.  They are starting to return now.  After January 1st, they will all be back.  The ones who don’t come till after the holidays will probably all come by next week.  We’ve been ……BUSY BUSY BUSY…..We scheduled a Downtown Historical Jackson Street walk.

It was a beautiful day.  Harlingen offers this tour every Saturday to the public free of charge.  Over 20 murals to see, and so much history.  We did this as an Eastgate tour.  Its so nice for everyone to be together.  Lunch after of course.  20161216_092729

Racheal from SegValley Tours came for Coffee and Donuts and brought one Segway.  After her demonstration, she invited everyone to try it out in the parking lot.

20161216_105707

Margene who is 84 and her daughter Kathlynn, and Rachael, owner of SegValley Tours

So much fun was had by all.  This was their chance to fulfill their bucket list.  Next we had our Annual Golf Cart Christmas Parade and after was Ice Cream and Singing Carols.

20161221_181927

The carts were all decked out in Christmas lights and decorations.  A group of ladys walked ahead of the carts dressed as the Reindeer and sang Christmas Carols.  They traveled all over the park ending at the hall for the rest of the party.  Of Course Santa was their too….fb_img_1482885997722

We had our Christmas Dinner, with platters of ham and everyone bringing a dish or two to serve at their table.  Also the table decorating contest.  fb_img_1482885968815

They all out did themselves this year.  The tables were beautiful, from fun and festive, to beautiful and elegant.  This was the first place winner.  Great group of people who put so much effort into their Gingerbread Truck and Camper.  The hill was also lite up with lights.  Awesome Job.  mistys-family

Rich’s brother John came down from Illinois to be with his daughter and family from New Braunfels Tx.  Its about 5 or 6 hours away.  They met down on South Padre Island for Christmas.  We went down the following day and spent the nite.  Misty, Mark and the kids had a great time on the beach. mistys-family2

They enjoyed fishing on the jetty.  The fog was pretty thick that morning.

20161227_120431

You could see it just come in and blow through the island.  It was hanging pretty low.  This was an awesome picture of the fog covering the lower part of the hotel.  The top part just appeared out of the fog like a ghost.  20161227_140444

Also the  Pirate Ship cruise went by.  It was rather spooky too with the fog that was present.  They offer games and pirates fighting.  A very authentic feeling of a pirate ship.  After Mistys family went back home, John and Glenda came by and spent 2 nites.  We took them to Progresso Mexico for their first time every.20161230_140634.jpg

They had a great time.  It is quite an experience for anyone.  We sat down at the Red Panty Bar on the tables on the street.20161230_151341.jpg

Ordered a few drinks and Glenda took it all in.  Street musicians playing drums and trumpet as well as a man playing guitar behind us. 20161230_162333.jpg

Now this is what every women loves including me of course…lol…..Shopping for jewelry from the street vendors. 20161230_143754.jpg

Now this was in a store for sale.   Beautiful isn’t it. The price on it is $250.  I love it.  Now if I had a house, …..lol….and a little extra money, I would certainly remodel my bathroom around this toilet.  They also have sinks…..lol.. The following day we went to the 77 Flea Mkt.  It is so big you can’t see it all in one day.20170101_001557.jpg

Rich did find a new pal.  This is for Scott and Brandy at the bar.  Were not sure if its a “Sally or Sam”….lol….Scott already has “Bones and Trixie”, so this will be a nice addition to the family.  We spent New Years Eve with a group of friends.

We spent the nite with a fire pit and Tom smoked a brisket…..At midnite the fireworks in town were huge.   They went off in all directions.  The next day we heard a lot of people woke up because of all the noise.  Happy 201720161221_183321

Some of the lights of our park.  This is 2 Mesquite Trees.  The owners have them decorated so beautifully.  They are near the entrance and give the park a great impression when you pull in…..20161221_183704

This camper is in the RV section.  It is beautiful and complete with music as you drive by.

“Happy New Year 2017”

……May it be everything You Want it to Be…..